January 22, 2012

Coming to terms with The Newt.

I told you I went to a classical music concert last night. I'm not very good at listening to music, in the sense that I don't focus and notice all the details the right way or whatever real music connoisseurs do. I don't even respond emotionally most of the time. I do behave. I never cough. I don't get out my iPhone and read. If you were sitting next to me, you wouldn't notice that I'm a bad concertgoer, but I am.

So what I feel I have to do — and I know I should just stop it — is think about all sorts of things. For example, I contemplated various structures for tomorrow's first day of class in Federal Jurisdiction. Debussy was trying to tell me something about Spain, and I was thinking about something that happened "on a dark night" in Hughestown, Pennsylvania.

Inevitably, my thoughts drifted to Newt. Before going out on that dark night last night, I'd seen that he'd won the South Carolina primary. At intermission, I said to Meade: "I've come to terms with Newt." I didn't mean that I was prepared to vote for him. I still regard the idea of President Gingrich as bizarre. But I live in the moment. I embrace the now. It's fine the way things are. Newt has his role to play, and right now, I'm going to say it's a good one.

First, I especially adore the spectacular failure of The Attack of the Ex-Wife. ABC News somehow lured this uncomfortable little woman out of the shadows and into the spotlight. They interviewed her for God knows how long and extracted one seemingly lurid remark — her interpretation of what Newt said to her as a request for an "open marriage." The values-voters of The South were supposed to collapse in horror. He's unclean! But that's not the way they reacted. ABC didn't have that analyzed properly. I like this new culture of religious conservatism — if that's what it is — in which people who care about character don't recoil but reflect. They're not simpletons. They can get their mind around complexity. You can't just push their buttons. Or... at least... you can't push their buttons with big clumsy ABC fingers.

Second, it's good that the Tea Party and other sorts of conservative factions contribute to the political mix in America. Newt — along with Santorum — has established that the Establishment can't dictate who the candidate will be. Whoever ultimately becomes the candidate — and I assume it will be Mitt — he won't achieve his place through the nods of insiders bypassing the people who have imperatives of their own. It's strange that Gingrich embodies their wants, but that's the way this strange campaign has evolved, which leads me to....

Third, Gingrich has achieved his position through the sheer force of putting ideas into words, words that people heard. There's something quite beautiful about that, quite American. And it's beautiful without the man being beautiful. Back in 2008, many of us fell for Barack Obama, who — as Joe Biden put it so memorably was "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy... that's a storybook, man." Today, we question how articulate Obama really is and, with the distance of time, it's easy to see that the whole "storybook" gave us the impression that the speech was wonderful. That was an impressive effect in its time. But with Newt, there's no storybook. There's no newness, only Newtness, which isn't nice-looking or even clean. It's just words. Words! That's a storybook political treatise. A political treatise, man, and we're reading it. You'd think we'd be more influenced by the image of The Newt...



... but we're not. We're hearing the words, the speech, the ideas. I hear democracy maturing! Over The Newt! I think that's pretty cool.

There, now. There must be more that's going on. I'm still absorbing the Newtessence of it all. But that's all I'm going to say at the moment.

I read this out loud to proofread, and Meade said: "That's good. Just don't become a Newtist. In a Newtist colony."

231 comments:

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Kirk Parker said...

Andy,

"Catholics warn Gingrich, Santorum on race baiting...Any questions? "

Yes.

Why is the Catholic Church inserting itself into a political debate? Where is that vaunted wall of separation???

Oh, and where is Fr. Martin when we need him? (It's Sunday, I guess he's a little busy...)

Kirk Parker said...

Andy,

"Some of you act like I'm literally sitting at my computer with my hat askew while I write each of my comments. "

Wait--you're not? Whoa, I'm outta here--too much disillusionment for one day...

Phil 3:14 said...

Please Professor, Hegel was wrong. Life is more than a dialectic.

Phil 3:14 said...

For you Professor

deborah said...

Oh, Cracktster...by what convention do you hold marriage to be 'till death do we part'? One man, one woman, forever, is a Christian tradition.

I don't get you judging Althouse and her ex for divorcing amicably.

You are the very thing you eschew, dearly held opinions based on personal experience and feeeelings.

Cedarford said...

Thank you repubs....you have made my day...

Jason - "I would pretty much guarantee the Obama administration would disagree with that statement. Newt would debate circles around Obama and make him look like a bigger fool than he already is."

I hate to disabuse you of your savior, the Master-Debator, riding in like a plump dumpy marshmallow on a white steed to have two 1 1/2 hour debates where he rails at the Media Elites and Obama ....

and somehow winning the day with his pithy bloviating....

Because Newt is such damaged goods half his time will be on defending his scandals.
The other part is Master-Debator will have two brief shots at persuading people they need Newt with them for 4 years. Not just brain-damaged rightwingers that want a Showman who "vents their anger" . All the people. The ones who will vote on the question who is a skilled leader.
Obama who is a nice guy that has botched things as bad as Dubya Bush did.
Or Newt, who is a nasty guy that most people who have worked with say he lacks the temperment, moral compass, and managerial skills to successfully run a 7/11, let along a country in serious trouble.

Because of Newts past..despite the claims of evolution-deying fundies that Jesus has forgiven all his past stuff...the rest of the country is unlikely to see him as a nominee, even more unlikely to be elected if he becomes one.

Newt is a foul, nasty, bright but incompetent megalomaniac.

The Crack Emcee said...

deborah,

Oh, Cracktster...by what convention do you hold marriage to be 'till death do we part'? One man, one woman, forever, is a Christian tradition.

To think atheists reject things merely because they sprang from religion - or Christianity - is ignorant. Religion is a fact of history.

By what convention do you as an American, living in America, reject it?

ken in sc said...

My wife used to knit at classical music concerts. I don't take her anymore.

deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

"By what convention do you as an American, living in America, reject it?"

I don't reject it, but I don't glorify it to the extent that I think two people have an obligation to stay together when things don't work out for whatever reason.

You fetishize marriage, which may be fine for you, but to judge others for falling short of what you deem to be moral is immodest. What are the other tenets of Crackianity?

el polacko said...

it's a lot of fun watching newt get all feisty and slap down the moderator (although, an hour later, he thanked that same moderator for doing a great job) and to hear him blast obama in blunt, talk-radio-style terms but let's be realistic here: another ten months of newt flying off the handle at the slightest provocation will become tiresome. there's little doubt that there would be blood on the floor after a gingrich/obama debate but how many debates can we expect obama to agree to? maybe two at the most and, certainly, none of the 3-hour, lincoln/douglas-style debates of newt's dreams. so what will we be left with? the image of a chubby, cranky little washington insider stomping his feet and with smoke blowing out of his ears against the calm, 'cool' guy...think nixon/kennedy...and just imagine, post-debate, four years of the over-animated, attack-mode gingrich as president and commander-in-chief! i'm feeling worn-out already.

there's no doubt that romney needs to step it up and stop relying on rote talking-points but he's the even-tempered, successful businessman that we need in the oval office right now.

deborah said...

"another ten months of newt flying off the handle at the slightest provocation will become tiresome"

Fair enough, that won't fly. The hope is that he's matured since the brash Nineties, and what he's doing now is getting everyone's attention. If he has any common sense he will now proceed with a calm, professorial instruction style, spiced with appropriate jabs and humor.

The Crack Emcee said...

deborah,

I don't reject [marriage], but I don't glorify it to the extent that I think two people have an obligation to stay together when things don't work out for whatever reason.

"For whatever reason." There it is. No, you buy into the bullshit no one should have to mature and/or admit they're wrong and so - because they had the subversive idea first and made it to the bank before the other - can take another's shit while claiming "irreconcilable differences." You buy a lie that destroys individuals quickly and society slowly.

Look, if you or Ann or Meade want a boyfriend or girlfriend, then fine. You have always had the right to have as many of them as you please. But a marriage is something else and you know it. The same goes for gays - come up with a name for what you do because "marriage" is taken.

And to understand reality, and adhere to it is called "rationality." You are the one with a fetish and it's for the legitimacy of deviance. Sorry - not going to happen as long as reality is around to kick a hole in it, which it always does, eventually.

Your resistance to reality is signs of a NewAge mental disorder all by itself. "You can believe whatever you want to believe." So marriage is a toaster, Ann is a pick-up truck, and I'm a magic lion, right? Nothing has to mean anything. Marriage isn't a man and woman for life - it's whatever you say.

Contact a head doctor as soon as possible.

The Crack Emcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
deborah said...

"Your resistance to reality is signs of a NewAge mental disorder all by itself."

This is the BS that identifies you as a prima donna poseur. You don't want an actual discussion, you want to bloviate.

What makes you any different from some fundie preacher saying people should stay in an unhappy marriage because...it says so in the Bible.

The Crack Emcee said...

What makes you any different from some fundie preacher saying people should stay in an unhappy marriage because...it says so in the Bible.

You, and people like you, are so nuts you wouldn't know what a happy or unhappy marriage is. You don't have a problem with marriage, or the bible, but with maturity and the expectation you might have to adhere to it. Here's you definition writ large:

Married to the dead.

it's whatever you say, right?

Find a doctor for your problems,...

deborah said...

"You don't have a problem with marriage, or the bible, but with maturity and the expectation you might have to adhere to it."

I have a problem with your blanket dispensations. And the hypocrisy of the Cult of Crack you are pushing.

The dead bride link? Sheer showboating on your part.

Dante said...

Thanks Ann! This is an uplifting commentary on Newt. Yes, he is ugly in many ways, besides merely the physical. But he does have ideas, unlike by-the-book Romney. And he can think on his toes. And he can adapt to new situations.

Many people think Romney is some kind of shoe-in. Wait until the press gets started. Take a look at the front page of the Miami Herald:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/20/2599676/12212.html

These attacks are going to hurt.

I do not agree that Romney is more electable than Gingrich. With all that money up against Gingrich, and he lost by double digits in South Carolina. If Florida is close, with Romney spending $7M according to an article I read, then how can people say "Yeah, he even outspending his own party, he can't win, but he is a shoe-in when he goes up against Obama."

Sorry, I don't buy it.

Dante said...

To The Crack Emcee:

Wow! I thought I was one of the only atheists that didn't buy into this whole "marriage for gays" thing!

Even though marriage has popped up all over the world as the foundation of society, somehow religion has claimed it for its own. It belongs to all of humanity.

Also, once kids are in the picture, divorce should be a last resort. And out-of-wedlock should have a massive stigma. Heck, it costs taxpayers enough.

Dante said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Crack Emcee said...

deborah,

The dead bride link? Sheer showboating on your part.

Oh, now you're making it up as you go along:

I told you reality deals with bullshit.

I wasn't even looking for that link, it just popped up as I was surfing. But there you are - "marriage" as you define it. I said you were defending deviancy and - viola! - there's an prime example of where your thinking leads. Sorry. You're wrong. And now you can't admit it, wanting to claim I'm showboating, as though that changes how wrong you are. I told you:

Your problem is maturity and the refusal to adhere to it, otherwise you would've just conceded like a mature adult would.

That refusal to act like an adult is why so many marriages fail now. It has nothing to do with "irreconcilable differences" but immature assholes who can't simply say "I'm wrong." And you're defending them - going so far 9and underhanded) to charge an atheist with being the same as a religious nut - being part of the problem yourself, and proving why marriages fail "for whatever reason."

YOU are the reason.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dante,

To The Crack Emcee:

Wow! I thought I was one of the only atheists that didn't buy into this whole "marriage for gays" thing!


It seems like such an easy answer to me:

If it's not marriage - one man and woman for life - give it another name. The rest of these fools just like making trouble. Makes 'em feel like rebels.

Makes 'em look like fools,..

deborah said...

lol you are so full of yourself.

We are not on the same page at all.

You want to talk about corpse marriages as if that has anything to do with you making a judgment call on marriages that end.

You are Crack. You had a tragic marital experience. You are not Althouse and her ex. Althouse and her ex are not women who completely screw over and take their husbands for everything they're worth, including the kids. These women are not people drowning in lonely or bitter or fractious marriages. You don't get to be judge and jury, Crack.

rcocean said...

Your resistance to reality is signs of a NewAge mental disorder all by itself. "You can believe whatever you want to believe." So marriage is a toaster, Ann is a pick-up truck, and I'm a magic lion, right? Nothing has to mean anything. Marriage isn't a man and woman for life - it's whatever you say.

Excellent.

deborah said...

rc, I hope you aren't saying 'excellent' to the entire quote. I did not say the quoted line, and only in Dr. Crack's mind does he have any standing to diagnose me with a New Age mental disorder.

rcocean said...

Sorry, I just read Crack's post and thought its description of "Gay marriage" and comment on the misuse of language 'excellent'.

I didn't know it was directed at you or that you were involved.

deborah said...

k :)

deborah said...

(I thought so.)

The Crack Emcee said...

deborah,

lol you are so full of yourself.

Not so much I lol at my own comments. And what are you gonna say next, NewAger? That I should "abandon my ego," so your dumb ass can take it over with your hand-me-down philosophy? No thanks. 

We are not on the same page at all.

No, I'm sane while you're spouting nonsense, and can't admit it unless someone physically threatens you - but you and your kind have made rules to take care of them so you've made life itself a clusterfuck and think everyone's going to roll over for it. Think again, Missy.

You want to talk about corpse marriages as if that has anything to do with you making a judgment call on marriages that end.

No, idiot, I spoke of your deviancy. 

You are Crack. You had a tragic marital experience. You are not Althouse and her ex. Althouse and her ex are not women who completely screw over and take their husbands for everything they're worth, including the kids. These women are not people drowning in lonely or bitter or fractious marriages. You don't get to be judge and jury, Crack.

And everything I say isn't directly related to my own experience, you numbskull. And Ann - being on her "second marriage" - is no example of anything. She and her hippie husband didn't work out their differences - neither was mature enough to say "I'm wrong" - so they took the easy way out and made society into a lesser thing. Ann is a NewAge hippie who thinks like a dog - "in the now" - and she's not bitter because no one ever calls her on spreading deviancy in the name of feminism, gays, and anything else. It's assaulting REALITY that's in everyone's sights - not those who have wrecked the destruction that causes. You love them. They get to be happy while the rest of us have to pick up the pieces of what they do. Ann's the teacher of religion and the constitution who's NEVER said an accurate word about religion in her life. How many decades will society be putting up with the ignorance she's loading into her student's heads?

And listen to you. Rocean says "Sorry, I just read Crack's post and thought its description of "Gay marriage" and comment on the misuse of language 'excellent'." And you go on like I wasn't talking about you - you completely disassociate yourself, and then act smug about it, because he said he didn't know it was about you. That's nuts. Like I said, YOU are the reason marriages fail.
Who else was I talking about, Miss-I-have-to-feeel-good-about-myself, hmmm?

carrie said...

I think that the main reason that the left (including the media) wants Romney to be the candidate is that they thinks that a Mormon wouldn't be elected either. But don't put all that prejudice just on the fundamentalist Christians--I think that a most of the left, and most of the non-religous right, are bigots too when it comes to religion. Just try being a person of faith in Madison . . . Or ask a religous high school kid in the Madison are what type of reaction he/she gets when he/she expresses a religious view point in class.

deborah said...

So among other things, you have a reading comprehension issue.

Best wishes with your anti-cult crusade; not so much with your self-righteous zealotry regarding other people's marriages.

Later, mofo.

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