And everything old is Newt again

The only reason I don’t feel like a total dope for missing this is that everyone else missed it too. And I still kind of feel like a dope.

Of course Newt Gingrich is going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012.

The safe money, including mine, was on Romney, and if anyone were going to pose a formidable challenge to him it’d be Rick Perry, who had the money, hair and Tea Party street cred to make things at least somewhat worrisome for Stormin’ Mormom Mitt. But then Perry utterly imploded in some of the most painful (and classic; “What’s the third thing again?” has become a go-to line of mine.) debate performances we’ve ever seen, and, aside from a brief and obviously doomed spike in the polls by an unable Cain, things seemed pretty much wrapped up for Mittens.

We were all dopes. We all missed it, and it was just so damned obvious.

What is the overwhelmingly dominant emotion of the (R)etard base right now? What’s been their rallying cry in the aftermath of the ascension of Obama three years ago? What caused the hordes of half-wits to jump in their Jeeps adorned with confederate flag bumper stickers and gather together across the country in what were surely the absolute lamest “parties” ever thrown?

Anger. They are pissed the fuck off. At liberals, at Muslims, at gays, at the media, at their own frustrating inability to do anything to stop the irrepressible change taking root in the world around them. But more than anything, or anyone else, they are pissed at Barack. Hussein. Nigger. Muslim. Obama. Their anger burns with the white-hot furor of a thousand turgid suns.

Enter, or rather, slither the Newt.

Anyone who’s watched a few of the 3209472398457 debates in the last few months knows that all these candidates fit the easy stereotypes. Romney’s the robot. Perry’s the cowboy. Herman Cain’s the jester. Ron Paul’s the crazy old man. And Newt Gingrich is the angry guy, the one who yells at the moderators and refocuses every question about himself or his rivals on how Hussein Obama is destroying America.

And the audience eats it up. No matter that Newt’s mercurial megalomania has often led him astray of the conservative path (he has, at one point or another, believed in climate change, supported mandatory health insurance and argued for amnesty for illegal immigrants). No matter that he already flamed out in a giant crater of disgrace fifteen years ago, fined and deposed by his own party. Never you mind all that. They don’t love him for his substance (the word is seemingly unknown to these people), they love him for his theatrical, bombastic rage.

They love that he filibusterers through questions with attacks on the “liberal media.” They love the near-overtly racist way he dismisses Obama as “unqualified” (he comes *this* close to flat-out calling the President “boy”), and how he castigates the incumbent as mired in a “Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview.” They eat it up when he tells them he’ll challenge Obama to eight three-hour Lincoln/Douglas-style debates. Finally! they crow. Someone who’ll really take it to that smug little shit.

Which he wouldn’t, of course. If these debates ever happen it’ll be the best thing Obama could have hoped for – the more Newt speaks, the more he turns off anyone who’s not already drunk off the strongest batch of the konservative Kool-Aid. But those are exactly the people we’re talking about right now, and they just eat this shit up. See, Newt Gingrich is a dumb person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like – he’s glib, condescending, constantly reminds us of his academic credentials, casts everything he’s doing in grandiose terms like “fundamental” and “transformative” and “unprecedented,” has tons of half-baked “big ideas” (this reads like a nerdy teenager’s “Things I Have Thought About While Never Having Sex” list) and peppers his rhetoric with esoteric, smart people-y historical references. In Newt they see everything they’ve always seen in those oh-so-hated “librul knowitalls” (academics, scientists), except this one’s on their side. Now they can have one of their very own!

Let them have him. Obama will beat him like a drum down at Occupy Wall Street, and then this crass, arrogant, petty tub of old white lard can go back to reviewing shit on Amazon and tweeting embarrassing tweets and just leave us all the fuck alone like he was supposed to do the first time around.