Newt Gingrich's Epic Flameout by @DavidOAtkins

Newt Gingrich's Epic Flameout

by David Atkins

If you missed Gingrich's bizarre, rambling press conference-in-lieu-of-concession-speech last night, here's your chance at redemption.

Just a few comments here.

1) Romney has really gotten under Gingrich's skin. It's almost endearing to hear Gingrich fly off the cuff about the awfulness of the American political system and how Romney is basically able to buy his way to victory while telling lies with a straight face even as the Press largely fails to call him on it.

Sorry, Newt. You and your Republican pals made this bed for your corporate fat cat contributors. Now Romney, the pinnacle masterwork of corporatist machine politics, is using the world Reagan and Newt created to buy himself a nomination with lots of money, coiffed sideburns, lots of cash, packaged lies, lots of money, a complacent stenographic media, lots of corporate moolah, and a gleaming smile. Oh, and did I mention the corporate cash? Well, now Newt and Reagan's moaning ghost get to lie in that resplendently furnished bed.

2) Gingrich keeps hammering on about the Obama Administration's "anti-religious bigotry" for daring to insist that Catholic hospitals receiving federal tax money have to provide contraceptive services. Gingrich views this as discriminatory against conscience of faith.

But one wonders how Gingrich and his followers would feel about Muslim hospitals getting tax money while adhering solely to the practices of Sharia law. One thinks they wouldn't appreciate it too much. These people don't really have ethical principles outside of "my tribe good, your tribe bad." They know that that doesn't play well with normal voters, so they goose it up in pretty language and thinly veiled situational ethics. But it really comes down to the idea that straight white Christians should be able to do whatever they want, and everyone else can put up with it or get out of "their" country. It's that ugly. And no, there's no reasoning with them, nor any decent rationale for giving their opinion even the scantest respect.

3) It's going to be very difficult for Gingrich to walk this feud with Romney back. Some have compared this press conference to Howard Dean's famous scream. But the difference is that when Dean screamed, he didn't give the Republicans a boatload of ammunition to use against John Kerry. Newt Gingrich is so incensed at Romney's transparent phoniness that he isn't mincing words about the GOP frontrunner. Usually politicians will couch and soften their negative statements about one another in a primary, because they know that when push comes to shove, one of them will have to support the other when the primary is over. But it's hard to see Newt endorsing and campaigning for Romney after this. It's pretty late in the game to be saying that there's no difference and "no choice" between one's primary opponent and the opposition candidate. Those are strong words.

If Newt keeps throwing these bombs for the next several months, makes a play to win Texas and tries to cause a brokered convention, and if Ron Paul goes for a 3rd party run, then November 2012 could turn into a landslide of dramatic proportions.

Unfortunately, that will only lead to five more years of crazy as the red-blooded conservatives insist that their disastrous fortune can be blamed on an inadequately aggressive, intransigent conservative opposition to President Obama.

Should be good times.