Jennifer Rubin, who, based on her lack of a brutal death at a random hot dog stand, must be a more pleasant person in real life than in her writing, wrote an impassioned plea this morning for Republican Party elders to step in and stop Newt Gingrich at all costs.
It is worth quoting in relevant part:
The voters in their infinite wisdom have just given a huge boost to perhaps the only GOP candidate who could shift the spotlight from President Obama to himself, alienate virtually all independent voters, lose more than 40 states and put the House majority in jeopardy.
We’d be looking at four more years of Obama’s economic policies, four more years of strained relations with allies, several new Supreme Court justices and an unprecedented power shift to the executive branch.
While straining credulity a bit with its rhetorical excess — Ms. Rubin is apparently unaware that there are fewer than forty states in the Northeast and on the Pacific Coast — her point is fundamentally valid. Newt Gingrich will mop the floor with Barack Obama in the debates, only to have his head handed to him in November. Informed voters might want to consider this a more intellectually satisfying form of the 2008 debacle, without the electric excitement Sarah Palin brought to the ticket.
(Not to worry: Newt Gingrich has compared himself to so many electrifying leaders that it seems reasonable to assume he will give one heck of an acceptance speech as he selects himself as the vice presidential candidate, too.)
I don’t want to dwell on Newt, who has Newt to do that for him, and better than I ever could. I want to dwell on the cause for this calamity, the source, the problem, the sticky wicket if you will, the mote and beam we must remove from our own eyes before seeking emergency treatment for punctured eyeballs.
I am speaking, of course, of Willard “Mitt” Romney, who, coincidentally enough, is like a mote and a beam in the sense that his physical composition and bearing are remarkably similar.
Newt Gingrich got his turn as not-Romney, then blew it. Done. Gone. Buried like an obscure thing of which Newt would probably insist on telling you at length as you tried to hide behind the coffee service and escape out the back door. By rights, we should be down to Mitt Romney versus my great aunt, a late entrant in the field who would catch the world by storm by insisting that every back yard have its own subsidized shine still.
Instead, we are back to Newt v. Mitt, which sounds like a fantastic name for a spell in the upcoming Fifth Edition of (Advanced) Dungeons and Dragons, but is instead a depressing reminder that we will likely look at four more years of Obama, regardless of the nominee.
And it is all Mitt’s fault.
I do not mean this in the sense that he “failed to put away” Newt. You can’t stop him, you can only hope he falls asleep after talking to himself in containment. I mean this in the sense that Mitt Romney managed to turn himself into even more of a walking caricature in just a handful of weeks. His hamhanded handling of his own corporate past — not to be confused with his hamhanded handling of his political past, which is a given — and his wealth have given voters who were preparing hemlock pies and resigning themselves to voting for a blob of clay with fantastic hair a reason to say, By God, no, I’m not going to eat that hemlock, and I’m not going to vote for this idiot.
Consider that the man who doesn’t even respect the electorate enough to lie to them in a consistent manner about his political beliefs, political formation, policy choices, gosh, the list goes on, does respect them enough to openly condescend to them by telling them that three hundred thousand dollars is basically a pittance.
You, Mitt Romney, and your cheerleaders in the press and Republican establishment (but not sainted Jen Rubin) are why there is a decent chance Newt, and not you, will cause the destruction of our party downticket in less than ten months’ time. (Think of this as being like what you did to the Massachusetts GOP, but on a grander scale, with more arson afterward.) You convinced the voters to run to a man who couldn’t even stay the head of the caucus he brought to power a mere four years before. You’re a Mormon with an all-American marriage who managed to get a guy with three living wives, I assume seven hundred mistresses, and the real love of his life rounding it all out in his mirror every morning to the point where socially conservative Republicans would chew off their own earlobes to vote for him over you.
AND THAT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE.
You are the problem, not Newt. You, not the voters. You, not poor Jennifer Rubin.
Now, Rubin is nothing if not intellectually honest and consistent. I therefore join in her implicit call — and call on her to make explicit her call — to reject the politics of fear, and to demand that you terminate your political campaign now, today. Well, after you read this, and talk Justin Hart off a ledge. But right after that.
And then. God willing, then. Then we will have someone else, someone more credible, someone — let us be honest — with worse hair, step forth to defeat the amphibian, with the chameleon out of the field. That person will then go on to lose to Barack Obama, but the downticket races will be saved.
God bless America. Erick-Woods Erickson for President, 2012.
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