There was a time when this would have been a fun primary to write about. The rise and fall of Michelle Bachmann, laid low by her own stupidity. Then the rise and fall of Rick Perry, laid low by his stupidity and/or hunting camp. Then the rise and fall of Herman Cain, laid low by his own penis. Then the rise and fall of Newt Gingrich, because we’re not really gonna vote for Newt Gingrich, are we? Then the rise of Rick Santorum … and the Iowa caucuses … and the fall of Rick Santorum. Then the subsequent rise of Newt Gingrich for reasons that no one seems to quite be able to explain. My own theory is that he was hoisted aloft by the power of his own hot air.
It just seemed to get weirder and weirder in those halcyon days, about one month and 90 debates ago. But it’s all over now, baby blue. Florida has gone to Romney, and the victory and concession speeches by Mitt and Newt, respectively, bore the wholesale hypocrisy that was inevitable after the trench warfare of the Florida campaign. Most of the pundits compared it more to a carpet bombing, especially Romney’s massive ad buy – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews even referenced the Allies’ horrific firebombing of Dresden during World War II. If you listened closely, you could almost hear Kurt Vonnegut’s ghost whisper, “So it goes.”
But, no, a bombing raid is a quick, in-and-out mission. Trench warfare is far more apt. And after tearing each other apart, the speeches ending the Florida leg of the primary campaign could only be hypocritical – for what else would either of them calling for an end to personal attacks be?
So that now, we get Newt Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House and consummate inside man, talking about overthrowing the Establishment. We get Mitt Romney, whose Massachusetts healthcare law served as the blueprint in many ways of the Affordable Care Act, promising to repeal Obamacare. We get Gingrich promising to fire every “White House czar” hours after attaining office, despite the fact that it would cause a collapse of totally necessary governmental oversight, a fact of which he’s well aware. We have both of them swearing up and down to lower the price of gas, shades of Bachmann’s promise to get it below $2 a gallon.
Gingrich wrapped up his concession speech, in which he conceded nothing, by pledging “my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor,” a paraphrase of the end of the Declaration of Independence. It takes a man like Newt to swear up and down that he’ll burn down the house of government and then conflate himself with the Founding Fathers. His hypocrisy is matched only by his narcissism, and it’s a damn shame he now has no chance to take the nomination, because he’d be a hell of a lot more fun in the general than Mitt.
We’ll never hear again about Saul Alinsky once he’s out for good. No more talk of the dangerous, corrupt, radical President Obama moving our country toward a failed, traitorous, selfish, permissive, European-style socialist welfare system. (Or pick out a few other adjectives from Newt’s old GOPAC Memo “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.” He’s been using the same descriptors for Democrats and their policies for more than 15 years now.) Let it go down in history that Newt Gingrich essentially ended his campaign Tuesday, whether he liked it or not, by comparing himself to the Founders – on the same day his security people assaulted and battered (allegedly, of course) a Ron Paul supporter in Celebration, Fla.
No, now we have what we always knew we would. We have Mitt. The time of the Mexican Mormon is at hand.
Fun Facts From the Exit Polls:
Newt Gingrich lost in every single category, across the board except people who self-identify as “very conservative” or “strongly support” the Tea Party. He also won self-identified born-again Christians and evangelicals, but as he only did so by a couple points — against a freaking Mormon — we’re not counting it.
Among men, Gingrich lost to Mitt Romney by five points. Among women, he lost by 22. At publishing time, we were still trying to figure out why it is that women hated Gingrich so much. We’ll get back to you.
Among voters ages 18-29, Gingrich came in third, placing three points behind Ron Paul. Because Ron Fucking Paul, man! Start a revolution! Woooo!
Taking all the demographic information together, Gingrich did best among old white men with as little education as possible. Go figure.