Jewish World Review Dec. 14, 2011/ 18 Kislev, 5772
Newtzilla to the rescue
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "How do we stop Newt?"
I've now been asked that question by a lot of conservatives. It's not that I'm the go-to guy for that sort of question. Rather, one gets the sense that many "establishment" conservatives are asking everybody that question -- in staff meetings, at the chiropodist, even at the
The other night while having drinks with some prominent conservatives, I said I thought there was a significant chance that Gingrich will not only win the nomination but that he might be the next president. Going by their expressions, I might as well have said I put a slow-acting poison in their cocktails.
Not surprising, then, that there are more knives out for Gingrich than in a Ginsu infomercial. For instance, former
But Sununu's barbs bounce off Gingrich, as has
First, what are you going to say about the guy that people don't already know? Just as it's OK to speak openly about the fact that
Moreover, conservative voters distrust the conservative establishment -- variously defined -- almost as much as they distrust the liberal establishment. (That's why
Also, Gingrich benefits enormously by being the last obvious "not-Romney" candidate.
But the stop-Newt forces are not synonymous with the stop-Bachmann/Perry/Cain forces. The conservative establishment knows Gingrich, or at least thinks it does. The insiders worry Bachmann, Perry and Cain aren't smart enough or can't beat President Obama. The stop-Newters have no doubts about how smart Gingrich is.
As to whether he can beat Obama, opinions vary. But many feel that a Gingrich victory might be scarier than a
They have a point. Inside D.C., it sounds very strange to say that Gingrich is an "outsider." Gingrich has eaten from just about every trough imaginable inside the Beltway. And yet, he's always been very clear that he wants to ("fundamentally," "historically," "categorically" and "radically") overturn the existing order. Some critics always thought, plausibly, that such pronouncements were part of his act or a sign of his megalomania.
But there's another possibility: It's true. Moreover, the times may be ripe for precisely the sort of vexing, vainglorious and all-too-human revolutionary Gingrich claims to be. That's the argument a few people have been wrestling with (most notably
That remains a stretch.
This helps explain why Newtzilla is so formidable. In order to stop him, you need to explain to very anxious
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