Monday, January 16, 2012

Gingrich Reverts to His Normal Self

I have been in such a state of melancholy over the state of our nation and the political process that I haven't wanted to post anything for quite a while. If you love America and the Constitutional process, the daily ourages by Obama eventually sweep over you and overwhelm you like a tsunami. I have been so angered, however, by Gingrich's campaign tactics that I felt compelled to publish this piece. Gingrich and his idiot buddy, Perry, may have thrown a winnable election to Obama this year.

Bane Capital and the GOP's Dark Night

By JED BABBIN on 1.16.12 American Spectator (Excerpt)

Newt's bad narrative has made a mockery of this presidential race.

The media always has an established theme -- a narrative -- into which the coverage of political stories is shoehorned. Sometimes that results in important stories being ignored because they just don't fit. That's okay with the media bosses this year because they're not in the news business. They're in the business of helping Obama get re-elected.

The narrative is important because it shapes the flow of information voters get and thus defines the political debate. If the narrative controls what the voters hear, read, and see -- and it usually does -- then the voters are thinking and deciding on the basis of the information to which they're exposed. Were it not for conservative talk radio and publications such as the Spectator, the media would be pretty much in total control of that information flow leading up to the election.

Before the Iowa caucuses, the media narrative of the Republican primaries was pretty much a personality contest about who was more electable, who was more conservative -- or, as the media phrase it, more radical -- and who was going to score in Iowa's beauty contest in which social issues usually play a disproportionate role.

Mitt Romney's campaign had launched a barrage of negative ads against Gingrich and when Gingrich finished fourth, it was clear that the former speaker needed to do something to change the narrative. It was the right moment for him to do it, and he could have with -- for example -- a speech critical of the media I suggested on this page some weeks ago.

But Gingrich's ego was injured. The fact that Romney's negative ads worked really got under his skin. On the morning of caucus day, Gingrich called Romney a liar on a talk radio show, and in the thirteen days since the Republican primary campaign has followed a script that could have been written by David Axelrod. It has formed a media narrative around the top two candidates that is so damaging that both of them need to do everything in their power -- which may not be enough -- to change it.

For two weeks, Gingrich and Rick Perry have stuck to the theme that Romney, as a venture capitalist in the Bain Capital firm in the 1990s, destroyed jobs and hurt people in ways that the two intimate (but don't say directly) were unethical, unfair, and possibly illegal. The two -- directly and through an independent "SuperPAC" supporting Gingrich --- have carpet-bombed Romney for his role in Bain, but making themselves collateral damage.

Perry, whose campaign has already failed, lashed out at Romney for "vulture capitalism." That undefined term implies financial corruption and worse. Gingrich has ranted against Romney's form of capitalism in terms (such as accusing Romney of "looting" companies) previously unheard among conservatives. It's the language of the Occupy Wall Street riffraff. Many conservatives have called on both to cool down, but neither has.

Now we have a 30-minute hit video titled "King of Bain" supposedly documenting Romney's actions at Bain Capital published by "Winning Our Future," a Gingrich-supporting "SuperPAC."

"King of Bain" is comprehensively vile. I watched it. You should too. It looks and sounds like an MSNBC feature story replete with every lefty cliché and "Occupy Wall Street" theme there is. And it's so full of falsehoods that the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column awarded it four "Pinocchios."

Winning Our Future hasn't corrected or withdrawn the video in light of the publicized problems. Instead, WOF managing director Greg Phillips issued a smarmy "open letter" to Romney on January 13 offering to revise the video if Romney answers -- to Phillips -- five questions he poses in the letter and threatening to keep pushing the unchanged video if he doesn't.

Gingrich has called on WOF to fix the errors in the video or take it off the air. But after Phillips's letter to Romney, that's not enough. Gingrich should have condemned the video and issue a statement that any independent groups supporting him must not engage in smearing his opponents. On Meet the Press yesterday, Gingrich unconscionably defended the WOF open letter to Romney. The video is now Newt's version of the Ron Paul newsletters.

In the Democrat-media culture, Republicans are always the heartless big business-Wall Street-rich man's party. Now we have two supposedly conservative Republicans attacking Romney starting from that point and taking a quantum jump into terms used only by the most radical lefties.

Gingrich and Perry have created a media narrative that says Romney and Bain were vulture capitalists and corporate looters. If you buy that and watch "King of Bain" you might confuse Romney's old company with something run by Bane, the super-villain in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. From the movie trailer we know that Catwoman will meow lines taken from the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I can hardly wait to see how the Dems will combine "King of Bain" with the movie ("Bane Capital"?) this fall.

The context in which the Gingrich-Perry narrative has to be judged is the underlying Obama campaign narrative from which the media will never vary. It is class warfare, pure and simple. Obama has identified himself -- and his administration -- with the Occupy Wall Street groups. They exist only to attack capitalism. Romney's Bain Capital is the perfect symbol of it for them to attack because it benefits Obama to do so and is bespoke tailored to Obama's class warfare politics.

It's too late to change the narrative before the South Carolina primary this Saturday. The damage has been done. The media will ensure that it is repeated many times because it will damage whoever is the Republican nominee, Romney or Gingrich. Nevertheless, both Gingrich and Romney have a duty to try to move the narrative away from Bain Capital. But to what?" American Spectator

To see "King of Bain" click here


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At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I totally agree with you on this Russ. Perry is indeed an idiot because he gives everyone that impression but Newt Gingrich is so smart a debater that he really doesn't have to take this foolish route which IMHO is self destructive. People who donate money to his campaign deserve better than this.
I can see if Newt went after Romney on Ma Romneycare this would be a valid argument, but I think it's stupid to side with Democrats and go after him on this Bain issue.
A top notch CEO of Staples was just on Fox & Friends this morning talking about all the in roads that were created by Romney in the fifteen years that he was on the board of directors for that company. This alone blows all the lies that the Democrats have been spouting out with their bogus political adds and film clips they just put out.
I've had it with Perry and Gingrich.
It's bad enough that there is talk that Obama is going to ditch that fool VP for Hillary Clinton which would be a shoe in for four more miserable years of his destructive policies, but these jerky Republican candidates are killing each other with stupid Democratic political talking points.
If I had a lot of money to spend, I'd donate it to Mitt Romney right now and I don't even like him!

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

Juan Williams got the surprise of his life last night during the GOP debates when he asked Newt a pointed question about his- "Obama is the greatest food stamp president in history"- remark made early in his campaign. Newt's answer got him a standing Ovation which made Williams look like the Liberal weenie that he is. I have to congratulate Gingrich for putting Juan Williams in his place.

I don't know about you but I'm getting sick and tired of all this Liberal Democrat race bating!
We never had this problem until we got stuck with Obama. If you disagree with him, you're branded a racist, and GOP debates on MLK Day? Ohhhhh the shame of it all! But it was OK in 2008 when the Democrats held a debate on MLK that was sponsored by the National Black Caucus.
This was brought up last night on the O'Reilly Factor when a S.C. Democratic political hack named Richard Harpootlian tried to make hay out of it in a political add that he ran recently. Bill O. blew him away with this piece of info that made Harpootlian look like a fool.
Race, race race! Is that all the Democrats can come up with? Give us a break!

At 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Newt/Perry strategy has already backfired with both hi level contributors and with conservatives in general. Perry is already all done as I've said before and Newt is not far behind. Newt will likely be all done soon after SC.
I take your point on this article but there is an arguement to be made about using this time to fine tune the top candidates and their message. This better prepares them for the onslaught of the Obama machine once we finalize on Romney and prevents later surprises.


At 7:36 AM, Anonymous Joe said...

I agree with you Steve but I can't see any point in GOP candidates supplying the Obama machine with ammunition to use against an electable GOP front runner.
Their main objective ought to be ridding this country of Barack Obama even if it means holding their nose in the voting booth like we did with John McCain.

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although Perry is all done, one thing he did early in the process was attack Mitt in the debates. For a VERY brief time, Perry appeared to be up and coming.I forget the specific issue, but it made Mitt raise his game to meet this challenge. It strengthened him. He became a stronger candidate because of this. Later, Rick, Ron and Newt did the same thing. I'd rather Mitt field these questions and hone his comeback now rather than later.



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