Only this "fucking asshole," as an Iowa voter called him to his face, could stick up a spot like this. A spot that is, at one and the same time, unctuously Christmassy, and blatantly cynical. The sight of Newt's smug, jowly mush next to his Plasticine Pat Nixon clone of a 3rd wife waxing all "from our family to yours -- best of the holiday season" is as vomit-inducing as watching Nixon in the Oval Office with James Brown. For all the jingle-jangle holiday horseshit, there's nothing this toad does that isn't politically calculated and motivated, particularly his recent entreaty to Mitt to lay off the negative ads.
Newt knows that his recent surge has been beaten back through negative ads dragging out his warehouse full of baggage, so to call for a return to civility and "let's debate the issues" is a blatant attempt to neutralize his opponents' best weapon. On every right wing issue, he's vulnerable as shit. An anti-government crusader who took gobs of cash as a lobbyist, then has the arrogance and audacity to claim it was for his expertise as an historian. A three-times married unfaithful husband calling for a return to old-fashioned values. A man running for the Presidency who would arrest judges whose opinions he doesn't agree with. That he can trot out these lies with a straight face only demonstrates his utter contempt for the rest of us. The people. The press. Everyone. Even O'Reilly called him out on it. How full-tilt gonzo do you have to get before Bill O'Reilly goes "ok, now wait a minute, you can't be serious"?
As to Newt's momentary comeback from pussy-whipped, Aegean-cruising, Tiffany buying newtered hubby to the head of the GOP wolf pack, to the point where he even declared himself the "presumptive nominee" I am decidedly mixed. While the consensus is that he'll lose to the President in the general election, putting this pompous dictator-wannabe that close to executive power is a frightening prospect, especially to a country just getting over the soul shivers from Sarah Palin's potential irregular heartbeat away from the Oval Office.
Still, as amusing at it is to watch the pack go at each other, the one point I don't hear from Democrats is that, while it may matter politically who the nominee is, from a policy point of view it doesn't. They need to make the point that the policies advocated by the GOP are the same policies that put the country into financial freefall. Putting aside the culture wars and their attempt to drag us back to the 19th century, or perhaps the 1st century, it is the economy -- first, last and always. Even this week's political maneuvering in the house over the Payroll Tax bill shows that the GOP is so obsessed with beating the President in 2012 they would deny him any success, even when it's based on a bi-partisan compromise that already passed through the Senate. Even when it means fucking the rest of us in the bargain. And even though "the rest of us" includes Democrats and Republicans. If you're Boehner, I can't imagine how you spin this one.
For all the comic moments the GOP pre-season has brought -- the gaffes, the goofs, the mistresses, the oops moments -- someone needs to make it clear that it isn't their incompetence or their desperation that's making them look like a collection of -- to quote that Iowa voter-- fucking assholes. It's the paucity, and frankly the danger, of their ideas.