December 13, 2011

Jonah Goldberg asks the right question...

Jonah Goldberg: Conservatives wonder whether Gingrich can be stopped - latimes.com:

...As to whether he can beat Obama, opinions vary. But many feel that a Gingrich victory might be scarier than a GOP defeat. Gingrich's defenders say such fear is a compliment because it shows that he's a "change agent" threatening the status quo.

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. Gingrich, after all, is the only candidate to actually move the government rightward. While getting wealthy off the old order, he's been plotting for decades how to get rid of it. To paraphrase Lenin, perhaps the K Streeters paid Gingrich to build the gallows he will hang them on?

That remains a stretch. Mitt Romney is still the sensible choice if you believe these are rough, but generally sensible, times. If, however, you think these are crazy and extraordinary times, then perhaps they call for a crazy, extraordinary — very high-risk, very high-reward — figure like Gingrich.

This helps explain why Newtzilla is so formidable. In order to stop him, you need to explain to very anxious GOP voters that the times don't require him....

(My emphasis.) I'm in a hard spot, because I am not a fan of Mr Gingrich. His antics have offended me deeply. On the other hand I think we are definitely in "crazy and extraordinary times," and we need some crazy medicine.

Also, as Jonah puts it, "Moreover, conservative voters distrust the conservative establishment — variously defined — almost as much as they distrust the liberal establishment." That's me these days. The Jennifer Rubins have just sat in the same place too long. Sat as a sort of "loyal opposition" to the Blue Model. Phooey. Send 'em home.

Posted by John Weidner at December 13, 2011 6:11 PM
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