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December 03, 2011

And now, peak Gingrich

This year's Republican primary race has to be the strangest in recent history.

As this graph of poll averages from Real Clear Politics shows, the party continues its lurching from one non-Romney to another, with Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and now Newt Gingrich having their peaks of support, while that of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul maintain steady but at low levels, and Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman are also steady but almost non-existent. And of course, at one time we had The Donald, the effects of whose brief cameo appearance is not recorded

RCP poll.png

It says a lot about the modern Republican party that such a repulsive opportunist blowhard like Newt Gingrich is being touted as a clever person, a man of ideas. For a party that has turned its back on science and knowledge in general, their embrace of Gingrich, a man who oozes contempt for everyone else, requires some explaining. I think Paul Krugman was right when he said: "He's a stupid man's idea of what a smart person sounds like." Republicans seem to be impressed by cocky smart mouths (Sarah Palin being the poster child), and repelled by people with real knowledge and expertise.

gingrich-smartest-guy-in-the-world.gif

The person who has the most reason to be righteously aggrieved by this parade of successive contenders to Romney is Rick Santorum, who must have hoped that his smug religiosity, devotion to the oligarchy, and homophobia would appeal to the not-insignificant bloc of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals in the party. Every time the leading non-Romney stumbled, his hopes must have been raised of being anointed the next flag bearer, only to see others being awarded the prize. One can almost hear him wailing in prayer in his lonely hotel room in Iowa, "Why have you forsaken me, Lord? When will it be my turn?"

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