THIS BLOG HAS MOVED AND HAS A NEW HOME PAGE.

December 10, 2011

Newt Gingrich and the Republican establishment

As I have said many times before, the Republican party establishment had for a long time fed fiery rhetoric on social issues to its party's base in order to win votes, while following pro-oligarchic policies when in power. But the 2008 election provided indicators that the base was fed up with being used this way and wanted to wrest control of the leadership. I said that the 2012 election would bring this fault line to the forefront and show whether the establishment still had control. This has happened and the Romney-Gingrich contest is a good measure of it. News reports are emerging all over of the party establishment attacking Newt Gingrich and pulling for Romney. (See here, here, and here.) It will be interesting to see how they eat their words and support Gingrich if he should be the eventual nominee.

What is noticeable in this race is that the headliners in the Republican party establishment have so far largely steered clear of making any endorsements. They usually play safe and wait until the result is a foregone conclusion and declare their support for the likely winner. But this time around they may face pressure to endorse Romney in order to help him win.

I must admit that I am surprised that Gingrich, of all people, has emerged as the flag bearer for the anti-establishment movement. After all, he is a career politician and ultimate Washington insider, which should make the establishment favor him, but that very fact, plus that he has a lot of baggage in his past, should make the nutty base of the party skittish. The only explanation I can come up with for this weird reversal is that the party establishment is opposing him, not because they fear his policies which are reliably pro-oligarchy, but because they are rightly fearful that Gingrich is too mercurial and unstable and that he will self-destruct, giving Obama an easy re-election victory. And paradoxically, the party establishment's opposition to Gingrich may be what is making him attractive to the base, who have never quite warmed to department store mannequin Mitt Romney.

The Ron Paul camp sees this struggle, along with the revised party rules for awarding primary delegates, as providing a possible path to the nomination, though that remains a very long shot. Recall that the Obama camp in 2008 also cleverly used party rules to amass sizable delegate totals even when they were losing primaries.

Trackbacks

Trackback URL for this entry is: http://blog.case.edu/singham/mt-tb.cgi/26139

Comments

The republicans remind me of the democrats in the 1980s. They're unable to agree on a strong candidate because all are polarizing within the party. Just like Dukakis, they will end up with a compromise candidate who is barely palatable to the party and unacceptable to the entirety of the US population. Obama, like Reagan, will win by default rather than on his record.

You speak of rich people running for office. Maybe this would be a good time for Bill Gates to try his hand. I'm no fan of his, but at least he might be more fiscally competent than those in charge and he'd be palatable to all. And that's without mentioning the fact that he's an atheist.

Then again, if he did succeed, that would probably encourage the oligarchs to send more lackey like Herman Cain.

.

Posted by P Smith on December 10, 2011 01:50 PM

The phrase "Republican establishment" is as amorphous as "corporate oligarchy." Both need to be fleshed out, to include recognition of important divisions that may exist within these putatively monolithic, malignant forces. We don't spend nearly enough time doing this.

My suspicion is that Romney would be the preferred candidate of Wall Street, but is not necessarily the first pick for the oil and gas companies. If that is the case, Romney has a problem, because Wall Street has already hedged its bets by buying Barack Obama. Obama has done more than enough to secure an extension of his contract with Wall Street, so why should the bankers extend themselves too much in support of Romney?

It is a common theme on this blog that the oligarchy can get more of what it wants under the cover of a Democrat who appears to care about the common people but shafts them behind closed doors. Viewed through this prism, the Republican race becomes a mere sideshow. All kinds of charlatans are free to emerge because Wall Street - the dominant force within the oligarchy - doesn't really care. When you have the so-called left-wing safely in your back pocket, the risk of being regulated is eliminated; with risk contained, you can focus exclusively on profit opportunities.

Posted by Richard Frost on December 11, 2011 11:17 AM

Obama has done more than enough to secure an extension of his contract with Wall Street, so why should the bankers extend themselves too much in support of Romney?

Because if they get two candidates they like in the general election, they've already won. They don't have to spend another dime.

It is a common theme on this blog that the oligarchy can get more of what it wants under the cover of a Democrat who appears to care about the common people but shafts them behind closed doors.

All the more reason for them to support a lackluster candidate for the Republican nomination. When they know the Democratic candidate is already in their pocket, they should prefer a weak Republican who will lose the general election.

Posted by Paul Jarc on December 12, 2011 12:32 PM