As of the past few days in South Carolina and around the nation as a whole Newt Gingrich has received a bump in the polls in the GOP Presidential race for the nomination. Many in the media as well as inside the beltway have tossed Gingrich into the waste bin of history, prematurely. Newt Gingrich rising in the polls flies in the face of all common political wisdom. This is an individual whose picture is in the dictionary next to the word hypocrisy; the same man who impeached former President Bill Clinton for lying under oath about an extra-marital affair while lying about his extra-marital affair at the exact same time. He was censured over $300k by the House of Representatives for ethics charges. He is known for his short temper and ruthless attacks on his political opponents getting down and dirty in the muck. He is the definition of a corrupt politician with an ego that rivals a Macy;s Day Float. He left congress in absolute disgrace, so why would anybody believe this man, who called the President a "Kenyan anti-colonialist", and that President Obama is the “most successful food stamp President in history."? With the 2010 midterms a swath of newly elected representatives with little to no political experience came to congress with the call of the Tea Party for the "Washington outsider". Yet now this same contingency, the right wing base, social conservatives and die hard republicans, is backing, on the whole, Newt Gingrich. Logically, this is hypocritical and doesn't make any sense; that is until you stop thinking with your head and thinking with your heart.
We are currently enduring through the worst economic down turn since the Great Depression. The amount of discontent in the public is at an all time high. Congressional approval ratings are at an all time low. To quote Jon Huntsmann, "There is a trust deficit with our government." Unemployment is at a scorching 8.5% with real unemployment being approximated around 18%. Main street is hurting. We have seen more protests in an array of forms, from marching on Washington to internet blackouts and occupations, in the past few years since the recession, than in the previous 30-40 years, since Vietnam. When people don't have money in their pockets and financial security they become uneasy and unrest ensues as long as the people's savings and cash flow is stagnated. The recession has not differentiated between democrats and republicans and who feels the devastating impacts. It has affected us all and without discrimination.
There is a disturbing truth about human behavior that has a profound impact upon every action we make in our own personal lives as well as on a societal level. This truth is that it is easiest to blame another group for your ills than weed out those responsible for your troubles regardless of faction or allegiance. It is an act to protect those we care about empathize or sympathize with in some fashion. The problem is when we turn a blind eye to those we find ourselves allied with the existential threat is often greater than that from a rivaling faction. It is a cancer that eats away from within. This is truth of human behavior knows no party allegiances, it knows no political party, no one has ownership over this except the entire human race. You see this exhibited in every day neighborhoods sporting events religions institutions even nations. Where this is most destructive however is in politics.
With the recession hitting just as the 2008 Presidential election was coming to full swing those who are regular voters joined their bandwagons and got on for the long haul. The democrats had the overwhelming amount of the nations support due to the fact that the Republicans were just in office and oversaw the policies that led right up to the recession. The people blamed the Bush administration for the economic woes, and having two wars going on with very little public support due to the nature in which Iraq was sold to the public, on a lie, leading to what turned out to be a large victory for the Democratic Party. They captured the White House in the first African American President, Barack Obama, and had a super majority in both the House and the Senate, with the caveat of Joe Leiberman.
Within less than a year the right wing base would be up in arms screaming they were Taxed Enough Already and that President Obama was doing sever harm to the economy. The hatred that came towards the President as well as the democrats in congress was ripe from 2008-2010. The GOP was branded the party of No for their blatant affront to any policy the President or the Democrats proposed. :If I said the sky was blue they would say No it's Red, or Green..." President Obama once said. The GOP had found their scapegoat in the newly elected President Obama. To this day some believe that he was not born in the United States and is often called a Kenyan. The amount of unabashed bomb throwing has reached a peak. The Senate Republicans have filibustered every single piece of legislation, with very few exceptions, in order to stymie the President and the Democratic party without any basis on the merit of the legislation. When President Obama announced he was going to take up Health Care Reform, the Tea Party was officially born.
From this point forward there has been a vehement hatred of the President among a small percentage of the right wing base. Their wallets were empty they had no job and they have a Democrat in the White House. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who they are going to blame for their troubles. We as human beings do not like to make hard decisions. They require sacrifice and often don't end with a result that we find favorable to our interests. Therefore when presented with an opposing political party member in the White House the GOP base flung into action and has not relented since. As a point of mention, the Democrats are just as guilty of this during the George W Bush administration. Many were calling for impeachment due to the increased powers of the executive and for leading us into war under false pretenses. Yet when President Obama increases the executive authority even further allowing for the assassination of American citizens and indefinite detention of American citizens a decent sized swath remain close lipped.
Fast forward a year and a half and the GOP Presidential Primary season has begun with a host of candidates that are some of the most colorful the US has seen in decades if not centuries. A pizza mogul, a former IRS tax lawyer turned GOP firebrand, a disgraced and censured former speaker of the house, a memory stricken second version of George W Bush, the perennial Libertarian in GOP clothing, the man who is the definition of a google bomb, and the ambiguously Mormon Duo. Throw in an ego maniac with a TV host based on firing people and you have yourself a wonderful carnival event. Romney has always been the establishment GOP choice, but that is not where the base aligns itself with presently. It is angry at the establishment. They see them as corrupt and with an agenda that does not fit their own. They see them as the problem for their woes. This is why every single candidate minus Jon Huntsmann has had a surge in the polls at one point in time or another. The right wing base coalesces around the non-Romney candidate until they are vetted and shown to be unelectable. The base knows they need someone who has a chance against President Obama but they can't decide on who. There was even a summit recently in Texas of a large group of social conservative leaders to rally the horses around a candidate to defeat Romney in the primary. They came away with Rick Santorum. However most of the right wing base, as evidence in the recent polls, disagree.
It is humorous yet telling that the only candidates left in the field are those who have held elected office before. The right wing base wants an outsider but they know they can't get elected. You don't go from complete outsider to President in this day and age, you don't have the experience. Yet what the base desires most is an outsider who shares their views and their emotional dislike of President Obama. This is why they are coalescing around Newt Gingrich right now. All of the other candidates talk about how bad President Obama is and cut him down at any chance they get. Only Newt speaks with the same tongue as those in the right wing base, and therefore they listen to and like what he is saying.
Many in the right base right now are simply angry. They have lost their job or are underemployed, the economy on the whole is in the dumps and slowly recovering, The last President they had in the White House was a monumental disappointment, social issues such as gay marriage welfare and abortion are all "threatening" their way of life, and their is a Democrat in the White House who is to blame. He has spent too much taxed too much is a socialist who has brought socialized health care to the US, is anti-business, is an appeaser of our enemies and alienates as well as abandons our friends, who doesn't believe in capitalism and doesn't know how the economy works. He is the one causing this pain and suffering that the GOP base is experiencing, or so the story goes. It is only someone who speaks that type of language, with blunt and harsh rhetoric. Someone who is egotistical enough and strong willed enough to take on the President anywhere anytime. Someone that speaks their language and embodies their pain with an emotional response. Santorum, Paul, Romney, none of them have that emotional response like Newt Gingrich does. He literally gets angrier and angrier as he speaks. If you listen to the volume of his voice from beginning to end in a speech or debate you will notice an increase that gets increasingly enraged as time progresses. By the end of him speaking he is animatedly fuming, which is exactly how the GOP base feels.
The issue that the GOP is having this election cycle is that their party is split between establishment figures and their base. The martini party believes, and rightfully so, that Romney has the best chance at beating President Obama in the general election. They therefore are backing him heavily. Yet the GOP base believes that Romney is more of the same, from the same stock that brought the former President George W Bush and the failures and disappointment that he brought. They don't want a "Washington insider" they want someone they can identify with, someone that speaks their language, someone that feels their pain and anger. This is why the right wing base has a hard time swallowing Mitt Romney. The man has exhibits less emotion than John Kerry and Herman Munster combined. He has no conviction and switches views on every single policy position. Romney is simply the next in line and the base is sick of that approach because it hasn't worked in the past.
Mitt Romney is going to get the nomination for the GOP for President. It is bound to happen and is only a matter of time. He has way too much money and way too many powerful figures backing him in the establishment GOP. Therefore there is one of two options on how this election cycle will play out. The first is Mitt Romney gets the nomination and the GOP base on the whole stays home. They get 1/3 of the turnout from the base that they normally do giving President Obama a pretty easy victory, but no landslide. The second possibility is when Mitt Romney gets the nomination the GOP base revolts and drafts another individual to be their candidate, creating a third party if you will. This could be one of two people at the moment, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul. Both would be hard pressed to do this due to the heat they would feel from the establishment GOP. The reason why is if a third party does coalesce among the GOP base it would split the GOP vote and give President Obama a landslide victory. The real question is now, will the GOP base fall victim to their pain, suffering, and disdain. Or will they rally around the only chance they have at beating President Obama, Mitt Romney.