The Newt Gingrich candidacy for President is a cynical practical joke. He is not a serious presidential candidate. He is a recognizable figure promoting himself for personal gain, to sell his books and indulge in some fantasy about a future Republican presidential administration, just not anytime soon. His only viability is to make Mitt Romney seem a more reasonable and safer candidate. Gingrich is the spice in an otherwise bland stew. The only expectation of him is for self-destruction within the next eleven months. It is not for him to become the President of the United States in 2012 and it never has been. It is for him to make more money.
But the Gingrich candidacy has shed light on other things about the post-Bush weaknesses of the Republican Party. There is no credible expectation for the GOP to win the national election against the incumbent Democratic president than there was when the Republican standard bearer was Senator John McCain. Media attention always follows shiny objects that move quickly in and out of headlines be it Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann. Fame seekers are just fame seekers. There is no substance to them. Attracting attention does not count.
The 112th Congress has done so much to discredit the Republican Party that Gallup reports, “About three-quarters of registered voters (76%) say most members of Congress do not deserve re-election, the highest such percentage Gallup has measured in its 19-year history of asking this question.” How that GOP majority expects to run on its record of obstruction and be returned for another term as the majority party is wishful thinking. There is no record of accomplishment. There is only a documented record of opposition to a single person, President Barack Obama.
The country is not “Choking on Obamacare.” The country has not had time to taste, eat, or digest it because most of its 10 provisions will not go into effect until after 2014. Just because conservatives recite those three words does not make the comment so.
The 111th Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). That the PPACA is remarkably similar to Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care legislation has been hashed and rehashed so much so that it has become a liability to Romney, especially in the “flip-flop” category.
I do not single out columnist George Will as an ardent wishful thinker, either. The conservative pundits have their own problems with which Will is not alone. They tend to nod with favor towards Gingrich as a man of great intellect and of big ideas. To borrow a Richard Nixon quote, "That's just plain poppycock." It isn’t true. Gingrich may come across as smart compared with Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Michele Bachmann. Compared with people of true intellect, however, Gingrich is a pretender.
What are those big GOP ideas for government? They seem limited. Repealing a law that has not been completely implemented, abolishing abortion, repealing the Great Society, and replacing President Obama are less than noble ideas.
The wealthy professor and the wealthy businessman are tribunes of a cause that is limited for a nation in the midst of a turn-around. The only reason for a Gingrich candidacy is a Romney candidacy. The only reason for a Romney candidacy is that the GOP has to run someone. Romney winning is wishful thinking.
Article originally published as “So Much Wishful Thinking” on Blogcritics.