Ten Miles Square


January 27, 2012 8:42 AM Conservatives Turn The Dogs Loose On Newt

By Rick Ungar

With Newt Gingrich looking like a potential winner in the Republican sweepstakes to take on the President in November, people are getting nervous.

And when I say people, I’m not just talking about the campaign staffs of Mitt Romney or President Obama. I’m not even thinking about progressive Americans or, for that matter, the reasonable and rational millions who know a dangerous guy when they see one.

No, I’m talking Elliot Abrams, Ann Coulter, Tom DeLay, Matt Drudge, R. Emmett Tyrell, Jr., the editorial staff of the National Review and the many ultra-conservative writers —a virtual rogues gallery of extreme right thinking— none of whom would fall naturally into the “I’m for Mitt” bunch but all of whom are willing to take on America’s version of Napoleon, Newt Gingrich.

Who’d have ever thought it possible?

Of course, these right-wing thinkers know that Mitt Romney is certainly no closer to their own beliefs when it comes to how our society and government should function. They know that Mitt will be whatever you want him to be whenever you want to be it—so long as there’s a victory at the end of that rainbow colored with tortured exercises in flip-flopping and dramatically changed political positions.

So why all the conservative heart wrenching over Newt Gingrich?

Because these people know full well that there is not an ounce of conservative ideology within Newt Gingrich, just as there is no progressive or centrist belief system resting at Newt’s core.

What Ann Coulter understands is that Newt believes only in the ideology of whatever Newt happens to be thinking at any given moment—fully subject to change in the next—and that, so far as Gingrich is concerned, that momentarily ideology is the ideology we should all be worshipping. What Matt Drudge ‘gets’ is that Newt is willing to act out on his latest thought bubble even if it means doing great damage to his country and its citizens, something even Drudge is willing to see as not a very healthy direction for our country or, for that matter, any country.

It turns out that much of the Insufferable Right, including folks like Coulter, Drudge and (gulp)Tom DeLay, love their country enough to try and deflect a dangerous megalomaniac like Newt Gingrich, even if it means re-electing Barack Obama.

I wonder if I’ve been too hard on these people all these years?

Ok. I may be getting a bit carried away but I’m feeling a strange love this morning and feel obligated to explore it.

If you’ve been paying attention to the latest round of Romney television commercials in Florida, this meme has become a centerpiece of Mitt’s campaign as the ads make clear that Newt was, in reality, a constant critic of The Gipper and far from the Reagan ally he now seeks to portray himself to be.

Matt Drudge ran with this ball, posting a headline banner at The Drudge Report highlighting Newt’s “big lie” when it comes to wrapping himself in the Ronald Reagan brand. He even linked readers to serious minded takedowns of Newt, including the Elliot Abrams piece for the National Review and the Emmett Tyrrell knock on Gingrich published in the American Spectator under the title “Our Bill Clinton.”


Even Tom DeLay chimed in during a radio appearance—

He’s not really a conservative. I mean, he’ll tell you what you want to hear. He has an uncanny ability, sort of like Clinton, to feel your pain and know his audience and speak to his audience and fire them up. But when he was speaker, he was erratic, undisciplined.

These neoconservative writers and leaders understand what it means to ‘come out’ against Newt at this point in the proceedings. I think they know full well that they may be playing an important role in the re-election of Barack Obama. However, they are willing to do the right thing for the protection of their country because they know, just as many of us who are oceans apart from these folks when it comes to political philosophies know, that Newt is a very dangerous guy.

So, here’s something you’ve never seen and will, in all likelihood, never see again -

Kudos to the chroniclers of the far-right for putting country first.

Seriously. I mean it.

Good on these people for not wanting to see their country fall into the hands of a megalomaniac like Newt Gingrich. And might I add that it is comforting to know that someone like Coulter still possesses sufficient brain cells not infected with anger and bile to still see evil where evil resides.

We should all sleep better tonight knowing there remains a shred of sanity in the hearts and minds of the far right.

Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to sleep with one eye open.

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Rick Ungar is an attorney in Southern California and a frequent writer, speaker and consultant on health care policy and politics. He is a contributing writer at Forbes. Readers can reach him at rickungar [at] gmail [dot] com.


  • Kostas Alexakis on January 28, 2012 9:21 AM:

    The end of the "flip-flop" attack and why I don't share your fear of Newt.

    Newt distinguishes himself as one politician willing to learn from his mistakes, admit to having been wrong and becoming comfortable with his newfound perspective. This threatens the ideologues of the taking head culture but our society demands and evolves through the contribution of open minded thinkers willing to adopt to views even if they originate in the opposition.
    I don't agree with Newt on many of his positions but I believe that he is smart enough to learn, open to debate and brave enough to change his mind. For that alone he deserves consideration.

    Coulter, has become commercial by branding herself in her absurd extreme views and "sticking to them" and her contribution to the political debate has never been constructive nor is intended to be. Coulter's problem is not that she is not smart but that she can't exist but as the caricature she created. To use her as the ideology standard with which to measure Newt is farcical and a low-blow!
    What is wrong with changing your mind? Assuming that one has the capacity to learn and grow through education and life experiences it flows then that there might come a moment that you face the truth in the argument of your opponent. it would be sad if at that moment you decided to continue to support your flowed position fearing being branded with a "flip-flop". This is the unfortunate state of the political reality facing politicians who fear loosing their "base" if they change their mind. Driven by fear they always poll the "base" to stay in-tune and manage the brand. A leader is not flawless nor without weaknesses. Ron Paul has proven that there is power in ideas and that there is hope again, proof in that the youth is looking outside the party line and can escape the influence of the Regan theocracy.

    Newt could be the guy who proves that leaders can afford to change their minds and prove that they listen and learn.

  • dalloway on January 28, 2012 3:47 PM:

    Please. You're giving Coulter and Co. far too much credit. The reason they hate Newt is that the party can't control him. What scares them shitless is not his inane ideas, but the fact that if he's elected, Newt will owe them absolutely nothing -- except the misery they're giving him right now. Thus the old adage: if you go after a viper, be sure you kill it or else it will kill you.

  • calling all toasters on January 28, 2012 4:36 PM:

    Um, the entire political world knows how to read polls, and they know that the polls indicate that Gingrich is astoundingly unpopular. It really doesn't matter what his personal foibles are: every single one of the conservatives that have just started attacking him are doing so to help the Republicans in the next election. That is it, and that is all.

  • chrome agnomen on January 28, 2012 10:30 PM:

    these people most certainly DO NOT love their country. this is amply illustrated by their politics. what they DO love is the direction that their party is taking them, and they do not wish anything or anyone to disrupt that.

  • David Jahns on January 31, 2012 1:43 AM:

    I don't think they fear a Gingrich presidency, they fear a Gingrich candidacy, as they know Obama would trounce him in a general election. They simply feel Romney is their best shot at retaking the WH, and don't want Newt screwing it up...