It was the second Juan that gets me. The first was really happenstance, said out of indignation that anyone would dare question the character of Newt Gingrich. But the crowd hooted and hollered in reply and Newt certainly knows how to play to a crowd. When Juan Williams continued to challenge Newt’s race baiting during the South Carolina debates, Newt decided to go all out. The second time he said, “Juan” he added a little indention, a little flair, and of course, that special Gingrich hubris. And a small section of the crowd applauded. Watching a white man talk down to a black man might still be a secret enjoyment for them something they can’t dare do in real life. Of course Gingrich would deliver this to a wanting public: he’ll speak down to anyone.
Newt is the hero to conservative autodidacts. His bloviating on history is the same sort of thing your uncle Bob might bring up during an awkward discussion of politics. The fact Newt’s nonsense is rarely related to the issue at hand is if anything, makes him more attracted- what uncle Bob says rarely makes sense either. Having an intelligent person stare blankly at you and ask, “what?” is the goal. Obfuscation for Newt and uncle Bob is not a sign of poor communication between equals but that you’re so much smarter than the liberal brains that they can’t follow the beautiful logic pouring out of your mouth. Of course, whatever psychic joy Bob gains from his superiority is balanced by having everyone hate his guts. And thus the Newt dilemma: how do you become a presidential candidate and then president if no one likes you?
From all appearances Newt thinks he’s about the problems of what we puny humans call “emotions” (that’s a hard “o” after “em” if you have problems saying it, Mr. Speaker). When you have IDEAS that will REVOLUTIONIZE the UNIVERSE with their AWESOMENESS stopping to care what the non-overmen think or feel would accomplish nothing. But the only way to put these IDEAS into practice is to talk enough people into voting for him. Of course Newt thinks he can do this, and of course there’s some rich dude who also believes in that Newt Magic. The problem is with the GOP regulars who are not completely insane. In the age of unregulated Super-PACs has weaken their control of the money (only the crazy have money now) but the regulars can still count votes and they know how to work to make sure everyone else knows. So Newt Gingrich is like Wiley Coyote (both are very bad ideas men) – he ran off the cliff but hasn’t noticed the gravity. Maybe he won’t look down till November.