I hope to god they’re right. The retiring Barney Frank blames Gingrich for a shift in tone in Washington, where bipartisan has become a dirty word. As Frank notes, Gingrich’s message upon arriving in Congress was to demonize Democrats, and one could argue that his message has led to a GOP today that relies on the likes of hate-mongering Limbaughs and Coulters to drive fear and hatred of Democrats. The GOP has shown that you can win control of Congress with that message. But can it work in a presidential election?
The tea-party’s entire message is built on stoking a hatred of government. Newt Gingrich is a bit of an enigma for the tea party, in that he has advocated for smaller government, but also has taken more moderate positions on many social issues in the past. Obviously, Gingrich comes with a lot of baggage too, baggage that will be even more intensely scrutinized if he should win the nomination. Gingrich may indeed be able to capture the GOP nomination, but the general election against Obama?
There’s a reason Obama’s team continues to hammer Romney, while giving others in the GOP field a relatively free pass. Romney is having trouble locking down the GOP nomination because he’s really had to pivot hard to the right from his past stances on issues, and the wacko-conservative fringe of the GOP just isn’t buying it. But it’s that more centrist version of Romney that makes him more of a threat in the general election. Gingrich, on the other hand, will have a very hard time attracting moderates, especially as the primary lingering memories many have of Gingrich is of the madman who drove the government into two shutdowns in the Clinton years. With Occupy protests continuing to operate across the country, Gingrich’s relationship with Fannie Mae is also going to kill him in the general election. Gingrich will also have trouble locking down support of a group that has steadfastly voted Republican in the last 20 years…the remants of Jerry Falwell’s “moral majority” from the 1980s. For that group, moral issues dictate how they vote, and it’s hard to imagine intense devotion to Gingrich given all of Gingrich’s marriage issues.
And these are just some of the political reasons why he wouldn’t win!! As this opinion piece on Politico discusses, people just do NOT like Gingrich. He’s an arrogant prick, seemingly unable to control his need to tell the rest of the world how much smarter, richer, and more powerful he is than the rest of us. I would LOVE to see Gingrich as the nominee, as he’s completely unelectable in the general election.