Round and round she goes. Where the wheel of fortune stops; nobody knows.
For some of us in the media the wheel of fortune recently stopped at double zero. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, etc, along with poor me, were sadly disappointed by fate this past week when both Mike Huckabee and Donald the Trump announced they were dropping out of contention for the Republican Party candidate for President of the United States. To be most accurate, both candidates were not so much dropping out of the race, but actually not dropping in. They really meant that they were no longer going to drop statements that they might make a run for the GOP top spot on the 2012 ticket. And that meant they might not be babbling so much about national policy or attacking President Barack Obama so gratuitously. And that is really what TV comics and political writers will miss; their shooting their mouths off for media consumption.
Huckabee was a semi-serious presence on the GOP Presidential scene since 2008. He was at or near the top of most early polls; mostly due to his high numbers among the Evangelical-Right Rep caucus goers in Iowa ‘” the first caucus state. But Big Mike said though those numbers looked good and said yes, his great big preacher’s heart said a great big no. So Mike said fare thee well to his White House dreams. And nothing imparts the dignity and gravitas of Presidential aspirations as jamming with the right-wing’s classiest elder rocker Ted Nugent on his sweet ode “Cat Scratch Fever”. We’ll both miss and treasure those fine wholesome values the Big Country Preacher, turned Governor, turner Rocker tried to leave us with.
But we won’t miss Huckabee anywhere near the way we are going to miss the Trump. We’ll miss; the tougher than thou, foul-mouthed attitude he would have used to put China in its place; the smug, smart-mouthed accusations and aspersions he spewed indiscriminately without any proof or justification; and the hair, oh that hair, which made this self created reality TV show big shot into the laughing stock of the civilized world; and so much more. Hopefully all the fun he had being the media’s center of attention for a week and a half will motivate the publicity addicted Trump and his oversized ego to keep spouting off on all the things he knows nothing about and congratulating himself for other’s accomplishments and all the rest that made him so easy and enjoyable to make fun of. Yes we will surely miss the Trump.
But the big wheel of GOP roulette keeps spinning and before we can dry our tears about Big Mike and the Trump, it stops on another jackpot; Newt Gingrich! Just when one might think the universe has been good enough, having provided Palin, Bachman, the Trump, not to mention Glenn Beck; fate once again comes up big and gives late night comics and political writers a gift that seems bent on forever giving. Newt Gingrich has been supplying all kinds of grist for the mill since the 1990’s, and he is still going strong.
His attempt at trying to cozy up to the religious right-wing of the GOP (despite multiple marriage scandals) gave us the very funny ‘” I was so committed to my pursuit of vicious, dogmatic politics, that I forgot any sense of personal morality. That was the excuse that allowed Gingrich to persecute then President Bill Clinton for the Monica Lewinski business, while he was himself having an extra-marital affair that lasted six years.
Gingrich then, in pursuit of the T-Party Mob of the GOP, went into his anti-Obama campaign of criticizing everything about Obama except the Pres’ choice of neckties. When Obama gave support but no military aid to Libya; Gingrich said he would have sprung into action immediately. Just days later, when Obama began incrementally ramping up U.S. involvement in Libya; Gingrich reversed course and said Obama was acting too fast and forcefully. If Obama had commented casually on how blue the sky was; Gingrich would have ranted – that it only looks blue, but is really some other color.
Recently in his transparent effort to portray himself as a moderate, to attract independents; Gingrich has agitated his own party by broadly criticizing the Ryan Budget Plan as too radical, because the polling told him that the GOP rank and filed didn’t want Republican big government messing with their Medicare. It seems the man often touted (by some Republicans for real and some Democrats as a joke) as the brainiest Rep of them all, actually is your standard pandering politician who says one thing to one audience and another to a different audience.
Gingrich has been telling each group of potential GOP voters only what they want to hear and tingeing every reference to the current President with racism by using phrases like “food stamps” and “welfare state”, which have been code since the Reagan days of the “silent majority”, better known as; bigoted white people. He may think this familiar, decade’s old, traditional GOP political style will still float, but hopefully he is as behind the times in his thinking as he is in his heavy handed presentation.
But despite his way out of date social and political ideas and style, I for one, as a member of the 21st Century media welcome Mr. Gingrich to the fray. I am grateful for the opportunity to show a whole new generation of Americans the exhilarating possibilities he provides to expose the prejudiced, narrow minded, ethnocentric, provincial kind of politics America had to overcome just a generation ago. It’ll be worth re-fighting, the already won, battles for civil and gender rights over again, just for the immense humor that can be created in the process, in addition to the education that some Americans still need about what this country really stands for. You know; just for the fun and democracy of it.