For a while there, it seemed as if Newt Gingrich would be the Big Winner™ of the Iowa caucuses, thus demonstrating what a foolish and ridiculous country we are that we allow a bunch of people who get paid to go to meetings to essentially pick our presidential nominees. But whether it's his party turning against him, or Gingrich's own socipathic narcissistic self-aggrandizing musings on The World According to Newt, his own meteoric rise seems to be over. Claiming that low-income children in cities have no role models other than pimps and hos and crack dealers so they should become school janitors after school didn't quite do it in the Party of Mean (perhaps even THAT wasn't quite mean enough), but the Money Wing of the party is concerned enough about this loose cannon that they've been pulling out the stops (NYT link):
Attack ads are blanketing Iowa, fueled by millions of dollars from his rivals and a group supporting Mitt Romney. Mailboxes are filling up with anti-Gingrich leaflets. And on the stump, his rivals have stepped up their assault on Mr. Gingrich’s time in Congress and his commitment to conservative causes.
Mr. Gingrich, the former House speaker, emerged in early December with a strong lead in some national polls and with commanding leads in Iowa and South Carolina. But new surveys suggest that political gravity could be dragging him down, opening the race up again and highlighting once more the fickle search among conservatives for an alternative to Mr. Romney.
“It’s definitely a full frontal assault,” said John Stineman, a Republican strategist who managed the 2000 presidential campaign of Steve Forbes in Iowa. He said the criticism of Mr. Gingrich has been impossible to avoid in Iowa. “The fact is, he’s getting killed,” he said.
For most of December, Mr. Gingrich has refused to push back aggressively against the attacks, promising a positive approach and pursuing a relatively limited schedule of traditional campaigning. He spent last weekend largely off the trail, attending a concert in Virginia where his wife, Callista, played the French horn.
Perhaps because not attending would have required another half-million in Tiffany's jewelry to placate the former bent-over-the-desk Newtie plaything.
A daily tracking poll by Gallup released on Monday showed that Mr. Gingrich’s lead has all but evaporated, leaving him in a dead heat with Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor. A new CNN survey also showed the race tied nationally. And an automated poll of Iowa voters showed an even steeper drop for Mr. Gingrich, though many news organizations have reservations about its methodology.
His decline highlighted the unsettled nature of a contest in which many Republican voters say they are still open minded about whom they will vote for; a New York Times/CBS News poll this month found that two-thirds of likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa were still willing to change their minds. On Monday, Sarah Palin said on Fox Business Network that “it’s not too late” for “folks” to jump into the Republican contest.
Just in case you thought that Evita Mooselini had disappeared.
But you needn't fear that we're going to have another media love affair with Sarah Palin. What this GOP race shows is that when the rubber meets the road, the Money Wing of the Republican Party trumps the God Wing every single time. And right now, Mitt Romney, he of the millions of dollars flowing into his pockets from Bain Capital every year who is and the planned $167/year tax cut for the middle class that he claims will help because "It's not nothing", barring a surge by the Ron Paulites, should do well enough in Iowa to hit New Hampshire in pretty good shape.
Except for one thing. Jeb Bush had an op-ed in the Murdoch Street Journal the other day that sure reads both like like a cri de coeur of the Money Wing of the GOP and a campaign speech.
Let's face it: A Jeb Bush/Paul Ryan ticket is the Money Wing's dream team. Utterly committed to corporate power, huge tax cuts for the richest Americans, and a complete and radical dismantling of the social safety net, combined with a family history of complete and utter loyalty to the haves and the have-mores, and without all that Mormon baggage, it's been clear from the beginning, long before George W. Bush and Dick Cheney managed to steal the executive branch of the United States government and begin their appointed task of wrecking the nation in just eight years, that Jeb Bush has always been the one they wanted. Jeb is smarter than his brother, but every bit as heartless and committed to the destruction of the middle class -- and he's one of THEM in a way Mitt Romney, despite his second-generation money made by putting thousands of middle-class Americans out of work, just isn't -- because of all this stuff about golden plates and Jesus living here in the U.S....and that pesky governor of Massachusetts thing.
But whether Jeb decides to be a late entry, swatting the Grifter Palin away with one hand and riding in on his valiant steed to be Savior of the GOP, or the Paulie Walnuts of Bain Capital prevails, one thing is certain: The Money Wing of the Republican Party always, always, always gets its way.
Even when the Democrat wins.