I confess I have been scratching my head for years over why anyone listens to Newt Gingrich anymore. He led the Rs to victory in 1994 by dumping oceans of bile into the political discourse (with a big assist from that little bedsore, Frank Luntz), and then proceeded to botch the job to which he was elected. I worked in Congress in the 90s, and it was a managerial nightmare. After a couple of years, a bunch of Newt’s lieutenants attempted a coup, and in early 1997, Gingrich became the first Speaker to be reprimanded (and fined $300,000) as a result of ethics charges. He was forced out after the November, 1998, elections, in which the Rs, even with the Lewinsky scandal at their backs, barely held onto their House majority.
But beyond his ineptitude, he’s a completely immoral hypocrite, a cheapjack hustler, a callous man who could teach Richard Nixon lessons in dishonesty. But the Beltway media has continued to love him, treating him as sort of an elder statesman and polishing his apple as he rose in the polls this fall. He could throw out nonsense like replacing “unionized” school janitors with little kids, or skirt racist cant with his comments about how poor kids only know about crime, or expose himself as a dangerous demagogue by saying he would abolish federal judges who don’t rule the way he likes, and the MSM would go all gaga about what an idea factory he is.
But perhaps the freakshow that is the Gingrich campaign will finally no longer poison our dreams. Gallup has him peaked and beginning to slide back into his well-padded oblivion.
And as Jon Walker, writing at Firedoglake, points out, there is additional polling that shows, even though Obama is in trouble, with high unfavorables, he would still beat Gingrich:
Against Newt Gingrich, though, Obama has an eight point lead. In the match-up the poll found Obama 51 – Gingrich 43.
A full 51 percent of Americans would vote for Obama if Gingrich were the only alternative even though 52 percent of the country doesn’t think Obama deserves another term. This means there is at least about a 3 percent segment of the American public that feels Obama has done such a bad job that he should no longer be president, but is already prepared to vote for Obama to keep Gingrich out of the White House.