Nearly a Laugh but Really a Cry
Citizen Zed - 12/15/11
Another GOP debate? More of the interminable circus? Weariness prompts a motivation check. Oh yeah, only long cultivated and insurmountable disgust over Newt Gingrich. The Pied Piper of Political Pathology has to swim in chum filled waters, likely a bloated target for too many opportunistic jaws. Thrown into this scenario, Newt's well honed stage presencing may lack sufficient gas. And the chance to witness the tell tale signs of squirming is just too much to pass up.
He may even be goaded into leveraging certain habits and erstwhile strengths. Take the recent, sharp exchange between Romney & Gingrich where Mitt worked in 'bomb thrower' and Newt parried with 'courage' and 'timid'. Such farcical spats, so lamely sculpted by an aspiration to jedi mind trickery that the other words can be crossed out, place Gingrich on dangerous terrain. More than any other candidate, he's likely to win the battle but lose the war.
Behind that expansive visage lurks an ego ripe with a sense of ownership, even entitlement, to the genius of word play and insult. And it shows when he chafes at being subjected to it, almost as if he's trying to restrain a smirk at his imminent shot at showing up his poor attacker with a masterful, wizardly counterstroke. But he's apt to go too far, to be too mean, with gestures trained to obliterate - all with a vapour of conceit and nonchalance. As Jon Stewart remarked: "Everyone loves the Pillsbury dough boy, but nobody likes his know-it-all little brother". And while nobody likes a sore loser, everybody hates a boorish winner.
I'm betting that's how Newt punctuates his demise. He just can't help eventually coming across in a way that prompts viewers to inwardly say "please remove the cork."
What's more, it could be a moderator that lights the fuse. Could be a clueless look on Megyn Kelly's face stoking a pedantic response from our self-proclaimed professor. Then again, Chris Wallace has likely been stewing and plotting for revenge after Newt messed with him last time. And, unlike his father, Chris is just the kind of journalist to look forward to picking a scab over a personal slight.
Still, the motivation for watching remains troublesome. One can't shake the feeling that in the modern GOP we are witnessing an astonishing and dangerous collapse of one political party. After decades of night of the living dead ideological rot, of proud irrationality hermetically sealed against traction with reality, it's hard not to gloat at the ugly spectacle - hard not to anticipate a laugh at the expense of one of its founding philistines.
But though damaged and reeling, America still harbours too much power to suffer a devastating stroke, where one half of it's political corpus is reduced to withered and pathetic malfunction. Can it happen? Yes, and it may be too late to stop the trajectory. Yet I fear what it means, even if a descent into abject lunacy and pompous pretense portends a loss in 2012. Though it's hard not to laugh, these pigs on the wing radiating cold shards of broken glass may reflect a historic and catastrophic failure of an entire nation. So careful what you laugh at, for as the Floyd line continues, it may be more of a case of being nearly a laugh but really a cry.
... we'll try to lift our spirits and join the discussion tonight at DC Decoder's pad