Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

E.J. Dionne explains how the Republican establishment created a monster in his column, “Newt And The Revenge Of The Base:”

It is one of the true delights of a bizarrely entertaining Republican presidential contest to watch the apoplectic fear and loathing of so many GOP establishmentarians toward Newt Gingrich. They treat him as an alien body whose approach to politics they have always rejected.

In fact, Gingrich’s rise is the revenge of a Republican base that takes seriously the intense hostility to President Obama, the incendiary accusations against liberals, and the Manichaean division of the world between an “us” and a “them” that his party has been peddling in the interest of electoral success.

The right-wing faithful knows Gingrich pioneered this style of politics, and they laugh at efforts to cast the former House speaker as something other than a “true conservative.” They know better.

The establishment was happy to use Gingrich’s tactics to win elections, but it never expected to lose control of the party to the voters it rallied with such grandiose negativity. Now, the joke is on those who manipulated the base. The base is striking back, and Newt is their weapon.

Photo by Michael Vadon/ CC BY 2.0

The first debate is typically the most dramatic occasion of every general election presidential campaign. Two (or three) rivals who have been contending with each other from a distance finally have to confront each other face to face, with the nation watching raptly and the election hanging in the balance.

It's great theater, particularly this year when Donald Trump and Joe Biden square off in what could be an epic brawl. The 90-minute forum, to be held Tuesday evening in Cleveland, will undoubtedly produce a large audience. The initial confrontation between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016 drew 84 million viewers, more than any previous debate. This one will dominate media coverage for days.

Keep reading... Show less