Live-Blogging The South Carolina Results – The Dish | By Andrew Sullivan – The Daily Beast
The core of the speech: Gingrich is fighting the “elites” who for 35 years have been trying to turn America into something else. This is a former Speaker of the House, and a denizen of the Washington trough. And he still sees himself as an outsider. But he’s playing nice tonight – especially with Santorum. Is he trying to charm him out of the race? Then he endorses Ron Paul’s view on the Federal Reserve. And praises Romney as a good organizer. These individuals are somehow a response to the “elites”. Even a multi-millionaire son of a former governor.
Then the Obama-Is-An-Alien line: “we will run an American campaign, not a Republican one.” All the Republican candidates are Americans. But the elites are not. Key phrase: “Think of how radical Obama would be in his second term.” Then the condescension toward this “absurdity” of a president. And the TelePrompter gag. Do these people really buy into the idea that Obama is unable to articulate himself?
And we have the core McCarthyite theme: American exceptionalism versus the Saul Alinsky radicalism. “We” are Americans. Obama is a traditional America-hater.
Then the religion card: the increasing anti-religious “bigotry” of the elites will be his enemy. He will deploy race and religion and nationalism as his themes. No wonder South Carolina loved him. And rather than retreating on the racially charged “food stamp president” line, he reiterates it.
This is what the GOP now is, and it deserves its spokesman. But do not under-estimate the appeal to some of the idea of humiliating and removing the first black president. That’s what Gingrich is really about. He is giving them what they want. And it’s meat that has barely seen a skillet.
Now he wants an American energy policy – not Obama’s. And he wants US presidents to stop bowing to the Saudi king. He knows in his bones how to work this constituency, while of course, “fundamentally reforming the government at every level.”
Then we hear about Obama’s “extreme left-wing allies from San Francisco” and now he is a “danger to this country”. “He makes Jimmy Carter look strong.” He wants the final showdown between America and socialism/Marxism/radicalism/Jihadism/Obama. And the rage among some about a black president actually exercizing authority is real. This man can roil it brutally, shamelessly, mercilessly. And he will.
Newt speaks. Callista remains impeccably coiffed.