January 3, 2012
Beldar Bells De Baiter
A stand-up comedian was being heckled during his act. He fell silent, staring at the miscreant with a Cheshire-cat smile, while the audience held its breath, expecting bombast and brimstone.
Instead, the performer raised a hand, almost in benediction, and spoke very quietly and directly to the creature horning in on the act. "Do you know what a heckler is?" asked the comic; "a heckler tries to trick a performer into losing his temper... therefore, a heckler is a baiter.
"And at that role, sir, you are a master."
Readers of Big Lizards know that I am loathe merely to point at somebody else's words of wit and say "RTWT," Read the Whole Thing; it seems like cheating to me. But once in a while I read a blogpost so succinct and perfect that I simply must shrug off my own envy and, well, point.
So here it is: To Newt Gingrich, on the occasion of his claiming to have been "Romney-boated", by Beldar.
Newt Gingrich has gotten away with murder in this campaign: He flings out "ideas" without analysis, schemes without strategies for achieving them (and avoiding the pitfalls and pratfalls of real policymaking), and poses as a traditional, staunch, and above all consistent conservative, while bobbing and weaving about his real history of backing and filling, wriggling and flip-flopping, and betimes siding with the Left in the "get along by going along" mode of congressional compromise.
I don't begrudge him his lack of rigid ideological fanaticism; such purity of essence can only be maintained in a faerieland of theory and academe. I love Newt for his energy and willingness to consider the unconsiderable. I would happily invite him to a dinner party.
But it drives me mad when he campaigns by delivering homilies about his own saintliness and conservative constancy with his right hand -- while punching the Right in its collective face whenever convenient to the moment. (In this case, the "Right" includes all anti-liberals and anti-Progressivists.)
Worse, Gingrich -- like that heckler -- likes to bait the other candidates; and yes, he is a master at that form of abuse. But he's too quick to cry foul when he gets back even a little of what he dishes out. Having watched his campaign mode for some time now, he has become my second-least favorite of the notromneys.
I urge all BL readers who don't already read Beldar to being doing so immediately... and you can start with the piece linked above. It's pithy and without pity, but it's fair and balanced.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 3, 2012, at the time of 1:24 PM
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