by F. Grey Parker
Shortly after the speech, Business Insider's Glynnis MacNicol wrote, "Watch out Mitt Romney. Seriously, watch out."
Even Rush Limbaugh seems to agree that this is remarkable stuff. "Newt came out there... and he is mad. He is ticked off. He is livid." He goes on, "Newt's not getting out. He's in this to destroy Romney now." EMPHASIS OURS
Any GOP operative who truly believes in their party should be having a nervous breakdown.
David Corn seems to have had the same idea:
"Newt Gingrich has finally reached his destiny: destroyer of the GOP.
In a bitter and spiteful concession speech last night in Iowa—Kanye West could do no worse—the former House speaker, who finished fourth, signaled a shift in his mission. He would no longer be running to obtain the Republican presidential nomination; he would be campaigning to obliterate Mitt Romney. He would be Sherman; the former Massachusetts governor would be Georgia."
Exactly. Newt is a very vengeful man. Everyone inside the beltway knows this. With two New Hampshire debates this weekend, the rest of the country is about to find out just how vengeful he can be.
Peter J. Boyer reports on Newt's first brutal salvo:
"The effort to derail Mitt Romney’s presidential quest heightened dramatically on Friday when a super PAC associated with Newt Gingrich outbid all comers for the rights to a scathing 30-minute attack video depicting Romney as a greedy, job-killing corporate raider “more ruthless than Wall Street.”
In a season filled with negative ads and rhetorical crossfire, the striking feature of the film, aside from its mini-documentary length, is its authorship. The film was made by Jason Killian Meath, a former associate of Romney’s top strategists, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer. Meath had worked for the Romney campaign in 2008, creating much of the ad content for that failed effort. He left Stevens and Schriefer’s firm, SSG, in 2010. Meath declined to comment on his project, referring inquiries to the pro-Gingrich PAC Winning Our Future."
Now, I have said for months that Romney's record at Bain would be the heartiest red meat Obama could feed to the masses in the general election. But, until this week, I never suspected it would be a GOP rival that would make it fair game.
Think about it. Newt is the "not-Romney" whose contribution to the debate over the Occupy Movement was to tell everyone involved to "take a bath." Then, of course, came his racially-coded suggestions that we make janitors out of our "urban" children. This is a man who has arguably leveled more viciously convoluted and borderline lunatic charges against the sitting President than any other major GOP contender.
What this means is that Newt has effectively neutered the potential for the GOP to spin future attacks on Romney's business record by Democrats as "class warfare." He's making them now which means that all President Obama has to do later is to quote them.
What's more, Newt is just getting started.
It's nearly ten months until the election. We may be witnessing the beginnings of the GOP's death-rattle before it fractures into several parties.
In the near to short term, one of two things is going to happen:
A. Romney is going to wrap up the nomination so battered that he will have a less plausible chance for victory than Bob Dole had in '96 (that means slightly less than none).
B. Rick Santorum is going to somehow actually become a major Presidential nominee in the 21st Century and not the 19th.
I would caution the GOP that either option is just fine with every Democratic operative in the United States.
The second option, however, is preferred.