A couple of months ago I quoted Prof. Harold Bloom’s Omens of millennium, from 1996. In the Prologue of the book, Prof. Bloom advanced his vision of what a United States governed by Gingrich could become, and the reaction (much like the OWS movement) that may result. By that time, the then Speaker of the House was the rising star of the Conservatives and seemed unstoppable.
As time went on –and the grim reality of personal life seemed to obscure his shine– most of those who feared him thought that they could neglect him into oblivion. After the vote in South Carolina some will perhaps think twice. If something, they should rethink their assumptions about what the true basis of Conservative values is. Not family, religion or individualism, but hate and fear. And above all: determination to succeed beyond commitment to abide to the rules of a clean game. Self-contradictory claims of virtue opposite real acts does not apply to our own man.
Gingrich himself set the path with the exhausting chase of Bill Clinton sexual life: there are not restrictive limits in the pursue of a character assassination. Karl Rove and the Neo-Cons entourage of G.W. Bush followed after his steps. Now, in his post-victory speech, Newt’s main reference was to the Obama’s bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia. He knows quite well that it’s not just an oil dependence that makes the American establishment to revere the Saudi’s reactionary dictatorship, but its key role as the region’s Praetorian Guard. And he knows that he would bow also.
Is this kind of populism that touches the core of the rightist America’s primitive fears and resentment, not the polished, pious show of a Mormon billionaire. Maybe it’s late for Gingrich to win the Republican nomination now. But, for sure, his style will be the GOP norm for the next four years.
Update: You should read this blogger to understand the fundamentalist religious vote for Gingrich from inside.
New Update: Here is also a comprehensive research on the links between the religious right behind Gingrich and his populist appeal; even to African and Latino minorities. Worth reading.