The standing ovation for Newt’s remarks were not an endorsement of his behavior — many conservatives are troubled by Gingrich’s past and character does matter to them, while other conservatives are remembering their own sins and falling back on what they know of mercy, for the time being. No, that ovation was an endorsement of Gingrich’s disdain for the mainstream media, which they share, and a declaration to that same media that their playbook is played-out. It said:
“We are done responding like Pavlovian dogs to your bells; we no longer trust you; we understand that you are no longer a press that is free, but one that is enthralled to its own ideologies and agendas. From this point on, a candidate is going to rise or fall on the substance of their ideas and abilities, not on your prosy gushes about his brilliance, or stern warnings about her stupidity. You savagedGeorge W. Bush you savaged Sarah Palin and you got away with it. You carried your own preferred, utterly inexperienced, passionate ideologue into the White House with over-effusive rhetoric and you have buffeted him from inquiry (tax returns? Hell, we’d just like to see Obama’s college transcripts!), or what you perceive to be damaging stories, but you elevated your favorite at the cost of your own credibility, and now it comes back to bite you. Because a press with no credibility has nothing to offer us. It has nowhere to go, now, except into the arms of the political machine it has loved. Just like Pravda, actually.”
The mainstream press does not want to discuss last night’s standing ovation because it shakes their worldview. They were supposed to be able to control the narrative; they were supposed to be able to corral the sheep. And last night, the sheep indicated that they’re no longer willing to be herded, no longer going to allow their own moral judgments to be exploited in a time when the nation is facing serious issues. They’ve decided they’re going to make up their own minds, thank you, about who they think is up to dealing with those issues. They’re looking at the press and saying, “Scallywags, heal thyselves!”
In my quick post after Newt’s rant, I wrote:
I’ll admit to wishing that it was someone with less baggage than Newt who could and would take the fight to a media so blatantly biased against conservative thought but I’ll also admit that Newt seems to be the best equipped at this time to do so. Battle on Newt.
Newt’s got his problems. He’s not the perfect candidate. And only God knows how the rest of the country might react to him in the general election but he does seem to be the candidate who is best articulating what many of us on my side of the ideological aisle are feeling.
Whether or not the country will embrace him as an answer to Obama’s follies is undoubtedly the question of this election season.