The second South Carolina Republican presidential debate started off with a bang, or was it a thump? Newt Gingrich demonstrated why he is dangerous enough to the media's agenda setters for ABC and the rest of the establishment to take out by flattening--and Noman means crepe thin--their mouthpiece, CNN moderator John King, over his opening question about Marianne Gingrich.
Both Gingrich and King handled it well--especially King, who had just had his posterior kicked up to his anterior--as did the other candidates, who were invited to opine. They more-or-less rallied around Gingrich, and agreed to talk about issues that affect the country, and not just the candidates.
CNN after the debate featured the usual suspects, i.e., David Gergen, Donna Brazile, discussing the smack down. Two points seem worth addressing.
The first is that the Marianne Gingrich story had gone viral, which supposedly justified, indeed obliged, King's opening question. Everybody was talking about it, and wanted to know, so he needed to ask.
True as that might be, it had only gone viral due to the ministrations of the very media that then justified the questioning on the basis of its having gone viral. Its own agency had created the necessity, not an external agency's as would be the case with an earthquake or a credit downgrade by S&P.
The story, and the question, are self serving. They are the kinds of thing that media always does to Republicans--who they oppose--but never to Democrats--who they are.
The second was a point about Newt's woman problem: Gingrich has far higher support among men than he does among women. Whether Marianne's story is true or not, women voters are likely to sympathize with the story of a rejected woman, and to reject the man that is alleged to have caused her pain.
Women's feeling are too predictably unpredictable, and far beyond Noman's competence to understand, for him to predict. But, he recalls that President Clinton didn't have the type of woman problem alluded to, though he had that other, more predatory type in his soul.
His de facto open marriage didn't seem to bother women, and still doesn't. Perhaps Newt's alleged overtures towards such an arrangement with Marianne won't bother them either.Moreover, women may be mollified by the knowledge that Marianne herself was the beneficiary of one of Newt's earlier rejections, that of his first wife Jackie who was suffering from cancer. They might have read and taken to heart the biblical passage about reaping what one sows, or heard the saying that whatever goes around comes around.
That hardly exonerates Newt: pre-conversion, libidinous, queasy-about-illness, young and full of himself Newt. It is to suggest that maybe women will forgive, without forgetting about, Newt's alleged transgressions and focus on themes that affect their own faithful husbands and dependent children who are suffocating in President Obama's spread-the-wealth, who-you-know economy.
Make no mistake about it, if the full reality is as Newt's vengeful ex-wife depicts, then he was a cad. And, if he was, he still might be.
Were he to be elected President despite possessing an actually deficient moral character, the electorate can take solace in knowing that he is neither the first such person to occupy the Oval Office, nor likely to be the last, of either sex. Democrats can take comfort in knowing that the standards of rectitude were debased at their behest, and in order to accommodate their candidates.
But, enough of this tawdry seriousness. In the spirit of frivolous media coverage, can you identify these four remaining candidates?
Noman thought so.