First of all, a hearty Mazel Tov to Ron Granieri for being the first person ever at the Internet tubes to use both the terms Schadenfreude and QFT in a post.
(I had to look the latter up at the Urban Dictionary and assume he is using definition #1, not #2)
I know that Ron’s childhood hero, William F. Buckley would be proud.
(No, seriously, RP Nation. When the rest of us were reading comic books and the backs of baseball cards, Ron was queuing Firing Line repeats, poring through back issues of the National Review, and dog-earing his prized first edition of God and Man at Yale.)
I have to take issue, however, with the Reagan analogy which has been über-abused by the TV screaming heads who tend to fill up air time with clichéd analyses. Gingrich (or Paul…or Santorum…or Bachmann…yadda, yadda, yadda) is no Reagan in any sense of the word, particularly when it comes to electability. Certainly both of our liberal fathers misjudged Reagan’s general election appeal (My Dad…ugh…voted for Bonzo’s BFF in fact because he eerily predicted Carter’s antipathy toward Israel), as did much of America.
But while Reagan was quite conservative for the time — though these days he might be considered Huntsman-esque — he was always quite careful to follow the Nixonian playbook in his appeals to Middle America, which was swinging rightward in an over-reaction to the perceived cultural absurdities of the seventies.
Gingrich, et al, by contrast, have made no apparent attempt to have any appeal to those voters who lie anywhere westward of the far right forces that dominate GOP primary politics these days. I’m not sure what their general election strategy would be — indeed, I’ve always thought that most of them knew they had no chance of winning, and instead entered the race to sell books and feed their addiction to the spotlight.
But I think it’s clear to me that none of them (except perhaps Perry in the first two magical weeks of his campaign) could not have defeated Obama unless the mythological double-dip recession had miraculously appeared. (Or the Mayan apocalypse, the Rapture, a Kardashian/Humphries second marriage…)
BTW, “BFF” as used above, means “Best Friends Forever”
BTW2: “BTW” as used above, means “By the way”