One of my favorite memories of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, back before the players transformed Orchestra Hall into a UAW Union Hall, is of Neeme Jarvi conducting “O Fortuna,” at the end of “Carmina Burana.” Jarvi was a most entertaining conductor, who threw himself into the music with even more enthusiasm than many of the musicians. I will always remember Jarvi reaching up and out to cue the clanging gong and clashing cymbals. Casting thunderbolts, I called it.
Casting thunderbolts is fast becoming a Newt Gingrich specialty as well, as each week he seems committed to making some statement so shocking, so outrageous, so terrifying true that it threatens to cause Rachel Maddow’s head to explode. As certain as the White House obscuring proof of felonies and treason beneath huge dumps of documents each Friday afternoon, Newt is going to say something provocative.
Two weeks ago, it was his Scrooge-like “call for the repeal of child labor laws.” This was Newt’s suggestion of how to instill good working habits among the very poor. Not only did the leftist media misinterpret the gist of his comments, they also condemned him for being racist. Now, to refresh your memories, Newt said "Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works."
It is instructive that when liberals hear “really poor children in really poor neighborhoods,” they think Black People. Then they condemn the speaker for being racist. “This is not the way Black People live,” they sputter. “You’re using stereotypes.” Uh, right. Let’s move on.
In this week’s Gingrich Answer to the Document Dump, Newt announced that “I think we have an invented Palestinian people who are in fact Arabs and historically part of the Arab community,” sending liberals and Lutherans and Arabs around the world fulminating and gesticulating, and looking for Dutch film makers to murder. Sunday’s talk shows will give off a Fukushimaniacal glow, so impassioned will the condemnations be.
It doesn’t matter that his statement is true, which any serious student of the region’s history will acknowledge, and any honest advocate for peace will concede. The land of Palestine was occupied by Arabs, Jews and Christians. None of these constituted a separate race. Palestinian National Orchestra was formed by Jews in Jerusalem. Jews called themselves Palestinians until they formed their own nation, at which time they called themselves Israeli. So, basically, Newt is right again.
This is why he will not be elected President. He is a conversational saboteur. He delights in making outrageous statements which have the advantage of being true. It’s an endearing quality to have in a dinner guest. It’s a great quality to have in a teacher. But it is a lousy quality to have in a Presidential candidate. The American people don’t want an know-it-all in the White House.
Actually, it’s hard to tell what the American people want. They don’t seem to like the competence and professionalism Mitt Romney brings to the job. Herman Cain has demonstrated that while they may like pizza, but they don’t care for anchovies. Michelle Bachmann has proved that Americans definitely don’t like scary eyes. With Rick Perry we learned that while Americans don’t like people who are too smart, they don’t like them when they’re dumber than a fencepost, either. And Obama has shown that the American people respect a sincere man, no matter how often he lies.
It won’t take long before people get tired of Newt’s smirk, his gotchas, his intrinsic need to turn heads and reduce normally inarticulate TV personalities to sputtering incoherence. Newt would probably make a good HHS Secretary. He would be refreshingly wonky when it came time to start dismantling the atrocity which is Obamacare. HHS would be a good office from which he can cast his thunderbolts. In the meantime, enjoy the flying liberal spittle.