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Eric Thomas: Carolina Is More Cage Fight Than Primary

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Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich (File Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It’s been an incredibly fun year to watch politics. The Republican Party seems intent on imploding and the pundits have notched up the hyperbole while Republican blood thirst is at a fever pitch.

Ghosts of 2004 are everywhere to be seen, when the Dems were boiling mad at every turn. Back then the left called “W” a war criminal. Now today, the right has labeled Obama Chairman Mao. Both claims are, of course, ridiculous but it’s always more fun to watch when both teams hate each other.

If you have just tuned in, the GOP is now in love with Mitt Romney. Rush, Beck, and Coulter have officially started drinking their milk like good little kittens. They have seen the meal ticket and its gleaming at them like my childhood Gus Glitz game. Romney has won in both Iowa and New Hampshire (the first time any non-incumbent pol ever has) and looks like an unstoppable force.

The only thing more hilarious than Romney’s shockingly bad improv ability is the faces of the punditry. For proof, pop on any channel where Coulter is giving her best nauseated smile at the camera before croaking, “He’s better than Obama!”

The punditry is so committed to showing loyalty that they are now performing a blanket party on the guy who they previously asked to the dance, Newt Gingrich. The former speaker has been spending his time blasting Romney for his time at Bain Capital, the investment management company founded by Romney and others.

Gingrich is pointing out that while Bain and their investors did well, the people who worked at the companies saw nothing but reductions in pay, pink slips, and bankruptcy. This has caused right wing pundits to start doing their very best pod person scream, saying that Newt is guilty of “attacking capitalism”.

I hate it when this happens because it often means everyone involved just gets stupider. Criticizing specific parts of the business community it is, and always has been, totally fair game. Just because a person is conservative does not mean that they agree with everything every company has done ever. I think we can all agree that the illegal accounting practices undertaken by Tyco and Enron were really bad and to say so is not an affront on capitalism.

But this fact has not stopped lobotomized zombies from dragging their feet in front of cameras and calling radio shows. Whenever anybody says that a particular group is “attacking” another group, it’s usually a lie.

Bain did nothing wrong and I don’t think that is the point Newt is making. All Newt is saying is that it’s ridiculous for Mitt to call himself a “job creator” and he is absolutely right. Bain was really good at making money for their investors, which is fine because it’s all they set out to do. Nothing wrong with that. However, to say that Romney sat in his office and pined away about how to bring jobs to those who don’t have them is nothing short of lunacy.

This whole notion of “job creators” is stupid anyway. Let me remind conservatives for a moment of a fact that seems to have slipped their minds: We don’t believe government can create private sector jobs. Demand creates jobs. End of discussion. Yet there is Mitt, gleaming like the Brawny guy and claiming that when he was the governor of Massachusetts he created more jobs than Obama.

He talks as though he were allowing jobs to exist when before there were none, like through a gubernatorial fiat. Let’s be clear: Romney cannot create private sector jobs from the oval office, nor can Obama. Sadly, both of them have claimed they can and both couldn’t be more wrong. However, it’s not like these economic and political “common sense” mistakes are all that rare. Contrary to popular belief, Bush was not responsible for the fiscal crash of 2008 and Obama did not exacerbate it. The record on the bailouts is mitigated at best. Ron Paul has handed conservatives a ribald collection of supporters who are excited about ending the Federal Reserve and the GOP stupidly waves it away.  But I digress…

So here they come, not to bury Mitt but to honor him. On the way, they have tacked a list of grievances on Newt’s door. If I were the right wing punditry, I would hang back for a second. Let’s make sure Mitt can fight before we tape him up and throw him into the ring. He hasn’t yet really come up with a decent counter argument. In 2008, Obama got his sea legs by counter punching when Hilary threw Rev Wright at him. By the time Obama got to the general election, he had an air-tight response. Mitt hasn’t even come up with an answer to Chris Wallace for poor Seamus the dog (Romney’s gleaming Achilles heel, IMHO).

So let’s hang back in South Carolina and see what Mitt can do. It’s best not to anoint a prize fighter before you find out he has a glass jaw.

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