Monday, December 12, 2011

Spooked by 'Eye of Newt?'

Daily Beast writer Michelle Cottle thinks Newt Gingrich has Mitt Romney "spooked" after Saturday's Republican debate. "Up to now [Romney] had looked consistently solid in these forums: calm, cool, reasonable, informed, somewhat robotic, but on the whole believably presidential," Cottle wrote. "Tonight, by contrast, it was as though he had prepped for the showdown by doing several lines of coke backstage. He was talking too fast. Blinking too fiercely. Fidgeting too much. Babbling. Cackling. On the whole looking, as Newt Gingrich might put it, fundamentally twitchy." Clever. I too giggled when I read Cottle's piece. Now step back. What have we really learned from her sardonic observation? Yes, Romney had a bad night, sorta. (One wonders how Ms. Cottle would do if she were behind the podium under the klieg lights.) But what does Romney's "twitchy" performance have to do with, well, anything? Is Romney throwing in the towel because Newt outflanked him, bullshit-wise? Nope. Did his "fidgeting" cast doubt on his mettle for the presidency? Or that he'll blink first in a future staring contest with Vladimir Putin? Ridiculous. In short, Cottle (like many others) served up another tasty but nutrient-free meal for rote consumption. This, dear readers, is what too often passes for political "analysis" these days. Sure, a girl's gotta earn a living and spinning fluff is an easy way for Cottle do it. Fine. But she produced zero evidence that Romney, the most monied and best organized candidate in the GOP race, is in any way spooked by "eye of Newt" or his "howlet's wing." I am spooked, however, by the increasingly scary press coverage of this election cycle, a true witches' brew.

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