The Pseudocracy and Vicious v. Vicious

Because Newt Gingrich has challenged Mitt Romney, the so-called Conservative members of the political spectacle are attacking Gingrich’s candidacy in the media, so much so that other Conservatives are criticizing the attackers.

An example of the former (attacking Gingrich) is Elliot Abrams, who questions Gingrich’s Reagan-bona-fides:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289159/gingrich-and-reagan-elliott-abrams

At least two elements in Abrams’ piece intrigue: One is that any previous criticism of Reagan means one is not a “Reagan conservative,” but of course what does it mean to be a Reagan conservative now, aside from participating in the hagiography? Second is that a few of Gingrich’s rhetorical ticks were in play in the mid-80s: Instead of simply quibbling with Reagan’s anti-Communism efforts, Gingrich must go too far and call them “pathetically incompetent,” and therein we find one of the ticks: adverb as gilding the lily. A second tick: that ubiquitous “frankly”: “the burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on President Reagan.”

Examples of Conservatives attacking anti-Gingrich Conservatives are noted here:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/conservatives-criticize-drudge-for-anti-gingrich-assault/

And so, in the pseudocracy, we get hyper-spectacle–one thug, Drudge, going after another, Gingrich, followed by Conservatives chastising Drudge, whose operation arose during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, spectacular melodrama of the highest and lowest sort.

Precisely why so many Conservatives, including Ron Paul, whose operation goes after Gingrich much more fiercely than it goes after Romney, don’t like Gingrich now is a mystery to me. Maybe they just don’t like him; the fellow does abrade. Maybe they recall is rapid rise and fall as Speaker. Maybe Romney was supposed to be “the guy” all along. The reasons notwithstanding, what went around seems to be coming around to Gingrich–and to Drudge. It’s not MAD magazine’s Spy v. Spy–it’s Drudge v. Gingrich, vicious v. vicious. How will this materially affect our lives? Not at all: it’s what goes on when politicians and the media could be discussing things that matter. It’s the spectacle, the pseudocracy.

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