One here is a genuine fake rogue; the other is unspeakable. A P/photo
Calling Sister Sarah, whose travesty of "going rogue" comes down to dishing dirt. Or Sen. McCain,
ex-half-a-maverick -- shuffle that walker to the side. Time for has-been, media
mavericks to make way for Newt Gingrich, the gutsy, grandstanding "real rogue
for real America" (trademark bidding open). This great southern rebel, the most pompous, least likely
"man of the people" since Ross Perot, assaults not only the foreign, subversive
president, but all establishment elites (richer than he) who dare cross his
Of course Newt's a real rogue in a less fake sort of way. Didn't Gov. Chris Christie call him an "embarrassment to the party"? Add in heaps of denigration from party attack dogs: David Brooks and Peggy Noonan to George Will and Charles Krauthammer. Even Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter. And didn't Newt himself make a theatrical bow to the "going rogue" nitwits, "Palin would have a 'major role' in his White House." Maybe running mate, in charge of energy. Guffaw, stagger. Really, what opera can afford two prima donnas full of themselves?
It takes quite a nervy, slick operator to dare slam Mitt as the lying "Massachusetts moderate" while forgetting your own similar takes on TARP, individual health mandates, immigration, and cap-and-trade. Or call yourself a "Tea Party reform conservative." Details, details. What sets Newt apart right now is not policy but full mastery of the politics of grievance, crunching Mitt's wimpy "politics of envy." So busy stewing over resentments (towards minorities), the irate fringe hasn't time for envy (well, maybe a little for the "undeserving' poor). So Newt upsets the apple cart and panics party fat cats -- as the world waits for his explosive reality show to shoot itself in the foot, pitching southern-fried race-baiting, or axing child labor laws, or obscuring his career like a crazed con man.
Take heed, up-and-coming rogues -- Newt's key to holier-than-thou, hubris-driven unRomneyhood is touting your own incalculable grandiosity. And just in time, roars hateful debate screamers, otherwise figuring only the Rapture saves them from the apocalypse of Obama(Romney)care. Newt's mavericky brand doesn't just stand alone, in defiance of current sacred cows: he's the last man standing against ever-present enemies of civilization. As Rick Santorum verifies, for Newt "grandiosity has never been a problem."
The Grandeur of Exceptionalism
Listen to Mr. Humble last week: "You're right," Newt bragged, "I think grandiose thoughts. This is a grandiose country." How facile, echoing the sound and fury (but not reality) of attacking predatory Bain Capital, daring to put "capitalism on trial" for the rubes. Though "rogue" ill-suited Palin or McCain, "grandiose" perfectly fits Gingrich, by strict definition: "affectation of grandeur or splendor or by absurd exaggeration." And boasting daily about your infinite wonderfulness only produces truly unhinged delusions of grandeur. Actually, psychologists have diagnostic categories for Newtism: "grandiose delusion disorder" or " bipolar disorder grandiosity " chiefly "associated with narcissistic personality disorder, but also commonly features in manic or hypomanic episodes." Bingo!
Sure, small-time, flash-in-the-pan narcissists like Palin exhibit derangements, lapsing into jaw-dropping exaggerations, invulnerability fantasies, and profound, unfeeling contempt to buoy the vacant superiority of spiteful put-downs. But Palin is all mouth, notoriously loyal to her fixated tribe, an utterly conventional, evangelical, moralistic, fringe Republican. What truly rogue action ever backed her loudmouth? No, quitting office prematurely doesn't qualify. Whereas, Gingrich doesn't just assail ultimate capitalism or sainted Paul Ryan as rightwing "social engineer," he directly compares himself to other "revolutionaries," akin to Pericles, Jefferson, Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, de Gaulle, Abe Lincoln -- even Moses the prophet. Look, only this epic hero returns American exceptionalism to its rightful top place.