Following is something several of my political junkie friends and I have been saying for years, but let us not quibble about precedence, and instead be glad that someone with a larger megaphone has also come to these realizations.
Mr. Dionne, the floor is yours.
Newt Gingrich and the revenge of the base
It is one of the true delights of a bizarrely entertaining Republican presidential contest to watch the apoplectic fear and loathing of so many GOP establishmentarians toward Newt Gingrich. They treat him as an alien body whose approach to politics they have always rejected.
In fact, Gingrich’s rise is the revenge of a Republican base that takes seriously the intense hostility to President Obama, the incendiary accusations against liberals and the Manichaean division of the world between an “us” and a “them” that his party has been peddling in the interest of electoral success.
The right-wing faithful knows Gingrich pioneered this style of politics, and they laugh at efforts to cast the former House speaker as something other than a “true conservative.” They know better.
The establishment was happy to use Gingrich’s tactics to win elections, but it never expected to lose control of the party to the voters it rallied with such grandiose negativity. Now, the joke is on those who manipulated the base. The base is striking back, and Newt is their weapon.
On a closely related note, the Education Fund of Americans for Democratic Action is conducting a "Congressional Briefing on Voter Suppression" tomorrow. If you're in the DC area, they'd love to have you join them. See the Facebook event page to RSVP and to see who else is going, and get more info here.