Home / General / Takedown



In one of the best blog posts of the year, Charles Pierce just destroys Jon Meachem’s analysis of Newt Gingrich. In part, beginning with quoting Meachem:

But by the September-October debates, Newt had grown impressive “by standing back and offering a Wise Man’s view of the political shenanigans onstage and in Washington generally. “Gingrich is the only person — if you watch the dial groups [voters recruited by pollsters to turn up a dial to express enthusiasm while watching a debate] and you look at the polling and you look at the focus groups and you look at the audience analysis that’s out there after the debates, Gingrich is the only guy up there who looks like a president other than Mitt,” said a Romney adviser. “The rest of them look like comedians.”

Forgive me, but if we’re talking “dial groups” made up of likely Republican primary voters, you’re talking about 20 or 30 mouthbreathers locked in a room and waiting for someone to send the cheese platter around again. If they think that Newt looks more like a president than Michele Bachmann, that’s only evidence of the fact that they can be allowed to walk around in public without a keeper. Jesus H. Christ bareback on a wildebeest, that’s the standard these days? Seriously, Jon, that really should tell you something.

Here’s a tip, Jon. Newt Gingrich is not going to turn into FDR just because people hate him, too. People hate Bill Buckner. He’s not going to be president, either.

Remind me never to make Pierce mad at me.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Pith Helmet

    To be fair, shooting down Meachem is like shooting fish in a barrel. But sometimes, barrel-fish-shooting can be fun to watch.

    • jeer9

      Agreed. Now Rita Dove’s recent evisceration of Helen Vendler in the letters section of NYRB was truly fixed upon an elusive target, though her vitriol wasn’t motivated by anything so important as poor punditry. Still, an angry poet is a sight to behold.

      • Michael H Schneider

        But what sort of response is (and I quote in its entirety) “I have written the review and I stand by it.” Have written?

        I can understand not replying when someone says “her language … snarls and grouses, sidles and roars as it lurches from example to counterexample, misreading intent again and again.” But why not “I wrote”? Is this some allusion, some reference that went whizzing past me?

        • dave

          It means “This is entirely in the past, there is no element of present contention involved. The review has been written, suck on it.”

          • firefall

            Yes, I thought it a shame she didnt go for the passive future past perfect option just to achieve that perfect distancing effect:
            ‘It will have been written the review’

          • jeer9

            Dave’s interpretation sounds about right. “This matter is no longer under discussion,” harrumphed the Harvard professor. “You have received your grade, Ms. Dove, and it is not a debatable point.”

          • Uncle Kvetch
            • Uncle Kvetch
              • Michael H Schneider

                Thanks to all. As usual, I missed the reference.

                It may be pilate, but I think also it’s this:

                The Moving Finger [of the reviewer] writes; and, having writ,
                Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
                Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
                Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.


                • jeer9

                  Omar Khayyam, apocryphal or not, is always welcome.

  • pete

    Charlie is well on his way to National Treasure status with Esquire and the foolishness of the idiot class, and still he does not neglect the important part of his career.

  • rea

    Man, I’d sure prefer Bill Buckner as presdient to Newt Gingrich. Buckner at least seems like a decent enough guy.

    • BigHank53

      Bill Buckner also has–count ’em–exactly one serious fuck-up on his record. Which puts him light-years ahead of Newt.

  • LKS

    The eternal quest of cryptofascist Villagers for their own personal Mussolini. Gingrich is today’s Benito who will restore the glory of the Empire That Never Was and install them as the ruling aristocrafy.

    The only thing I find interesting about this behavior is how they are so hilariously self-unaware of their own fawning obsequiousness and obsession with symbols of male virility. (Yes, to them, Newt is virile – the serial marriages and womanizing prove it).

    • rea

      Newt is as virile as a dead giraffe

      • josefina

        Speaking of giraffes…

        If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don’t have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they’re relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn’t matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.

        Address, “Renewing American Civilization,” Reinhardt College, (7 January 1995)

        • Oh. Uh huh. Yeah. I guess I just imagined all that time in the field, in the mud, on the rag. But I seem to remember me and my roomate/fellow airman joking about the only thing worse (in the field) than being hungry, wet, and tired is being hungry, wet, and tired on the rag.

          Rather than questioning our ability to do exactly what were doing in that moment, we laughed out loud about it and kept moving. I guess that’ just another example of how clueless and unaware of our limits we are.

          • I can only imagine how it must feel to hear that soft, spoiled brat Gingrich talking smack about your capacity to tough it out.

            As if he’d ever gotten a blister off of anything besides a golf club.

            • Malaclypse

              This is always a classic.

            • Shhh. Don’t tell Newt— all the staffs (male and female) at the V.A. hospital and rehab centers are always thrilled when a woman patient is on board, because it makes the men calm down and stop bitching so much about everything. Women whine a whole hell of a lot less about pain and the service they’re getting in the hospital than men do.

  • Murc

    Charles Pierce’s writing is my brains imaginary girlfriend.

    • DrDick

      Mine, too.

  • LKS

    Am I the only one who think’s Newt’s wife looks even more bug-eyed crazy than La Michele?

    • DrDick

      Personally, I think she looks more like an animated sex doll.

    • Murc

      Am I the only one a little bit uncomfortable by this sort of discussion?

      I don’t care for Callista, but I see a lot of people just casually slagging on her appearance (and Bachmann and, back in the day, that of the Bush twins, and even further back Chelsea Clinton) and it just seems irrelevant and uncalled for, like when people made fun of Michelle Obama’s arms.

      Callista Gingrich is a horrible person. Her appearance really has nothing to do with it.

      • L2P

        I agree, except I’ll pass on the “horrible person” bit. I don’t know anything about her except she was willing to marry the newtster and likes tiffany’s, neither make her horrible in my book.

      • Yeah, let’s try not to get into appearances, especially when we have so much other material to work with.

      • Slocum

        “Callista Gingrich is a horrible person. Her appearance really has nothing to do with it.”

        No, her appearance actually reveals the depraved state of her soul.

      • rea

        I’m uncomfortable with talk about her appearance as a slam against Callista. I more comfortable with it as a slam against Newt. You can tell what he wants in a woman . . .

    • Oh my GAWD! That look alone should spark questions of whether or not she needs to take a long vacation in a puzzle factory. Sheesh. How do people get those looks? They make me feel like I’m on acid, because they look so unnaturally distorted.

      Bless her little heart.

      • Halloween Jack

        I’m pretty sure that she was created by Pixar.

  • Now, if those dials were controlling the magnitude of electricity wired up to the genitalia of the candidates, we’d be talkin’

    • Hogan

      Dr. Milgrim, please report to Fox News immediately.

  • The first comment to Pierce’s column wins that, this, and every other thread:

    Could Newt Be The Next F.D.R. Let’s expose him to the polio virus and find out.

    • Uncle Kvetch

      That is brilliant. Pierce attracts a very high caliber of snarkers.

      • I left out the question mark and couldn’t go back and change it.

  • Martin

    I was really excited when Pierce came on the blogging scene, but after 2-3 weeks of reading 10 loooooong posts every weekday that were all mostly exercises in sneering at and insulting Republicans, I’ve checked out. That’s Pierce’s only bag, really, is takedowns, and I ain’t innerested.

    • Yeah, and that Picasso guy? How many of those weird-ass paintings do you have to look at? I mean, both eyes on the same side of the nose, okay, I get it. Geez, couldn’t the guy paint some fruit or some happy little trees or something?

      • L2P

        You win.

      • dave

        To many people. not all of whom are devoid of style, taste and a subtle appreciation of culture, Picasso is not easy on the eye, nor self-evidently of surpassing general merit. In other words, your comparison may be self-defeating.

        • Anyone who doesn’t recognize merit due to a difference of taste maybe shouldn’t consider themselves to be much of an art critic.

          • dave

            “Art critic” is a profession which makes up a vanishingly small proportion of the general population; whereas, to return to the original question, I don’t believe there are any professional qualifications required to comment on the prolixity, or the chosen subject-matter, of a blog.

            Nor are there, of course, to enter an art museum. Though some of us might think there ought to be health warnings.

            • firefall

              There are: it says ‘Art Museum’ right on the label

              (altho having no more taste for picasso’s paintings than you it seems, I was astonished to see his drawings, at least the ones on display in Malaga, were full of beauty and vitality, leading me to try reevaluating his paintings .. to no avail alas)

            • Not really. They’re just not in the newspapers so much, anymore. They still work for museums, galleries, auctions, art magazines, etc.

        • Halloween Jack

          Many people think that Cheez Whiz on Ritz crackers and Natty Lite makes for a damn fine meal.

    • Bill Murray

      Thanks for sharing. Civility is ever so much more important than anything. The negative peace of the absence of tension should be held paramount.

    • Malaclypse

      I used to be a Charlie Pierce fan, but after seeing him be mean to that nice man Mr. Gingrich, I now favor full repeal of all capital gains taxes.

    • Martin,

      I’m not familiar with Pierce’s work, other than the post that Mr. Loomis links to, but I think I agree that sneering and insulting one’s opponents is often counterproductive and not too informative, and the linked-to post appears to me to be mostly that. However, such posts do feed the echo-chamber mentality of some partisans and “arouses the base” enough to organize a little protest at Gingrich’s inauguration.

      • Halloween Jack

        Inauguration as what? President of his own fan club?

      • Hogan

        sneering and insulting one’s opponents is often counterproductive and not too informative

        But it is, on occasion, hilarious.

    • DrDick

      Absolutely true. That is why nobody ever reads Jonathan Swift.

  • Pingback: Takedown « Feeds « Newt Gingrich For President- News Watch()

  • Manju

    Newt is perfect. He is the one we have been waiting for. We = Obama supporters.

    He’s plausible enough to win nom, by virtue of perceived intellectual gravitas and experience. But once nominated he can be Goldwatered like there is no tomorrow. Dust of the Daisy Ad.

    I would’ve preferred to face Herman C. Clinton. J.Edgar Hoover’s wife would’ve been a cakewalk too. Ron P. Chomsky, reverse Daisy ad. But those simply were never going to happen. They were always Jesse Jacksons, vanity candidates…like Clinton said after SC, in the dogwhistle heard round the world.

    Newt is at least a notch up, and is probably even more formidable than the coke-snorting adulteress who was once the presumptive front-runner. Then you had that dude who likes to touch 3rd rails for fun, was a Gore supporter, and I errr forgot the 3rd one.

    After they all crashed and burned everyone thought Romney it is. Uh-oh. But along comes Newt to save the day. 4 more years.

    • Speak for yourself, bub.

      • Uncle Kvetch

        Manju always speaks for his/herself, Jeremy. That’s because no one else can figure out what the fuck he’s talking about.

        • firefall


        • DrDick

          I’m not sure he can either. I think he just writes what the voices in his head tell him to.

          • Holden Pattern

            And, as I noted before, the voices in his head lead a rich and varied fantasy life.

    • Malaclypse

      Needs more Robert Byrd.

    • Hogan

      I dare you to make less sense.

      • timb

        I feel weird, because, like Barney Frank, I understand the desire to see Newt win and then lose 35 states. Thus, the comment made sense to me

        • Malaclypse

          Is that what Manju meant? How on earth can you tell? I almost suspect that you are bluffing, to convince us all of your interpretive ability.

          • Holden Pattern

            I think the beauty of Manju’s comments is that like any obscurantist text, the meaning is always hidden, and you have to discover by the process of interpretation. I’m sure Manju would be appalled to learn that he’s a poster boy for various post-modern forms of literary interpretation.

            • Malaclypse

              Truly, with Manju’s comments, there is no author.

              • DrDick

                Nor any audience.

  • Tucker

    Quit slagging on Buckner. It was Shiraldi. Besides nobody hates him anymore. All has been forgiven.

    • Bobby Valentine wants to add him to the Red Sox coaching staff.

      The Sox never would have even been in the World Series without Bill Buckner.

    • Indiana Joe

      I concur. Nobody hates Buckner anymore. We still hate Bucky Fucking Dent.

  • FDR wasn’t really FDR. Pierce writes:

    Jon Meacham can scour the writings and public statements of FDR from hell until breakfast and he will not find anything as transcendently, magnificently, oughta-be-career-killingly nutty as those statements from Gingrich,

    While it might not count as an according-to-hoyle “public statement,” executive order 9066 should be as career killing as anything Mr. Gingrich has said. (I’m not defending Gingrich, by the way, I think he would be a horrible president.)

    • Leeds man

      executive order 9066 should be as career killing as anything Mr. Gingrich has said

      So it would, now. Just as owning slaves would be a bad political career move, but it didn’t do Washington much harm in the 18th century.

      • DrDick

        Or Jefferson in the early 19th.

    • timb

      An executive order signed AFTER he was president. The discussion is what pre-Presidentail Roosevelt said and wrote

      • timb

        stupid computer without spell check. Ruins my pearls of wisdom and all

    • Halloween Jack

      Did you actually read the fucking thing, chuckles? Show me the references to persons of Japanese ancestry or internment camps.

      • Leeds man

        The order supplied the justification for later internment, Jack.

      • dave

        Yeah, ‘cos der Fuhrer the president didn’t know what the SS US Government was twisting his words into…

  • Gern Blanston

    “Meacham’s work here is what Walter Lippmann would’ve produced if he’d worked for Tiger Beat.”


It is main inner container footer text