The Corner

Postmodern Populism

Newt Gingrich soaring in the polls 90 days ago — with an inspired strategy of critiquing Obama, reprimanding the left-wing media during the debates, playing down his ego while showing mastery of the issues, and calling for an end to internecine bickering — stumbled for a while under the natural negative ads that always target the perceived front runner of the moment. Did he not expect that?

Then under the normal barrage he apparently got fed up, quit trying to offer a defense against the negative ads (which he could have done), junked his previously successful strategy, went ballistic — and reminded us why we once long ago had found him grating — and now in full-fledged Obama style is making the redistributionist case against excessive private profiting (“looting”)  in the marketplace. A pretty amazing thing to see the entrepreneurial Gingrich playing Oliver Stone to Romney’s supposed Gordon Gecko — given that a magnanimous and above-the-fray Gingrich might well have ridden out the storm and gone the distance with Romney. What was considered a mistake of not striking back in virulent fashion was probably not, and what is now considered a belated correction in striking back virulently is probably a mistake.

As for the race as of now: On the one hand, we have a president, who is the largest recipient of Wall Street cash in election history (a favorite in particular of Goldman Sachs and BP), the first to renounce public financing in presidential general elections since the progressive law was established almost 40 years ago, whose three chiefs of staff (Emanuel, Daley, Lew) have made millions on Wall Street as fat-cat bankers (JP Morgan/Citigroup), much of it from the Fannie/Freddie housing bubble and collapse, who just hired another OMB/Citigroup revolving door retread in Lew, who is a  a golf/Martha’s Vineyard aficionado — and who is now advancing the populist argument that the 1 Percent have rigged the game and have money and lifestyles the rest of us are denied; on the other hand, arch-conservative Newt Gingrich, who has created a lucrative multimedia empire in D.C,, is trumping that argument by portraying Bain capital as a capitalist cancer. 

Stranger than fiction.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

Most Popular


The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More
Film & TV

The Breaking Bad Movie

I considered staying up until midnight last night to watch Netflix's two-hour Breaking Bad movie El Camino as soon as it went up, but I'm glad I didn't. It's fine, it's worth watching if you're a fan of the series (otherwise it'll mean nothing to you). But it doesn't answer any particularly compelling questions. ... Read More