Reposted from www.skepticmoney.com
Let’s see Paul is out, Perry is out, Santorum is out, Romney with revelation of his Swiss bank account (duh) is probably out and it looks like yes, it looks like Newt is in the lead. How on earth do the evangelicals and tea party types (they do not merit capitals until the occupy movement merits them) vote Gingrich? He is a philanderer, a patent liar, a DC insider, and does not really hold Jesus in his heart or wear him on his sleeve?
Newt Gingrich is evidence to two contrary and holy moods these days, resentment and forgivance. Howard Schreiber:
“… he shares their resentments. He resents the media (“elites”), the rich (the leadership of his own party), the Democrats (educated people), people who live in big cities (liberals), and of course, Obama, just as they do”
“Gingrich and his supporters do not oppose Obama, they resent the fact of his existence. He will speak for his constituents by articulating their resentments in more strident, more combative, more articulate terms than they can themselves, which is why they find him brilliant.”
Ron Paul reduced complex economics to simple sound bites but Gingrich goes further:
“… he tells them that their nastiest, darkest, angriest, most irrational self-indulgent justifications are 100%, absolutely right. It’s a negative version of a politics of self-esteem: not that you are right to feel good about yourself, but that you are right to be resentful of everyone else.”
Gingrich feeds their Manichean, paranoid view. The world is going to end and Obama is riding that basket to hell. No, Obama is driving that basket to hell, yelling yippee kiyo along the way. The devil incarnate could do no better:
“Obama’s economic policies are not mistaken, he is deliberately trying to make Americans poorer. Obama’s foreign policy is not misguided, he is deliberately trying to surrender America to foreign powers. And Obama is not merely not one of the people, he wants to destroy American culture.
Resentment, a holy emotion, long based in slave religions of oppressed people. It’s not about change, it’s about replacing those in power. They don’t want a new country they want to be on top of the pile. Pummeled by economics they don’t understand, terrorized by wars they don’t get but patriotize, and seeking solace in salvation through poorly understood biblical morality they just want to be mad and go shoot something. Gingrich is the hired gun. Whoopee! Get em boy.
Wait, there’s another side to this. Jaweed Kaleem thinks Gingrich is outpacing Romney because Evangelicals embrace forgiveness, the sour grapes side of resentment but first asks as do we all:
“How is a twice-divorced serial cheater whose ex-wife has accused him of wanting an “open marriage” also able to tout his credentials as a devout Christian and remain in good standing with his family-oriented Catholic Church? And in the Palmetto State, where 60 percent of voters are expected to be evangelical Protestants, does it matter?”
Does it matter? Can you really forgive some bastard philanderer or is trust torn so deeply asunder as to prevent full recovery?
“But a big part of evangelical theology is that we are a fallen humanity and we are never going to live up to perfect ideal. … It’s more of a question of saying ‘I have made a mistake, I acknowledge that mistake and I need to turn to God,’”
Gingrich is Catholic and while the confessional is a way of embracing forgiveness it is also a time of repentance and personal soul searching and personal resolution. This personal aspect Protestants can relate to. We are a long way from early Christianity where Catholics forced to conversion by Romans could later repent but still not reenter the church for communion. Hey, you can always change your mind, now. Can’t you?
“People who put moral conservatism at the top of their personal agenda will be very troubled by his infidelities,” Clemson’s Olsen said. “But there is no actual true bona fide evangelical in the race anymore. Evangelicals who are in the majority here will have to say, ‘I have to support somebody who isn’t the same as me.’”
Evangelicals have to compromise? After taking death-zone machine guns to town hall meetings, ranting the rest of us to hell, and swearing Obama is the anti-Christ they can compromise? Where the only thing they have in common is resentment of an outsider and forgivance of a kinda-maybe insider? They must feel so dirty and yet so righteously indignant.
Jim Newman, bright and well