Beyond his erratic and intemperate personality, Newt Gingrich has always been burdened by a grandiose self-image in which he is a gallant figure standing athwart history. Narcissism among politicos is hardly a rare disease, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it channeled through a flack in as pure a form as Newt’s press secretary Rick Tyler does today, defending Newt from the gravest of all existential threats—political reporters:
The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.
Armed sheep with cocktail napkins would have overcome a lesser man than Newt.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.