John Podhoretz has been on a roll lately. Yesterday, for example, he captured the futility of Newt Gingrich in a single, perfect sentence: "He is incapable of disagreeing on any matter about anything without creating a whirlpool of negativity that ends up sucking in his own confreres while leaving his partisan and ideological antagonists amazingly untouched."
You can't improve on that.
But you can certainly expand on it, and place the calamity that is Newt Gingrich in its proper cultural context. (For political context, see here.) That's something that had been eating away at me these last few days. The sheer spectacle of watching Newt try to live out his man-of-destiny fantasies and failing utterly -- always in ways that were cringe inducing, yet impossible to turn away from -- evoked something powerful that I couldn't quite place. But then last night, I figured it out. It must have been Newt's $500,000 Tiffany's account, or maybe his apology to Paul Ryan. Anyway, I realized that everything about Newt Gingrich--the operatic temperament, the multiple divorces, the six-figure credit line at Tiffany's, the ego, the solipsism, the sheer haplessness and capacity for self-delusion--it all summons up the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."