How Different Is Nick Fuentes From Newt Gingrich?
On Wednesday, far right operative Newt Gingrich published a provocative blog post, Quit Underestimating President Biden, addressed to Republicans living inside their own animated communications bubble. Gingrich wants them to try to actually understand why they did so much worse in the midterms than anyone predicted and wants them to mentally prepare themselves for Herschel Walker’s likely loss in Georgia on Tuesday.
“Republicans,” he wrote, “must learn to quit underestimating President Joe Biden… The clarity of winning and losing creates a clarity of analysis about who is doing well and who isn’t. If you apply that simple model to Biden, you realize how well he is doing by his own definition of success.”
[C]onservatives’ hostility to the Biden administration on our terms tends to blind us to just how effective Biden has been on his terms. He has only built upon and fortified the left-wing Big Government Socialist woke culture system.
We dislike Biden so much, we pettily focus on his speaking difficulties, sometimes strange behavior, clear lapses of memory, and other personal flaws. Our aversion to him and his policies makes us underestimate him and the Democrats.
But remember: Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan both preferred to be underestimated. Both wanted people to think of them as pleasant— but not dangerous. They found being underestimated was a major asset. While people laughed at them, they were busy achieving their goals and getting their programs implemented.
Biden has achieved something similar.
He has spent 50 years in public life (elected to the U.S. Senate at 29 and only eligible to be sworn in after the election in 1972). Biden genially bumbled into becoming a major force in the Senate. While he failed miserably in attempting to run for president, he ended up as vice president for eight years. Then he stayed in the basement and won in 2020.
The Biden team took an amazingly narrow four-vote majority in the U.S. House and a 50-50 tie in the Senate and turned it into trillions of dollars in spending— and a series of radical bills. The latest bill on sexual rights overriding all other rights was bitterly opposed by virtually every conservative even as it passed with Republican support.
Biden has carefully and cautiously waged war in Ukraine with no American troops. Although poorly timed and slowly delivered, U.S. weapons and financial aid have helped cripple what most thought would be an easy victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Despite terrible problems with the economy, crime, and the border (which led many analysts, me included, to assume the GOP would make big gains in November) Biden and his team executed a strategy of polarizing Americans against Donald Trump supporters. They turned Jan. 6 into a crisis which eclipsed the Left’s previous summer of fire, chaos, and destruction. They also grossly exaggerated the threat to abortion rights. And it all worked.
The Biden team had one of the best first term off-year elections in history. They were not repudiated. They did not have to pay for their terrible mismanagement of the economy.
If Republicans are going to successfully work through the next two years in the Congress— and win the presidency in 2024— we need to look much more deeply at what worked and what did not work in 2020 and 2022.
Today there is not nearly enough understanding (or acknowledgement) among leading Republicans that our system and approach failed. We need to rethink from the ground up how we are going to Defeat Big Government Socialism— including almost inevitable second-time Democrat Presidential Nominee Biden.
This is a much bigger challenge than I would have guessed before the election.
If only voters were more concerned with Hunter Biden’s laptop than with the Republican Party’s turn towards fascism. Another GOP operative, Elon Musk, may be trying to help them turn Hunter Biden into a campaign issue but it isn’t likely to get the kind of traction Trump’s dinner with Ye and Nick Fuentes did. This morning, David Corn wrote that “[A]s bonkers and upsetting as this incident was, it was not the first time the Grand Old Party experienced a Nazi problem. The Republican Party has been here before… [T]he GOP in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s recruited full-fledged Nazis— Eastern Europeans who had collaborated with Hitler’s army and who had emigrated to the United States after World War II— to help its efforts to court ethnic voting blocs. This group included known antisemites and fascists. Their past histories as Nazi allies did not matter. They were now self-proclaimed anticommunist champions and welcomed into the GOP tent and even celebrated. Unfortunately, there’s nothing new about Republicans hobnobbing with Nazis.”
“The GOP got away with cozying up to these Nazis in the Reagan and Bush days,” wrote Corn. “Trump is catching more flack now because he shared a meal with celebrity antisemites. As with so many of the excesses of today’s Trumpified Republican Party, they are not entirely new. As I note in my book— and in numerous promotional appearances for American Psychosis— the Republican Party for the past seven decades has exploited and encouraged far-right extremism. Trump didn’t invent this, but he has intensified and escalated such efforts and placed them in the spotlight at center stage. In recent weeks, there has been a debate over the extent to which Trump’s MAGA movement can be characterized as fascist. Trump’s dinner with a notorious fascist and a prominent antisemite certainly provides evidence for the fascist-AF argument. But the Republicans have previously played footsie with fascists. They just had the good sense to not seat them at the head table.”
Republicans need to ask themselves why prominent fascist Lauren Boebert’s race is still not called and in recount mode— despite the district being overwhelmingly Republican (with a partisan lean of R+15). Only 550 votes separate her from a fairly random Democrat, even though she spent $6,342,057 to his $2,966,883. And what happened in safely red WA-03 (R+11 lean), where nationally prominent neo-Nazi Joe Kent lost to Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez. Or in OH-09, which was specifically drawn by the Ohio legislature to defeat Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur, but instead saw neo-Nazi J.R. Majewski lose by an astounding 14 points in a district than had been manipulated from a D+16 partisan lean to an R+6 lean! From New England— where every single Republican lost, despite tens of millions of dollars invested— to Alaska, neo-fascists dragged the GOP down. I guess Gingrich forgot to mention that for some reason.