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10 Dec
Gingrichian Locomotion

On my first visit to Yellowstone National Park last summer, I got up close and personal with the American Buffalo, a stolid figure if there ever was one, not to mention shaggy if not outright mangy and grizzled, a creature summoning to the mind’s eye another iconic and mythic American original, to wit, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

It’s not that I regard Mr. Speaker as the human equivalent of the bison, but rather the bison as the Newt Gingrich of the Kingdom of the Beasts, a similarity enhanced not just by superficial appearance, but also by the strategies of moving through space typifying the Republicans’ front-running candidate for the party’s presidential nomination.

This is a Media Age, and while I decry fortuitous derision, a Media Age is inextricably a period of embellished images.  I crave your forbearance.

Certain reliable cultural stereotypes drift through the mind when I consider Newtie—Oliver Hardy, for example, or Popeye’s Wimpy.  But these don’t quite fill the bill, which strikes me as anomalous at first, considering the purely physical similarities, until I get it:

GINGRICH IS UNTHINKABLE EXCEPT IN RELATION TO HIS STYLES OF LOCOMOTION.

He has two characteristic ambulatory modes, and both are observable upon the public stage.  If Newt is entering a political context in which he feels at home, he exhibits the leering forthright lumber of Sydney Greenstreet!

On the other hand, if the Georgia Sweetheart is feeling a little unsure of his bearings, he has a way of morphing into the retractive, ingratiating shuffle of Jackie Gleason’s Poor Soul:

Lest you remain skeptical of the thesis that is crystallizing out of this meditation, I have yet another picture for you to inspect from the standpoint of the presidential personality,in this case Barry plus his consort Michelle—as a reflection of an archetype spawned within the redolent potpourri of popular entertainment.

Written by Don Thompson

Mr Thompson writes exclusively for the
Conservatives Speak Out Blog


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