Friday, December 09, 2011

"Allow me to sell you a couple!"

Free association time, re Gingrich's reflexive/relentless promotion of his books and movies in the midst of his presidential campaign. Who could read this
When asked last week about Russia during a town hall-style meeting in South Carolina, he noted that he made a film about the Ronald Reagan-Margaret Thatcher-Pope John Paul II nexus that he posits helped bring down the Soviet Union. Any mention of "American exceptionalism" earns a mention of his movie on the subject of America's special role. And his film and book about Reagan seldom goes unmentioned as he hails the former president as a role model....


For Gingrich, the campaign sometimes takes on the feeling of an extended book tour.

"At 8:30 tomorrow morning, we're going to be at the Westin at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and we're going to be talking about jobs and the economy," Gingrich told a radio interviewer last month. "And then after the town hall meeting, Callista is going to be signing her new book, the New York Times bestseller, `Sweet Land Of Liberty.' ... And I'll be signing my new novel, `The Crater,' about the Civil War, and a book on American exceptionalism called `A Nation Like No Other.'"

Without reverting to this, from Alice in Wonderland?

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door--
Pray, what is the reason of that?"
 
"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment -- one shilling the box --
Allow me to sell you a couple?"
No denying it, the old con artist has kept supple this many a year.  And like the illustrious Father William, he knows how to handle rude questioners:


"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose--
What made you so awfully clever?"
 
"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father; "don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down-stairs!"
 Yup, that GOP base is slippery. How long can Gingrich keep it aloft? 

P.S., there's no copyright on book titles, but Gingrich ripped off his Civil War novel title and subject, The Battle of the Crater,  from Richard Slotkin's The Crater (1996).

P.P.S. Memo to Jonathan Bernstein: did you study with Slotkin? He's a professor of American Studies at Wesleyan.

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