Newt Gingrich as Bulworth?

First Read (Chuck Todd et al.) really, really, really has this wrong (via Goddard):

Newt Gingrich was provocative to the point of looking like the “Bulworth” character (suggesting that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should be jailed).

I normally like Chuck Todd, but…huh? The point of “Bulworth” was that Warren Beatty’s character was blurting out the things he was really thinking, and things which (at least from the movie’s point of view) are true — things that normal politicians won’t say because they’ll offend the people they’re attempting to appeal to. So at a fundraiser:

My guys are not stupid. They always put the big Jews on my schedule. You’re mostly Jews, right? Three out of four of you? [brandishes speech]
I bet Murphy put something bad about Farrakhan in here for you!

Newt Gingrich, on the other hand, makes stuff up that appeal to the prejudices of his audience. It’s the exact opposite of Bulworth! Even if what he’s saying was true, there’s no Bulworth in bashing Frank and Dodd to a GOP electorate.

Senator Jay Bulworth is one of my favorite political movie/TV characters, and the idea that Newt has anything in common with him at all really just shouldn’t stand. Of course, long time readers will know that Plain Blog already has cast Newt as Tom P. Baxter, because he’s a total fraud. But he certainly isn’t a Bulworth.  Not good, First Read.

[Cross-posted at A plain blog about politics]

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Jonathan Bernstein

Jonathan Bernstein is a political scientist who writes about American politics, especially the presidency, Congress, parties, and elections.