It's come to this. Desperate for a win after poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich is jabbing at frontrunner Mitt Romney with every weapon that his relentlessly positive campaign can muster. While some of those criticisms, i.e. of Mitt's past as a "corporate raider," are legitimate, others just remind us that it's Silly Season. Enter Newt's new ad.
The ad starts by confirming the awful rumor that Mitt Romney used to live in Massachusetts! So, if you think about it, he's a lot like John Kerry. The ad harps on the liberal Taxachusetts angle, and we're treated to the usual shots of Kerry windsurfing (a real man would motorboat, of course) and Dukakis riding geekily in a tank while some accordion music tweedles in the background. Here, in other words, is a series of liberals who tried and failed to win the Presidency, and by implication Romney falls into that same camp. He's a "Massachusetts moderate," warns the ad in foreboding tones.
But the real nail in the coffin is that, much like Kerry, Mitt Romney can speak French! Sacre bleu! Never mind that the French are our longtime allies and saved our asses back in RW1 (Revolutionary War I); as every hot-blooded conservative knows, speaking French is like wearing a tutu at a football game. Did you know that French has no word for "fight" and twelve words for "breakfast cheese?" Don't look that up. Of course the daffy "attack" is especially rich coming from a man who spends so much time reminding the public of his own intellectual girth. Now Gingrich, the former college professor and historian, is trying to make knowledge a wedge issue. It should be noted that Newt himself has been spotted speaking some terrible Spanish. But see, in the conservative logic vortex, it's okay to speak a foreign language! Just as long as you speak it badly, and as long as it's not French.