Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” was beside himself Monday night when he tried to explain the seemingly inexplicable rise of Newt Gingrich as the GOP frontrunner.
“The Republican Party is about to seal a Faustian deal with the devil," Matthews said.
Why does Chris Matthews think that the GOP is prepared to make a “deal with the devil”?
To put it simply, he believes that the GOP is motivated to support Gingrich not because it's good business but, to turn a quote from "The Godfather" on its head, because it's personal.
"The Republicans, led by the angriest among them, are about to give away their partisan souls for one all-consuming political purpose: the destruction of Barack Obama," Matthews proclaimed.
(A brief aside: “Does trying to win a presidential election really equal supporting the ‘false god of hatred’?” asks Scott Whitlock of the Media Research Center.)
"They are about to begin the nomination for president of a figure who represents the Mephistopheles of what they preach: He is nasty, brutal, ready to fight and kill politically, a man of no discernible commitments or values - who has nothing to offer but a sharp-as-hell intellect and a wicked rapier of words," Matthews continued, pausing only for air.
"Why are they on the verge of enlisting in the Army of Newt? Because he voices in cold, nasty, deadly tones the words of their contempt. Because he an opportunist ready to seek any route to his opponent's heart and thereby kill it," said Matthews.
"He is a political killer, a gun for hire. But he offers a prize so precious he cannot be resisted. This, this is the Faustian deal at hand. Newt Gingrich promises the vision on which they on the right have set their hearts - the few minutes of national television in which the President and his wife stand before them in defeat."
So that's it? The GOP is leaning towards Newt Gingrich only because it so desires the image of a defeated Barack Obama?
While Matthews' assessment of the Gingrich phenomenon may be a little heavy handed, to put it politely, there is a legitimate question that needs to be asked: Why is Gingrich surging in the polls?
It should be pointed out that Glenn Beck was one of the first to question the GOPs' gravitation towards Gingrich. Gingrich is a “big government” and “progressive” politician, according to Beck.
Considering that "big government" is precisely what many conservatives want to run against, how is it that Gingrich is ahead in the polls?
Even MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough agreed that, out of all the candidates available to the GOP, Newt Gingrich would be the least likely to maintain the principles of small government.
“…yesterday, Glenn Beck said something that I guarantee you a lot of small-government conservatives have thought," said Scarborough, as reported earlier on The Blaze.
. . . if I have to choose between Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich, a guy that George Will said would have been a marvelous Marxist and who is the opposite of being a small-government conservative, if Ron Paul’s running as a third-party candidate, I’m going to give him a long look. Because I can’t vote for the two guys who worship at the altar of big government in their own separate ways. And that’s the problem with a Newt Gingrich candidacy, Andy: he’s not a small-government conservative.
And although conservatives and Scarborough are frequently at odds, and Matthews’ rant was anything but calm and even-keeled, these are questions that need answering: Why is Gingrich so popular with the GOP? What exactly does he offer that makes him more "electable" than, say, Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, or Ron Paul?
See Matthews’ denunciation of Newt Gingrich (via MSNBC):