While Gingrich has been soaring in the polls recently, he's been taking a lot of attacks from all sides about his record, his character, his policies, his head, and his general intellect. But some of the criticism coming his way has had a very interesting tone to it. This, for example, from Glenn Beck not only shows you how far the mainstream conservative mind has gone, but how radically wrong Beck has been in the past.
Let's ignore the whole thing about racism in the Tea Party, shall we? That part is pretty self-explanatory. What I want to draw your attention to is this little tidbit:
"'You read this guy's record,' he said. 'You read his words...see what he believes. This man is a progressive. He knows he's a progressive. He doesn't have a problem with being a progressive.'"
Okay. That little quote from Glenn is the perfect example of Beck's premise in his book The Overton Window. I know I'm giving a plug for this, but you should at least read the summary flap. It's very interesting. The only thing is, Beck had it backwards, as he usually does. We are not in a constant shift to the Left, we're in a constant shift to the Right.
How do I know this? Because Gingrich was the conservative speaker of the house under Clinton. He was considered a conservative by mid-90's standards. Now, in less than 20 years, he's become a progressive without ever changing a philosophy. If anything, he's become more conservative to stay viable to the base. Yet despite this, Beck is now saying he's a progressive. Whether or not this is accurate is irrelevent. Beck has set the bar, and now things will shift to encompass it.
And I'm not saying that Beck has that much power on his own. That's why I present this as further proof. You see, Gingrich is the punching bag of the Right. What I've noticed is that these super-conservatives always latch on to the most extreme candidates (Santorum, Bachmann, and Cain in his time were and are favorites in this crowd). This does two things. First, it pushes the listeners of these people toward more conservative candidates. Second, it sets them up to be able to berate the system when their preferred candidate is not elected. It's like what would happen if all the third party candidates entered on the democratic side and debated each other. Extremists would go for their particular brand of leftist crazy, even though they have no shot of winning, and then decry the system when their candidate gets less than 1% of the vote.
This criticism of "the system" then perpetuates into an even more conservative view. It just goes on and on, the ball keeps on rolling downhill. Meanwhile, those at the top who've stood still and watched this suddenly find ourselves being labeled "extremists" becasue we held the same position while the other side got more insane.
The idea that Gingrich of all people is being called a progressive should be laughable, but here we are seeing that happen now. Pretty soon, We'll be talking about how Rick Perry is a centrist, Ron Paul is a Blue Dog Democrat, and Michelle Bachmann is a moderate. Can you imagine what a conservative candidate would look like in comparison?