Newt no more

Sitting on my balcony late one night last week, smoking a cigarette and idly watching the neighbourhood rats dart across the alley below, I became aware of a man walking towards my building. He stopped, paused for a moment, then began to pee against the fence directly beneath me.

This is not an unusual occurrence. It’s a quiet, dimly lit alley, used for cars and rubbish bins and, occasionally, a couple going at it over the back of my neighbour’s car (one woman was on her iPhone for the entire time the bloke was banging her from behind, she was actually googling something). But what was surprising about this particular evening was that once the man had stopped peeing, I heard the sound of keys and watched as the gate below opened and my downstairs neighbour came into view. He had peed against his own fence.

Huh? Even if you’re desperate to go, once you’re in sight of your house, you’re up the stairs and in that loo quick as a flash. I smoked another cigarette, pondering on what I had seen.

President Lyndon B. Johnson famously said of J. Edgar Hoover “Better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.” But pissing up the sides of your own tent? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Today, Newt Gingrich will throw in the towel and suspend his campaign for the Republican nomination. His recent comments suggest he will support Mitt Romney’s race for the White House, but how much of his formidable weight will he put behind it? Will he piss from within?

This particularly vicious campaign has seen insults pass from candidate to candidate with more virulence than a urinary tract infection through a college dorm. Earlier this year Newt made no secret of his fury over Mitt’s campaign tactics, calling them dishonest and hypocritical, and contrasted Mitt’s record in the private sector against his own vast experience in Washington, lambasting the former Governor as a profit-hungry destroyer of companies and jobs.

All that will be forgotten by the GOP, if not the media, in the coming battle against Obama. Newt is still a figure to be reckoned with inside the Republican party, and has supporters among many conservatives, no matter how colourful his private life (a major factor against him in his campaign for the nomination). His quirky, some might say child-like, fascination with moon colonies and zoos conversely made him rather endearing, nudging our memories to times when we felt wonder and awe and delight, before cynicism and weariness set in.

And Newt has his eye on the future. His campaign is millions in debt, and two of his businesses have filed for bankruptcy. Apparently he is uninterested in a major role in a Romney administration and has offered his services as a policy adviser. It will be interesting to see how he positions himself in the run up to the election in November, and afterwards.

I shall miss Newt. With his smug, fuck-you smile he still, to me, looks like the Cat Who Shit On The Sofa. His laughable, absurd rants against the liberal media and the political elite served only to emphasise the utter audacity and conceit of the man. If I had a hat, I would take it off in honor of his perseverance, resilience and sheer balls.

Actually, let’s not go there. Bye, Newt.

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About hebe in dc

British Girl in Washington DC @hebeindc
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