Emmett Tyrrell
WASHINGTON -- Ah, yes, Newt Gingrich did in the last days of the Florida primary precisely what I predicted he would do. He hurled wild charges at Mitt Romney that suggested Newt was losing his grip. He charged Romney with lying and falling into the hands of George Soros and Goldman Sachs, and he did this while seeking the Republican presidential nomination!

Newt quoted Soros as saying, "We think either Obama or Romney's fine, but Gingrich, he would change things." Citing Goldman Sachs' profiting from the bailout, Newt linked the Wall Street firm to anti-Gingrich ads, filling in the dots: "Those ads," he averred, "are your money recycled to attack me."

On Sunday, he suggested that Rick Santorum drop out of the race and support him. Santorum had left the campaign trail to be with his desperately ill daughter. That is the kind of grace we have come to expect from Gingrich, who, by the way, supplied no evidence of Goldman Sachs' or of Soros' aiding Romney.

Newt lost support in his last week in Florida because conservatives gave him a closer look. Sure, we loved his one-liners singeing the tail feathers of the liberal media and politicians. Yet, we have to put someone up against President Barack Obama who can win. Moreover, we have to put someone in the White House who can govern. With Newt, we would be explaining his gyrations every few days during the campaign. And in the unlikely event that he should win, we would be spending the next four years apologizing for his extravagance. I did it once before in the 1990s, and I can tell you that it was a thankless task.

As I wrote last week, Newt is a 1960s-generation kid. Allow me to elaborate. That generation -- my generation -- was the most ballyhooed generation raised in the 20th century, and it was -- at least in politics -- a failed generation.

Gingrich, the Clintons, Al Gore and the rest of the 1960s hustlers began their political careers in college, when they were the first generation to actually believe that student government was on campus to govern. The weak liberal administrators went along with them and gave them a say in the running of their universities.

The universities have yet to recover. Yet, beyond the damage the hustlers did to the universities was the damage they did to themselves. They became the most self-absorbed generation of narcissists ever heard of. From their student government days to their days in national politics, they all lived out a fantasy. Now it is over.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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