Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot
Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.
No serious person thinks Newt Gingrich will be or wants Newt Gingrich to be president. I’d bet a significant percentage of the people who vote for him don’t want him to be president. Voting for Newt Gingrich is just an act of pure petulance.
But Newt Gingrich just won the South Carolina presidential primary (South Carolina’s new motto: “Picking presidents a couple times since a couple years ago!”) and is now amusingly ahead in the early polls in Florida. The conservative elite can attempt to sabotage Gingrich, but the message from the voters is clear enough: Romney is really not particularly liked, at all, and they are willing to vote for literally anyone else who can seem credible on television for a few precious minutes.
Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard was quietly promoting Gingrich since just before his first surge in the polls, and Kristol himself early this morning asserted that of Gingrich, Romney and Santorum, “any of the three could be the nominee.” (No, actually, but this is Bill Kristol.) He then quotes an editorial he wrote two months ago, predicting, sort of, “a late January entry [I'd now say an early February entry] by another candidate.”
And he ends with: “I notice a new online petition was launched Saturday night to try to produce one possible outcome. It’s at runmitchrun.com.”
The idea, still apparently existent, that what this electorate — having previously paid close attention to statesmen like Donald Trump and Herman Cain before turning to Newt Gingrich — is clamoring for is the respectable conservativism of Mitch Daniels is fun enough. (You didn’t like the former governors of New Mexico or Utah? Try Indiana’s current guy — he’s also a former pharmaceutical executive!) Rahm Emanuel himself just teased Mitt Romney by suggesting Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels would’ve been perfect to run against Obama.
But actually parachuting into the presidential campaign after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and presumably Florida and Nevada have all voted would certainly be a … challenge for anyone who doesn’t currently already have a massive campaign war chest and experienced national campaign staff. (Though obviously this election is so different, because complete clowns like Gingrich and Santorum can win … after spending the better part of a year campaigning.)
Ross Douthat is at least realistic about a latecomer’s chances (he or she — well, he — “would have a necessarily uncertain path to the nomination”) but says “it isn’t too late for one of the non-candidates to change their mind and run,” which is I guess technically true. A non-candidate could change their mind and run the weekend of the convention, too! I’d be all in favor of it, and I suspect the president would be, too.
Jennifer Rubin flat-out begs Haley Barbour(!), Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Jon Kyl, Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Mike Pence to either run themselves or hurry up and close ranks behind either Santorum or Romney — Jim DeMint’s late entry to the presidential race would be good February entertainment, it’s true — which seems to miss the fact that those people have about as much control over the party electorate now as John Boehner has over the Republican House majority.
(Jonah Goldberg should get some credit for being slightly ahead of the curve for once, having posted his slightly tongue-in-cheek version of this plea last Thursday, before Gingrich had even humiliated the probable nominee in South Carolina.)
There is a great deal of point-missing going on. Each of these savior non-Romney Gingrich-killing dream candidates completely lacks the quality that led Gingrich to suddenly take the lead: No one likes him and he’s embarrassing. The voters respond to his breezy shamelessness, and Bobby Jindal is not going to fire this crowd up. (Chris Christie, a loud bullying caricature, might do the trick, but he’s too smart to enter now.)
I am also not sure how essentially begging for a brokered convention helps alleviate the “chaos” everyone is currently worrying over, but, again, I welcome the entertainment.
Sadly, they’re probably still stuck with Mitt. Sorry, Bill.
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @pareeneMore Alex Pareene.
Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China
Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti
“Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA
Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.
Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada
Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway
Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.
Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million
Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.
Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon
Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.
Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico
Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.
Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.