Forget everything you're reading about Newt Gingrich's supposedly ephemeral boom in the polls.
Disregard the increasingly sardonic mini-exposes of the former Speaker's hypocrisy, such as attacking former Senator Chris Dodd's financial industry reform, even as he was becoming a super lobbyist cha-chinging millions of dollars for "strategic advice" as a "historian" for Freddy Mac.
Newt Gingrich will be the GOP nominee.
Yes, predictions are cheap -- and I don't have a crystal ball. But Newt will face Barack Obama next November.
We now have been through the Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Perry and Cain booms. Each of these candidates shot up in the polls only to collapse as Tea Partiers and the wider GOP electorate took a second look and said, no dice.
The desire to "take our country back," as the now famous Tea Party posters proclaimed, is so strong, so rooted in a visceral dislike of the president and everything he symbolizes about the evolution of American society, that the right-wing of the right wing of the Republican Party seeks a savior, regardless of who he or she is, what they actually know or experience they can claim as real qualifications for sitting in the Oval Office.
These voters are not simply looking for the best candidate to run the world's most powerful, most complex nation. They are looking for an ideological paladin that will turn back the clock to the pre-Obama paradise ensconced in their collective unconscious.
Tea Party voters are sick and tired of being sick and tired and they're not going to take it anymore. And now, to top it all off, the grungy, whining, unemployed Occupiers are literally occupying the country they want to take back.
It's as if the full force and energy of the Tea Party avalanche of the 2010 mid-terms is reversing itself, like a movie played backwards, the rolling white snow wrapping itself back, up the mountain. Poof.
And then there is Mitt Romney. The former Governor of Massachusetts, also son of Michigan, denizen of Utah and La Jolla, New Hampshire and anywhere else were potential voters may live, stands forlorn, supported by what's left of the "Republican Party Establishment," unable to capitalize on the serial collapses of his flashier, more exotic competitors.
By this time, unless you've been in a coma over the last 12 months, you've read all the stories about Romney's ideological back-flips. We need not list them here once again. But the cumulative effect of the disparaging stories by such disparate Conservatives as Reagan-acolyte George Will and ideologically-messianic Eric Erickson of the Tea Party bible RedState.com, has left Romney seemingly unable to crest beyond 25% or so support in the polls.
Enter Newt Gingrich.
While Newt is less than a perfect vessel for the despair and hope of the Tea Party faithful, he's clearly a Conservative's Conservative. Whatever shifts in policy positions (such as previously supporting a universal mandate in health care which has now become the tip of the spear in opposing "Obamacare"), Gingrich is a right-wing warrior with proven bona-fides.
Even one of his most egregious acts of duplicity -- pushing the Clinton impeachment while in the midst of his own extra-marital affair -- shows a certain elan that forms part of his appeal to a Tea Party electorate hungry for the warrior that "will take the country back" as a matter of national salvation.
Gingrich may have crashed on the shoals of Bill Clinton's political mastery, but he is unlikely to back down in a political showdown with President Obama, who he's described as the "food stamp President," to the delight of the faithful.
One can imagine that this historian turned political warrior has read Machiaveli's The Prince from cover to cover. And whereas history students across the centuries have debated the moral implication of Machiavelli's maxim "the end justifies the means," Gingrich's political life shows no such quibbling with the ethical dimension of whatever tactics are needed to reach his political goals.
And let's face it, that is his appeal to Tea Party voters. Unlike the ideological malleable Romney, Newt's career reassures Tea Party voters that he will lead the right-wing crusade to "take back America" without flinching.
Gingrich's rhetoric in the debates, where he has firebombed both the President and his allies in Congress, seemingly accusing them of being 2011's version of the crypto-communists from the good old days of the Cold War, is Tea Party cat-nip of the highest potency.
The smooth, focus-grouped ideological pretzel that is Mitt Romney does not stand a chance -- the people want a dragon, and Newt breathes right-wing fire.
The Tea Partiers have found their candidate. And in these times, where the Tea Party goes, as the debate ceiling debacle showed showed the world, so goes the Republican Party.
Republicans, say hello to your nominee: Newt Gingrich.