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Compared to Gingrich-brand (TM) teflon, Reagan was like cast iron

Just a quick post about Newt Gingrich, who all of a sudden looks like all he has to do is avoid a super-ridiculous gaffe (which is not a slam dunk, is it?) to become the GOP 2012 nominee, as Romney melts faster than the Wicked Witch of the West in a high-powered microwave. What is it about this guy? He's committed just about every right-wing heresy you can think of -- palling around with Nancy Pelosi on global warming and the Obama administration on school reform and taking scads of money from Freddie Mac and supporting an individual health-care mandate just like Romney except for Romney it was a career killer and of course committing adultery and getting divorced twice, etc., etc., ect. But the Tea Partiers -- especially the ones over 50 which is all of them -- love him.

When you look at Romney and Gingrich, the only thing I can figure is: When people are still trying to figure out who you are and they get bad information (that you're a flip-flopper or a closet liberal or such) about you, you're doomed. But if you've already defined yourself as a loose cannon and kind of a (struggling for PG-rated word here), then people are OK with that.

So if Romney had just established himself as a flaky inconsistent jerk back in the 1990s, he'd be OK?

There's something a lot of us are missing here. Fill me in.