Reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog can be a bit of a schizophrenic experience, especially if you’re one of the roughly 6 billion people on Earth who don’t happen to find yourself occupying his idiosyncratic political niche. One month he’s waxing rhapsodic about Paul Ryan’s “brave” and “principled” stance in favor of Randian economics, the next he’s on a rampage against Howard Kurtz and Village conventional wisdom (well, at least before he joined Kurtz at the Daily Beast). In that vein, I think he’s really had his head in the sand for much of the year as to how much trouble the President is really in; but his commentary on the latest GOP debate—which, if his Twitter feed is to be believed, was supplemented by a healthy dose of Vicodin—was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed this post, in which Sully valiantly attempts to stand athwart the conventional wisdom of Newt Gingrich being intelligent, yelling “Stop!”: [Newt] came off [in the debate] as a petulent, pompous, pseudo-intellectual prick. He is simply not that bright, and as out of his depth as his insecure pronouncements of self-described world-historical profundity suggest. He belongs on Dancing With The Stars, not a Republican debate, even of this poor caliber. Or maybe it’s best put another way: having constant stupid and half-baked ideas that you believe are world-altering is not a sign of intelligence. It’s a sign of narcissism, wrapped in a constant, angry snarl. The way so much of the political-media class has bought Gingrich’s BS when it comes to his intellect has always reminded me of something a Professor of mine told me when I was working on my undergraduate thesis. In so many words, he recommended that I state in my introduction everything I would do and intended to do, even if I didn’t really succeed in doing it. The reason, he said, was because people had an amazing tendency to believe you’ve done something you haven’t, provided you insist from the start that you have. Newt basically starts off every debate or public performance with a version of “I am so smart, I am so smart; s-m-r-t”; and, with exceptions here and there, it seems to be working.