Gingrich added: “I’m not trying to sound angry. I’m trying to sound definitive. Tough? Yes. Angry? No. Mitt Romney’s who he is.” His words, taken at face value, amount to a primal scream. But they are uttered with a dispassionate air, as though he is striving to play the role of “historian” (as this former high-school and college teacher frequently identifies himself) objectively analyzing the prevailing political dynamic. Indeed, Gingrich says he will hold his nose and support Romney if he’s the nominee. “Sure, he’s not as bad as Obama. You can’t reduce the future of the United States to personality.” Yet increasingly, Gingrich is a vehicle for populist grievance: the Candidate of Rage.

“Probably not as much as we will be,” Gingrich noted, as he laid out his game plan for the accumulation of delegates in the proportional caucus and primary contests during February and March in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, and several Southern states, especially his home state of Georgia in the March 6 Super Tuesday delegate haul, when he believes he has a shot at resurrection. “I mean, what you have today is a very liberal candidate [Romney] hiding behind a wave of negative ads, paid for by Wall Street in order to avoid Wall Street losing control.”…

If Romney is such a prevaricator, then why not just tackle him head-on, the way Joseph Welch famously challenged Joe McCarthy during the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”

“You’ve got to carry the audience to that point,” Gingrich replied. “Welch says that at the end of McCarthyism, not at the beginning. So the audience has to come with you. And we’re working on that … Trust me, we will have worked it out the next time he’s in the room with me. But I want the audience to walk in understanding: You’re about to see an honest guy debate a dishonest guy.”