This is a nomination for Bright Green’s Dick of the Year award from Carl Packman, who blogs at Though Cowards Flinch. To submit your own nomination email 2-300 words to editors (at) brightgreenscotland (dot) org.

As a leftie it is going to take something rather drastic for me to actually like a Republican presidential candidate nominee. But what I do respect, more than anything, is a politician with conviction and a strong message. With Newt Gingrich there was something quite refreshing – here was someone who was not going to be the identikit Republican, squabbling and blowing hot air. But there was a problem. He, as a PhD, was perceived as singing from a different hymn book than the majority of Republican voters. What’s more is that President Obama had been criticised for being too intellectual – was this to be the fate of Newt, too?

Chance would have been a fine thing. After Herman Cain had dropped out of the running there was a large Newt shaped hole ready for the filling. It was a hole that needed the sort of stupidity that gave grounds for Cain saying the word “uz-beki-beki-stan-stan“. Others have called it the tendency towards conservative epistemic closure. Basically, in order to capture Cain’s votes, and the Republican core vote in general, Newt had to say something really stupid. And he did.

Right on cue, in a church in Texas, he said:

“I have two grandchildren — Maggie is 11, Robert is 9 [and] I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”

Though maybe his intelligence was overblown after all. As Paul Krugman recently said, “Gingrich is a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like”. And a dick as well.