The sick hatred you have for Gingrich is well known. What is NOT well known is any commentary on any of his ideas and why you disagree. Nothing from your "brilliance" indicating any flaw in any of his ideas. I doubt you've taken even a cursory look at anything he's proposed.
I hate repeating myself, but I do not "hate" Gingrich. I know you don't quite understand this idea that political differences aren't something I consider as personal. I know you insisted, despite my repeated claims to the contrary, that I "hated" Pres. George W. Bush. I am not maniacal in my feelings about Gingrich, or anyone else in public life. As I say toward the end, I actually enjoy his presence in public life, because he adds a breath of crazed fun to it. My reasons for the things I saw about Gingrich are numerous, as I detail, with sources available to anyone who knows how to use a search engine.
Google, Art. It's this thing you use on the computing machine.
A good introduction to the life and times of Newton Leroy Gingrich is this profile in the New York Review of Books by Joan Didion. It was later collected in Political Fictions, an anthology of her political writings in NYRB from the 1988 Presdential elections through the 2000 elections. In this comment, I linked to a Frontline Online piece on Gingrich's personal peccadilloes, which, I was quick to point out, I do not believe counts in the balance against any candidate for the Presidency.
As for Newt's "ideas", he has published many books - he claims 24, with 13 bestsellers to his credit; it may be that high, I'm not sure - and I have actually perused several of them, read excerpts and synopses of others. It isn't difficult to do, when browsing in a bookstore, to pick up a random volume and pick through a few pages. I must say his turgid prose style is more than balanced for a fondness for the telling anecdote that, when given the tiniest bit of scrutiny turns out to have emerged from the land of Newt's ass. One of my favorites concerned an example he gave of the stifling effects of American federal bureaucracy. In one of Al Franken's books from the 1990's, he details a long claim by Gingrich that a man had invented a machine that had proved, through extensive field testing, to be superior in its outcomes in giving CPR to patients needing it. He dropped plans, so said the then-Speaker, because the process of applying for a patent, testing the effectiveness of it, having it vetted by various federal agencies became not only expensive, but seemed to the person who had invented it, delaying quick delivery of a device to the public.
The only problem with this little morality tale? It never happened. Furthermore, it actually becomes counter-productive to make stuff up. There are, to be sure, plenty of anecdotes about the stupidity of various government regulations, of the way socially beneficial new ideas are stymied and even killed by the mountains of red tape and the maze of agencies one navigates in order to achieve success. Why not rely on a real example? Why go to the trouble of making stuff up? That is the far more troubling question this raises. One would think conservatives, dedicated to truth uber alles would understand that.
Finally, in today's Washington Post, we have the other side of an argument on whether or not there is an anti-intellectual streak in the Tea Party. Friday had Kathleen Parker weighing in on what was called, in the column headline, the Palinization of the Republican Party. Today it's Nia-Malika Henderson and Perry Bacon Jr., two political reporters, making the case that Perry and Cain are falling and Newt is rising because of the Tea Party's understanding that the Republican candidate for President needs to have a bit more pepperoni between his or her ears than either Perry or Cain.
Someday I may repeat my frustration with the whole "anti-intellectualism" nonsense, a canard the liberals love because it allows them to pretend to be smarter than everyone else, which is usually annoying. Which is why this discussion is so vacuous to me. I wouldn't have commented on it at all, except I found a delicious Newtism at the very end, something that demonstrates Newt's lack of self-awareness, to be generous:
“One of the Republican weaknesses is that we rely too much on consultants and too much on talking points, and we don’t rely enough on actually knowing things,” he said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. “If you’re going to lead the country and change history, you better know a heck of a lot before you start, because there’s not much time for learning on the job.”(emphasis added)The portion in italics is what leaped off the screen, smacked me in the face, then proceeded to tickle me until I had to pee. The same man who said this, once upon a time wrote the following:
Language: A Key Mechanism of ControlCan we stop right here for just a moment? Please note both the title of this memo and who wrote it. Are you with me on this so far?
Newt Gingrich's 1996 GOPAC memo
As you know, one of the key points in the GOPAC tapes is that "language matters." In the video "We are a Majority," Language is listed as a key mechanism of control used by a majority party, along with Agenda, Rules, Attitude and Learning. As the tapes have been used in training sessions across the country and mailed to candidates we have heard a plaintive plea: "I wish I could speak like Newt."This is the bulk of the preamble. In essence this memo is a piece of political consulting, and actually produces a list of talking points, rooted in the idea that, as the title says, language is a key mechanism of control. About that list . . .:
That takes years of practice. But, we believe that you could have a significant impact on your campaign and the way you communicate if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases.
This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and mail, in preparing speeches, and in producing electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.
While the list could be the size of the latest "College Edition" dictionary, we have attempted to keep it small enough to be readily useful yet large enough to be broadly functional. The list is divided into two sections: Optimistic Positive Governing words and phrases to help describe your vision for the future of your community (your message) and Contrasting words to help you clearly define the policies and record of your opponent and the Democratic party.
Optimistic Positive Governing WordsSo, the guy who complains about political consultants and talking points once upon a time offered political consultation and talking points.
Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message. In addition, these words help develop the positive side of the contrast you should create with your opponent, giving your community something to vote for!
eliminate good-time in prison
pro- (issue): flag, children, environment, reform
Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. Remember that creating a difference helps you. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, their record, proposals and their party.
abuse of power
anti- (issue): flag, family, child, jobs
"compassion" is not enough
punish (poor ...)
This might seem a small matter. It probably is. With Gingrich, however, there is such a large volume of these little things, they have added up over the decades to give a good impression to folks who follow stuff like this (I first heard his name and read a profile in a major news weekly about Gingrich in 1985 or so; some folks pay attention and remember stuff even longer than the internet, Art). That impression is easy enough to spell out clearly - for Newt, reality, like truth, like intellectual integrity and merit, is a tool to be used to force whatever outcome Newt desires.
I called Newt megalomaniacal, and I think that's fair. Not because I am any kind of psychologist; if I were, especially if I were, it would certainly be unethical to claim some kind of diagnosis of Gingrich. Rather, I think there is an abundance of evidence available to say with a certain amount of confidence that he has displayed a more-than-normal (even for a politician, for whom a healthy ego is necessary) sense of the grandiose when it comes to his abilities, his potential, the intellectual merit of his ideas and thoughts, and the potential impact upon our national life they, and he, represent. This, in and of itself, is hardly a disqualification for office anymore than a predilection for extracurricular sex is, or at least should be. It is the substance of Gingrich's bloated sense of self. In different historical circumstances, Newt would have spun out his life one of those mediocrities that populate higher education the way moles populate my backyard. He would set up guest speakers at whatever cow college he landed at, produce all sorts of events for students and faculty to engage at an intellectual level; all of them would be poorly attended, and he would rail against the unfairness of it all. All the while treating his female graduate assistants as repositories for his seminal fluid.
I am not picking on Newt. In fact, I enjoy the attention he receives. It adds a certain amount of levity to what is otherwise a pretty dull political season. I know quite a bit about Newt, about his ideas, the history of his career in public life, and even some of his personal history. Even if I didn't, I have provided links here, and a good guide to finding out more if you, Art, wish to do so - Google. Seriously, man, I've told you many times that it's your friend.