I was reminded of this fact - Newt's best friend, from his own perspective, is Newt; Newt's worst enemy, from the perspective of the rest of humanity, is Newt - when I heard the teaser to this story. I was glad I was making good time so I didn't have to listen to it. It's hard to drive when you're laughing so hard you're doubled over, tears streaming down your face.
"If you look at the totality of what we accomplished, I had a pretty good speakership. I'd rather have done that than been a caretaker," he said. "I did burn out my party. There's no question [that] by the spring of 1998, they were just tired, and they didn't want to fight anymore, and they didn't want to have any new ideas — I actually had a senator say to me, 'We're not doing any ideas this year.' "I love this. It's like looking at the world through crap-colored glasses. Newt got the heave-ho because he just wore out those poor House Republicans with his new ideas, his legislative accomplishments, his bold leadership.
I have to wonder if he figures cheating on his various wives with female staffers was all their fault. They just couldn't keep up with his manliness, his desires, his prowess.
Seriously, there is something so deranged in this, it should be remembered going forward. It isn't even rewriting history, because Newt, I firmly believe, sees this as the reality with which he dealt in 1998. Anyone paying attention back then knows it resembles those halcyon days of the second term of Pres. Clinton as much as the Disney version of The Alamo resembles the siege of that mission.
Should Newt make it through the first round of primaries and caucuses (caucki?), we should expect more of these kinds of professorial reflections. The kind of question-free zone in which Gingrich continues to walk - did Brian Naylor do no research at all before producing this story? Did he actually quote someone saying Gingrich is a man full of ideas, professorial in his approach to public life in the same way as Pres. Obama? How could he do this without spit taking all over his keyboard? - may well serve the Republic well. After all, if he winds up with Republican nomination, Obama cake-walks to re-election. In our current historical moment, electing a Republican would be even more disastrous than maintaining the status quo. Gingrich, having slightly less discipline in his personal and professional life than a pithed frog, would certainly provide four years of entertainment, including a whole cycle of female staffers emerging from his office tousle-haired and flushed. I say this only because his personal history is against him, not because I wish these poor women to be subjected to his version of "Serving the President".
I just wish we could stop reading and hearing stories about how full of ideas Gingrich is. Seriously. He isn't. He opens his mouth, whatever falls out gets printed, and that's it. The filter that most people use most of the time, that little voice that says, "Don't say that! It's just nuts!", has no power over Gingrich. The guy said that Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her children, was an example of the results of Democratic social engineering. He said the Columbine HS shootings in 1999 were an example of what happens when we have Presidents getting blow jobs in the Oval Office (as opposed to disgraced former Speakers getting them wherever they can grab the two minutes it takes for him).
Part of me hopes the guy does it, gets the nomination, and just cuts the last frayed moorings to reality. On the other hand, I really, really, really want him to just go away, take his second trophy wife and returns to some public college in Georgia and rails against government all the while pulling in a high salary from the government.