Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

REQUIEM FOR A CORRUPT, PATHETIC, SHAMEFUL, DECAYING, HAS-BEEN*....Daniel Larison notes that Newt Gingrich is pimping nine "acts of real change" on his blog, including something he calls the "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill":

This will also be known as the No Trade-Offs/Free Lunch Act of 2008. Gingrich forgot to mention introducing the bill to protect endangered unicorns. Gingrich supplements this with such proposals as, I kid you not, an earmark moratorium (take on those tough issues, Newt!), a gas tax holiday that will allegedly be paid for by "cutting domestic discretionary spending," using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to manipulate oil prices (very slightly), tackling all of the outrageous waste at the Census Bureau (?), and, naturally, banging the drum about the judiciary....I can just see the average voter now as he hears about these proposals, "Sure, the GOP exploded the deficit, created a huge new entitlement and backs a war two-thirds of us want to end, but they are on top of that Census Bureau problem, so all is forgiven." If this is the best they can come up with, they may be in bigger trouble than I thought.

This isn't fair. Daniel fails to mention that Newt also demonstrates his 21st century visionary bona fides via some vintage union bashing and angles shamelessly for the angry-white-man vote by proposing we make English our official language. He also fails to note the real tragedy here: that the guy who wrote "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control" a decade ago can't do better than the "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill." Kinda sad, really.

* In case you don't get the joke, click here.

Kevin Drum 6:09 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

I remember when Newt was the only GOP congressman in Georgia. Those were the days!

Posted by: redterror on May 6, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly, this man is an attention seeker. To prevent further rot to our republic, I suggest we give him a cooking show, post haste.

We can call it Newt's Old Fashioned Cook-O-Ree and Newt can cook chitterlings in front of a band of animatronic bears.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on May 6, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

You mean he's not lobbying to make the newt the official US amphibian? Or is that considered an earmark?

Posted by: Scorpio on May 6, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

NO NO NO Bomb, you cannot put Newt on the Food Channel. It is one of only two places I get to escape to for relief from the nattering CNN, MSNBC and Faux nabobs.

Posted by: optical weenie on May 6, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Way back, a long time ago (around 1990) I had a friend who said that Newt's parents called him Newt because he was one.

Posted by: optical weenie on May 6, 2008 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

Has he picked up any new wives lately?

Posted by: jrw on May 6, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

If Newt could STFU -- I know, fat chance -- that would be an act of real change.

Posted by: penalcolony on May 6, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

A gas tax holiday? No one in their right mind would propose that.

Posted by: AJB on May 6, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ditto Weenie at 6:31. Keep Newt away from Food, Travel, or any other "relaxation" channels.

Maybe he could go somewhere with Anthony Bourdain and accidentally get left there.

Posted by: thersites on May 6, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

A gas tax holiday? No one in their right mind would propose that.

Damn -- I've already bought the cards and mailed them out.

Posted by: thersites on May 6, 2008 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Energy at lower cost to the environment?

So, like, no more oil and coal? Putting solar cells on every rooftop?

...

Yeah, I didn't think so, either.

Posted by: Crissa on May 6, 2008 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

I read the new Contract, and tried vainly to see any of these as a rallying cry for middle America.

Let's get rid of the waste in the Census Bureau!..nope, no resonance there...

Let's deplete the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to keep gas prices down by 10 cents!...nope...

Let's have a moratorium on earmarks!....

Sorry, Newt, those horses won't run.

Posted by: Carol on May 6, 2008 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Shut up Newt, or I'll let the alien eat your insides.

Posted by: Ripley on May 6, 2008 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

Gingrich is a dork, no doubt, and I haven't clicked through so I don't know how silly his comments really are, but I kind of like the bottom line. Really, what's wrong with it, as a target. The devil is in the details, but there's a lot of value in planting a stake in the gournd and your line (maybe his too)-- "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security..." seems like a pretty decent summation of the target. Maybe we can't do it, but it describes what we want. There's value in summing up our goals that succintly. All great mission statements are not achievable in strict logic terms, but they express our desires better than cold calculus and help aim the mobs.

Posted by: dennisS on May 6, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Word: Straightjacket

Posted by: benmerc on May 6, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Straight Jacket Express?

Posted by: on May 6, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Look: I admire Kevin Drum. It takes talent to type faster than one can think.

However, perhaps he'd care to tell us why speaking English is a "white thing", taking note of our citizenship requirements and things like that. For extra credit, he could discuss things like this, although actually thinking things like that through is above his pay grade.

Note: WM and/or Kevin Drum have a habit of deleting or editing comments without notice, so this comment might disappear or have been edited without notice.

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on May 6, 2008 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

He is right about the census dept and computers, in fact any governmental department and computers.

Think for a moment, when I am a government worker and given 3 billion to generate computer functions that I do every night on the Internet for $40/month. What am I going to think? Of course, this money is meant to be stolen.

One thing about Newt, though, he is a terrible historian of American History, the man is clueless and I wonder how he ever got a job teaching the material. He is living evidence that the federal government should not be funding education.

Posted by: Matt on May 6, 2008 at 10:22 PM | PERMALINK

I still wouldn't be surprised if hard-line conservatives tried to foist Newt on John McCain as the VP nominee. Gingrich is who they've wanted in the White House all along, and they've figured out by now that the Newt can't get there on his own merits.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on May 6, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

REQUIEM FOR A CORRUPT, PATHETIC, SHAMEFUL, DECAYING, HAS-BEEN
If we use poetic hyperbole for Newt, and plain descriptive language for Ted Kennedy, isn't the similarity in language going to be confusing for the reader?

Posted by: Luther on May 6, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the software might accidentally delete a troll's comment, which is more likely?

Posted by: Crissa on May 6, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

the bush administration and the Census Bureau
have pretty much scootched the technological pooch trying to get ready for 2010.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2004326771_census04.html

Posted by: dj spellchecka on May 7, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Also, Newt, if you place potted plants in hanging baskets, they will remain upright as the stern of the ship rises to a vertical position. And don't forget to provide each passenger with a piece of wood ripped from the paneling. It might serve as a flotation device until 2017.

Too bad all the carefully arranged deck chairs are sliding into heaps or over the side.

Posted by: cowalker on May 7, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Crissa writes: Of course, the software might accidentally delete a troll's comment, which is more likely?

Considering that even the Soviet Union had to identify trolls by hand, I don't think the state of software has advanced that far. Plus, there's the fact that a little research would show that others have discussed those KD's/WM's habits here, and I've posted about those habits at my site including discussing an email in which KD confirmed that someone had edited my comments without notice, although he wasn't courageous enough to tell me who it was.

Posted by: The annoying LonewackoDotCom on May 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK
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