Political Animal


September 19, 2012 12:39 PM The Cowardly Sheep Unload Clip Again

By Ed Kilgore

In the flotsam and jetsam of campaign news came a report that Newt Gingrich had broken the informal boycott of Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin by agreeing to do a fundraiser for him (as announced by Akin’s home-state booster Phyllis Schlafly, no less).

Dave Weigel promptly argued on Twitter that this was no surprise, since former Gingrich flack Rick Tyler was on Akin’s payroll.

This sent me into fond memories of Tyler’s infamous statement on Gingrich’s behalf on the first occasion it looked like the wiggy former Speaker’s 2012 candidacy had self-destructed, and I thought it would be cool to rewrite it as though the subject were Todd Akin. But then I re-read the sucker, and realized if he just changed “Gingrich” to “Akin” he could re-release it as is. Check it out:

The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich [Akin], once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.

Paranoia and self-righteousness are ever self-regenerating.

If you never saw it or just want to enjoy it again, check out Jon White’s brilliant cartoon depiction of Tyler’s statement.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Josef K on September 19, 2012 12:58 PM:

    There does seem to be a bit of repetion here, doesn't it?

    Anyone care to wager how long before Articles of Impeachment are filed against President Obama after November 4th?

  • James on September 19, 2012 1:07 PM:

    I still prefer John Lithgow's interpretation:


  • mike reilly on September 19, 2012 1:20 PM:

    I like Josef K's wager on the impeachment. Classic Republican reaction to not getting what they want..... I suggest Wash Monthly have an 'over/under' on this. Should be a very good pool going.

    Regarding Gingrich's earlier comments, please see the Colbert Report's archive starring John Lithgo reading same statement under a dim light and a dry ice fog.... a real gem

  • boatboy_srq on September 19, 2012 1:39 PM:

    Ditto Joseph K and mike reilly. And one more reason to get out and vote: 2012 isn't about the Presidency any longer, but about all those House and Senate seats that we need to defeat the Teahad.

    Every Democratic President, to the Teahad, is the worst one ever - except for the next one. Just look at what a saint Clinton has become: you'd think they didn't spend eight-plus years digging up every mote of dirt - real or imagined - as proof that he was the antiJeebus. Had Hillary Clinton won the nomination in 2008 the only difference would be talk about the bi-CLANG instead of the ni-CLANG.

    An impeachment attempt is nearly a (sadly) foregone conclusion: it'll stop BHO's agenda in its tracks dealing with the investigation, and it'll be exactly the red meat the Teahad craves. If anything, this is a pattern we should begin to expect: hinder/thwart from before inauguration, whinge about the lack of progress at the first mid-terms, and obstruct/stall/attack - all the way to impeachment - as soon afterward as is the least bit convenient for them.

    After this election, there's little doubt that any future Democratic President who should expect more than two years to work his/her agenda if the GOTea is anything like a measurable opposition. The only thing that will break this pattern is the vacuum created when the GOTea finally implodes, and either a rational opposition is born or the Dems win supermajorities in both houses of Congress.

  • Doug on September 19, 2012 1:49 PM:

    "Paranoia and self-rightousness are ever self-regenerating." Ed Kilgore

    At least until those suffering seek professional help...

  • Burr Deming on September 19, 2012 2:01 PM:

    That was a funny moment in the up, down, and sideways campaign of Newt Gingrich. At the time, it brought to mind another story about a politician from 80 plus years back the resulting an accidental image.

  • c u n d gulag on September 19, 2012 2:05 PM:

    Jayzoos H. Keerist after a brainwash and perm, I'd forgotten that masterpiece.

    I gotta say, that is one damn fine piece of political hagiography!

  • MaryRC on September 19, 2012 2:43 PM:

    the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip

    I've always wondered about those establishment cocktail parties that right-wingers write about so longingly. They must be hum-dingers if so many politicians and members of the media are willing to toss their principles overboard for an invitation.

    Is it just the quality of the drinks and canapes? Vintage champagne, Grey Goose in the cocktails, those little baby lamb chops? Jamon Iberico from free-range pigs who've dined on truffles?

    Or do they get down and naughty, like the parties that Mitt's fundraiser Marc Leder throws? Sex in the pool, half-naked dancers?

    There must be something that makes wingnuts like this one obssess about them so much.

  • g on September 19, 2012 4:45 PM:

    Those are some awesome firearm-packing sheep!

  • Rick B on September 19, 2012 9:11 PM:

    As my research methods prof was saying Tuesday night, when you don't use the scientific method (logic is key) to make decisions, then the alternatives are authority and tradition. Conservatives tend to use both alternatives. In this case tradition is to go back to the Gingrich campaign.

    Ed, MaryRC above is right. You should be an expert. What are these fabled Washington cocktail parties like, anyway?

  • boatboy_srq on September 20, 2012 10:56 AM:


    Google "minerals management service scandal" and I think you'll get what kind of party they're talking about.