May 25, 2010

Newt Gingrich is an idiot

And I say that with a certain pain, as he and I share a PhD in history. But then again, I know a lot of idiots with PhDs, and I suspect you all do as well.

Well, this idiot is prepping to run for President and is proof, again, that the right wing is willing to forgive all sorts of idiots. For all the hatred and (deserved) derision toward John Edwards, Newt was the original "cheat on your sick wife," and was forgiven by none other than the evangelical mob boss--James Dobson.

Anyway, the idiot has written a book, and you can read an interview about that book here. Buckle up, you are in for a pretty bad ride. Gingrich, for all his education, and for all his political brilliance, demonstrates that he either doesn't understand logic, or he does and doesn't care how many fallacies he uses.
Speaker Newt Gingrich: The Obama Administration ignored the public’s opposition to the stimulus package. The Administration ignored the fact that a majority of the American people were opposed to Obamacare. And they ignored the loss of the Teddy Kennedy’s senate seat, and ended up ramming through a bill that the country clearly did not want. That’s the behavior of a machine. So I’m first of all prepared to defend the concept that it’s a machine.
But only if you completely rewrite the past. Yeah, there was a lot of resistance to the stimulus and the healthcare bill, but only Newt and his idiots cling to the "majority" opposes. (See here on the stimulus, and we can all remember that a "majority" did oppose the healthcare bill, but some of those who opposed it did so because it was too conservative. Add those to the support, and you have a majority opposed to the status quo.)

I can't stomach to quote more from the idiot's interview. Check it out if you have the guts. He twists the past on socialism, on secularism, and, let's not forget, completely ignores the times that Bush pushed through incredibly divisive legislation in a machine-like way. But these labels are only for the left.

Gingrich is an amoral idiot.


steves said...

I once had a fair amount of respect for him. He is an intelligent person, but he has slowly morphed into a populist/bombastic windbag.

Monk-in-Training said...

I lost all respect for him years ago, when he left his first wife. A man's character is something I try to watch, in politics. That was very sad.

leighton said...

Personal character isn't necessarily a dealbreaker for me; there are a great many public figures who are superb at their jobs but fail at building lasting intimacy.

That said, politicians who harp on the personal character of others, as Gingrich has done, open the door to increased scrutiny of their own lives, since all political communication is tactical. If they themselves are blameless, I think they could be doing better things with their time--their priorities don't reflect mine. Not a dealbreaker, necessarily. But if they practice the things they condemn, it makes me think they are more likely to be predatory opportunists than honest folks who just fall short. And that means that they are probably more flexible about picking their principles based on what will keep them in office.

Every politician has to choose battles, but I like to be more confident about what the people I vote for won't do just because it happens to poll well among crazy people.

steves said...

I am willing to overlook some stuff if the person seems to have made some effort to make it better and stop the behavior. Ted Kennedy is a good example of a person that did some questionable things as a young adult and redeemed himself over the course of his career.

Streak said...

I am with you, Leighton. I personally don't respect Tiger Woods, for example, but never watched him for tips on how to be a good man. I just watched him because he could play golf better than anyone else. But those who have made such hay out of moral values just sicken me.

Steve, Teddy was a good example of a lot of these things, right? He became a pretty decent senator and moved past his youthful problems. But mention his name among the moral values crowd and 10 bucks says that you get a joke about him being drunk or as a womanizer. There is no forgiveness for someone on the left.

And while we are here, I remember reading some of the most sympathetic takes on Larry Craig from lefty gay bloggers. I don't think I have ever seen a similar expression from the right.

Monk-in-Training said...

I suppose my problem with Gingrich's character he was 37 when he divorced his FIRST wife, then has continued his somewhat less than stellar devotion to matrimonial vows until his recent (and I sincerely hope, devout) conversion to Catholicism.

While he lead the effort to impeach Pres. Clinton, he was conducting an affair which he has publicly admitted to.

Sen. Kennedy (who was also 37 when the Chappaquiddick incident occurred)has certainly had his own character issues and has failed in keeping his own marriage vows.

What bothers me about these two persons is the difference in preaching to and attacking others, while doing the same things themselves.

That I think is the biggest issue for me, character wise.

Bob said...

"Personal character isn't necessarily a dealbreaker for me; there are a great many public figures who are superb at their jobs but fail at building lasting intimacy."

I once agreed with this, but have been having second thoughts lately. I said I did not care about Clinton's personal failings, but now I think it reflected a moral failing that did creep into his policies.

Maybe I just do not like Clinton these days and that is why I changed my view. Maybe I am just getting old.

I still see many of the seeds of our failures as planted by Clinton.

I also look at Edwards. This guy was a complete fraud and he fooled many supporters, including me. He risked the nation and his wife for a fling and then denied a child. What kind of president would he have been?

leighton said...

Bob, I don't think the issues are unrelated; just not as central as many on the right make them out to be.

I supported Edwards in the Democratic primary too, and while cheating on his wife and denying his child are arguably his biggest moral failings in that debacle, from an electoral standpoint, I am more concerned with the fact that he tried to hide it when anyone with even a glancing familiarity with the vicious and adversarial electoral process had to know it would come out eventually and hamstring him in the general election. That speaks of an irresponsible overconfidence that would be dangerous in a president.

All that said, I wouldn't have had to think twice to vote for him against McCain. Better someone who may someday make a terrible mistake than someone who did make a terrible mistake by putting a manifestly unqualified, future half-term governor within spitting distance of the presidency.

I still see many of the seeds of our failures as planted by Clinton.

I am not sure which specific things you are referring to, and I would probably agree with a lot of them. But I would want to make sure to also identify Bush II as the one who watered, fertilized, and kept insects and animals away from the growing plants of many of those failures. Clinton was far from perfect--he was innefectual in Rwanda, to name one of many of my complaints. But I think he did a better job than Bush I or Perot would have.

leighton said...

*Ineffectual, even. Serves me right for writing anything before 10 a.m.