I’m no fan of Newt Gingrich. He’s the male version of Sarah Palin. Dumb as a dog and willing to say anything stoke the media. Newt’s Palinistics make for entertainment:
So, if you’re like me, you’d say he’s an idiot. Don’t honestly know what else to conclude about him. Which is why I would like to thank Andrew Ferguson for taking the time to read virtually all (!) of Newt’s many books. Buddha knows I don’t have the fortitude.
In a New York Times article, the Weekly Standard writer does his best to distill and crunch the copious amounts of Newtian blathering and propositions to understand the presidential candidate better.
In addition to the Six Challenges Facing America — similar to the challenges we faced 11 years before — and the “five basic principles that I believe form the heart of our civilization,” there were the five forces moving us toward worldwide medicine, a seven-step program to reduce drug use, the nine steps we can take immediately to advance the three revolutions in health care and more. The futurism was still there, too: “Honeymoons in space will be the vogue by 2020.”
. . on and on . .
He advocated a health tax on alcohol to discourage drinking — social engineering, it’s called — and imagined government-issued credit cards that would allow citizens to order goods and services directly from the feds. He thought the government should run nutritional programs at grocery stores and give away some foodstuffs free. He was pushing cuts in the defense budget in 1984 and a prototype of President Obama’s cash-for-clunkers program in 1995.
In reading Ferguson’s piece, the two things that struck me were: 1.) Newt is a tireless generator of Ideas For The Future. For every new issue, there are seemingly dozens of Gingrich gambits. That’s why he’s cranked out 20-something books. 2.) He doesn’t care whether the ideas are ever applied, can be applied, may work, or are just doomed to fail. Nothing, nada, doesn’t matter, who cares. They’re crackpot? They’re cruel, they’re stupid? They’re obviously liberal socialism? Then — boing — try my new book. The real answers to life are in there (thanks for the check).
Newt, the consummate, veteran, lingering Conservative never grew up. Politics for him is in the formative, the dazzling and futuristic. It’s not in the application, the boring and realistic. Thus, for all his decades of threatening makeovers, he’s never mussed a hair on America’s head. Gingrich is impotent.