Supervillain Newt Reveals His Plan for World Domination!
By Al Giordano
While the Paultards and the Mittsters quarrel over which team is trying to stack tomorrow’s GOP presidential straw poll (both!) at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Sarah Palin gives the crowd caribou jerky to munch on (labeled “Teriyaki Sticks” because she can see Japan from her house) while she reaches to establish foreign policy cred, and Mike Huckabee rolls out his “fair tax” plan (tastes like Jerry Brown's of 1992 and Steve Forbes of 1996 and 2000!), it’s Newt Gingrich that so far is milking the gathering most effectively to position his own presidential run.
Gingrich – who entered the hall yesterday to the Rocky III theme “Eye of the Tiger” - is the only aspirant offering Republicans a plan that looks like victory (the short version: I was your Lenin in 1994 and will be again in 2010... and 2012!).
He’s the Republican Austin Powers, frozen cryogenically for years, and now he’s baaaaaack!
Check out how those old and overweight palefaces greet him like a rock star:
Gingrich begins with a loud cue from an audience plant member, “Where’s your teleprompter?” for which he has the punchline ready: “When you speak from the heart you don’t need a teleprompter.”
Later he says that President Obama “only reads parts of things” and also dishes that America needs a president “not an athlete.”
“Historians,” he lectures, “will someday write that the longer Obama talked the less the American people believed.”
If you’re a Southern Republican, that kind of red meat sates far better than, say, caribou jerky.
He tells the faithful that, “This is the most radical administration in American history… Their experience is the machine politics of Chicago, the corruption of Springfield and the radicalism of Alinsky,” and describes it as “a left wing machine dedicated to a secular socialist future.” Then to make it all sound really grave and scholarly, he says the upcoming elections mark “the most serious conflict since the 1830s.”
And here is Newtie’s plan (more Doctor Evil than Austin Powers, it turns out):
- Republicans should all go out next month and buy Gingrich’s upcoming book: “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine.”
- He’ll of course be doing a book tour in key primary and caucus states, duh.
- That in the last 14 days of the January Massachusetts senatorial special election campaign, “Scott Brown raised 10 million dollars on the Internet.” (Providing an indication of how Newt plans to raise his. Yes, He Caaaaaaaaaan!)
- Tosses in a dose of triumphalism: “When we win control of the House and Senate this fall…”
- And then, referring to himself as “having helped design the 1994 campaign” he offers three easy “assignments” to the party activists.
- One: Everybody should use the phrase “secular socialist machine” to refer to the Obama administration. (Consult his book cover if you can't remember it!)
- Two: Everybody should put signs up all over America that say “2 + 2 = 4,” and Newt’s PAC will be providing them in bumpersticker, button and placard form free for all! (It’s a tactic taken from the Polish Solidarity movement of the late 70s and 80s, which Gingrich openly acknowledges while he explains that that movement won, in his opinion, because of Pope John Paul II’s 1979 pilgrimage to Poland… Somehow the Gdansk shipyard strike and the cause of independent labor unions is not mentioned.)
- Three: The GOP should become “the party of Yes!” (Yes, Yes, Yes, they really truly really can!)
Of course, Professor Gingrich plays his usual act as party intellectual to the kiddies, quoting Camus and even the anarchist George Orwell, and leads the assembled Weight Watchers Club Republican base chanting “If you can’t afford to buy a house… DON’T BUY ONE!”
“I want us to run a national campaign,” he asserts and they lap it up.
The reddest meat, of course, came with Gingrich’s pledge to shut down the US government:
Here’s my promise… When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts…
Once upon a time, I used to be Speaker of the House and I actually understand the legislative process. And the truth is, under our Constitution, the Congress doesn’t have to pass the money. If EPA gets not budget, it can’t enforce cap-and-trade…
So Stage One of Obamaism being gone is to simply win this fall and not fund it for two years. Stage Two is…to ensure Obama joins Jimmy Carter in the tradition of one-party presidents. And, that in that context, that we be prepared to commit that a Republican President and a Republican Congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.
Faiz Shakir at Think Progress tosses a little water on the fire:
Gingrich is recycling from his old playbook. As Salon’s Mike Madden describes the “new” strategy, “In other words, shut down the government.” For approximately three weeks in the winter of 1995, Gingrich orchestrated a shutdown of the entire federal government by refusing to fund its operations, either by passing a budget or a continuing resolution. CNN reported at the time, “The current shutdown began at midnight Friday, when Congress did not extend a temporary spending measure put in place after the last closure.”
Newt’s budget showdown with President Clinton caused the former Speaker significant political damage. His personal disapproval ratings reached a high of 65 percent. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) criticized Gingrich’s handling of the shutdown, saying he “made the mistake of his life.” It’s a mistake that Gingrich appears willing to make again.
As does Jed Lewison at Daily Kos:
On policy grounds, Gingrich's strategy ended in abject failure. Politically, the GOP did manage to hang onto its majority in the House in the 1996 elections, but went from a 38 seat majority to a 22 seat margin. And President Clinton won the big prize, beating Bob Dole by 8.5% and winning an electoral college landslide. And now Newt is promising a replay...before the GOP has even managed to reclaim the Congress. First things first, buddy.
And, again, here:
Here's one thing Newt Gingrich didn't mention in his speech last night pledging that Republicans would stop "Obamaism" by shutting down the Federal government if they win this fall's election: they will never do it -- and they know it.
The proof of this is not merely that the GOP, led by then-Speaker Gingrich, tried and failed the same strategy in 1995. (As Gingrich himself said, "our strategy failed.")…
Newt's pledge may sound good to the teabagging Republicans. But they should also know this: They. Will. Never. Do. It. Didn't do it in 1995. Won't do it in 2011.
Finally, to assure he gets cut good breaks along the long campaign trail, Gingrich is also working the ref. At the very time when Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele is embattled over the party funds spent at a bondage strip club, Newt came to Steele’s defense on CNN this week:
In an interview with CNN, Gingrich was asked if Republican donors were right to have questioned Steele's financial stewardship.
In nine of the 14 months Steele has led the RNC, the committee has spent more than it has raised. That's on top of the recent scandal involving an expenditure at a sex-themed Hollywood nightclub.
"That's just so factually false. I'm amazed that a serious reporter could ask it," Gingrich responded.
Gingrich said questions about Steele's fiscal record were "false," because the RNC had its best fundraising month in recent memory in March, banking $11.4 million.
"They have raised over $100 million. They have $11 million in the bank with zero debt," he said. "Here's a guy who helped win New Jersey, helped win Massachusetts, helped win Virginia. They have had the biggest fundraising month in their history, and you're raising fundraising questions?"
I don’t know how the other GOP presidential wannabes can compete with the sheer glare of Contract With America: the Sequel offered up by Gingrich.
Huckabee’s Fair Tax?
Palin’s newfound ability to see North Korea from her house? Just listen to her recycle her 2008 convention speech:
And President Obama, with all that vast nuclear expertise he acquired as a community organizer, a part-time senator, and a candidate for president, has accomplished nothing to date with Iran or North Korea.
Unable to stop strutting her foreign policy wisdom cue cards, Palin also told conference goers:
The administration eased sanctions on Cuba and sided with Chavez against Honduran democracy. They won’t bring up human rights with China because, quote, 'we know what they are going to say.' They offer tepid sanctions on North Korea and 'gold stars and cookies' for the Sudanese President. They send letters to Iranian mullahs but can barely muster a word of support for the Green Movement seeking freedom and women’s rights in Iran!
(As Jim Newell at Wonkette points out, Palin might wish to check with Republican Senator and foreign policy heavyweight Richard Lugar, first.)
And Mitt Romney has the worst two years of his life coming up while President Obama will destroy him politically among the GOP base by praising Mitt’s health care reform in Massachusetts, again and again, as the predecessor of the national law.
Not even the Paultards can compete with Newt, the renewed GOP flavor of the month! Again! How retro! How wonderful for bloggers, pundits and for... the Democrats.
If Gingrich bests either Romney or Paul in Saturday’s straw poll (everyone knows those are the two that have bused in their voting slaves and good showings will produce only yawns), or even just holds his own, he’ll be on fire heading into this first phase of the knock-down drag-out 2012 GOP presidential follies.
The media declared frontrunners – Romney, Palin and Huckabee – are in for some turbulence ahead. Gingrich is out of the freeze tank and offering the party base to shag. Oh, baby!