Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stick a Fork in it Newt!

The Best way to sound like you know what you’re talking about is to know what you’re talking about.” - anonymous

Newt Gingrich has done it again. He throws his hat into the ring, and before it hits the ground, he has his foot in his mouth - again. Hard to believe that a politician can have too much ego, but surely Gingrich is suffering from an embarrassment of glitches. What was he thinking over the weekend when he attacked Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), one of a few politicians, other than Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), who has the courage to argue for common sense and fiscal sanity? Indeed, Ryan and Coburn are two of the most sensible and civil politicians in America. Neither is running for President.

Between Newt and “The Donald,” the Republicans have the beginnings of a circular firing squad. Are there no Democrats to excoriate?

Gingrich announced his presidential bid and then in the same week squandered his Sunday morning pulpit launch by attacking potential friends and allies, using rhetoric more appropriate to the loopy left.

On Sunday, he called Ryan's economic proposals an example of "right-wing social engineering," and suggested they were an attempt to impose "radical change" on Americans.

Ryan is a radical, a social engineer? Hasn’t this been the rap against progressives? Now, if Gingrich is neither right nor left, neither “radical” nor “right-wing,” then he has positioned himself in the moderate middle, the median strip – like road kill. No surprise then that the first prominent Democrat to endorse Newt’s lunacy was Howard Dean, left-wing spokesman extraordinaire.

Rhetorical fusillade may be the only fair way to characterize reactions to the Gingrich remarks. One caller likened the former Speaker of the House to a kind of political Michael Jackson, best remembered for setting his hair on fire. Another wag pleaded for a “mulligan,” arguing that Gingrich hadn’t been on the stump for a while and should be allowed a stroke or two.

Mulligan? A mulligan is what you get when you hit the ball in the water or out of bounds. Gingrich wrapped his wedge around his partner’s neck. When you try to decapitate a member of your foursome; the penalty is game over, off the course, and out of the club. Put a fork in it Newt, you’re done.

There’s good news and bad news in the wake Newt’s gaffe on Meet the Press. For conservatives who may have been harboring any illusions, Gingrich has revealed himself to be a crass opportunist, one willing to throw colleagues under the bus. Yet the bad news is likely to be more pervasive. Liberals have been gifted a film clip that will make a devastating campaign ad. No amount of backtracking or insincere apologies will unring that bell. Barack Obama ought to send Gingrich a thank-you note and a box of golf balls.


A version of this entry appeared in the 18/19 May 11 edition of American Thinker’s blog. The author also writes at G. Murphy Donovan.


About Me

The author is a native of the Bronx, a transplant to DC. He is a Vietnam veteran and former USAF Intelligence officer with tours at all of the major 3 button Intelligence agencies. He is a graduate of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School and Cardinal Hayes HS in NYC. He also has several degrees from less illustrious institutions. Check Six writes primarily at G. Murphy Donovan and Agnotology in Journalism. His work has appeared in various political, national security, and Intelligence journals.