Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Joe Scarborough On Newt Gingrich

There was an interesting opinion piece on Politico by Joe Scarborough that I thought was interesting:
It’s hard to believe that the cartoonish cable news fixture whose insults grow more shrill by the day was once seen as a historic figure for reinventing the Republican Party and destroying the Democrats’ monopoly on Capitol Hill.

Speaker Newt Gingrich did make history when he became the first Republican speaker in 40 years, and he was the most rare of breeds: a lowly congressman who transformed Washington.

In 1995, the Gingrich revolution dragged Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party to the political center. Together, President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich reformed welfare, balanced the budget, cut taxes and created a business climate that led to millions of new jobs.

The fact that Clinton and Gingrich personally hated each other only made those accomplishments more impressive.

But 15 years later, Newt Gingrich’s political career is anything but impressive.

The same man who once compared himself to Napoleon (and grandly told his lieutenants that he was at “the center of a worldwide revolution”) now grabs cheap headlines by launching bizarre rhetorical attacks.

The same politician who once saw himself as a latter-day Winston Churchill — sent by God to save Western civilization — now gets rich off political hate speech.

These days, Newt Gingrich’s modus operandi is to smear any public figure who fails to share his worldview. His insults are so overblown and outrageous that after the rhetorical dust settles, the reputation most damaged is his own.

The former speaker seems oblivious to that fact. Or maybe he knows that in a political landscape driven by talk shows, their childish insults resonate in Washington as nowhere else. In a recent New York Magazine cover story called “Cable Ugly”, Gabriel Sherman noted that among most prime-time cable hosts, “schoolyard rules rule.”

Because he has been spewing childish political insults for years, Newt Gingrich just may be a man ahead of his time.
For some reason, Gingrich reminds me of the stories involving people who falsely accuse another of something like rape - the accused has their reputation dragged in the mud and when the facts finally come out, it is too late to rectify the situation in the public eye.  Gingrich is fully aware of this which is why he makes such comments - they are designed to make news, influence voters, and then dissappear, but they never truly dissappear - they linger in the backs of peoples' minds so that one day they will see somebody on the television and they will not remember the good things that person had done - only the bad things Gingrich claimed they did...

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