May 10, 2011

Who does Newt Gingrich think he is?

Eisenhower?
The last guy to be elected president without having won statewide or national office was Dwight D. Eisenhower...
De Gaulle?
... Gingrich is a devotee of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, who meditated on the concept of “departure and return” — the idea that great leaders have to leave (or be banished from) their kingdoms before they can better themselves and return as conquering heroes. One of Newt’s heroes, the French general and statesman Charles de Gaulle, embodies just this kind of romantic narrative, having spent 12 years out of power before returning to lead his country.
Reagan?
So does Ronald Reagan, who traveled the country after losing his bid for the Republican nomination in 1976, then came roaring back to win it all four years later.
Nixon?
Unlike Mr. Reagan, who even in his lower moments retained a certain celebrity appeal, Mr. Nixon was humiliated and all but exiled after publicly self-destructing in 1962. He then retreated to the sidelines and watched as his party disintegrated, leaving a vacuum of leadership and gravitas on the right that enabled Mr. Nixon to make one of the great comebacks in political history.

72 comments:

Christopher in MA said...

Newton Leroy Gingrich, will you PLEASE GO NOW?

Trooper York said...

He thinks he is Henry VIII.

Henry said...

He's Mondale. Departed and returned. And still lost.

RuyDiaz said...

Tiberius Claudius: hoping to gain power because there is nobody else.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



I SO remember Reagan sitting down with Speaker O’Neill and talking about the need to combat Acid Rain, and I so remember Reagan endorsing Lowell Weiker for a seat in the US House! Newt JUST LIKE Reagan….

Scott M said...

He thinks he is Henry VIII.

Certainly apt. Wonder if he's got HBO.

Chip Ahoy said...

Going out on a limb here, he probably thinks he's Newt Gingrich.

goodwill said...

He's Gen. Westmoreland telling us that there's "a light at the end of the tunnel" in Afghanistan. What he's not (or won't be) is the Republican nominee for president. Especially as long as he remains loyal to the Obama administration's $120 billion a year failed strategy of military escalation there. Other “serious” Republican leaders like Rep. Boehner are still in lock-step with the Obama administration on staying the course. Why must the conservative base rely on Ann Coulter to speak for them in saying that this war is “bleeding us dry” instead of their elected representatives? Here’s Coulter speaking for the base on Afghanistan: http://www.afghanistanstudygroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Coulter-Clip-Excerpt1.wmv
Who's going to win the support of these voters in the election?

Comrade X said...

ever since President ACORN, it's like there aren't any unwritten qualifications anymore.

pbAndj said...

I think he thinks that he's a fundraising machine. Because he is.

Maybe he'll give Romney a run for the money.

We'll need to wait and see where the R base goes when choosing between someone who comes from a tradition of multiple wives, and a Mormon.

Mark O said...

So, he got married to the widow next door?

Trooper York said...

I think you mean Showtime Scott.

Unless you think he thinks he is Tyrion Lannister.

Scott M said...

D'oh. Correct. I got my Rome and my Tudors mixed up. Henry VIII couldn't lick Tyrion's boots.

victoria said...

yes and if he were even remotely like one of them he would have a chance to be elected. However, he is a windbag, philanderer, and his time is way past. Ew


Vicki from Pasadena

windbag said...

I don't pretend to know what he's thinking, but he is a brilliant guy who appears to not be aware that his fifteen minutes expired two Presidents ago.

MadisonMan said...

I'd take him over several other Republican Candidates.

But I'd take other Republicans over him.

Not that that means much.

windbag said...

@victoria

I am NOT Newt.

Trooper York said...

Vicky loves to hate.

He isn't a serious candidate there baby, save your venom for someone who can win a primary.

Trooper York said...

MadisonMan you would no more vote for a Republican than I would bet on the Packers to win the Super Bowl.

Let's get real buddy.

MadisonMan said...

trooper, just saying that in the spectrum of Republican Candidates, Gingrich is somewhere in the middle.

Which means I'd hate it less if he were elected. I never meant to suggest I'd vote for him. I'd have to know who he is running against.

MadisonMan said...

That is, I'd hate it less if he were elected relative to some other candidates.

edutcher said...

After that global warming thing on the couch, I thought he was Pelosi's sweetheart.

victoria said...

yes and if he were even remotely like one of them he would have a chance to be elected. However, he is a windbag, philanderer, and his time is way past.

You mean like Willie Whitewater?

traditionalguy said...

The ideas that Newt weaves into his latest lesson plans are not always bad, but his self centered and mean personality is lurking right below the surface. The more you see Newt in action, the more you will realize that you hate him.

AST said...

He misunderstands his role. He's not an administrator or an executive. He's an author. Like Palin.

Bruce Hayden said...

The ideas that Newt weaves into his latest lesson plans are not always bad, but his self centered and mean personality is lurking right below the surface. The more you see Newt in action, the more you will realize that you hate him.

Maybe, but he is a very good idea person, and far brighter than the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania.

I could easily vote for him in the general election. But I won't be voting for him in the primary, esp. since he has so little chance of winning a general election - way too much baggage, if nothing else.

Thorley Winston said...

D'oh. Correct. I got my Rome and my Tudors mixed up. Henry VIII couldn't lick Tyrion's boots.

Tyrion Lannister is from “Game of Thrones” (sorry just started the second book so it’s at the forefront of my mind).

prairie wind said...

Maybe Newt is stepping up to be the lightning rod this go 'round.

Phil 3:14 said...

Newt is to Republican nomination

as snowball is to hell

Methadras said...

His personal peccadillos aside (which are repugnant to many including myself), Gingrich is a formidable candidate or will be. His political pedigree is pretty good, not to mention he was able to strong arm Clinton into accepting republican policies and make them his own.

Scott M said...

he was able to strong arm Clinton into accepting republican policies and make them his own

Granted, but for the very same reasons you mention, he's unelectable for the big chair. He would be a formidable department head, though.

mccullough said...

Has Newt ever had to implement any of his ideas? Legislating is very different than governing. We don't lack ideas, we lack leadership.

ricpic said...

He's a chubby policy wonk married to a mask who can't blink. No way.

Kirk Parker said...

Bruce,

"he is a very good idea person"

Sure, he'd like you to think so. My own long-held notion is that Gingrich is nothing more than a dilettante--an idea-liker, if you will, but without the intellectual heft to actually do anything with all those ideas he finds so sparkly.

I've had people who actually knew Gingrich, and/or worked peripherally with him, try to disabuse me of that appraisal, and they've come close to succeeding. And then along he comes and barfs out something like this, and I'm back to square one.

prairie wind,

"Maybe Newt is stepping up to be the lightning rod this go 'round."

Yeah, it's the Trump-and-Newt tag team.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Newt is not popular with the base but....

He's the best GOP big idea guy out there. I want to see him stay in, campaign, sell his books, drive conservative issues, steer the conversation and then do what he will do best.

Shred Obama in the debates with policy, cold hard facts and figures. Nobody has a better command of politics and how government works than he does.

Newt will be a guided missile straight at Obama.

When the campaign nears the end he can throw his support to whoever the front runner is and walk away back to his books and foundations, damage done.

dbp said...

It would be great to watch Newt shred Obama in a debate. But Obama will only be debating whoever wins the R nomination and maybe some 3rd party person.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

dpb~

Sorry, my bad, I meant on the campaign trail.

Sixty Grit said...

Newt is not as smart as he thinks he is.

James said...

Which means I'd hate it less if he were elected. I never meant to suggest I'd vote for him. I'd have to know who he is running against.

In the most unlikely event that Gingrich wins the Republican nomination, you don't know who he'll be running against?

James said...

Gingrich's shilling for the enthanol industry would do him well in Iowa but nowhere else.

Anyone remember his "Green conservatism?" or his embrace of cap-and-trade?

Gingrich doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell but he'll probably sell a few more books or line his pockets in some other way.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you wanna dump two wives and run for President, you'd have better chances as a Democrat.

It's a no go.

Freeman Hunt said...

(Or, I suppose, be extremely likable. But then, as I wrote, it's a no go.)

James said...

What if your wife divorces you, marries then divorces another man, then remarries you?

That's the Mitch Daniels story.

reader_iam said...

James: Isn't that a story of reconciliation rather than serial betrayal?

Sixty Grit said...

Mitch must have no self respect whatsoever - what kind of jacked up narrative is that? Bitch run off, bitch can stay off!

ken in sc said...

I like Newt, but I assume almost no one else does. I audited an online course of his at Kennesaw State. He is a good teacher.

James said...

@reader, that's one way to look at it but do you think the press would be so forgiving?

Why do you think Obama recently praised Daniels and said he was "serious." Its not because Obama fears Daniels will be the nominee but because he knows that he and Axelrod can smear him just like they did to Jack Ryan and Blair Hull.

Ricardo said...

I have no problem with Newt, and I enjoyed watching (televised) parts of that course he taught on government. But there's a difference between "having no problem with" and wanting to have somebody in charge of the country. And as for his having spent years in the political wilderness, and now thinking he can mount a comeback, my answer to that is: "I knew Winston Churchill, and Congressman, you're no Winston Churchill".

peter hoh said...

Freeman: If you wanna dump two wives and run for President, you'd have better chances as a Democrat.

And yet there isn't a Democrat who has tried this.

I haven't been able to identify a nationally prominent Democrat who has divorced his wife in order to wed the woman with whom he was having an affair.

peter hoh said...

James, I don't see how Daniels' marriage reflects badly on him. Nor do I see parallels to the Jack Ryan or Blair Hull stories.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think Daniels's story speaks well of him on its face.

He put his family before his pride. That would be hard. Very hard.

Freeman Hunt said...

I haven't been able to identify a nationally prominent Democrat who has divorced his wife in order to wed the woman with whom he was having an affair.

Edwards is purported to have proposed to his girlfriend before his wife's death.

miller said...

Seriously?

Newt Gingrich?

59-41 Obama in November 2012 and the House reverts to the Democrats by 50+ seats.

Julius said...

Richard III...

...with Newt's Machiavellian thirst for power, the twinkle of a long-planned scheme in his eyes, his woe'ing about how Obama and the Democrats have brought nothing but a winter of discontent, and his willingness to discard his wives when they are no longer useful. Is that enough for 'ya?

Of course Richard III only discarded one wife. Newt has so far discarded two, and under circumstances that probably even would have made the Duke of Gloucester cringe. Newt even said this about his affairs:

"There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."

Note the passive voice ("things happened"), the lack of admission of any wrongdoing, and his placing the blame on his passionate love for his country... just like a true narcissist.

So I'll amend my answer, if you grant me leave:

Newt Gingrich thinks he's Richard III and then some.

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

"There's no question at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked too hard and [there were instances of my penis happening into vaginas not belonging to my wife and marrying them] that were not appropriate."

Don't get distracted! Who knows what your body might do!

chuck b. said...

The ego must be fed.

peter hoh said...

Freeman, yes, I had forgotten about Edwards. I suppose I could insist that he doesn't count, in that he didn't actually get divorced from his first wife, but I'm not letting him off on that technicality.

Time may prove me wrong, but I think that Edwards days as an important figure in the Democratic party are over.

Alan said...

Newt won an early battle as Speaker - his budget-balancing act that Methadras cited - but after that one success he fizzled.

Newt is a firecracker - good for one show and that's it.

he's also a turncoat. Conservatives will never forget his endorsement of smoke-filled-room candidate Dede Scozzafava.

Delayna said...

"Tiberius Claudius: hoping to gain power because there is nobody else."

How about this:

Reagan / Augustus

Bush 1 / Tiberius

Clinton / Caligula

Bush 2 / Claudius

Obama / Nero

It scared me even more when I remembered the chaos Rome went through right after Nero.

E.M. Davis said...

Bush 1 / Tiberius

You're right. Tiberius only had one term.

Delayna said...

It was the parallels between the Presidents from Reagan to now and the first few Roman emperors. Naturally the parallels aren't exact or even close to it, but they seem to have one or two characteristics that are easy to recognize in common.

(Yeah, I admit it, it was Clinton's peccadillos that started that train of thought.)

Jim said...

James beat me to it, but while reading all these "he's got great ideas" comments, I kept thinking, "like cap and trade?"

Newt's a pompous joke.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

Reagan ...an Augustus Caesar?? Hah.

Sort of like comparing an AA hillbilly to Tacitus

GOLDANGIT!


Newt's a ...papist now, anyway. So maybe he thinks he's...Louis XIV. or Napoleon. Newt Bonaparte. Allons!

Delayna said...

But Captain Zero's doing a bang-up job as Nero: burning down America and fiddling (badly) while telling the audience how wonderful he is. Wonder if he'll end the same way (suicide)?

Dana said...

I wonder who Althouse thinks she is? The entire post is cut and paste from Matt Bai's blog at the New York Times but there is no attribution or acknowledgement. That's really Bush league.

Fen said...

Its Pravda. Who gives a rats ass how they are treated?

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

"News reports [ie. the Mother Jones rag] have often mentioned that Gingrich visited Battley while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery to discuss the details of their divorce. However, Gingrich has disputed the account[86] as has his daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, who has written that it was her mother who requested the divorce, that it happened prior to the hospital stay (which was for the removal of a benign tumor, not cancer), and that Gingrich’s visit was for the purpose of bringing his children to see their mother, not to discuss the divorce."

Hey, if you guys are still parroting the "Newt divorced his wife on her deathbed" nonsense, then I'm got no problem with the "Obama unaware of OBL kill-order by Panetta".

Fen said...

"As for my parents' divorce, I can remember when they told me.

It was the spring of 1980.

I was 13 years old, and we were about to leave Fairfax, Va., and drive to Carrollton, Ga., for the summer. My parents told my sister and me that they were getting a divorce as our family of four sat around the kitchen table of our ranch home.

Soon afterward, my mom, sister and I got into our light-blue Chevrolet Impala and drove back to Carrollton.

Later that summer, Mom went to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for surgery to remove a tumor. While she was there, Dad took my sister and me to see her.

It is this visit that has turned into the infamous hospital visit about which many untruths have been told. I won't repeat them. You can look them up online if you are interested in untruths. But here's what happened:

My mother and father were already in the process of getting a divorce, which she requested.

Dad took my sister and me to the hospital to see our mother.

She had undergone surgery the day before to remove a tumor.

The tumor was benign.

As with many divorces, it was hard and painful for all involved, but life continued.

As have many families, we have healed; we have moved on."

http://www.creators.com/conservative/jackie-gingrich-cushman/setting-the-record-straight.html

Peter, I'm surprised you were taken in by this. I've always respected your intellect.

Alan said...

Newt's a ...papist now, anyway. So maybe he thinks he's...Louis XIV.
Nope. That job's already been taken.

http://www.politifake.org/je-suis-ltat-ltat-cest-moi-obama-lincoln-louisxiv-politics-political-poster-3509.html

Peter Hoh said...

Fen, you've accused me of making an claim I didn't make.

For one thing, I didn't mention Gingrich in this thread. I alluded to the fact that he, along with McCain and Giuliani, divorced his wife to marry the woman with whom he was having an affair.

Nothing in the story you cite disputes that.