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Editorial: Newt's too cute on how he made his loot Read mor

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:28 am
by BlueWater

It defies belief that Republicans would do President Barack Obama the monumental favor of nominating Newt Gingrich as his opponent in next year's presidential election. Mr. Gingrich carries more baggage than a 747, and it's the sort of baggage that normally would repel the party's conservative Christian base.

But Mr. Gingrich has the sort of flexible intellect and slippery linguistic gifts that enable him to take any position on any issue, often simultaneously, and that may enable him to talk his way past the credulous party faithful. By the time he's finished, that "baggage" may be mere 'souvenirs" from his early public and private lives.

His is a brazen brand of glibness, a willingness not merely to shade reality but to ignore it altogether, a verbal dexterity that enables him to alter the direction of the conversation and change the subject before you know he's gone.

He is Richard Nixon intoning, "I am not a crook." He is Bill Clinton insisting, "It depends on what the definition of 'is' is." He is Monty Python's Michael Palin claiming of a dead parrot "He's not dead, he's resting."

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Re: Editorial: Newt's too cute on how he made his loot Read mor

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:29 am
by BlueWater
Consider a conversation he had with Sean Hannity of Fox News last Wednesday night. Mr. Hannity is an infotainer who is neither equipped nor inclined to challenge Mr. Gingrich's assertions. He allowed Mr. Gingrich, who has made millions in the influence-peddling racket since leaving the House in January 1999, to deny that he'd ever been a lobbyist.

Why is this important? Because being a lobbyist is not a point on the résumé likely to find favor with the GOP's anti-Washington, Tea Party wing that holds much sway in the nominating process.

Mr. Gingrich, who spent 20 years in Congress, the last four as speaker, would have Republican voters believe he is an "outsider." In a session with reporters in May, he boasted that he'd cast 7,300 votes in Congress, but added, "I'm the people's candidate, not the capital's candidate."

So if the ultimate Washington insider can campaign as an outsider, why can't the ultimate Washington lobbyist campaign as if he's not a lobbyist?

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Re: Editorial: Newt's too cute on how he made his loot Read mor

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:29 am
by BlueWater
As Mr. Clinton, with whom Mr. Gingrich often sparred, might say, "It depends on what the definition of 'lobbyist' is." Mr. Gingrich never registered as a lobbyist, and he may not have prowled committee rooms or bought lunch for lawmakers at Marcel's (Mr. Gingrich is a lunchee, not a lunchor), but his various firms had clients who paid him well to influence legislation. Sounds like a lobbyist to us.

But "lobbyist" is so common. Much better to be a "consultant." Mr. Gingrich admits to "consultant." He says he offered firms 'strategic advice," which would make him either 'strategist" or "adviser." Even better is "historian," the job for which he claims Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage firm, paid him $1.8 million over the years," or "policy-oriented thinker."

As to his work promoting an electronic medical records bill that would have benefitted his clients, Mr. Gingrich told Mr. Hannity, "They want to say, 'Isn't that lobbying?' No, it's called being a citizen. As a citizen, I'm allowed to have an opinion."

We won't quibble with being paid to have opinions. But "editorialist" is so déclassé. From now on, please regard us as "historians" and 'strategic thinkers."

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