Newt Gingrich: An Intellectual Idiot
Most of the trouble in the world is started by people who are not as smart as they think they are. That's why a man who is a moron can be completely worthwhile to society and an excellent example of good character - provided he knows he's a moron. The day crew supervisor at the hotel where I worked, got off a great line one day: "It takes a certain amount of brains to know that you're stupid."
Mixed in with the bright outcasts from the 9-5 world, there were some people I worked with during the hotel years, who were maximizing their mental potential, and I had total respect for them. I don't think brains has anything to do with how good a person you are. In fact, the smart ones have more ability to come up with the devious shit. So, I've known people - and still do - who've been career dishwashers, etc...and they're as worthwhile to be around as anyone else. In fact, I'd much rather work with them than an intellectually-phony weasel who thinks he's brilliant such as Newt Gingrich.
When Newt's time as Speaker of the House ended, he hit the lecture circuit so on more than one occasion, I have been in banquet rooms listening to him speak. He uttered one of the most pompous statements I have ever heard at one of these events, when he gushed to the crowd that he had left politics and gone back to the visionary business. Oh, shut up. Meanwhile, the only thing he looked like he had been envisioning was a stack of pancakes.
See, I've heard enough professors in my life that I can gauge the phonies. What they're good at is absorbing a bunch of information - often from intellectual giants - and then putting it into a coherent presentation that admittedly does make you think. The trouble with Newt is that he feels by transferring this material from his notebook to his speech, he has somehow proven that he is as smart as the people he quotes.
By the way, during one of these speeches he'll say "Frankly" 20 or so times. It's his way of adding gravitas: "Look, you've heard what these people have said, and frankly, when I say it it makes me sound smarter." There are even smug pauses after he quotes some new idea, and in these pauses his GOP followers look at him with admiration and think, "That's why Newt's so smart - because he really gets this stuff."
The rap on Newt is that he is a bully - a man of low character in his personal life who was boning an intern on the side even as he went after Bill Clinton. That's not my main problem with him. I think he is one of those people who is not even close to being as smart as he thinks he is. For example, Newt jumped all over the "We are now in World War 3" theme because it played to his startling and foolish need to sound more important than he really is. The Republican Revolution? Didn't they just recapture Congress? The Contract with America? You mean about fiscal responsibility and stuff? Newt is a pleasure-driven softie - a pudgy egomaniac with no clue at how little he really has to offer intellectually.
I admit if you ask him a question he can rattle off his answer in an articulate way. In that sense he is a mental giant compared to our President. But what exactly are his own ideas? Not the ones where he quotes other people and gathers their visions into a college lecture for you, like he used to do at the University of Georgia. Well, this week he has offered us up one of his own ideas, and it proves my point and then some:
Newt Gingrich is currently running his mouth about curtailing Free Speech. It is a rare opportunity to hear from the mental midget inside the giant head. Let's skip how offensive his "vision" is - his notion that we have to give up part of our Free Speech rights because of World War 3 - The War on Terror. Let's just look at it politically. Newt is currently testing the national mood to see if we want him as our President. That assessment alone proves something is missing, but to make his foray into Election 2008 with a plan to curtail Free Speech? Only a real idiot would do that.
In closing, may I say that Newt did provide me with one moment of intense pride. It was during another political season, and Newt had finished speaking at a banquet I worked. He asked if he could have a group picture of him with just the waiters. Actually, he's so big he could have a group picture of just himself.
The reason he wanted us to pose with him was to show how connected he was to the humble servants. You know - it would show his tremendous bond with the workers of America. The waiters gathered and we took the picture. After he left we had an informal emergency meeting. We decided if the fat bastard used the picture in his campaign, we would sue.
Union Leader - Gingrich defends free speech curbs - Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006