Sunday, December 17, 2006

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


At 12:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

We can call Newt (whose name is the same as a young salamander) wrong, evil, arrogant, hypocritical, mendacious, and cruel, without exhausting all the adjectives that fit him.

But we can't--accurately--call him stupid. He's an evil genius. I know; I saw him in action. Gingrich almost single handedly engineered the downfall of Democratic Speaker Jim Wright (read The Ambition & Power, and he masterminded what was at the time considered impossible--the Republican recapture of the U.S. House in 1994.

One of the first rules of politics is to know your enemy. This one is, unfortunately, dumb as a fox.

Remembering this will keep us from underestimating Newt, something he thrives on.

Former U.S. Rep Les AuCoin
D-OR (1975-1993)
Les AuCoin Blog

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Thanks for writing in, Les. I think the term evil genius is a little strong. For some reason I never saw him as evil in the villain sense. Maybe it's the silly grin.
The only genuine feeling I felt from him was when he talked about his love of animals. He would have been brilliant managing a zoo. There was actual joy in his heart on that topic.
As far as genius goes, I think that's also a little strong. I thought his success relied more on being a cruel prick. I've visited his website recently and a true genius wouldn't be so obvious and predictable.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Bill. Newt Gingrich is as about as 'visionary' as Donald Duck. 'Pompous' is probably a better descriptor.

I love your line about it taking some brains to realize you're stupid. That's George W. Bush in a nutshell. Bush's greatest failing as President is thinking he was up to the job. I'm no Presidential scholar, but W has to be the least intellectually competent man ever to hold the office. Combine with his arrogance, and you get the most disastrous Presidency in American history.

Good post!

At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

these people are all like this ...and I believe the operative word is 'shallow'..

with FigNewt, he is a mile wide and an inch deep.
Newt LECTURES to us all as if he pities us for not understanding.

Being a 'visionary' seems to me would be something you EARN.. and really is all about how much genuine struggle you have endured and the understanding it brings.

The reference example for the minimum struggle and hard work...making your own bones...etc..
is G.W. Bush...

He is widely known as the REFERENCE for the lower-limit of the measurable threshold...

and thus he has the least understanding, sensitivity of what his actions do to others.

One other note:
the other prime example is internationally convicted criminal, DOCTOR Kissinger who talks 'down' to the world by speaking very low and gravely and drawing on his accent to to make himself professorial...

My point is these are ordinary...NO! LESS than ordinary... people who have worked a 'style' that they sell..

But a true visionary - who sees straight solutions to many many problems - is most likely the working woman.

And I don't mean Hillary - I mean a blue-collar, two-job kind of earthy survivor.

THAT's the kind of problem solver we should try for president.

NOT these sold-out, out-of-touch Politicians.


At 2:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shallow, pompous, bias, intollerant. Newt? guys. The Contract With America WAS visionary....even fair-minded opponents of Newt admit that. Welfare reform was an unmitigated success.

Les, you are a disappointment. I thought it was left to the ankle-biting partisans on the sidelines to describe their political opponents as "evil". I don't remember Bob Packwood using such crass adjectives to describe yourself in 1992.

Bill, your allusions to Newt being a hypocrit (intern reference) are amusing at best. Hypocrisy is liberals whining like stuck pigs at Newts $300K book advance util Newt voluntarily returned it, and then giving a hardy 'wink wink, good for her' as Queen Hillary pockets $8 million (more than 25x Newt's take). Or its like running Mr. Packwood out of office for alleged harrassment and subpoenaing his personal diaries in the process, and then screaming how Clinton's confirmed romps in the the Oval Office and alleged harrassment of another young lady and alleged rape of still another are his "private business."

Sometimes you people are a joke. Hypocrisy thy name is "Liberal".

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

The biggest hypocrisy of the last hundred years, is a President who spouts off about Christian values while ordering preemptive strikes and torture. Is it "Thou shalt not kill unless your Messiah from Crawford tells you it's okay"?

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Thou shalt not kill unless your Messiah from Crawford tells you it's okay"

Nice that you can forget the deaths from the Kobar Towers, our African embassies, the first WTC bombing, the USS Cole, and 9/11. Nice that you can forget that Iraq was already on 'probation' for invading its neighbor Kuwait and was consistently in violation of the internationally negotiated cease-fire. Oh...none of that ever happened, right? Is that the story?

What shallow memories you people have. What an incredible ability to forget past wrongs against our country and the international community or even blame our country for them. Pathetic.

If we had NEVER invaded Iraq, today Saddam would continue to enrich his regime through UN Santion violations in the Oil for Food program, his people would continue to die from his henchmen and lack of domestic necessities, he would continue to be a military threat to the region, and he would continue to try to pick off our planes in the "no fly zone". Iraq is still a problem....a HUGE one. But the US didn't create the problem, they merely changed it. But at least they put it in a position where if they have the will, they can solve it.

PS - still love the blog Bill, justy trying to add a little balance to the dialogue :)

At 7:45 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

I find it almost impossible to believe that anyone (even puppets like Butch) can breath and move their fingers to type.

Did anyone see Newt on the network 'talking heads' show today? He is either brain dead or evil.

Regardless of his corrupt past or his laughable attempt at the 'Contract with America', he is by himself a disgusting human being.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Interesting that you mention the Khobar towers. I was born and grew up right up the road in Dhahran, and both towns were under scud missile attack during the Gulf War.
I had long since moved to the States but I haven't forgotten the place.
You might feel more comfortable about the Iraq War thinking it was in response to something, but the Bush Doctrine of Preemptive Strikes is how this administration defines the policy. We have announced to the world that if we even think another country may someday threaten us, we have the right to strike first. That is fundamentally opposed to the teachings of Jesus, so to announce that as your philosophy while also bragging about how much of a Christain you are is hypocritical.
I think I've got you on this one, Butch. Now I'll admit, the idea that anything President Bush thinks up could rise to the level of a doctrine, is completely ridiculous, but that is what happened. It is less surprising that the only time the doctrine was used, the White House had to admit they got it wrong. Whoops!

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

By the way, some of us would have preferred that the United States had never created the Saddam monster by helping him rise to power, stay in power, and acquire chemical weapons. But at least that made some sort of geopolitical sense as we were trying to offset the Iranian influence in the Gulf. Then along came President Bush with his moral clarity, which was neither, and now things are as bad as I've ever seen them. It wouldn't matter that much if they didn't have the oil we need, but this President hasn't figured that out.
Did you see Iran's switching to the euro in oil transactions? Among the multitude of bonehead moves this President has made, what really is going to hurt the American People most is the damage he's done to America fiscally. The dollar is in big trouble, and that means so are we.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Chinggism said...

Looks like the facts have silenced the "butches" thank god. The confidence that right wing talk radio gives these faux intellectuals always fails them in the end.

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Ray Formica said...

Newt is supposedly a History scholar, but he consistently gets the history wrong or seems to have selective memory.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Tyrone Harvey said...


Former House speaker and now 2012 GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich went with a slightly different Holocaust metaphor when he compared the people behind the proposed mosque, whom he referred to as "radical Islamists," to "Nazis" during an appearance on Fox News. "Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the holocaust museum in Washington," Gingrich insisted, speaking of the museum where just a year ago a guard was killed by a white supremacist trying to enter the building with a gun. America needs to go forward not Gingrich! He is a total idiot. In the late President Gerald Ford book. He said many oversea leadership saw Gingrich as a racist and a thug! He also said the same about Ronald Reagan! Newt Gingrich hands down. First of all, he's a mean, nasty, morally reprehensible person to begin with. Before he was speaker he left his wife who was in the hospital to run off with an aide. Then as speaker, he shut down the government, gave us counterproductive welfare reform and the Telecommunications Act, was reprimanded and fined for ethics violations, and hypocritically helped lead the impeachment of Bill Clinton. So there is no question about. Pelosi has actually been a decent and non-corrupt speaker and one of the most productive speakers in a long time, despite her approval rating.
Say Hell NO to Newt his contract with America was a flop. HE HAD CLINTON IMPEACHED while he was cheating on his wife! Sadly America needs to have a talk with white Americans! Whites have gave America piss poor Republican Presidents! Newt is a idiot! And in my opinion a racist!!!! And would be another piss poor Republican President! Governor Chris Christie is the new Hero of the white Republican Party. A piss poor Governor that attack teachers police officer and union! Lost Nj 400 million and lost 40,000 jobs! Gave tax breaks to the rich and the super rich! And NJ is worse not better….But white Republicans see him as a hero!!!!!!! GO FIGURE!!

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