Believe it or not, Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity are still, even now, laughing like school children over the notion of properly-inflated tires.
A lot of Republicans have said a lot of stupid things about energy policy in recent weeks, but this may very well be the single most inane comment any of them have uttered publicly. (Worse than a House Republican from Texas exclaiming, “Let’s bring up the Paris Hilton plan”? Yes, even worse than that.)
Ben at TP valiantly goes to the trouble of pointing out why Gingrich’s argument is demonstrably ridiculous — explaining why tire maintenance is a good idea, and wouldn’t “enrich Big Oil” — but I’d just add that it’s worth remembering just how idiotic Newt Gingrich’s worldview can be.
About a year ago, the WaPo’s David Broder said the former House Speaker has “earned the label ‘visionary.’” That’s absurd; Gingrich is a little more than pseudo-scholarly nut.
I’m not just talking about his nutty behavior. Gingrich, as Speaker, shut down the government (twice) and he pursued presidential impeachment over an adulterous affair (while carrying on an affair of his own), which certainly sounds nutty, but I’m talking more about his bizarre worldview.
We talked recently about some of his greatest hits, including Gingrich’s sincere arguments such as the notion that the homeless should get laptops and that women shouldn’t be permitted to serve in combat roles because “males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.”
But poking around a bit the other day, I was also reminded of Gingrich’s habit for blaming liberals, government, and liberal government for just about every societal ill he can identify.
* In 1994, after Susan Smith drowned her two young sons, Newt Gingrich, just three days before the midterm elections, equated her crime with the values of the Democratic Party. Gingrich told the AP, “The mother killing her two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we have to have change. I think people want to change and the only way you get change is to vote Republican. That’s the message for the last three days.”
* In 1999, shortly after the Columbine massacre, Gingrich argued that American “elites” bear responsibility. “I want to say to the elite of this country - the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton…of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made,” Gingrich said, “and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.”
* Last year, after the shootings at Virginia Tech, Gingrich blamed liberals for supporting “situation ethics,” adding, “Yes, I think the fact is, if you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 years of age, if you look at the dehumanization, if you look at the fact that we refuse to say that we are, in fact, endowed by our creator, that our rights come from God, that if you kill somebody, you’re committing an act of evil.” Gingrich, explaining the VT tragedy, went on to condemn Halloween costumes and the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law.
Broder may think this clown is a “visionary,” and the DC establishment may perceive him as some kind of “big thinker,” but I look at Gingrich and see a strange partisan hack with a PhD.