"11 Ways To Say: 'We're Not Nancy Pelosi'"

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"Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" it's not, but Newt Gingrich's "11 Ways to Say: 'We're Not Nancy Pelosi'" is pretty entertaining. At the very least, it underscores both that the former Speaker of the House and smut-peddler is running for president and that he is quite possibly the Rupert Pupkin of American politics, forever talking to a largely imaginary audience in the wood-paneled rumpus room of his mother's house.

Some snippets from his tips to the Republican House:

1. Make English the Official Language of Government. The House should pass a bill making English the official language of government, abolishing multilingual ballots and reaffirming that new citizens should be required to pass a test on American history in English….

3. Keep God in the Pledge. Congress should take two steps to preserve the right to say "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, a right which is supported by 91% of all Americans….

11. Focus on Iran and North Korea. The American people are very prepared to believe we face extraordinary threats from a nuclear North Korea and an Iranian regime actively seeking to develop nuclear weapons….

The biggest joke on the list? That would be "8. Control Spending and Balance the Budget," which acts as if the GOP doesn't already control spending. (And if you're interested, you might check out this stunning fact: Discretionary spending during the Clinton years increased more after the Republicans took full control of the House of Representatives; go here and check out Table 1.)

More here.

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  1. I suppose your tongue is in your cheek, Nick, but isn’t it clear there’s a difference between being “in control” of spending, and “controlling” (ie putting limits on) spending?

    I’ve always been sympathetic to the idea that split control (!) of government produces more gridlock and less spending, but there’s a lot of evidence that it just leads to more spending on both guns AND butter, since each faction owns part of the process; each side gives what the other wants in order to get what it wants.

  2. Victor Contoski “Simple Simon in American Literature”

    1
    Among twenty snowy mountains
    the only moving thing
    was the pieman coming.

    2
    I was of three minds,
    like Simple Simon
    looking at three pies.

  3. We already have the right to say “under God” in the pledge. No judge or legislature has said that kids are not allowed to say under god. I think Gingry is referring to the right to force those faggot liberal witch doctors in San Francisco to say “under God.”

  4. I like #6, sans blocking SCOTUS from reviewing it (is that even allowed/constitutional?).

  5. Man I used to really like Newt. Well the control spending thing aint too bad, if they could get on with it.

    The thing about controlling spending, it seems to me, is that you are trying to get a politician to cut the taxpayer money that pays for his re-election.

    The politician who is not willing to cut spending, any spending has the advantage of having the groups of people who want that taxpayer money on his side.

  6. “I like #6, sans blocking SCOTUS from reviewing it (is that even allowed/constitutional?).”

    It’s theoretically constitutional (Congress can alter the federal courts’ jurisdiction), but it’s absolutely freakin’ irrelevant. Congress already has constitutionally authority to pass legislation restricting the use of federal eminent domain and there’s no way SCOTUS would strike it down. The takings clause sets a floor on protections from eminent domain, not a ceiling. Indeed, if Congress wanted to, it could enact legislation totally banning the use of federal eminent domain and conditioning funding to states on not using their eminent domain powers for federally funded projects, and that would be completely OK under the Kelo decision.

  7. Newt is a freak.

    He was on Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday (I listen on the way home from work mostly out of bored masochism).

    Anyway, Newt shamelessly plugged his website practically every other sentence. And then he says “…let me make something clear to OUR listeners”. Basically, his attitude was that he was a co-host, not a guest on the program.

    And the most amusing thing was that Hannity was STILL kissing his ass… a guy who basically came in and owned his show.

  8. Of the top of my head here would be the ones I would have.

    1- Repeal McCain Feingold
    2- Conceal carry permits valid country wide
    3- Abolish the income tax
    4- End Corporate Welfare
    5- End agricultural subsidies
    7- End all federal aid to schools that don’t allow military recruiters.
    8- Step 1 of ending the drug war. The DEA only is allowed to provide information to local low enforcement, not allowed to make arrests, or interpret law.
    9- Line Item Veto. Some way of making it easy to veto anything in a spending bill that does not benefit all 50 states, and that does not have the popular support behind the bill being passed.
    10- ALL Bills ever passed have sunset provisions.

  9. So yesterday the House spent practically all day on the issue of protecting the Crapauds from American horseflesh. Let’s add the “Bogus
    Grouper crisis” to Newt’s list!

  10. His “under god” point is probably the reverse corollary of a comment Akira McKenzie made recently in previous thread

    Akira cited “under-god” as example of unconstitutional violation of the establishment clause…although he didnt say exactly what he thought anyone should do about it. Under Locke? Under None? Urber Alles? Cold Chilling?

    Newt wants the GOP to “defend” this phrase the same way conservatives aimed to “defend” christmas recently… i.e. make a big @*(#&$@ public fuss about having to defend it, which obviously suggests that the opposition is REALLY trying to make God illegal or something… whether or not there is any real movement to do so.

    basically, use the 1 or 2 fringe cranks like the aforementioned San Fran liberal faggot witch doctor to paint the ENTIRE opposition as Weak on God in a similar way.

    It’s an appallingly successful tactic, actually…given that Dems havent come up with any comparatively successful approach to it at all.

    It reminds me of a very funny episode of Mr Show…where there were 2 competing Supermarket chains running advertisements, but one used this tactic and kept running the other into the ground…

    “Fairleigh Foods! In our stores, your children will NEVER be abducted and sent to work in an Vietnamese whorehouse”

    I like the new trope, “Values-led”… for Values Voters… Exactly the same stunt. By being ‘values voters’, well the opposition is clearly ‘valueless’ – not that they have DIFFERENT values… or see other ways to expressing the same ones…

    What seems to be the case is that there is little expectation for the GOP to actually DO any of these things… just to make them their Talk Tough issues… I mean, ‘Control the Border’? What he says in the paragraph below that point clarifies that he means, “play chicken with the wall to make moderates look weak”… I dont think any of his action points in the entire list have anything to do with actually accomplishing anything positive in the legislative schedule… just “retain power through the following rhetorical strategy”.

    Why can’t they just do their goddam jobs and actually produce effective legislation, rather than ‘political’ legislation? I’d vote GOP if they seemed slightly more pragmatic, less concerned with looking like Crusaders, demonizing the other…

    JG

  11. Doh! I guess I could have left out the ref to Akira… he’s already representing in living color. it’s like ‘speak the name and he shall appear’

    If i mischaracterized your earlier position, apologies; your comments here are more detailed.

    JG

  12. “7- End all federal aid to schools that don’t allow military recruiters.”

    I’ll get behind this as soon as the military gets rid of its bullshit anti-gay laws. Like Barry Goldwater said, “It doesn’t matter if a soldier is straight, only that he shoots straight.”

  13. Here’s one on my much more subtle list — add a statutory provision applicable to at least Titles 20 & 21:

    “No use of an article shall be inferred to be `intended’ without a statement to that effect by the most recent commercial purveyor of that article.”

    This would eliminate a lot of mischief by FDA & EPA, as well as precluding some by DEA re analogs.

  14. kwais,

    Nice list! I’d just modify #7 thusly: End all federal aid to schools that don’t allow military recruiters and to all schools that do allow military recruiters.

  15. an overwhelming percentage (up to 85% in one guess) of a people who tried to play a drinking game, wherein a shot is consumed every time the phrase “the American people” is used, would die of alcohol poisoning before reaching point #8. If the criteria were widened to include all buzzwords and phrases, then…well, really, all there’d be left would be punctuation and a few conjunctions.

  16. Since Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly voted in favor of the Pay-Go budget rules, which were eliminated by the Republican Congress, #8 would be exactly backwards.

    Were the Republicans to suddenly start controlling federal spending, they would be saying “We ARE Nancy Pelosi.” And John Kerry. And Ted Kennedy.

  17. Pelosi is the undead.

  18. joe,

    I believe that the provisions of Pay-Go budget rules are against higher deficits rather than higher spending, although their effect might well have been to reduce spending. When were they repealed? The episode that you lay out says much more about some Republicans’, and especially the administration’s, lack of spending restraint than it does about the Democrats’ adherence to the same.

    joe:

    Were the Republicans to suddenly start controlling federal spending, they would be saying “We ARE Nancy Pelosi.” And John Kerry. And Ted Kennedy.

    Give me an F***ing break. Pelosi is a outrageous big spender who gets F’s from the NTU for her votes for higher government spending.

    http://www.ntu.org/main/components/ratescongress/details_all_years.php3?house_id=87

    Same with Kerry:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/components/ratescongress/details_all_years.php3?senate_id=54

  19. …Same with Kennedy. Trust me. I just can’t pull up the data right now.

  20. As much as federal spending has exploded, the administration has proposed even more spending than has passed! And the Dems in congress have voted for even more spending than the Bush Administration has proposed! The Republicans in congress are the relatively frugal ones of the three.

    The GOP members in congress have failed to restrain Bush’s big spending agenda like they did Clinton’s. ( Was ?Hillary Care? considered a discretionary spending proposal?) This is probably due to, at least in part, the unfortunate post 9/11-Iraq war “rally round the Pres.” sentiment. But as I said, the Republicans in congress tend, however, to be far more frugal then the Dems. If the Dems in congress had gotten their way on spending votes, federal spending would be even far higher.

    Now there is the Blue Dog Coalition, a small group of more fiscally conservative Democrats in the House who are indeed more fiscally conservative that the Bush administration. They have started to work with the larger, fiscally conservative, Republican Study Committee to press for fiscal restraint. If the Blue dog agenda would ever be adapted by a majority of Dem office holders, ( a very, very long shot right now) liberty would have a better chance.

  21. ‘Like Barry Goldwater said, “It doesn’t matter if a soldier is straight, only that he shoots straight.” ‘

    Now THERE’s a double entendre.

  22. Akira cited “under-god” as example of unconstitutional violation of the establishment clause…although he didnt say exactly what he thought anyone should do about it. Under Locke? Under None? Urber Alles? Cold Chilling?

    How about: None Of The Above?

    At the risk of sounding like a treasonous, anti-American, “lib-rul” I have to ask why have a Pledge of Allegiance at all, much less the unspoken (or, in the case of a lot of conservatives I know, demanded loudly) expectation to recite it every public or private event? Free societies shouldn’t be demanding us to “pledge” anything, much less allegiance to a government.

    The Pledge has got to go. Not just for the religious bullshit the Knights of Columbus got the government to throw in to ward off “Godless Communists,” but because it smacks of mindless nationalism and the statist belief that we somehow owe our fealty to the flag and republic for which it stands.

  23. Rick,

    The Pay Go rules were, in fact, the only mechanism that has held down federal spending in the past 20 years. They were implemented in the budget deal that Bush made with the Democratic Congress (the one that caused your party to abandon him), and they were repealed by the Republican Congress that was seated in January 2001, when they passed Bush’s first tax cut/budget bill.

    You might remember the fiscal year in question – it was the first one in the modern era in which the Democrats did not control the House, Senate, or White House.

    And the NTU is a Republican front. You should have seen the look in the boss’s eyes when I reminded her back in 1995, when I was selling art door to door, that the flat tax was proposed by Jerry Brown before it was proposed by Dick Armey.

    “And the Dems in congress have voted for even more spending than the Bush Administration has proposed!” That’s what you get to do when you’re the minority – vote for things you have no intention of doing so you can grandstand without having to face the consequences. You know, like when the Republicans in Congress used to vote to cut spending when they were the minority and/or had Clinton in the White House.

  24. I NEVER pledge allegiance to “the flag”. Look at the vile shoe scrapings that wrap themselves in it.
    When Im in a social situation where such mumbo-jumbo is recited, I substitute “the Constitution(“the “one nation” aspect in reference to a federation of now 50 States.) , in a firm voice, where “flag” is said, & say nothing when “under “god”” comes up.
    The Flag says whatever some scoundrel claims it says.
    The Consitution speaks for its self……

  25. joe,

    The NTU is most certainly not a Republican front. If they were, they wouldn’t go after Bush the way they do. They count up the total money spent in all votes on spending and tally em up. Your anecdote is interesting and cute, though.

    I’m pretty sure that you couldn’t find a year in the last 35 where the Dems in congree have voted for less spending than the GOP.

  26. And note that the NTU praises the Blue Dog Coalition, a small group of more fiscally conservative Democrats in the House who are indeed more fiscally conservative that the Bush administration. BTW, Nancy Pelosi isn’t a member. No way!

  27. NTU’s ratings are totally screwy. The methodology is incredibly vague (no specific votes are listed), and what kind of an A is over 78%? That sounds more like a C+ to me.

    Looking over the 2004 Senate ratings, somehow I doubt the reason that virtually every Democrat got a D or an F (versus the usual B for a Republican) is that they voted to “increase spending.” What were Republicans doing? Increasing spending!

    How would you have any idea that this occurred from these ratings? Completely unhelpful.

  28. kwais,

    Nice list! I’d just modify #7 thusly: End all federal aid to schools that don’t allow military recruiters and to all schools that do allow military recruiters.

    Comment by: Rick Barton at September 8, 2006 02:35 PM
    and
    “7- End all federal aid to schools that don’t allow military recruiters.”

    I’ll get behind this as soon as the military gets rid of its bullshit anti-gay laws. Like Barry Goldwater said, “It doesn’t matter if a soldier is straight, only that he shoots straight.”

    Comment by: andy at September 8, 2006 01:48 PM

    See, I was trying to make a list that republicans might-could get behind, and that also was so unpopular as to never be passed right now. (I left off some of my own more radical ideas.)

    I think the last government subsidy I would get rid of is college aid and such. And I don’t think gays in the military is the best idea, and I don’t think it would sell to the public

  29. TaxpayersoftheWorldUnite:

    The methodology is incredibly vague (no specific votes are listed)

    EVERY vote on spending is tabulated. That’s why the NTU ratings are so accurate.

    and what kind of an A is over 78%? That sounds more like a C+ to me.

    The grading is on a curve. It’s an indication of how bad things are-how lose congress is with our money.

    What were Republicans doing? Increasing spending!

    Right, and that’s terrible. But the votes show that the Dems tend to vote for even higher levels of spending. As I said; as much as federal spending has exploded, the Bush administration has proposed even more spending than has passed! And the Dems in congress have voted for even more spending than the Bush Administration has proposed! The Republicans in congress are the relatively frugal ones of the three. The GOP members in congress have failed to restrain Bush’s big spending agenda like they did Clinton’s. But if the Dems in congress had gotten their way on spending votes, federal spending would be even far higher.

    BTW, Here?s the list of the most frugal members of the House and Senate:

    Winners of the Taxpayer Friends in the House award for 2005:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=96

    NTU’s Taxpayer Friends in the Senate for 2005:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=95

    They don’t break em out by party, but I think that there are just a couple of Dems who got the House award and zero who got the Senate award. But note also that the Blue Dog Coalition, a very small group of more fiscally conservative Democrats in the House who are indeed more fiscally conservative that the big government Bush administration, receives high praise on the NTU site.

  30. “The grading is on a curve.” — which is how all things are measured in practice: by comparison.

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