Politics

Newt Gingrich Journeys To the End of the Night on Monday Afternoons, Every Monday…

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Like The Mamas and Papas, I'm not fond of Mondays. Don't trust that day. You can find me crying all of the time…

Indeed, I'm only passing time until Newt Gingrich's special weekly newsletter dedicated to Winning the Future pops into my inbox in the early afternoon, choking me with laughter like a ham sandwich lodged in Mama Cass's throat.

Every Monday, you too can get a personalized, Onionesque commentary outlining the vital issues of the day which is (the note is basically Newt's Human Events column, plus some ads, which themselves are highly entertaining). This week's episode, for instance, includes a section titled, "It's Important That We Say It: Our Enemies Are Evil."

Some snippets:

When I travel around the country speaking to groups of Americans, I often tell the story of a couple arrested last year in Great Britain. They were arrested on the suspicion that they were going to use their eight-month-old baby to smuggle a bomb onto an airplane. They were apparently going to disguise the bomb as baby food. And they were perfectly happy to kill their baby just as long as they killed some Americans in the process.

There is a word for people like this. The word is evil.

It's important that we say this out loud and that we render this moral judgment. Because if we fail to understand that our enemy is evil, we have failed to understand what we are fighting.

We are not used to adversaries who will kill young children—even their own children—just to get a chance to kill us. But we had better get used to it, because this is the level of seriousness in the threat we face—this is the level of its ferocity….

We are living in serious times—a time when all of us need to think of the needs of our country and its future rather than our own personal or party interest….

Everywhere I travel across this country I am approached by those of you who have this same understanding. You're not out to score cheap political points. You're not blinded by political correctness. You're demanding that your families and your nation be defended. You're demanding something more serious and more substantive from your leaders.

And if I know you, I have a feeling you're going to get it.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S.—Speaking of elites who lie to themselves about the dangers of the world, my soon to be released active history novel, Pearl Harbor, will describe the drastic consequences of being unwilling to come to terms with a dangerous reality. To pre-order a limited edition, signed copy of Pearl Harbor, visit Premier Collectibles.

Read the whole thing here.

I was among the throng earlier this month that caught Newt's show at CPAC (as did the Wall Street Journal–alas, a sub is necessary to eyeball their account). Just how serious are these times? Well, he wasn't out to score "cheap political points" and boy, was he talking about uber-serious issues. In the Journal's telling:

The biggest cheers–and much of his popular appeal–were for his red-blooded appeals to patriotism, religious faith and a muscular foreign policy. "Why is it we don't have a law?" making English the language of government or enshrining "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, he asked to roars of approval.

I am more than willing to grant–sans irony–that Newt Gingrich is about the most intellectual pol out there. This is a guy who does think in terms of ideas, and unlike virtually all of his similar numbers, actually knows something about history. But Jeebus H. Christ, here's hoping that conservatives–and all Americans–demand something more serious and substantive from our leaders.

Dave Weigel told the secret history of Newt's Speakership here.

NEXT: Ova Gone Wild!

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  1. We are not used to adversaries who will kill young children — even their own children — just to get a chance to kill us.

    Like in Hiroshima, or Nagasaki, or Dresden, or North Vietnam… oh, wait a second. That’s entirely different.

    The biggest cheers–and much of his popular appeal–were for his red-blooded appeals to patriotism, religious faith and a muscular foreign policy. “Why is it we don’t have a law?” making English the language of government or enshrining “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, he asked to roars of approval.

    Do conservatives only retain knowledge of the Second Amendment, or just choose to ignore the others?

  2. “We are living in serious times — a time when all of us need to think of the needs of our country and its future rather than our own personal or party interest….”

    Yes, serious times indeed. Serious enough that we need to write articles that espouse the advantages of saying that people willing to blow up an airplane that includes their own baby are, in fact, “evil”.

    Newt might be an “intellectual” pol in some respects, but good god, there’s nothing more anti-intellectual than blaming real problems on a vague, faceless term like “evil”.

    Asserting the evilness of something does very little in helping us to solve the underlying problems that resulted in said evil. It’s not as if a couple of otherwise good folks woke up one day and said, “hey, I feel like being evil…I think we’ll take our baby on a plane and blow it up”. No, no, no. Whether or not they’re evil is inconsequential in all arenas other than the arena of empty political rhetoric. We could sit around all night and scream “rapists are evil” into the loudspeakers, but it’s not going to solve the problem of rape in our society.

    Just being an “idea man” like Newt doesn’t really make you an intellectual.

  3. The only reason that letter exists is the “P.S.” The rest of it is fundraising-style boilerplate.

  4. “Disagreeing with my positions on military and foreign policy demonstrates that you don’t take terroris seriously” is not a sustainable position four years after the Iraq invasion.

    Too many people inclined to vote Republican have come to realize that they’ve been had by that logic.

  5. Joe,

    Newt is right that we expect the government, at its very basest level, to protect us from aggression and exterior harm. His failing comes in the laughable assumption that there is only one way to “protect our families and our nation”, and that way is the republican way.

  6. Nick,

    We don’t like Mondays either. In fact, we’d like to shoot the whole day down.

  7. B.R.,

    Newt says just for wanting to do that, you are evil. EEEEEEEEEEVIIIIIL!!!

  8. I’m curious…he says the evil couple was arrested on the suspicion they were going to blow up a plane, but were they ever convicted of anything? I have all sorts of suspicions about my neighbors, but that doesn’t prove anything.

  9. Nah, were not evil. Newt can crackle with the problems and the hows and whys but we can see no reasons, cuz there are no reasons, what reasons do you need to die?

  10. Now that I think about it, if this took place in Great Britain they’re darned lucky they weren’t just forced to the floor of the subway and had 5 bullets pumped into their backs.

    That sure takes care of that messy “trial” thing.

  11. choking me with laughter like a ham sandwich lodged in Mama Cass’s throat.

    Dude, that’s harsh.

  12. Evan!,

    Right you are. “The Republican Way” gave us Iraq.

    That doesn’t make the Democrats necessarily right about everything, or even about any particular issue.

    What it does is force the Republicans to actually make their case. The contemptuous assumption that Republican and conservative ideas about security are the only ones to take seriously – the conventional wisdom that’s prevailed since Reagan, if not longer – is done. It’s a brave new world.

    Gingrich’s words just look hollow. Yeah yeah yeah, bin Laden’s evil – have we caught him yet? Yeah yeah yeah, Iraq’s full of evil people, you brilliant of you to notice. How’s that going, anyway?

  13. We don’t like Mondays either. In fact, we’d like to shoot the whole day down.

    I don’t like Mondays either.

  14. See? See!?! See that typo in the quip about Gingrich’s intelligence?

    That’s what happens, kids. When you insult someone’s intelligence on teh intertubes, you will make a proofreading error.

  15. There is currently a grassroots effort gathering support for a Newt Gingrich run for the White House. It’s called Draft Newt, and I’d like to invite you to visit our website at http://www.draftnewt.org

    If you want to get involved or have questions or comments don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Matt Keller
    Media Outreach Manager
    Draft Newt

  16. Mr Keller,

    From the blog post to the comments, did you read anything anyone wrote here? What made you think this is the crowd for Newt?
    Draft Newt? I’m willing to chip in for a one way ticket to Iraq maybe, but vote for him? No, I really don’t think so.

    (Sorry, not a Newt hater, just not a Newt liker either. Mostly now I’m a “Matt Keller must have his head tucked up an orifice-er.”)

  17. Maybe if we draft Newt, the army will send him to Iraq for us. Saves us the price of a plane ticket.

  18. Mr Keller

    Most of the readers here would rather draft beer.

  19. Was that title supposed to be “Newt Gingrich *Takes* a Journey to the End of the Night”, or was it referring to a different song.

  20. I suspect that Matt works for Move-On.org. I just can’t square his ill-timed outreach to anything but a clever attempt to do his part to set up a democratic cakewalk by helping secure the republican nomination for Newt. No serious adult could possibly support that knobjockey.

  21. I guess it isn’t considered hip in this crowd to say it but yeah, I’d agree that the couple in question is evil. There is a point where I have to admit when somebody says something that is clearly correct even if I don’t agree with many or any other positions that they stand for.

  22. I suspect that “Matt” is a bot… there’s no password/verification to post here. I’d suspect that it’s set up to post a reply to any political blog that mentions Newt.

  23. Nick,
    Heh, good post. Thanks for the giggle. You guys are have got Newt pegged. He may be the most intellectual big idea man on the scene. But he traded those ideas for a hand full of beans fist chance he had.

    FYI I think ‘Jeebus H Christ on a pogo stick’ has a meter that gives it more pop.

  24. Daft Newt is more like it.

  25. Well, I guess I’ll go against the grain here and come out in favor of Newt.

    I think his point in the ‘evil’ terminology is that far too many people, particularly on the angry left side of the spectrum are reluctant or refuse to acknowledge that aspects of what this country faces are, in fact, evil. He is not blaming problems on a nebulous conception of evil, but rather, by stating that some things are evil, you then have a moral framework within which to analyze, examine, and strategize the best ways to confront the problems of our days.

    Certainly, the example given above is used in a fundraising capacity, and hyperbole is the coin of the realm in getting supporters to open the checkbook. Nevertheless, there are salient points made by Newt with respect to the global jihad currently being waged, and we would do well to at least acknowledge that evil exists and can manifest itself in horrific ways that we previously have not faced.

    Please, carry on with your mocking jibes, or jibing mocks, whatever suits your fancy.

  26. …here’s hoping that conservatives–and all Americans–demand something more serious and substantive from our leaders.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting…

  27. I’m a hawkish sort of guy. Here’s the thing, though. I don’t care about evil so much. I care about dangerous. My disputes with the left-leaning approach to foreign policy have nothing to do with its unwillingness to acknowledge evil. The problem at heart is that I don’t see a serious acknowledgement of danger.

  28. eb, chunkstyle,

    Names? Who exactly fits your description of not believing terrorists like those Newt describes are not evil?

  29. OK, let me explain something to you pseudo intellectuals.

    Gingrich felt it necessary to belabor the point because of the simple fact that most liberals do not believe that there is such a thing as “evil”. Thye think if a person does something bad, it’s because they were disadvantaaged or abused or poor or some other bullshit reason.

    Sorry people, but there is evil in this world. You ignore evil at your own risk.

  30. “were for his red-blooded appeals to patriotism, religious faith and a muscular foreign policy. “Why is it we don’t have a law?” making English the language of government or enshrining “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, he asked to roars of approval”

    and then those fucking inbreds who cheer this bullshit go home to watch “Ow My Balls”, the most popular TV show of the time…

    http://imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

  31. “the simple fact that most liberals do not believe that there is such a thing as “evil”.”

    Again, name one.

    Just one.

  32. (Special to Boomtown Rats: The silicon switch inside my head got switched to overload. “Sir” Bob Geldoff – that’s rich.)

    Labelling people or behavior as evil is usually not terribly useful in geopolitics. It’s generally a rhetorical device to rile up true believer insiders against their enemies and to divide the us (good) from them (evil). The additional benefit of G vs. E is that those who don’t agree with your assessment (or as not as fantastical in their disapproval) become evil by association, or evilish appeasers. At the very least these naysayers are deluded.

    As to the nature of evil and whether it exists in the world – it’s a great big question involving philosophy, theology, psychology, etc. Can a true stone sociopath be evil? If you have zero empathy and view others as your playthings in a sadistic world can you be called evil? Do you need to know (maybe even “feel”) what is good to be evil?

    I do know that there are some extraordinary dangerous and fucked up folks out there – Pol Pot and some of his minions (the baby bashers), Mengele and many of the worker bees in the camps (it does give me some marginal comfort that many of them had to get drunk out of their minds in order to do what was expected of them), Mohammed Atta and the others, etc.

    In some odd and disturbing way though, these people believed in what they were doing and that it was “right” or at least necessary for the greater goal. I like the earlier Boomtown Rats allusions to “I Don’t Like Mondays” – the silicon switch inside these guys heads did get switched to overload or they were just wired really bad in the first place for whatever reason.

    Calling them evil doesn’t make it easier or more likely to stop these folks. It’s just shorthand.

    Sometimes the act of labelling can also have ancillary negative conseqences – would Iranian or North Korea leaders have reacted differently had we not called them evil?

    Or maybe I just have a bad case of the Mondays.

  33. most liberals do not believe that there is such a thing as “evil”

    Most conservatives do not believe that black people want to work.

    There, the generalizations are complete.

  34. Joe,

    Take a look at some of these protest photos here: http://www.zombietime.com/ for a taste of what I’m talking about. (I tried to make it a functional link, but maybe hit and run doesn’t accept html). You will find some of the most vile statements defending evil on their various posters and banners. Of course, they can be marginalized as anonymous useful idiots, so you’d probably like some names with national recognition.

    OK, so off the top of my head, three recognizable figures representing the angry left’s inability to ackowledge the nature of what we face are:

    1) Michael Moore

    2) Rosie O’Donnell

    3) Bill Maher

  35. chunkstyle,

    I think you are confusing the recognition of structural injustices with blindness towards evil.

    I think that the Palestinians have legitimate complaints AND I think that suicide bombings are evil. If I make the former point, I am not backing away from the latter. As a matter of fact, one of the most important reasons to oppose such injustices is to keep evil people from coming to power.

  36. Unfortunately, Joe, I don’t think any of the three on my list share your view in labeling terrorist acts as evil. In fact, they seem to go out of their way to justify why we must have deserved it.

  37. Gee, I sure wish my grandparents’ generation spend WW2 snickering at people who said the Nazis were evil, instead of talking about why our country must be victorious. The world would be so much better off if they were like “Auschwitz? Well the KKK has killed some people here for racist reasons, so who are we to talk?”

    Keep snarking. Maybe eventually we can end up with creeping Sharia like Europe, because *snicker snicker* what, you think our way is better!? Snicker Snicker.

  38. I get that certain people can be labeled “evil.” I don’t know that it’s particularly helpful one way or the other, but I understand that it meanst that those people are likely to do bad things.

    What I don’t get is the statement (made repeatedly by Sean Hannity and also in some comments here) that “there is evil in this world.” What does that mean? Is it just a shorthand for saying that there are bad (or “evil”) people? Or does it mean that an entity called “evil” exists — perhaps Satan, or something like that?

  39. Gee, I sure wish my grandparents’ generation spend WW2 snickering at people who said the Nazis were evil, instead of talking about why our country must be victorious.

    Gee, I sure wish we had some nation-state that we could focus on as being the source of evil in the world to make that a valid comparison instead of, y’know, complete and utter bullshit. You want to point to someone and say; that’s evil, this is how we fight it, then fine, do that. If, on the other hand, you’re just going to say “THERE’S EVIL! EVIL!” and then add, “by the way, buy my book and support my candidacy for President,” then you’re just indulging in hyperbole for the benefit of people who want to have their worldview validated by having some nebulous ideal to point at and say “I’m better than this hypothetical person, so I must be right!”

  40. “Most of the readers here would rather draft beer.”

    That was fairly obvious.

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