Newt Gingrich

Required Reading for the Next Person Who Calls Newt Gingrich an "Intellectual"

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WTF?

Those of us who enjoy deep readings of politicians' literary output, essays by Andrew Ferguson, and mockery of Newt Gingrich are in for a treat: Ferguson has attempted in the New York Times Magazine to read and process 21 of Gingrich's 23 published books. While the snark is satisfying, the substance is good, too. Some excerpts:

The books then and now are full of heresy. He showed a willingness to criticize other Republicans, even Reagan at the height of his popularity. He advocated a health tax on alcohol to discourage drinking — social engineering, it's called — and imagined government-issued credit cards that would allow citizens to order goods and services directly from the feds. He thought the government should run nutritional programs at grocery stores and give away some foodstuffs free. He was pushing cuts in the defense budget in 1984 and a prototype of President Obama's cash-for-clunkers program in 1995.

WTF?

The ultimate problem with Gingrich's firehose approach to idea-generation wasn't the ideological cast of the ideas but their practicality. To pluck a couple of trivial examples from the scores of proposals he offers in "To Renew America": "We should work with every recovery program to develop low-cost detoxification programs." Terrific, but who's the "we," and what would the "work" entail, and how would the cost be lowered? Before you can ask the question, Gingrich has rushed ahead. Because "we need to know more about the environment," we should "develop a worldwide biological inventory." Excellent idea, for all I know, but administered how? Paid for by whom? Gingrich's vagueness was always a problem, but the books show something more: a near-total lack of interest in the political implementation of his grand ideas — a lack of interest, finally, in politics at its most mundane and consequential level. […]

Make it stop

In "The Art of Transformation," he manages to one-up the usual business-book jargon by compiling an impenetrable lexicon of his own. He shows us an OODA loop, for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, and connects "Islands of Excellence With Invisible Bridges" while "mind mapping" for project planning.

"Moving to the sound of the guns," he writes, "requires that we are externally rather than internally oriented, so we can hear the guns; understand our antelope" — that's what he wrote — "so we know if the guns are worth hearing; think through our deep-mid-near goals so we know which guns to respond to." […]

For all the reciprocated disdain he claims to feel for the establishment in Washington, where he has lived for more than 30 years, he is still its unwitting champion; for without the crises that Gingrich chronically imagines, the establishment would no longer be necessary.

Whole thing worth a read. Reason's voluminous Gingrich file here. Reason.tv interview with Andrew Ferguson below:

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  1. You know who else opposed liquor?

      1. I’m tired of the joke and I’ve decided to give an educated response. Now go Wikipedia young man 🙂

        1. According to Wikipedia he was also a vegetarian.

          1. I read it this morning. Do you think he was a time traveler? You can never trust an editor.

            1. We all travel in time – only very slowly – and only forwards.

              1. Pirs, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

                I have a Time Travel Bucket List? ? ? to cross-off

    1. Beer distributors?

      1. The long, unending bloodbath between brewers and distillers has not been properly recognized.

        1. I never understood the “well, if it’s only beer, that’s ok…BUT NO LIQUOR111!” Huh? My worst drunks were ALWAYS on beer.

          Anyway, give ’em all chainsaws and de’il tkae the hindmost.

    2. Carrie Nation

  2. Understand the antelope?

    1. We better. From what I understand, this antelope has guns.

      1. Even Carl Jung would be confused.

        1. Whaaa? Art and OM both show up out of the blue on the same day?

          You’re both Dan T. sockpuppets, aren’t you?!

  3. Doesn’t thining about lots of things, constantly changing his position, and over the years believing in all sorts of crazy things exactly the kind of thing that makes him an intellectual as opposed to an ideolog?

    1. I’d say an intellectual changes positions in light of new information as opposed to solely for political gain, i.e. Gingrich. And, as with any politician, it’s hard to know how much of Gingrich’s opinions are Gingrich’s, and how much are smart policy guys in the shadows.

  4. Alt-text should be, of course, “Newt is short for Newcular Titties.” WTF has already been played out, thanks to our brilliant president and his hip, Internet savvy.

    1. WTF has already been played out

      So has Newcular Titties. Please stop.

      1. Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties [EMPIRE] Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties [New]cular Tit[ties] [US ISRAEL]

      2. Newcular Titties will never be played out.

      3. First, [EMPIRE] Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties/ Then [Newcular] Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties [Israel] Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties [Bong Hits] Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties [HURR DURR HURR!] Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties Newcular Titties [how does it work?] Newcular Titties Newcular Titties.

      4. Why do you hate Newcular Titties? Newcular Titties? Newcular Titties?

        [New]cular [Tit]ties! Newcular Titties.

      5. It will be played out once he adopts this name. Only then.

        People have such low tolerances for campaigns to correct wrongs, these days. I blame reality television.

  5. Make it stop.

    Ha ha, no kidding.

    I can’t take much more of this.

  6. a near-total lack of interest in the political implementation of his grand ideas

    I read that and thought, “Obama”.

    But, yeah, OK, Newcular Titties Gangrene, too. Who know NTG and the Bamster had so many similarities? Disdain for ground-level politics, pretending to be “intellectuals” while actually being rather stupid dolts, pissing off widely divergent groups of people. Amazing.

    1. I would say that one difference is that Obama doesn’t have a single idea that isn’t at least as old as he is.

      1. Let me be clear. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!!!

  7. Understand the antelope?

    “Be the ball, Danny.”

    1. I don’t WANT to understand the antelope, Mr. Gangrene. I want to EAT the antelope.

  8. OODA

    We call that “PDCA” where I work – Plan. Do. Check. Adjust. Rinse, repeat.

    OODA sounds like a broken horn on a model T.

  9. Newcular, a suggested title for your next book:

    “My Thirty Years of Self-Imposed Exile From Polite Society”
    (Copyright 2041 Penguin Classics)

  10. He shows us an OODA loop, for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, and connects “Islands of Excellence With Invisible Bridges” while “mind mapping” for project planning.

    My head hurts.

    1. What, he couldn’t squeeze “paradigm” in there somewhere? Newt, I am dissapoint.

  11. …we should “develop a worldwide biological inventory.”

    Ew, I know. We could you the intertubz to do it. Let me start it going.

    There are 0 aardvarks in my cubicle.

    1. ….and imagined government-issued credit cards that would allow citizens to order goods and services directly from the feds.

      Why don’t you use one of Newt cards and git yerself one of them aardvarks.

  12. OODA Loop – described/devised by Col. John Boyd. Essentially those who can accurately run through the OODA Loop quicker can gain a time advantage on their opponent. Hard to tell from the sarcisitc quote whether Gingrich used it appropriately. I venture not.

    1. Damn preview button – sarcisitic = sarcastic.

  13. Moving to the sound of the guns,” he writes, “requires that we are externally rather than internally oriented, so we can hear the guns; understand our antelope” ? that’s what he wrote ? “so we know if the guns are worth hearing; think through our deep-mid-near goals so we know which guns to respond to.”

    “I found myself at an important turning point in my life” he wrote in “Five Principles for a Successful Life.” “I had to stop and ask myself: . . . How can I live up to my potential and be the best possible version of ‘me’?”

    In conclusion, my ambition – is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I’m conscience dreaming! Thank you!”

    “You shouldn’t be afraid of the stars.”

    “Honeymoons in space will be the vogue by 2020.”

    1. “Five minutes with Walter Matthau is like 10 years in an Ivy League school…. It’s a shame what’s happening in Sarajevo…. There is nothing more pleasurable than spreading butter all over your chest and watching TV…. Don’t count out Olympia Dukakis in the 1953 Oscar race…. If you see my good friend Harry, tell him to give me a call….”

      1. Those are like the Larry King Stream of Consciousness episodes from the old “Don and Mike Show”!

        My hair grows sir…theres nothing better than chicken fat on a Matzo…..I remember when we played stickball in Brooklyn…..I remember flying to Isreal on El Al and the silverware was cold to the touch……

          1. Fucking insane is right, two of the quotes I used are from Jared Lee Loughner and they fit right in.

  14. Required Reading for the Next Person Who Calls Newt Gingrich an “Intellectual”

    Final Exit, but it would have to be the audiobook. Or perhaps an instruction manual for coming down off powerful hallucinogens.

  15. “Moving to the sound of the guns,” he writes, “requires that we are externally rather than internally oriented, so we can hear the guns; understand our antelope”

    Is this from a hunting textbook?

  16. The really funny thing is that his alternate-history novels would require greater attention to detail and to granular facts than his political writings.

    (If they weren’t ghostwritten, that is.)

    You can’t write an alternate-history novel about WWII without, you know, looking up some historical facts, maybe looking at a couple of maps, etc.

    You can write nonsense about OODA loops while inhabiting a world of pure fantasy.

    1. You can’t write an alternate-history novel about WWII without, you know, looking up some historical facts, maybe looking at a couple of maps, etc.

      Why?

      Let me try:

      It was quiet evening in Luxemborg during the early Spring of 1939 when a large object with blue lights appeared in the sky shooting terrible beams of light in all directions. It was at that moment that I realized the world would never be the same.

      1. That would not be an alternate history of WWII because WWII started in the fall of 1939, not the spring. (In Europe, at least.)

        See? You would need to do some research after all.

      2. Sorry, I’m just being a dick. Of course it would still be an alternate-history WWII novel. There are plenty of those that start in 1938 or even earlier.

        But at some point in your life you’d need to learn these things. We aren’t born knowing that Luxembourg is in Europe.

        1. Sorry, I’m just being a dick. Of course it would still be an alternate-history WWII novel.

          I knew it was snark. 😉

          But at some point in your life you’d need to learn these things. We aren’t born knowing that Luxembourg is in Europe.

          According to my research, Luxembourg isn’t in Europe…

  17. People read books by Newt Gingrich?

    Anyway…if his family can’t trust, neither can anybody else.

    Anytime I want to hear confused babbling from somebody more or less on my side of the spectrum I watch Bill O’Reilly pontificate in a supreme display of logical inconsistency and economic misunderstandings.

  18. Oh my God. I didn’t realize until now that Obama stole that retarded ‘Win the Future’ line from Newt Gingrich. That just makes it even more retarded.

  19. In “The Art of Transformation,” he manages to one-up the usual business-book jargon by compiling an impenetrable lexicon of his own. He shows us an OODA loop, for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act, and connects “Islands of Excellence With Invisible Bridges”

    I hate this corporate middle management speak with a passion that probably borders on the irrational.

  20. Just reading one book by this guy is enough to make any right-minded person go insane. Andrew Ferguson has balls.

    1. Andrew Ferguson is getting paid for it.

      1. Not enough.

        1. I don’t doubt that, which is why I was careful to omit the word “well”.

    2. Ferguson’s one of the best political writers out there. Evenhanded in that he draws great laughs at the expense of the clowns of the left and the right.

  21. It’s hard to say who is more repulsive and who is the bigger imbecile, Newt or Al.

    1. It’s easy to say – just one syllable – and you can’t be wrong.

  22. I never understood Newt’s agenda, never have I seen some one all over the compass on any given issue, it is no wonder that no one likes Newt even in his own party…

  23. He stands shoulder to shoulder with other modern intellectual giants like Al Gore.

  24. let me tell you ipad 2 bag

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