The Prophet Newt

The Prophet Newt January 25, 2012

“Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing.” Why? This was due partly to “his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail”; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which “have no strategies to defeat the empire.”

Turns out the GOP’s leading sociopath didn’t always wrap himself in the mantle of Reagan.  Nor is he quite the prophetic genius he always assures us he is.  Something to think about as this damp-handed chickenhawk pounds the drums for a fresh war for other people to suffer and die in. One thing is a constant though: for Newt, as for all neocons, it is eternally World War II and every hostile power is always Hitler. Thus, when Reagan met with Gorbachev in 1985, it was, for the prophet Newt “the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with Neville Chamberlain in 1938 in Munich.” Yeah, that Reagan. What an appeasing Chamberlain he was. No wonder the Soviet Union went on to conquer us, as Iran will surely do next unless we elect this bellicose fake who couldn’t be bothered to serve.

Demagogues always need a new war to gin up the crowd with nationalism masquerading as patriotism.

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  • Ah, I remember it well. My first quarter of college. Everyone was scared, pissed, and upset. Reagan was either a weakling (who had called the USSR the evil empire), a war-monger wannabe (who had called the USSR the evil empire and desired to nuke the world), or a senile old coot who would embarrass himself and the US as the oh-so-cool and intellectual Gorbachev ran circles around him. I remember. The weeks leading up to it, my college profs, the media pundits. For one brief moment it appeared the entire US was united in our dread of what Reagan was going to do. I think it’s still a sore point for many (and a point of denial for others), that when Reagan returned and gave his report on the meeting, you could almost hear the planet give a great sigh of relief as if, for the first time since the Cold War began, it might be possible that the big mess could end without mushroom clouds and bloodshed. So there you go. I didn’t realize Newt was one of the giant chorus of naysayers. How strange.

    • S. Murphy

      That’s an interesting observation! Thanks for the perspective. I was in high school, and really don’t remember the public sentiment.

  • Reality Check

    It’s always 1938 somewhere! How many The Next Hitlers(tm) have we had in the last 20 years? Like 40 by now?

    • S. Murphy

      Even more, on the internet…

      Btw, do we count Saddam twice?

      • kenneth

        We got a lot of mileage out of that guy before they strung him up. He played Hitler twice, and before that, he was a “valued ally in the fight against Iranian terrorism.” Back in the day when Don Rumsfeld was gripping and grinning with him in photos while we sold him nerve gas precursors with a wink and a nod….

  • kenneth

    What a five-star putz. And what does that say about our society, that a guy like that is able to get any traction, let alone serious consideration for president?

  • kenneth

    While we’re on the subject of banalities, and for some lighter fare, we now know what became of Glossu “Beast” Rabban-Harkonnen after that unfortunate dust-up on Arrakis. Internet piracy, it turns out, is much more fun, and profitable, than brutalizing an arid world full of wiry desert folk:

    http://msnbcmedia4.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/120120-kim-dotcom-profile-145p.grid-4×2.jpg

    http://www.usul.net/film/images/rabban.jpg

    • S. Murphy

      That was funny!

  • It is also interesting to see the media al of a sudden supporting Newt. They would happily destroy him in the general election. I believe they want Newt to be the GOP candidate because they know Obama would easily beat him. They will have much more trouble attacking Romney.

  • Thomas R

    “Turns out the GOP’s leading sociopath”

    Now on top of being able to know certainties on marriages you never witnessed you’re a psychologist too. Amazing! It’s a shame politics brings out a kookiness in you, IMO, because you do have some interesting posts.

  • Andy

    Although I do not like the labeling of people, I am not sure that sociopath is not somewhat of an apt descriptor of Mr. Gingrich. A sociopath is usually interested only in his/her personal needs and desires, and has little concern about the effects of their behavior on others. Three marriages, comments about groups of people that are at best ill-concieved, wrapping himself in the Reagan mantle when it is not true, ignoring the plight of others – seems match my understanding of sociopath.
    Perhaps the larger problem is that in the US we expect our or accept that our political leaders will act for themselves and hope that we can be like them so our needs will be met. We as a society may encouraging (enabling) sociopaths to run for office. We rely on 15 second sound bites for our news; we accept that politicians will lie about each other; we accept that politicians will become rich while in office; we do not hold them accountable for what they say.
    Mark indeed may be right about Mr. Gingrich, but I think he misses the point and fails to include all politicians under that umbrella.

    • Joseph

      That was Mark’s point. I’m pretty sure he knows the definition of “sociopath”.

      • Andy

        Joseph
        My point was not to educate Mark, but to let other people know what a sociopath is. I also put the definition there because I think our political system manufactures sociopaths.

    • Sean O

      Yes there are many more. Tom Delay was always at the head of the political sociopaths on my list. Plenty more reside on Wall St.

  • Jack

    This isn’t going to be about Newton (I wander what drugs his mother was taking when she named him after a unit of force) Gingrich but about the type of conservatism which he espouses.

    The problem I see with the majority of US Conservatives is that from my experience they have .22 calibre minds in a .365 Magnum world i.e. they are dumb and don’t think the consequences of their actions. They then allow themselves to be taken in by politicians who masquerade as conservatives who then implement agendas that are as conservative as Ted Kennedy, the irony is that often it is liberal groups such as the ACLU who are the ones who fight to preserve a conservative’s vision of liberty, whilst being blasted by the ‘conservatives’ on talk radio for doing so.

    This is not to deride conservatism as a whole; indeed I am proud to be a religious, fiscal and social conservative. However what passes itself off as conservatism these days would have many of our ideological forbears rolling in their graves.

    Take for example the 3 Republican candidates who have stated that they will initiate military action against Iran should they be elected; the Islamic Republic of Iran has not engaged in overt hostilities since the 1979 Revolution and despite the oratory of various Iranian statesmen shows no sign of doing so. Likewise Saddam Husain had not engaged in hostilities with the United States for 12 years before President Bush decided to invade 9 years ago engaging America in a costly war which accounts for roughly one third of America’s current national debt. It is amusing that apart from Dr Paul, the candidates don’t get the fact that wars cost ALOT of money and trying to balance the budget whilst fighting what would be a MAJOR regional engagement is next to impossible.

    On civil liberties it has been so-called conservatives that have the worst record, The U.S. Patriot Act allowed unprecedented (and I might add Unconstitutional) expansion of the powers given to federal law enforcement agencies who are allowed to shop for ‘friendly’ judges who are more likely to look the other way when said agencies violate the constitution, hold indefinitely any alien who ‘might’ commit an act of terrorism. Did I mention the no-fly list which has generated numerous false positives (including the late Ted Kennedy) and preventing these people from flying into or around the United States and the National Defence Authorization Act which couldn’t have been enacted without the help of the republicans in the House and Senate?

    These are just two examples, and I could name many more but I think you get my point.

    I may not be an American but I urge readers to Vote for Ron Paul.

    • Re: “the Islamic Republic of Iran has not engaged in overt hostilities since the 1979 Revolution”

      Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Iran after the revolution, because Hussein thought that he would have an easy victory after the revolution. He was wrong. The UN offered a ceasefire which Iran refused because they thought that they would win. Several years later, Iran was forced to accept the same ceasefire terms because of low morale and economic ruin (and many dead bodies).

      During that time, Iran threatened neutral shipping in order to prevent Iraq’s export of oil (which translated to Iraqi war money). Look up Tanker War on Google.

      • Jack

        Bob

        Sorry that should read the Islamic Republic of Iran has not engaged in overt hostilities with the United States since the Revolution and if you read my post correctly I said that Saddam hadn’t engaged in armed hostilities with the US since the 1st Gulf War.

    • Sean O

      I think his mother named him after a lizard. He is rather reptilian.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    Well, if it’s any comfort, the nominee is going to be Romney. Newt is putting on a good show, but I’d bet dollars he flames out in the next few months.

    This morning on NPR, when asked if he would run as a Third Party candidate, Ron Paul said he had “a few months” to decide and would not rule it out. So Paul pulling a Perot is looking like a distinct possibility.

    Which means 4 more years of Obama.

    Not sure how I feel about 4 more years of Obama rather than Romney. It’s kind of like being offered the choice between staying on the sinking ship or jumping aboard the pirate vessel.

    • Adolfo

      It doesn’t mean that if more people vote for Ron Paul than anyone else.

      • Mark S (not for Shea)

        That’s about as likely to happen as the success of my write-in campagin for Mr. T for President.

  • William

    Though I’m not psychologist, I actually think Newt would more accurately be described as a narcissist.

  • The Soviet Union was disintegrating as a viable economic, social and political entity. I have the utmost respect for Reagan because there might very well have been a nuclear war as a consequence of the disintegration. He presided over a peaceful end to the Cold War. It might not have worked out that way.

  • pol

    Read Poltico today describing the split in the Republican Party between the Country Clubbers-Romney’s people and the Tea Party people aka Walmart Republicans. Their reporter went to rallies for both and the contrast couldn’t have been starker and NO, they really don’t like each other. My bet, at this moment is that Newt can win Florida and stick it in the eye of “THE ESTABLISHMENT”. Just look at the attacks on him by them-Ann Coulter et al.

    • Mark Shea

      Are you seriously suggesting Newt is not The Establishment? In the words of Jon Stewart, When Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles Newt!

  • It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. =Jerry Seinfeld

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