Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Newtonian Motion*

The difference between Newt Gingrich, on the one hand, and Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann on the other, is that the former claims the mantle of intellectual seriousness, while the latter proudly reject it. That the two ladies poll much higher among teabaggers says a lot; but it's also interesting that, other than their self-described positions along the line between stupid and crazy, there's no actual difference among them. Here's Newt's latest:
"I have two grandchildren: Maggie is 11; Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. "I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they're my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American."

Let's not dwell on the contradictions of an atheist future dominated by a religious group, okay? (Although I'd love it, as I wait for an answer to a recent question, if someone might outline how we get, in America, from where we are to living under Sharia law. Please be specific, but feel free to take as many steps as you'd like.) Let's, instead, wonder what he means by the struggle over the nature of America. Who's fighting, and over what? Given the venue, one must assume he's not talking about credit default swaps.

And since Obama hasn't done anything fundamentally to change America other than reversing the course of economic collapse while maintaining all its political and financial institutions intact, I'm assuming it's about the gays. After all, the number of Americans who claim to be religious keeps going up, while the number who believe in evolution continues to fall. So it can't be about secularism? WTF is he talking about?

What did it once mean to be an American? Holding slaves? Disallowing woman's suffrage? There was a time when it meant illegal booze and lack of interstate highways. Before that, there was polio. And smallpox. Sweatshops. Child labor (ready for a comeback if Rs have their way). So, yeah, it seems to me lots of people already don't know what it once meant to be American.

Among the wonderful things about being American is that it can change as the times change; that such change is assumed in and facilitated by our founding documents. And, to the extent that it does change, it's because that's what Americans want -- not what autocratic leaders want. And that the change -- a civil war here and there notwithstanding -- generally happens without much in the way of bloodshed. Let's repeat: CHANGE, ASSUMED IN AND FACILITATED BY OUR FOUNDING DOCUMENTS!

So, if poor addled and adulterated Newt finds it uncomfortable that America is slowly rejecting religious-based discrimination against a class of people based on their sexual preferences, well, I'd have to say it's he who doesn't understand what it means to be American. Whatever else it is, America is NOT stagnant.

However, to the extent that it is becoming -- or that all three of the aforementioned pathetophiles would like to see it as -- a theocracy, stagnation is exactly what the future holds.

Newt Gingrich, in my view, is by far the most egregious of that terrible trio (which is not to say he's any less dangerous: in that, they rub equally along the bottom of the tub.) He tries to hide his dishonesty, his stupidity, his pandering to the lowest of the low, in the folds of his professorial vestments. The other two: they wave it like a battle-flag heading over the hill.

[Some might question why I'm suddenly writing so much about Newt who, as I see it, has as much chance of becoming our next president as I do; maybe less. Fair question. He's always intrigonnoyed me with his self-important faux intelligence, pretending to the intellectual high ground while scudding along the lowest of the lowlands. And, as the Republican party steadily and purposefully divests itself of all pretense of thoughtful discourse, overtly eschewing any connection to academe and rationality, it's been highly amusing to see Newt, the once-considered brainy, flop around like a goldfish out of tank, struggling for oxygen where there is none, trying to learn to breathe in an environment that has rejected the kind of respiration on which he (deceptively) built his political persona. Fun, huh?]


*The reader no doubt knows the British usage of the term "motion," yes?

[Update: looks like I'm not the only one who questions a Newt presidency.]


  1. Sid, Newt has about as much chance of winning anything as Muamar Khadafi replacing Biden on the 2012 Democrat ticket...
    Newt couldnt even get re-elected in a Suburban Atlanta District that still has a Confederate Theme Park...
    and I don't get the "Denying Women Sufferage" thang, you WANT Women to suffer??
    and your right, Obama (Peace be upon Him)hasnt done anything to fundamentally change America except for the 1127(to date) Americans killed in Iraq/Afghanistan/Gitmo/Fort Hood since He ascended to the throne...


  2. Thanks, CCoT; the rare notice of my wordplay is appreciated.


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