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Archive for the ‘Newt Gingrich’ Category

Florida craziness: Newt on Mitt’s anti-Holocaust survivor policies?

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Things have officially gotten crazy in Florida. From a robocall making the rounds in Florida, on behalf of Newt Gingrich:

Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors? 

I’m not sure what this is symptomatic of: The stupidity of robocalling as a campaign tool or the willingness of Gingrich supporters to do anything (ANYTHING!) to defeat Mitt Romney. Either way.



Written by Christopher ZF

January 31, 2012 at 15:17

Newt’s Fall from Science.

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If you don’t read Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones, you should. Or at least follow here on twitter. She’s very good at her job. So, that’s a plug for Ms. Sheppard.

In Mother Jones today, Sheppard hits on a favorite topic of TRC. The piece is called The Other Love Newt Spurned: Science, and it details in brief his history as a pro-science, pro-environment, pro-space travel, pro-cap-and-trade Republican. Frankly, Newt has always been a science guy. So what happened?

But that was then. Now, Gingrich is much less enthusiastic about science and the environment. And the explanation seems is fairly simple: Gingrich-the-professor likes grandiose ideas like earth-orbiting climate monitors, space honeymoons, a $40 billion investment in laptops for poor people, or bringing back the dinosaurs. But Gingrich-the-presidential hopeful is campaigning in an age where not just denying climate change but actively disdaining scientific research is the standard in the Republican Party.

Gingrich somehow still inhabits the role of Ideas Man for many in the Republican Party. But the Ideas Man is gone. All that is left is a politician running away from his past to help him run for president. Hopefully after he loses this race he will go back to adding value to the GOP by thinking big and looking forward.

Example: If I didn’t know better, this website that Sheppard highlights, and is paid for by Romney’s friends, would give a liberal like me a reason to like Gingrich. Instead, its only point is to mock the man who once challenged the status quo of his party.

Written by Christopher ZF

January 25, 2012 at 09:41

Breaking down the GOP campaigns

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In the wake of the SC Primary, where Newt Gingrich defeated Mitt Romney by about 12 percentage points, TRC has been considering just how strange the campaigns of these two men really are. I mean really, if you think about the campaign of Newt Gingrich for President, or the campaign of Mitt Romney for President, they are very odd.

To wit: if TRC ran these campaigns, I would boil them down to a slogan and an image. Choose wisely, Republicans.

Newt Gingrich 2012.

Mitt Romney 2012.

Written by Christopher ZF

January 23, 2012 at 11:29

SNAP helps people. Maybe a food-stamp president isn’t so bad.

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I’ve been struggling personally with the demonization of the food-stamp program (SNAP) in the US.  People I know and love have survived because of the SNAP program. That the US government has such a program is a good, not an evil. It’s frustrating. But even more so is the racism that has surrounded these condemnations.

That Newt Gingrich can call President Obama  a “food-stamp president” and pretend that it is not a racially charged statement highlights his capacity for self-delusion. There are 10,000 names that Newt Gingrich could have used to criticize Barack Obama’s presidency, and that he choose the phrase he did is not accidental. It is dangerous language. Ta-Nehisi Coates highlights its danger, in a reminder that real racists do real things.

When a professor of history calls Barack Obama a “Food Stamp President,” it isn’t a mistake to be remedied through clarification; it is a statement of aggresion. And when a crowd of his admirers cheer him on, they are neither deluded, nor in need of forgiveness, nor absolution, nor acting against their interest. Racism is their interest. They are not your misguided friends. They are your fully intelligent adversaries, sporting the broad range of virtue and vice we see in humankind. If you are a praying person, you should pray for their electoral destruction in November.

I would like to ask Newt Gingrich why this campaign ad is titled The Moment. What moment is he hoping to pinpoint in this clip? I would like to hear him complete this sentence: This is the moment I _____________.

Written by Christopher ZF

January 20, 2012 at 14:59

That wasn’t a great idea last time, but, I guess you never know

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There are many reasons to oppose the very idea of “President Gingrich.” But if you have been searching for another one, well, here you go:

Written by Christopher ZF

January 18, 2012 at 16:09

The dangers of being an evangelical Climate Scientist

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I recommend reading this interview with Kate Hayhoe, the scientist that Newt Gingrich had asked to write a chapter on climate change for his new book, which was then cancelled when Gingrich started getting fire from conservatives on acknowledging climate change.

It’s very sad, and very telling. More than anything, it shows TRC that many of the “serious people” in the Republican Party do know climate change is real, they are just unwilling to publicly say it because Rush Limbaugh and the other goons are willing to light the fire and take you down. Hopefully Limbaugh, Gingrich, and the other rabble-rousers realize the costs of their actions for individuals like Hayhoe.

An excerpt:

There’s a ton of pressure on politicians like Newt Gingrich, but Newt probably knows what’s what in terms of climate change…And he’s throwing it overboard, out of what can be fairly characterized as political necessity. What do you make of that calculation? What do you expect from politicians?

A. We all have standards we would like people to live up to. Having lived through what I’ve lived through, I’m certainly much more sympathetic to people. I understand a bit more than I used to how being relentlessly and rigorously attacked can make you ask yourself, is this worthwhile?
What I’ve gotten is nothing compared to what Phil Jones or Mike Mann has gotten…What they’ve gotten is nothing compared to what political candidates get. And what I’ve gotten is certainly enough to make me say, look, what I’m doing doesn’t help me in my academic career. It attracts all sorts of unpleasant attention, some of which, frankly, makes me feel unsafe. When you get emails mentioning your kids and guillotines in the same sentence, it makes you want to pull the blanket over your head and keep your mouth shut for about 10 years… The level of attack you get if you stick your head out is so great at this point that everybody should have the right to decide if it’s worth the price for them or not.

Q. Have you seen climate scientists who have said, screw it, I’m just going to do my research in my lab?

A. Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, look at how many climate scientists there are, and look at how many you see talking about this issue.
Scientists are traditionally not outreach-minded people. They tend to be more introverted. They’re really good at writing papers; they’re not very good at looking people in the eye and talking in simple language. We need help from people who know how to do this. We need help in terms of learning how to communicate outside our ivory tower and how to respond appropriately to the kinds of attacks we’re going to receive.

Q. I’ve been hearing for years about stirrings of climate concern among the religious, particularly evangelicals. I did a whole package of stories on it. What’s your sense of how climate change is received inside the evangelical community?

A. Environmental issues and climate change carry a lot of baggage in evangelical circles. If you can dissociate the issue from Al Gore, if you can dissociate the issue from the Democratic Party, if you can dissociate it from hugging trees, from pro-choice, from evolution vs. creation, if you can strip away all of those ties and only talk about the issue of taking care of the planet God gave us and loving our neighbor as ourself, then there is hardly anyone who will not accept that message. It’s not about theology, it’s about baggage.

Written by Christopher ZF

January 18, 2012 at 10:34

Another candidate rundown, for New Hampshire

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Today is the New Hampshire Primary. The day New Hampshire will vote for Mitt Romney, and the suspense for TRC will be: How well will Jon Huntsman do? That’s the only interesting part of today, besides the infighting and the crybabying and the general fun of political muckety-muck.

And muckety-muck there has been in N.H.

Gingrich is going crazy with his anti-Mitt railings. It is clear Mr. Gingrich’s pledge to run a clean campaign does not extend beyond the realization that voters don’t much like him, and to be successful, he’s going to have be a douche. Want proof? Check out Newt’s latest campaign website: Stop Romney’s Pious Baloney. Yeah. It’s essentially Newt barf in interweb form.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Santorum is getting his day in the sun: where rampant homophobia and anti-gay behavior should be rejected. Which, at least in part, it has been by the New Hampshire voters. And in return, Rick Santorum has turned sarcastic and bitter regarding the young people who find him distasteful. Well, at least he’s consistent (somebody will say, as they vote for him). Note to Santorum: you can’t claim to respect the dignity of the GLBT community, while wanting to outlaw gay sex and comparing their relationships to polygamy, or worse. Sorry.

Apparently Mitt Romney takes pleasure in firing people. That’s not a surprise, he’s a many times over millionaire who got his fortune by letting businesses go bankrupt. He’s the picture of the wealthy man becoming so by deciding the fates of others. Sure, some of those people got jobs at companies that succeeded, others had their places closed down and lost jobs. Don’t pretend otherwise. This is how Mitt Romney got rich. For this, he is the target of everyone’s ire. Which is just fine, if a bit, you know, disingenuous.

Huntsman seems highly reasonable, prepared for important issues, and relatively likable. Naturally, he’s failing. But there has been signs of hope for today.  Hopefully New Hampshire can give him some momentum to make a run at it. He’s a reasonable man in a clown school.

Ron Paul is still doing what he does: rousing the rabble. Rick Perry is still somewhere, I think, waiting for New Hampshire to end so he can do in South Carolina what Paul does so well everywhere else.

I think that’s everyone. Have fun Granite Staters.