Gingrich: Time to Throw Out the Elites

September 18th, 2010 at 1:49 pm | 35 Comments |

| Print

At the Values Voter Summit, Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, argued that the greatest threat to America came from establishment elites. Gingrich warned with a straight face that the elites in Washington D.C. behave like Soviet occupiers, that they will allow sharia law to be imposed on America, and that elites in the media were working to suppress the opposition.

The message of Gingrich’s speech was: I’m not an elite, really! He wasted no time trying to establish his “grassroots” credentials, praising Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint, predicting that Christine O’Donnell was going to win her race, and even offering free advice on how to conduct campaign messaging “[Her Opponent] is the candidate of food stamps, she is the candidate of paychecks.”

But Gingrich doesn’t want to just play catch-up with Palin and DeMint, he wants to run for president so he needs to practice trying to connect with the audience with his own material. The problem is that Newt seems to have trouble suppressing his wonkyness. He spoke about the idea that “There are more of us then there are of them”, a quote that O’Donnell and other Tea Partiers invoke to argue that they are America’s true majority.

Newt agrees with this, but rather than just evoke the constitution, he embraces his inner policy wonk. A week ago, he endorsed Dinesh D’Souzza’s theory about Obama’s “anti-colonial world view.” At the Values Voter Summit, he endorsed Arthur Brooks book, “The Battle” which Gingrich says proves that there is a culture war being waged by a tiny elite (who don’t believe in capitalism) against the vast majority of freedom loving Americans.

Gingrich also said we need to “go back to the moral case for free enterprise.” While Gingrich said he was invoking Adam Smith’s “theory of moral sentiments”, intentionally or not, Gingrich is making an argument that is identical to one Ayn Rand made: that capitalism must be defended on moral grounds.

In his speech, Gingrich spent some time on healthcare. He said that Kathleen Sebelius behaves in the spirit of the Soviet occupiers of Poland and that she should resign. But the meat of his speech would focus on the national security issues that he has been in the news for.

Newt argued that the “thought police” in the media had been working to suppress and twist his message on the “ground zero” mosque. In addition to being “totally opposed to any effort to impose sharia” in the United States, Newt felt the need to go one step further and call for a law to preemptively ban the recognition and practice of sharia law within the United States.

Gingrich also spoke about the three near-misses on domestic terrorism that have occurred on Obama’s watch: the Fort Hood shooting, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, and the Times Square bomber. The security component here was something he felt very comfortable talking about, and tied all these near masses back to the disconnect and apathy of the elites.

After his speech, it felt appropriate that Gingrich would end on two very ironic notes. He first pointed out that if all the grassroots candidates that the Tea Party backed win their general election, and get supported in future election cycles, they will eventually become the new elites. The Tea Party may discover that policy is not black and white when they have to start making it. He finally ended with a dream that the Democrats would lose the election and go into retirement to write their memoirs. As Gingrich noted, those who fail have the dignity to retire and make money on talk shows and as commentators. Gingrich would know.

Follow Noah on Twitter: @noahkgreen

Recent Posts by Noah Kristula-Green



35 Comments so far ↓

  • Watusie

    “Values Voter” and “Newt Gingrich” in the same breath? Did he, by any chance, discuss the sanctity of marriage?

    The man is a joke.

    The GOP’s Fat Elvis
    Newt Gingrich spoke to a closed-door breakfast of the Republicans of the House the other day after the last primaries, and the irony you need to know is that the only members who showed up were the clueless Boehner crew, who are not in on the joke that in the GOP cloakroom they call Newt “Fat Elvis.”

    The young House members have spent the last four years living under siege from the Democratic battalions while their ranks thinned and their cash dwindled, and all the while Newt Gingrich was in the pulpit of Fox News castigating them for their gutlessness. The young remember the scoldings and the sermons, and, much like a child who grew up to be a star athlete, they resent having been kicked by Grandpa Gingrich when they were helpless—and yet they are not yet ready to belt back at him now that he comes preening to show how much he loves them.

    “The young people who have no ties to him,” an observer explains of Gingrich, “they think, what an asshole.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-09-17/newt-gingrichs-weird-hold-on-house-gop-leaders/?cid=hp:mainpromo2

    This is the single most positive thing I have ever read about the young House Republicans.

  • parsifal

    Oh criminy! More hair of the dog. . . I read a really good article about “fakeconomics.” So, Newt, if you’re watching, this one’s for you:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ian-fletcher/economics-vs-fakeonomics_b_720327.html

  • Oldskool

    We shouldn’t ban sharia law as much as we should put limits on how cynical and hypocritical politicians are allowed to be.

  • armstp

    Isn’t he talking about himself?

    You cannot get any more elite than Gingrich.

    University professor, who has never held a real job and makes his money off the threat of running for president by all these think tanks and contributors.

  • tommybones

    lmao.

    Newt Gingrich calling for “elites” to be thrown out? That’s priceless! Let’s toss them all out and replace them with an everyman like Newt! Seriously, one couldn’t make this up.

  • moderategoper

    This guy cheated on his wife while she was suffering with cancer – that’s not a value that’s pure evil.

  • TerryF98

    Grinrich, gives assholes a bad name!

  • seeker656

    A great example of political nonsense and paranoia but then I am an unAmerican resident lacking in patriotism because I am a liberal.

    “Gingrich also spoke about the three near-misses on domestic terrorism that have occurred on Obama’s watch: the Fort Hood shooting, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, and the Times Square bomber. The security component here was something he felt very comfortable talking about, and tied all these near masses back to the disconnect and apathy of the elites.”

    I wonder on whose watch the 9/11 tragedy happened? Have we forgotten?

  • mickster99

    Values Voters want limited government, the end of big (pig) government.

    And all I want to know is limited in what ways? No more FDA, FCC, SEC, EPA, IRS. End support for disabled americans (like me) to have access to the world outside our homes.

    Abolish the US Army, end all of our foreign military bases, support for families in poverty, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration benefits/programs.

    Abolish the modern surveillance state, get government out of peoples lives by allowing women to make their own choices about pregnancy, let people get married regards less of gender.

    Come on let’s hear some specifics about what limited government means to the modern rightwinger. I’m weary of the sounds bites. Don’t be afraid. This is your web site. Your preaching to the choir. Let’s hear it?

  • easton

    armstp, while I agree Newt is a complete tool being a University Professor is a real job, with real responsibilities. You try it sometime. Teaching is one of the most difficult and rewarding careers there is. It requires enormous patience, understanding, knowledge (you have to know the material inside out, you can’t wing a college lecture). I love it, it is the best job I ever had, but it beats the hell out of you. Teaching 3 classes takes more out of me than my old 8 hour job in an office ever did (and yes, working in an office is a real job too)

  • TJ Parker

    “Teaching 3 classes takes more out of me than my old 8 hour job in an office ever did (and yes, working in an office is a real job too)”

    Oh gimme a break. 3 classes is generally 3 hours a day, 3 days a week.

    My dad’s a professor and he teaches 2-3 classes a year.

    Now research … that’s where the money and time goes …

  • Slide

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for teachers and professors but please, I think it is a huge stretch to suggest that teaching is one of the most difficult careers there is.

  • busboy33

    Regardless of my personal feelings about what he said . . . I’m suprised he can even walk with a set of brass balls that big. I’m talking beachball big.

    I guess if you’re going to be a flaiming hypocrite, you may as well go big or go home.

  • neurodoc

    Pot meet kettle.
    It speaks volumes of his disrespect and even a Marie-Antoinette disdain of rank and file conservative voters that he thinks they will believe his “I’m just a common man shtick.” He is not alone. Today’s republican firmament is littered with personalities like his; hypocritical, deceitful, and unwilling to unify. Palin and O’Donnell are even worse because they are shallow and incurious; reminds me of a recent president.

  • shediac

    Newt who? By the way how many time does one have to marry so he is no longer an Elite?

  • greg_barton

    In one weekend we have a satanist loving former witch preaching about proper Christian sexual morality, and Newt calling for all elites to be thrown out.

    Irony is is so dead I’ve forgotten what it means.

    Actually, I take that back. Newtie might be trying to out ridiculous O’Donnell to distract folks and take some media heat off her. It won’t work. Newt is old and tired ridiculous. O’Donnell is fresh ridiculous, and a couple of orders of magnitude beyond him on the crazy ass scale.

  • jakester

    Oh man, another talking grey head media chatterbox babbling about the elites. So the right worships success and wealth as long as you act like Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies. Unfreaking believable.

  • Xunzi Washington

    tj

    Let’s see.

    3 hours in classroom x 3 = 9 wk

    At _least_ 9 hours of preparation for teaching a week (unless you are teaching basket weaving or blowing off your students and not really doing your job)

    At _least_ 8 hours a week grading (my courses have lots of writing, and that’s a light week, when there are longer papers, could be 15 – 20 hours for a week)

    For me, 7 hours a week serving/heading up committees and other forms of service.

    5 hours of office hours.

    For me, at _least_ 10 hours a week on research oriented activities (even at teaching colleges you must do research)

    That’s 47 to 50 hours a week, when it’s light. There are also a lot of outside of school activities that I am expected to participate in, as well as community service. I haven’t added those.

    Add to that, as Easton said, teaching is a psychologically draining job (I’ve had ‘real world’ business jobs, not as draining). Anyway, I’m not complaining, and am not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. I like my job, and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    That said, ’3 hours a class, 3 times a week’ just don’t match the reality of my schedule.

  • anniemargret

    A “Newt” is a slimy salamander.

    Pretty much sums it up.

  • ktward

    Newt knows his VVS audience, gotta give him that.

    In fact, I’ll go so far as to suggest that Newt’s new brand of crazy is not the GOP’s biggest problem. No, the GOP’s biggest problem is the audience. They’re actually buying into Newt’s crazy.

    Newt’s just giving the RR/SoCon/TeaP masses what they want. Like Jerry Springer. (Who, coincidentally, is also an ex-pol and quite intelligent, despite the, uh, ‘quirks’ of his audience.)

  • sdspringy

    Newt lost alot of conservatives when he sat on the couch with Pelosi and wanted to compromise on Climat change.
    He will never be a valid candidate again.

  • anniemargret

    “Time to Throw Out the Elites.”

    So when is Newt leaving?

  • shediac

    Newt lost alot of conservatives when he sat on the couch with Pelosi and wanted to compromise on Climat change.

    ———————————

    Soooo that’s what they were doing!

  • sdspringy

    In case you haven’t noticed Newt been politically gone for quite awhile, his comback is what is in question.
    I consider it doubtful, for completely differen reasons than yours, Annie.

  • anniemargret

    springy: It is a shame about Newt. He is an intelligent man. He should have made a public apology to the wife he cheated on, as this type of behavior doesn’t sit well with me, no matter what party they come from.

    He is a professor and he has smarts. But he is clearly pandering for votes . He should be mobilizing moderates in the party to come forward out of the shadows where they’ve been herded instead of giving high fives to Palin and co. Sorry, the right wing is not good for this country . And before you accuse me…I don’t think the far left is good for this either!

  • SFTor1

    Newt is comfortably ensconced right where politics meet pathology.

    He knows damn well that this country is a beast to manage. We need real talent with vision and intellectual firepower to help out in all levels of government, especially with the challenges facing us today. Any responsible political figure should call upon the smartest and the brightest to enter public service.

    Instead Newt uses his time to drag us down.

  • anniemargret

    sft1: “Instead Newt uses his time to drag us down.”

    There used to be some real patriots in our history who did things for the country as a whole. Now we’ve got more ‘what’s in it for me” politicians . We’re all the losers for it.

  • jakester

    Well, he converted to Catholicism so now he can hang with the theocons

  • SkepticalIdealist

    They’ll stop being in it for themselves when we stop tolerating and rewarding them for that attitude.

  • ktward

    They’ll stop being in it for themselves when we stop tolerating and rewarding them for that attitude.

    For clarification purposes, who is ‘we’?
    Further, what can the not-we contingent do — that’s not already in the doing — to counteract the ubiquitously destructive effects of the tolerating and rewarding ‘we’ contingent?

    Seriously.

  • Hal Morris

    Anyone for a cultural revolution? I think Newt and other extreme rightists are playing with fire. See http://therealtruthproject.blogspot.com/2010/07/codevillas-ruling-class-really-new.html

    It’s not surprising that, after years of calling babbling professors and Hollywood twits, and NPR journalists, and non-liberal-hating politicians “elites” and not being called on it (as opposed to the elites being, say, people with enough money to buy the Russian government or start a private army) — right wing scaremongers have bumped up the rhetoric a notch, and now they are the “Ruling Class”.

  • forgetn

    Why waste anytime on Newt — unelectable, (as is Palin), Ok, the side show is fun, still who cares!

  • Candy83

    Newt is unelectable. He has a problem with morals.

  • ktward

    Why waste anytime on Newt — unelectable, (as is Palin) ..

    Newt is unelectable. He has a problem with morals.

    I’ll feel more comfortable with such easy dismissals after mid-terms.

  • Candy83

    ktward,

    Not easy. Accurate.

    Gingrich’s marriages and infidelities. That one marriage with a cancer-stricken wife and his approach to seeking a divorce from her.

    (This is really appealing.)

    Newt is an opportunist through and through. With no moral fiber, he cannot seriously contend for the presidency. There is nothing remotely viable about him.

    Right now, he’s testing the waters. Even though he’s also a has-been. And lowering himself, quite predictably, with the meandering bull**** rhetoric so familiar of other Team Red pols.

    He’ll continue throwing red meat to his followers.