It's so sad to see the great ones crumble, isn't it? The architect of the 1994 Republican Revolution where the GOP took back Congress after 42 years in the minority, Newt Gingrich, has clearly lost his mind. In case you haven't seen a news or political talking head show the last three days, he's telling everyone and his brother that we are now engaged in World War III. This doesn't ring well with our rosey bespeckled President who insists every few weeks we've "turned a corner," nor does it sit very well with Republican congress members running for re-election when the public has so clearly grown tired of the Iraqi war.
Gingrich thinks Republicans should abandon the conventional wisdom that their only shot at keeping either house of Congress is to localize the issues. He told the Seattle Times that "the party must have the 'nerve' to nationalize the elections and make the 2006 campaigns about a liberal Democratic agenda rather than about President Bush's record." A lot of good that would do. Maybe Newt has forgotten that the Democrats haven't been in power for 12 years and it's been a Republican President steering us over the cliff for the last six.
He said that as Democrats make the elections about George Bush, Republicans should make it about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco. He said voters need to be told "how weirdly San Francisco these guys are voting," and Democrats will "collapse in defeat."
Guess what, Newt? Most of the run-of-the-mill voting public don't know or care who Nancy Pelosi is. Now, that may be an illustration of her lack of leadership, but when your head cheerleader is polling in mid-30s, you're not going to win by showing how "weird" the basically unknown leader of the opposition is.
And make no mistake, this is ALL about politics. I'm sure Gingirch has a genuine concern about the welfare of this country and the world we inhabit, but this latest round of horseshit is purely politics, and he says as much. From the Times article:
There is a political element to his talk of World War III. Gingrich said that public opinion can change "the minute you use the language" of World War III. The message then, he said, is, "OK, if we're in the third world war, which side do you think should win?"
Another classic Republican strawman argument. Let's see, if this is WWIII, which side do I want to be on? Tough question.
I guess it's hard to stay sharp when your own party is the one fucking everything up but I expect so much more from Newt. Let's see if we can't give him a better atmosphere in which to fight next year.