Monday, December 12, 2011

The Three Stigmata of Newton Gingrich

In which everybody gets in on the act.

The Penultimate Bluff?

The Sap Gun?

Oh Hi!

Don't mind me; I was noodling around with titles of classic Philip K. Dick novels.

The Man Whose Filth Was All Exactly Alike?

The Man in the High Dudgeon?

Dr. Bloodmoney?

Riffing on the intersection of science fiction, history, economics, culture and politics is one of my things.

The World Clones Made?

"Flow My Fears," the rube-fleece man said? (Nah. Too strained.)

So I though they might be repurposed into another post about the dangers of Newton Leroy Gingrich and the unholy Orwellian shitstorm he unleashed back in the 1990s with GOPAC, a subject about which I have also been riffing for a long, long time (a sample from an April, 2005 post about David Brooks):

...“Fact is” you wormy little Quisling, the Dems spent the 90’s compromising their fool asses off – precisely like it says right here on the prescription that Dr. BoBo wrote out for us.

For their troubles they got Newt Gingrich and his GOPAC Little Red Hatespeech Book launching a carefully planned, deliberately executed verbal blitzkrieg again the Democratic Party. A coordinated national campaign of that came with a detailed list of words (Free In Every Box of Cracka’ Jacks!) to be used to demonization and humiliate Democrats at every opportunity.

For their troubles we get Tom DeLay rising like the Asshole Kraken from the absolute depths of bigoted-ignorant-demagogue-politics to become a proud leader of your party. And trailing behind him like the smelly brown tail of a feculent comet, all the rest of the escapees from “The Island of Doctor Moreau” that own and operate the GOP.

For their troubles they got the Democratic President of the United States hunted like a wild animal for seven years – for sport – by Republicans riding along on a rhetorical tsumani of Absolute Ethical Standards. Virtually shutting the country down to impeach him for a b-l-o-w-j-o-b, not because you wanted to -- Heavens No! -- but because any hint of impropriety on the part of anypresident need to be ferreted out, no matter the cost.

Well the per-capita number of Ferrets in your party has certainly skyrocketed since then, so where are all the investigations of the possible High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the administration of George Walker Bush? Where are the Select Committees? The Special Prosecutors with unlimited lines of credit? Has Cheney been excoriated and rebuked for secretly rigging up a new energy policy? Has GW been subpoenaed yet? Has Rice? Perle?

Of course not, BoBo, because your party is infested top to bottom with CHUDS and poltroons, liars and hypocrites, Elmer Gantrys and Jeff Gannons.

Fact is, Gingrich and GOPAC (along with the antics of Tom DeLay) were one my constant refrains when needling Conservative friends and colleagues in the 1990s. It always amazed me how much more -- vastly more -- about their political Party (who was running it, what their agenda was, what kind of crimes they were committing in plain sight ) than they did.

If they didn't hear it come booming out of Limbaugh's mouth, it did not exist: all they knew for sure was that Clinton was worse than nine Hitlers, Rush and the Right were infallible, and since I was a Librul, I must be cleverly lying or a dupe or in some other way have my facts wrong.

And away they marched to the polls -- election after election -- to vote for one monumental catastrophe after another.

Catholic-cock World?

Confessions of a Crap Artist?

And so, unsurprisingly, when I started blogging seven years ago I portaged all of it over into my writing. But now that the New Yorker is getting in on the act --
The branch of fiction known variously as alternate history, alternative history, or, to its geekier fans, alt-hist can be awesome fun. Its defining gimmick—set the wayback machine, tweak something in the historical past, and fantasize about how things might have played out—has proved irresistible to legions of writers, including some good ones. Philip K. Dick’s “The Man in the High Castle” (1962) and Robert Harris’s “Fatherland” (1992) posit an Axis triumph in the Second World War; Kingsley Amis’s “The Alteration” (1976) takes the conceit that Martin Luther became Pope and runs with it...

Gingrich’s sudden rise and special appeal to the emotions of “the base,” one suspects, stem less from his vaunted “big ideas” than from his long-cultivated, unparalleled talent for contempt. In 1990, when he was not yet Speaker, he pressed a memo on Republican candidates for office, instructing them to use certain words when talking about the Democratic enemy: “betray,” “bizarre,” “decay,” “anti-flag,” “anti-family,” “pathetic,” “lie,” “cheat,” “radical,” “sick,” “traitors,” and more. His own vocabulary of contempt has grown only more poisonously flowery. President Obama’s actions cannot be understood except as an expression of “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” Liberals constitute a “secular-socialist machine” that is “as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.” There is “a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us” and “is prepared to use violence.” In this campaign, Gingrich’s performances in televised debates have been widely deemed effective. But what has won him his most visceral cheers from the audiences in the halls—audiences shaped and coarsened by years of listening to talk radio and watching Fox News—is his sneering attacks on moderators, especially those representing the hated “liberal” media.

-- I guess I need to find a new thing.

Exercise videos perhaps.

How about "Nouns of Steel"? :-)


T_P_K said...

Well you started it.
Do Gay Atheist White Baby Eaters Dream of Slitting Newt's Throat?

Suzan said...

I particularly like the Newt pic.

It captures his deep humanity.

Lack thereof, actually.

Good one! Ha!

Tom Allen said...

Philip K. Dick's Not Read, Alas. :-(

(You have to mainline him for the true experience.)