It is a well-known fact of US politics that Newt Gingrich is a garbage nightmare with balled-up paper towels and discarded coffee grounds where his sense of decency should be. So it is no surprise that Gingrich has a terrific new op-ed for CNN arguing that it would be catastrophic if Congressional Republicans were to "cave" on the shutdown.
Every single thing about this is terrible, but his list of examples about why "it is time to stand firm," as if Republicans have done anything else but stand firm as petulant obstructions hellbent on grinding federal governance to a halt ever since President Obama was elected, is absolutely incredible, even by Gingrich's typically execrable standards. Especially this:
When a senior, unnamed Democratic official is quoted Monday morning calling for no negotiations and saying "it's time to punch the bully in the nose," it is time to stand firm.Okay. Let's concede that point for the sake of argument. If it is, indeed, "time to stand firm" when an anonymous Democrat is quoted by rightwing stenography outlet Politico, then for what is it time when Grover Norquist, a key conservative figure for decades, says:
I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.Or:
Bipartisanship is another name for date rape.Or:
Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not good enough to win; it has to be a painful and devastating defeat. We're sending a message here. It is like when the king would take his opponent's head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see.Just as a few examples.
These are old quotes. This is nothing new from the conservative movement, and for Newt Gingrich to try to justify supporting the shutdown of the federal government on the mendacious basis that it is Democrats who have failed to be sufficiently conciliatory is the height of temerity.
Which he knows. He's just banking on the fact that the proudly uninformed ninety-nine percenters of the Republican base won't.