Did NPR Just Endorse Newt Gingrich?

This is from 2011. I actually met Newt Gingrich in 2000 when I was an intern at ABC News. The former Speaker has done and said many things since this post that would probably color how I would write it now.  But these thoughts below are in the context of the 2012 GOP primaries.  That was a at least two lifetimes ago.  – CC, 2018

Did NPR Just Endorse New Gingrich?

It depends on how you feel about the ’90s.  Brian Naylor’s Friday piece, entitled “To Imagine a Gingrich Presidency, Look to the ’90s” ends on the obligatory NPR dead-note (“It’s impossible to predict what kind of president Gingrich would make, but if his speakership is any guide, it seems safe to assume a Gingrich White House would be one of bold ideas and polarizing politics,”) but otherwise paints a picture of Speaker Newt as a shrewd, if closeted, bi-partisan compromiser due a big slice of the credit Bill Clinton often gets for making the 90s rock just that hard.

Even the title sounds like an endorsement.  Weren’t the ’90s the last good American decade?  The last American decade, period?  Oh, sure, we were blissfully sewing the seeds of every problem we now face, only kind of trying to contain Al Queda, and doing a Wag the Dog war in Kosovo because Kosovars are white (even if they’re Muslim, right?) and Clinton had a sex scandal.

Whoa, wait a minute.  That sounds really, really cynical.  But maybe that explains the influx of visitors to this blog searching for information about Thomas L. Day’s recent Washington Post op-ed.

In any case, I will always love you, The ’90s. You had me at hello.

Lawrence Lessig has a different take on Gingrich. What do you think?

Does President Obama Need a New Producer?

Wag the Dog
No, you're the greatest actor of our generation. No, YOU are! And then Bill Clinton's all like, heh guys, 'member me? I'm like the Pete Rose of disbelief suspension. Settle down.

Remember all those things we realized too late that we should have done before engaging Iraq in 2003?  John Boehner does, and he’s pretty sure the President doesn’t.  From CNN:

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Obama Wednesday complaining that “military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission.”

“In fact,” Boehner said, “the limited, sometimes contradictory, case made to the American people by members of your administration has left some fundamental questions about our engagement unanswered.”

Among other things, Boehner asked whether it is acceptable for Gadhafi to remain in power once the military campaign ends.

“If not, how will he be removed from power?” Boehner asked. “Why would the U.S. commit American resources to enforcing a U.N. resolution that is inconsistent with our stated policy goals and national interests?”

Boehner also posed other questions for the president. Since the “stated U.S. policy goal is removing” Gadhafi from power, “do you have an engagement strategy for the opposition forces? If the strife in Libya becomes a protracted conflict, what are your administration’s objectives for engaging with opposition forces, and what standards must a new regime meet to be recognized by our government?” his letter said.

Another piece on CNN.com has John P. Avlon proposing that the Left feels as though the world  is experiencing a third Bush term.  An interesting excerpt:

An objective assessment of the Obama record on foreign policy shows that he has not been the soft liberal ideologue that conservatives want to run against. An excellent book by my Daily Beast colleague Stephen Carter, “The Violence of Peace,” analyzes Obama’s War Doctrine at length from a legal, but readable, perspective. Carter writes, “On matters of national security, at least, the Oval Office evidently changes the outlook of its occupant far more than the occupant changes the outlook of the Oval Office.”

While Obama has changed the unilateral style of the Bush administration, he’s kept much of the substance. He has drawn down troops in Iraq, as promised. But on many other fronts, he has found that campaign rhetoric often does not square with the responsibilities of governing.

Because many on the left define themselves in opposition to authority, they are historically quick to turn on presidents of their own party for being insufficiently liberal — whether it is Truman’s and Kennedy’s Cold Warrior enthusiasm, LBJ’s escalation of the Vietnam War, Jimmy Carter’s budget cuts or Bill Clinton’s welfare reform.

Frankly, I’m surprised that no one has brought up the fact that Clinton’s 1999 airstrikes in Kosovo were basically lifted directly from Wag the Dog.