A few days ago, I posted a link to this piece by Lawrence Lessig. It’s something of a love letter to Newt Gingrich in which Lessig blames the former Speaker for most of Washington’s current dysfunction. According to Lessig, Newt was the architect of the current winner-take-all, reelection obsessed profanities posing as politics. I’m not entirely convinced by the narrative, which isn’t to say he doesn’t make salient points.
The thing is, some of this goes back to Andrew Jackson. Most of it goes back to Thomas Hobbes. It’s been chronicled by Mark Twain and in Action Comics #1 (where we also learn that populist Superman was also an isolationist in the build-up to World War II? That’s a post-and-a-half).
Has Congress ever worked? Has it Congress ever been this bad?
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 Postop-ed.
In any case, I will always love you, The ’90s. You had me at hello.