Newt Gingrich as the avenging Sumerian god, Gozer the Traveler
In their devastating November 4th defeat at the hands of an inexperienced, junior senator from Illinois, the Rethuglicans are in desperate search of a leader, someone that can match the intelligence, boldness, charm, and overwhelming popularity of Barack Hussein Obama. While their own humiliated presidential candidate, the anachronistic John McCain decomposes like so much roadkill in the hot Arizona sun, a furious competition for the 2012 election has begun.
Lord of the Flies comes to mind.
Newcomers like current Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Arkansas preacher turned governor Mike Huckabee vie for the allegiance of Christian fundamentalist “value voters” (probably 50% of what’s left of the party membership). Current Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney vie for the ‘competency vote.’ South Carolina Governor and plantation owner Mark Sanford showboats about not taking government stimulus funds for his state’s increasingly desperate unemployed, despite the fact that his state has the 4th highest unemployment rate in the country; and a social safety net next to none. (SC ranks 48th in TANF-Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, f/n/a AFDC))
But looming above them all like the avenging Stay Puft Marshmallow man from the movie Ghostbusters is the former Speaker of the House, the ethically compromised, moral and political hypocrite par excellence, Newt “Dr. No” Gingrich.
The disastrous events of his political and personal life are well known, which for the last dozen years or so had kept him on the political sidelines. (According to Tom Delay, Newtie, in a fit of pique, shut down major parts of the US government in 1995-6 because he didn’t like his seating assignment on Air Force One, the political equivalent of seppaku.) But Newt re-emerged during the 2008 presidential election campaign, even dipping his toe into the water of a possible candidacy. Realizing that he didn’t have chance back then, he became a regular guest on Fux News and other wingnut media outlets.
Earlier this year, Gingrich criticized Notre Dame University for inviting Obama to speak there, claiming he embraced “anti-Catholic values.” He was immediately criticized by Catholic leaders for sticking his then-Baptist nose where it didn’t belong. Not wanting to alienate a valuable voting constituency, a small majority of whom voted for Obama, Newtie quickly apologized (even converting to Catholicism a few days later).
During Obama’s recent trip to Latin America, he lashed into the president, excoriating him for “bolstering the enemies” of the US by shaking hands with Hugo Chavez. Newtie seems to have forgotten that in 2007, when George W. Bush was president, he proudly proclaimed that he had grown up “. . .in a world, you know, where politics ended up at the water’s edge and overseas we had to try to find ways to be Americans and to work together.
On the matter of national security, he has accused Obama of having a “a dangerous fantasy that runs an enormous risk. … Not since Jimmy Carter have we had an administration this out of touch with reality.”
Such risky behavior includes wanting to hold a world security summit and working towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, such as was the goal of Newtie’s own hero, Ronald Reagan.
Given his highly partisan track record as House Speaker, denying practically everything President Clinton ever proposed, it should come as no surprise that “Dr. No” Newtie is shaping the current Rethuglican redemption strategy of trying to block Obama’s foreign and domestic agenda at every turn.
Make no mistake about it. Like the angry Sumerian god Gozer the Traveler, who made a dramatic comeback after being temporarily forced into inter-dimensional exile by the Proton Pack wielding Ghostbusters, Newtie is back with a vengeance.
Dr. Egon Spengler: Vinz, you said before you were waiting for a sign. What sign are you waiting for?
Louis: Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!
All Newtie has to do to terrify us beyond the capacity for rational thought is to come back as himself.
UPDATE: The lead story in today’s LA Times is titled CIA reportedly declined to closely evaluate harsh interrogations. It documents an investigation in early 2003 by the then-CIA’s Inspector General, John L. Helgerson , that seriously questioned both the efficacy of torture and whether alternatives existed. It was circulated within the agency, the Defense Department, and Justice Department in draft form, setting off alarm bells within the Administration. It was quashed. In its place?
One report by a former government official — not an interrogation expert — was about 10 pages long and amounted to a glowing review of interrogation efforts.
That official was Gardner Peckham, national security advisor to–you guessed it– Newt Gingrich.