The Smartest Politician in America

Modern politicians rarely are idea producers. They get them from focus groups and polling data. The exception is Newt Gingrich. He is the most exciting political thinker in America today. He not only has ideas; he makes them happen. We recall his past success with Ten Lessons of Welfare Reform and then see the future with his ideas for a 21st Century health plan.

Unfortunately, Gingrich currently holds no office, but anyone who thinks he is finished is wrong. Unlike most former politicians who sink into a comfortable resting place living off their past, Gingrich is one of the most prolific idea producers in America today. Can anyone think of a politician of any party who is so intellectually active? His new ideas challenge the traditional ways of looking at things; they are free from the old bigotries and prejudice. Gingrich is definitely partisan, but he is one of the most broad minded people I have ever encountered.

With all his other work, he still finds time to write excellent historical fiction. AND he writes his own books and speeches.

Democrats did an excellent job of demonizing Gingrich during the 1990s and his partisan reputation (and the fact that he is effective at kicking Dem ass) makes him as polarizing as Hilary Clinton. Neither of these will ever be president. In the case of Gingrich, that is too bad. I would vote for him. We could use someone with his quick intellect and practical instincts. I hope he wins a prominent place in the McCain Adminisration after it takes office in 2009.

Posted by Jack at July 22, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #169825


“In the case of Gingrich, that is too bad. I would vote for him. We could use someone with his quick intellect and practical instincts.”

Yep, all praise to the man that would divorce his wife on her deathbed.

Posted by: Rocky at July 22, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #169830


I am interested in his ideas. Very few leaders in history would have passed a personal life test by today’s standards.

Let me make a list of those who pass.

George Washington
Robert E. Lee
George C. Marshall

Maybe Jimmy Carter

Any others?

Posted by: Jack at July 22, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #169834

‘Tell Newt To Shut Up’ by David Maraniss and Michael Weisskopf

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 22, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #169838


“I am interested in his ideas.”

That is all well and good, but how long did the “Contract with America” actually last past the election that swept the republicans into power?

Posted by: Rocky at July 22, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #169839

Typical of Dems. Cannot argue with the ideas, tell them to shut up.

I notice you can get the book - 111 used & new available from $0.01. I guess it is worth the penny you have to pay if you are a hater.

Posted by: Jack at July 22, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #169842


Our government isn’t just about ideas, it’s also about commitment.

That divorce raised more than a few eyebrows, the contract, likewise.

It’s easy to spout ideas from the cheap seats, getting them enacted, and following through, takes commitment.

Posted by: Rocky at July 22, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #169843

Newt Gingrich is one of the brightest people in politics. Newt Gingrich would destroy this country if he were king. For Newt Gingrich is in love with his own thinking and his blind spot is his lack of ability to critically analyze some of this own ideas.

I respect Newt. I love listening to his speeches or talks when aired on C-Span. I love how his logical mind works, it appeals to me. But, Newt’s logic is only as good as the assumptions which make up his premises, and I have seen him on more than a couple occasions reveal his lack of ability to question his own assumptions.

In fact, that is how you yank Newt’s chain in a debate. You can throw him off balance and rattle him by questioning one of his premises or assumptions which he himself recognizes on the spot, that he has not yet done himself. It makes him very defensive and rattled and he falls back on platitudes and subtle insults as a defense in a public forum.

It doesn’t happen often. But there is footage of this happening a couple times that I have witnessed. But, then, who among us is not without weaknesses and flaws, eh? Newt Gingrich remains one of the brightest minds on the Conservative side of politics, and he is a very creative thinker and his integrity is strong enough to withstand recognizing his own previous errors and changing his mind. I have seen him do this as well. Those were some of his finest moments in my opinion.

One of his most serious flaws and assumptions however is, (unless he has changed his mind on this in the last couple years), that society must be willing to allow people to fail and fall, even on a mass level, in order to strengthen society going forward. This condescending perspective of his, is blind to its underpinning, his own life of privilege. It is just too easy for Newt to say that we must allow people to fail and fall, having never worn the shoes of those who have, or will, following some of his policies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 22, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #169845

Gingrich accomplished a lot. He had lots of opponents. Even with welfare reform, which most of us consider a big success, opponents dug in their heels. And his opponents managed to get rid of him only a couple of years later.

Posted by: Jack at July 22, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #169853

A. Typical of Dems? Ok yeah I am definitely not a Democrat, far far from it.
B. The book actually gives an in depth look at Newt’s time as Speaker

Posted by: Richard Rhodes at July 22, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #169856


Okay - liberal. or at least someone who hates Newt enough to read a book with a title like “Tell Newt to Shut Up.”

I did not take the the time to read the book and probably would not. I think the title would put off most fair minded people.

Posted by: Jack at July 22, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #169866

There is nothing fair minded about politicians like Newt.

First, he and his conservative House conspirators make noise about a possible ethics violation that Speaker Wright has with a publisher and get Wright booted out (Newt later brokers a very similar if not identical book deal). Then once in power, Newt spearheads an investigation into a supposed ‘sweetheart’ land deal that Clinton received. Once an initial investigation indicated that Clinton was not enriched by any sweetheart deal, Newt pressed forward with the investigation anyway based on the testimony of a real crook conservative Judge David Hale who was caught granting himself SBA loans (and was basically slapped on the wrist due to his willingness to testify falsely about Bill Clinton and Jim and Susan McDougal).

Newt took this blatantly questionable testimony and pushed an investigation to smear Clinton with allegations of fiscal shenanigans. Newt also beat the drum of Clinton’s infidelity. Of course, later Newt himself would cheat on his second spouse (he left the first wife while she was recovering from cancer) WITH AN INTERN, whom he later married.

No… Newt is not honest, intelligent, nor does he have new and bright ideas. His espousals are basically a borrowing of the brightest ideas of the forward looking scientists, sociologists, and politicans (like Gore and Clinton) and shaping them to fit his “capitalist” and “fair market” facade.

I put quotes around his positions of “capitalism” and “fair market” because he does not live by those ideals. Like most conservatives, those ideals only apply to the working poor. Newt railed against taxes, only to bring home the most government pork for any district in America during his stint as a House Representative. He supported many welfare programs for the rich such as high farm subsidies which go to wealthy farmers and conglomerates, “loans” and government “aid” to third world countries which went into the pockets of large American construction companies, and fought hard for questionable and theoretically unworkable defense systems which were mainly sought after to financially support the huge American Corporate defense business. And he supported the repeal of the estate taxes (which the Cons like to call the ‘death tax’) which allows untaxed and unearned money to be passed down to a new American Aristocracy. Theoretically, soon 3% of the American people will own 99% of the wealth… hhmmm… sounds like some third world countries…

BTW, we WILL end up with a health care system fairly close to what was being proposed by Hillary and Bill Clinton. It was and is being opposed by the huge medical insurance businesses. Why should they let this cash cow off the range?

Posted by: LibRick at July 22, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #169868

Jack, I just read the health care speech/paper you linked to, and while it contains some reasonable ideas (not new, though, you must admit), I do not see how these ideas lead to the 100 percent health insurance coverage Newt alludes to in his opening remarks. How from a conservative perspective do you think it is possible to provide health care insurance to all Americans?

This is a huge problem, a matter of life and death for millions. I don’t care if workable ideas come from the right or left; I’d just like to see our country achieve universal health care insurance in my lifetime.

Posted by: Trent at July 22, 2006 11:57 PM
Comment #169869

Well, if you can take off partisan blinders for a second, look where his ideas and policies have got us?
-a massive trillion dollar debt
-a bloated, oversized government
-more cronyism and corruption in the government than ever before
-most of the civilized world now hates and disrespects us
-a polarized, divided america

This is a guy who preaches that only Republicans possess “family values” then cheats on his wife with an aide, then divorces her (his wife). Like most Republicans he’s a hypocrite.

But the SCLM (so-called liberal media) always portratys conservatives as honest, sincere people, and democrats as immoral or crazy. That’s why the media wouldn’t stop hounding Clinton, but never mentions Newt Gingrich.

Posted by: mark at July 23, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #169875

Sad to say Jack
Newt doesn’t make my conservative heart flutter. Personal failings are the least of my concerns. I get a distinct intelligentsia vibe from him and that puts me off. Pound for pound if IQ or thinking cap time is what you want, I’ll go with Condi everytime. Brilliant without showing it off at every available occasion, and someone who thru hard work and perseverance made herself what she is today, easier to “feel” her take on the issues than Newt. His take on border security at his AEI sight is a bit rambling and lacks something very telling to me, where were these ideas when he was Speaker? All former politicians can get it half right on an issue when it’s ignored for 20 years. His defense of religion in the public forum is on point, but will quickly lose the interest of a non-historian or, again, a non-academic type. On the plus side, the left hate him, he drives them nuts! Plain speaking, easy delivery and no pocket protector vibe is more my style, like Dutch. Let me be clear though, given a choice between Newt or any Democrat, (save Zell Miller), I’d vote Newt.

Posted by: JR at July 23, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #169881

Don’t forget his ….ah,ah …Daughter.

Posted by: Linda H. at July 23, 2006 1:32 AM
Comment #169884

“This condescending perspective of his, is blind to its underpinning, his own life of privilege.”

I find it an interesting contradiction how most famous and filthy rich gliterati take the opposite position from Newt on welfare issues. The Hollywood Elite have more money than God, yet they are out there beating the drums for free cheese for the downtrodden. What made Newt go the other way, I wonder.

Posted by: Bruce at July 23, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #169885

I only wish that Newt was my representative when he was in Congress and not the idiot we had.
As to if he’d be a good President or not I can’t say. He’d be better that some we’ve had and maybe worse than some. I do know there wouldn’t be a dull moment in DC.
I found it funny how the liberal media was saying in 96 that Newt wouldn’t get reelected because the folks in other states didn’t like him. Someone forgot to tell the voters in the 7th Georgia Congressional District that the rest of the country didn’t like him. It seems they did.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 23, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #169888

retirement is the best way to go for newt. retire to bagdad.

Posted by: david at July 23, 2006 2:19 AM
Comment #169906

Jack -

Actually Democrates would love to see Gingrich back in office. Yes he is a bright man. But he is far more right than bright and puts his foot in his mouth. He is a political Bafoon. As a liberal, I say, bring him on!

Newt is his own worst enemie. People forget that he resigned as speaker becasue he could not politically defeat Preseident Clinton and was involved in his own scandals. Newt first tried to shut down the government over the budget and he lost politically with the American People. Clinton showed him down. He then proceeded to attempt to impeach Clinton, knowing he did not have the votes. In the end it was Newt who reseigned and was out of office. And in his farewell address he apologizes for being “brash”.

Other Newt Facts:

*Filed for divorce while his wife was recovering from cancer surgery
*Had numerous extra-marital affairs - but Clinton had to be impeached for his.
*His Children took him to court as a dead beat Dad
*Questionable book deal with Rubert Murdoch
*Served on GW Bush’s Policy Defense Board - A neo-conservative advisory board to the Pentagon.

Newt Quotes:

Blamed the State Department and Secretary of State Colin Powell for many of the troubles the United States is facing in its relations with its allies and for undermining the foreign policy of the Bush administration

He also called a planned visit by Powell to Syria “ludicrous,” despite that fact that Powell was going at the request of President Bush.

“We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.’” - Anne Manning (who was also married at the time.)

“We would have won in 1974 if we could have kept him out of the office, screwing her [a young volunteer] on the desk.” - Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler at the time

[In the book] “Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them”, [I] “found frightening pieces that related to my own life.” - Newt.

“I think you can write a psychological profile of me that says I found a way to immerse my insecurities in a cause large enough to justify whatever I wanted it to” - Newt, speaking to Gail Sheehy.

“She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.” - Newt, on his first wife.

“I don’t want him to be president and I don’t think he should be.” - Newt’s wife Marianne.

“If the country today were to move to the left, Newt would sense it before it started happening and lead the way.” - Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler throughout the 1970s.

If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections…. Males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.

[The Republicans] offer … a detailed agenda for national renewal…. [On] reducing illegitimacy … the state will use … funds for programs to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, to promote adoption, to establish and operate children’s group homes, to establish and operate residential group homes for unwed mothers, or for any purpose the state deems appropriate. None of the taxpayer funds may be used for abortion services or abortion counseling.

“I love the environment, but I’m cheap on the environment.”

“The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”

“What is the primary purpose of a political leader? To build a majority. If [voters] care about parking lots, then talk about parking lots.”

“I think one of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty. We encourage you to be neat, obedient, loyal and faithful and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around a campfire but a lousy”

Posted by: Stefano at July 23, 2006 6:49 AM
Comment #169907

“He then proceeded to attempt to impeach Clinton, knowing he did not have the votes.”

Clinton WAS impeached.

Posted by: traveller at July 23, 2006 8:08 AM
Comment #169909

Actually, I always found Newt fascinating. I wouldn’t call him brilliant by any stretch of the term, but he is intelligent. Deeply flawed, he makes Clinton seem like a boy scout. I saw him once debate the finer points of dinosaur evolution with an expert, and he obviously did his homework. But when it came to politics, he was his own worst enemy. Those of you old enough to remember will recall his pique over not being invited up to the front of Air Force One and his petulance remarks afterward. Clinton didn’t have to say a word; Newt was quite capable of embarassing himself. If he had more insight into himself, he could have been a great politician, but he just didn’t have the full package. He needed foes to attack and ridicule; his approach was always opportunitistic and divisive. However, I don’t believe he was a true ideologue; I think as president he would have been more pragmatic, at least during years without elections. I don’t think he would have done as much harm to this country as Bush, but who knows? Domestically, he would have been in bed with corporate interests, but I think he would have had a more realistic and productive approach to foreign policy.

Posted by: Trent at July 23, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #169913

All politicians, all people, have flawed personalities. Some learn and get better and often it is defeat and adversity that makes it happen.

Since we are talking Clinton/Gingrich, Clinton is also a tragic figure in this regard. I believe that had he been defeated in 1992 and come back to win in 1996, he could have been a great president, rather than just a good one. He would have had time in the wilderness and in his particular case time for some parts of his personality to soften.

Gingrich might not have the temperament to be president. Temperament (and people skills) is what makes great presidents. They used to say about Franklin Roosevelt that he was a man with a second class intellect, but a first class temperament. The same might have been said of Ronald Reagan. The most intelligent (book learning) president in recent history was probably Nixon, followed by Carter. These guys did not work out very well, did they?

But clearly Gingrich’s ability to work practically with ideas is a great asset.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #169917

Smartest politician?? Maybe slickest and most amoral (although Bush is pretty amoral, and so is Cheney…aw, heck…the whole administration is amoral!), but not smartest…

Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #169919

Jack, I must say I am surprised to hear you say that Clinton was a good president. I’m going to go back and read all your entries now.

I was so pissed at him over the Monica nonsense — don’t get me wrong, I do think the Starr fishing expedition was an abuse of power, but I also thought Clinton deserved impeachment (but not removal) for lying to the grand jury, even though it was a personal matter. In this day and age politicians can’t fool around. Personally, I believe that sexual matters should remain private, but realistically, a president can’t give such easy ammunition to his opposition.

I consider Clinton an almost-great president who did much good for this country. An amazing policy wonk, he also knew how to communicate to the masses. Charisma on that scale can be scary, but in this case, I believe Clinton was genuinely concerned with making people’s lives better. However, as a Democrat, I dread a Hillary run; I don’t see how she could bring the country together.

I actually kind of like Newt — he has a sense of humor and, one senses, in private you could have a very good, non-dogmatic conversation with him.

Posted by: Trent at July 23, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #169926

Gosh…I used to think the following fit Bush to the proverbial “T”, but considering the disengagement between Gingrich’s public stance and his personal life, I believe it seems quite a good fit for him, too:

Superficial charm, lack of empathy, and an inflated self-appraisal are the first an dobvious indicators of the psychopathis personality. Less obvious, but nevertheless the core feature of the personality, is the absence of conscience. These individuals view themselves as important persons and expect, and directly or indirectly demand, others to treat them as such. They need to be the center of attention and when they cannot be they become jealous and despondent. While these individuals spend much of their time trying to win the adultaiton and admiration of others by flattery and efforts to be pleasing, they are often oblivious to the feelings of others owing to their limited capacity for empathy.
Furthermore, these individuals have little awareness of the distress they cause others by their deceptive and manipulative behavior.

Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 11:31 AM
Comment #169941

I frankly think that at this point if time Mr Gingrich is most effective in postulating ideas. He is an intelligent and honest spokesman for conservatism and I’m afraid that if he is running for office he will be less effective than he is now.

If he were to run for office I would support him in a heartbeat. He is from the mold of Ronald Reagan and more than ANY other person I have seen today he espouses and articulates that view.

Posted by: David VanScoy at July 23, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #169942


If you read all my comments you will find very little against Bill Clinton. He was a good president. Like all presidents, he made lots of mistakes and had to learn on the job.

I wrote a whole post praising Bill.

Dems should probably always go with southern (or western) governors. The liberal wing of the party is out of touch and Massachusetts (Dukakis & Kerry) has not been very lucky for them since for nearly 50 years.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #169959

Newt, the most important person, smartest person, greatest person, in his own mind maybe.

Posted by: KT at July 23, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #169960

Clinton good?

He gave North Korea nuclear technology.

He gave China money, nuclear technology and tanks.

He had 2 chances to catch Osama Bin Laden when Yemen had him captive and he declined both times. So the war isn’t Bush’s fault, it’s Clinton’s. Clinton could have prevented the war, but it looks like Bush has to finish the job.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at July 23, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #169970
If he were to run for office I would support him in a heartbeat. He is from the mold of Ronald Reagan and more than ANY other person I have seen today he espouses and articulates that view.

That’s probably one of the most cogent reasons put forth NOT to vote for Gingrich…Reaganomics and foreign policy (Iran/Contra, selling WMDs to Saddam) were the start of our current problems.

Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #169971

Typical of Dems. Cannot argue with the ideas, tell them to shut up.

Posted by: Jack at July 22, 2006 09:38 PM

How come republicans are so afraid to debate?

Posted by: npr at July 23, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #169972

Yeah tell those Democrats to shut up.

republicans are scared of the truth

republicans can’t debate

republicans are frightened of dissent

Posted by: npr at July 23, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #169976


The presidency is complicated. Even the best make mistakes. Often they must choose from among bad choices. We do not need to tear Clinton down to make ourselves better. He was our president and we all live with his successes and failures.


The same goes for you. I would add that you are entitled to your opinion about Reaganomics etc. But please refrain from the blood libel against your country regarding Saddam. The U.S. was responsible for 0.47% of Saddam’s arsenal, less than places like Brazil or Czech Rep and about the same as Denmark. Saddam made his own WMD. WMD that Saddam used is off the shelf 1915 technologies. He needed nothing from the U.S. The ease of production is what makes WMD and people like Saddam so dangerous.

Both of you please remember when you trash a former president of the U.S. you are also trashing your country. I forgive politics, but I don’t care for walking on my country.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #169977

When you actually want to debate, I am sure I can deal with you expeditiously. Conservatives love to debate, maybe because we win so often. Although you might not really get all the finer points.

Now you can make more unsupported statement if you wish.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 3:19 PM
Comment #169981


Sorry you do not believe the truth about your own country…the USA is anything but lily white…

Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 3:31 PM
Comment #169985

Newt was a good front man for a novelty idea election (Contract With America). I wish every election so clearly stated its ideas and purposes and promised to vote on those ideas during the upcoming term. A lot more would be accomplished.

Newt is very bright and articulate, but he is also polarizing. It depends on the American political climate and the composition of Congress how well he could do as POTUS. Given the right circumstances, Newt could be exceptional.

Newt generally belongs to the Demican- Republicrat Party, towing the Party line most of the time. But he can be outspoken and ascerbic, like John McCain—too much the free agent. That’s not rewarded by the two-card-Monty system. Hence, Newt will probably never have their backing.

BTW…no one in Washington, not even their best bean counters, can mentally grasp how much money two or three trillion dollars is. The Party gave up and has been writing checks future generations will never, assuming the present accounting system, be able to repay. Prepare yourself: the Party has a post-collapse control plan that only an elite few will like.

Posted by: Metros at July 23, 2006 3:41 PM
Comment #169986


Not at all. We do lots of things that are gray or even black. Sometimes I even support those things. But in the case of Saddam, we are not guilty of the WMD charge.

Just so you know that I know:

We accepted Saddam as the lesser evil in the Iraq-Iran war. I still am not sure this was a bad choice. We tilted toward Iraq, which meant we allowed Arab allies to share intel. This probably prevented an Iranian victory. We also were soft on Iraqi human rights violations. But I repeat, an Iranian victory would have been a disaster. At the time this looked like the better of the bad choices and it probably was. The best case scenario was no clear victor and that is what we got.

The WMD charge makes no particular sense. It is unnecessary. It is like saying we sold Saddam oil. Is it possible? Yes. But does it make sense to have done it and/or does it make a difference.

I do not think you really understand the nature of the WMD. It is not some complicated technology. It is something anyone with a lab, the intent and the will can do. It is technology largely from WWI. Saddam’s INTENT was dangerous precisely because it is easy to do. He did not need us in this respect.

His other arsenal had almost on U.S. components from any source. If we sold anything to him, it was such as secret that even he (and we) didn’t know about it and nobody could find any later.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #169988

Talk about inanities…conflating a president to make him coexistent with the entire country is just, well, I can hardly find a term that expresses strongly enough why that is idiotic!

Nixon was NOT the USA; Clinton was NOT the USA; Reagan was NOT the USA; FDR was NOT the USA; Ike was NOT the USA.

The president is an elected official who is to administrate the federal government…nothing more.

As a US citizen, I claim my country in the name of all other citizens…

Both of you please remember when you trash a former president of the U.S. you are also trashing your country.
Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #169991


I didn’t make it clear. You can trash former presidents in the political sense. You can call them names etc. But it makes not sense (in the case of Clinton or Reagan) to elevate judgment calls, mistakes, choices among bad options etc to the level or crimes or gross incompetence. If you know anything about decisions (or history) you know it is always easy to predict the past, but much harder to make decisions about the future.

People inexperienced in making (or not allowed to make) decisions are usually those first in line to talk trash.

Most of us don’t get to make big political decisions, but all of us get to make big economic and personal decisions that effect our lives and fortunes. So if you are not very rich, in an excellent relationship, living in a town you love while doing meaninful work, you might ask yourself if you really screwed up or if it is harder than you think.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #169995


You must’ve changed your thinking since 1993-2001…Clinton got trashed on everything by the Republicans to the point of obstruction…what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, especially when it is leading our country into economic and political ruin…

Yes, we do have the right to criticize sitting presidents on their policies…

And the dig at the end does not become you or anyone trying to make a valid point…you are assuming & attributing things you absolutely know nothing about…the very same thing you constantly criticize in others!

Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #169997


I don’t know you and I am sorry if it is a personal thing. I have changed my mind about decision making as I got more experience making them. I assume that works for everyone who tries to learn from experience.

In my work I make lots of decisions and I have a good track record. Yet every decision is wrong in some aspect. When people bother me about my decisions, I always analyze their points. Sometimes I conclude I made a mistake and ALWAYS I conclude I could have done better. But given the facts at the time and the constraints, most of the decisions are good. Then I again point to the record. If I conclude that you will not flip ten heads in a row - and then you do it, I have not made a bad decision. It just did not work out.

ANyone can have gems of wisdom, but I make it a policy to be very careful with investment advice from anyone who is not richer than I am. Nor do listen carefully (except in the negative sense) to relationship advice from divorced people. Everybody COULD have done better. But if we were all so good at it, there would be no poor people, no fat people, no divorces and all the kids would be happy.

Re Clinton, I criticized Clinton and still do. But generally I thought he did a good job and have said so often. I especially like NAFTA, NATO expansion, welfare reform and WTO. Interestingly, many liberals disagree with me. He made mistakes too, but I don’t throw him away because of them.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #170011

Jack, I gotta say that Newt is smart.

Beyond that, Newt is a fraud and corrupt as hell. He’s just another mouthpiece for the corporate America that pays his way.

If he cared about healthcare reform why did he kill it before it got anywhere? This guy has more bullshit than a herd of buffalo. He’s all talk, Jack. When it comes to action, he’s in the trenches with the other corporate whores.

Posted by: gergle at July 23, 2006 5:06 PM
Comment #170033

Newt said “Government is too big, too intrusive, too easy with money.”

Newt then bounced 22 hot checks, and then bashed Democrats for doing the same thing. Fascinating.

1994, Newt changes his mind and turns down $4.5 million advance on a book contract from HarperCollins, after media attention to the deal and to Newt’s meeting with Rupert Murdoch, owner of the publishing company.

1997, Newt is fined $300,000 by the ethics committee for violating House rules barring use of tax-exempt foundations for political purposes. Newt had to turn to an unusual source, Bob Dole for a loan, who offered to lend him the cash at 10% interest for 8 years.

Jackie, his first wife said: “He walked out in the spring of 1980…. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery [treatment for cancer]. The two girls came to see me, and said, “Daddy is downstairs. Could he come up?” When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from my surgery.”

What a guy? How revealing.

Newt Gingrich separated from Jackie, his wife of 19 years and his former high school math teacher. Newt once said “She [Jackie] isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.

That was 1980 September. Newt Gingrich married Marianne Ginther shortly after that (11 months later) in August 1981.

Newt was a dead-beat dad. Jackie had to take Newt to court to get him to contribute for bills, as their utilities were about to be cut off.

Though he relentlessly pushes military spending and talks like a bigtime hawk, Gingrich avoided the Vietnam War through a combination of student and family deferments. Can’t blame anyone too terribly much for that though, since Vietnam was a very screwed up mess.

And, what happened to the “Contract With America” ? Look at how large government has grown since then, and continues to grow to nightmare proportions.

And you want this guy to be president? Yikes !

Congress is a culture of corruption.

Can’t anyone think of some candidates that haven’t already demonstrated that they are corrupt ?

Posted by: d.a.n at July 23, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #170038


Okay - liberal. or at least someone who hates Newt enough to read a book with a title like “Tell Newt to Shut Up.”

I did not take the the time to read the book and probably would not. I think the title would put off most fair minded people.

Posted by: Jack at July 22, 2006 10:15 PM





Posted by: tlc at July 23, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #170039


I expect I read more than average for liberal or conservative. Your hatred is unattractive. You are doing your cause no good, by showing it off.

No more pearls to cast before you today. Go ahead an play by yourself again.

If you try really hard and study, you may someday be able to understand what I write.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #170041

another ad hominem by Jack the republicant

can’t read books that criticize republicants

can’t engage in debate without resorting to attacking the commenter


Posted by: tlc at July 23, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #170042

there are too many republicant rah rah cheerleaders on this blog…

if you’re not extolling the great decisions that the republicants are making…

than you are a liberal…

or someone who hates republicants enough to read books that don’t kiss their butts.

Posted by: tlc at July 23, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #170044

I would vote for him and volunteer forhis campaign. Where do I sign up?

Posted by: sidiwda at July 23, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #170045


I agree. Only a couple of people praise Bush… and they call this the ‘Republicans and Conservatives Archives’. I think there are more Liberals here than Conservatives.

If you call yourself “Conservative”, but find it hard to agree with MOST of the values and agenda, then you are what they call Liberal.

Posted by: stubborn conservative at July 23, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #170046

stubborn conservative,

I don’t call myself a conservative and I don’t call myself a liberal.

Howeer, I do proudly call myself an AMERICAN.

Posted by: tlc at July 23, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #170047

Good grief. This is more informative and potentially productive if we avoid abuse. Political vitriol we can get, well, anywhere.

At the risk of sounding condescending, I used to get into political screaming matches too, but in my dotage, I’m just weary and bored by that nonsense.

Posted by: Trent at July 23, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #170057

And as the final screach of the last outraged extremist echoes in air, another thread comes to an end.

Posted by: goodkingned at July 23, 2006 8:56 PM
Comment #170060


Check the archives and you will find plenty of defense for Bush and his policies.

For example, I report the economic news just about every month. The liberals always complain that 4.6% unemployment is too high or that 5.3% growth is too low, but we all know they don’t believe it.

I also report his diplomatic and political successes. I don’t always agree with everything he does (for example the stem cell veto) but nobody can expect that.

Many of the liberals do not actually read what I write. They respond with their template. I usually answer them twice and then let them be what they are. But on this blog we also have many intelligent liberals with whom we can have productive arguments.

I have noticed an increasingly hysterical hatred of Bush. There is not much you can do with people like that.

Anyway, if you are looking for a blind support of every Republican policy, you will not find it here. I believe that Republican ideas are usually better, but all human systems are fallible. I stopped looking for perfection a long time ago.

Experience makes everything blurry around the edges. The effects or lack of experience is also the reason that if you are not a leftist when you are 20, you have no heart, but if you are still a leftist when you are 40 you have no brain. Like everything else, this is not true 100% of the time, but very often.

Posted by: Jack at July 23, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #170074

It looks like here at the conservative blog, everyone here is arguing about the commentators.

On the independent and liberal blog, they are arguing about the issues.

I wonder why?

Posted by: tlc at July 23, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #170108
I have noticed an increasingly hysterical hatred of Bush. There is not much you can do with people like that.

There’s Jack’s favorite word once again…hysterical…hysteria is a neurosis characterized by the presentation of a physical ailment without an organic cause OR excessive or uncontrollable emotion, such as panic.

The only ones panicking are the neocons and the sheep who quake at the word “terrorists” and “evildoers”…and their shepherd keeps them in line by regularly recalling terrorist incidents.

But, when one points out the absurdity of such situation, one is labelled “hysterical”.

Come on, Jack, you tell us much more about yourself by consistently using the word hysterical…Webster’s has a lot more words you can use…why not buy yourself a thesaurus and come up with something a little less jaded and telling.

Of course, Republicans were never, ever hysterical when they hounded Clinton for 8 years…

Posted by: Lynne at July 23, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #170111

What we are seeing today, this is conservatism. Make no mistake. This is it. You are living it. This is conservative theory made real. This is conservatism in action.

It is a conservative Senate, an even more conservative House, a conservative Supreme Court, and a conservative president. Newt is only one example. WWIII. He is right, if conservatives can have their way. The profits will be astronomical.

Now, you may dislike seeing conservatism in action. Most of us dislike the results. As the saying goes, “if you are not completely, appalled, you have not been paying attention.” Perception is not limited by age.

Some conservatives could point to this or that aspect of theory and observe it was not put into action. For example, conservatives have substantially grown government, which is not normally considered conservative. This is because other aspects of conservative theory trump spending restrictions when conservatism is enacted. Business trumps labor, mulitnationals trump business, Big oil trumps business, and the military/industrial complex works with Big Oil to trump all.

Not only will the Bush administration rush a shipment of explosives so that Israel can kill additional hundreds of innocent people sooner, but conservatives will profit from the transaction. War is a racket, as General Smedley Butler wrote, and conservative principles stress that “greed is good,” the ultimate motivating principle. Extremism in pursuit of liberty is no vice when the self-enrichment is the only goal.

World War III. Tell you what. If Newt Gingrich advocates running a WWIII which is not for profit, then let me know, maybe I will sign up.

No liberal complains about the 4.6% unemployment rate. Liberals complain vociferously about the inability of the Bush administration to create jobs, and grow wages. The stock market performance reflects this apprehension of failed policy.

Posted by: phx8 at July 23, 2006 11:24 PM
Comment #170196

Gingrich was DISGRACED from office.
$300,000 plea deal with Congress kept him out of jail.
New’s mind is directed to one thing..his own fat pockets.
Never accept a discraced politician as more than just that.
Someone who did something wrong.

Posted by: Joe at July 24, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #170296

If you are aware of specific things our elected representatives are guilty of feel free to let the world know as long as you aren’t selling out your country at the same time. What I mean by that is in order to keep military secrets some representatives will have to lie. When CBS revealed that soldiers were being investigated and prosecuted for offenses they gave excuses to terrorists who sawed people’s heads off slowly on camera.

For those who say Bush stole the 2000 election, feel free to lay out your evidence point by point and support it with words from the Constitution and the other parts of American law.

Great Britain still claims Saddam sought yellow cake uranium from Africa. They did a thorough investigation and fired some false accusers from the BBC.

I like your thoughtful comments David. Newt shouldn’t even bother running for president. He should work with people to bring out his best ideas though.

While I’m disappointed in how the Republicans are handling (not handling) illegal immigration, I believe Democrats would do worse. “Illegal” is the key word.

While people criticize President Bush and call him stupid I believe he is the smartest statesman/politician in the world. His opponents consistently misunderestimate him. Leaders don’t have the luxury of having perfect information to make decisions with. They have to base decisions on the best information they have. Saddam was seeking nuclear weapons and he didn’t prove he destroyed his chemical weapons (aka WMD). We uncovered chemical weapons in Iraq and that proves Saddam lied when he said they had been destroyed.

When false accusers ignore the facts in order to bear false witness against the United States and the president then they are the dividers. When terrorists see Americans accusing the the United States and it’s leaders of lying then those terrorists are given hope that those who believe the terrorists’ lies will gain power. That helps give them hope to continue their fight.

In Gulf War I Saddam showed the hostages he was holding so he could demonstrate that they were being treated well. The news media spun that as Saddam showing the hostages he would use as human shields. Showing the ones whose deaths he would cause.

I saw through that spin, but we were at war against Saddam. Now the news media is using spin to downplay anything good the United States does and the media is doing it’s best to make the United States look bad and the terrorists to look like freedom fighters. If that news media were working for terrorist nation(s) then they would be patriotic to their nation. The American news organizations spinning the news against the United States are aiding the enemies of the United States. Deliberately assisting the enemies of the United States in time of war needs to be considered a crime.

Freedom of speech should not protect people who point out troop locations, strengths, plans, and/or operations.

Nations who would use nuclear weapons against us and our allies need to be prevented from having those weapons. Are they so stupid as not to know we will make their nation a sea of glass when they nuke us?

Posted by: Steve S at July 24, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #170845


I would love to see our friend Newt in office. A Man who divorced his dying wife and slept with interns. The Republicans just might hate him enough to vote democrat, what a blessing.

You see the difference stands in the fact that Republicans get so worked up if a president has sex they forget that sex and running the country are two different things, which might explain why George Bush gets so tongue-tied during his speeches. I say bring all the idiot Republican politicians and put them in office. It will only hurt the Republicans more and give way to a better way of thinking, liberalism.

but, unfortunately the Republican party isnt going to make the same dumb mistake twice….

As a president probably the most important part of the job is charisma, something the republican party has lacked for years, however dems arent far behind with crap like Kerry and Gore.

Where is that awesome guy Clinton when we need him. Oh the world loved him, excluding the narrow minded who believe that the president has more power than the house and the senate, and that smoking pot and sex is the downfall of humanity. I will admit that he was amoral but who isnt, at least he isnt stupid, and he got impeached for lying not for adultry, way to go Clinton.

At this time i want to thank Newt for screwing himself out of office and giving me the light daily humor i need when i want to feel good, thanks for the laugh Newt. Now pick up your wiffle ball and bat and go outside and play.

putting clinton up to newt is like putting a Pit-bull up to a poodle. Thats probably why Clinton, still gets paid 50,000 to give speeches and newt…well he writes shady book deals.

Once again, thanks Jack with politically minded people like you we will surely have a Dem President soon, please get on your soap box and tell your friends all about your new friend Newt

Posted by: William Hungerford at July 26, 2006 3:15 PM
Comment #171310

Steve S.

To say someone gave excuses for someone to saw off someone’s head is an absurd statement. You legitimize terror by making such statements. Psycopaths don’t need excuses and never have.

Posted by: gergle at July 28, 2006 4:45 AM
Comment #216808


Posted by: Fred at April 16, 2007 1:41 PM
Comment #249659

The Smartist Politician in the world is
Hillary Clinton. George W. Bush, the alcaholic
ranks LAST.
I find that the Republicans just are not the
party of choice for this year.
Nick Tkachuk

Posted by: nicktkachuk at April 2, 2008 8:40 AM
Comment #249660

The Smartist Politician in the world is
Hillary Clinton.
Nick Tkachuk

Posted by: nicktkachuk at April 2, 2008 8:41 AM
Comment #249661

The Smartist Politician in the world is
Hillary Clinton.
Nick Tkachuk
Nice try trying to censor the truth.
Take your blog and shove it!!

Posted by: nicktkachuk at April 2, 2008 8:42 AM
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