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Eye of Newt

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I had a grandfather named Newt, and you, sir are no Newt…


Oh yeah, wait a sec. Newt Gingrich, who’s currently striving to become the first president of this country to have an oddball name, has suddenly risen to the top of the Republican primary field, much like a dead fish rises to the surface of a lake.


I know. My grandfather was named Newt (okay, it was Newton), but by today’s standards, that’s a bit…well, odd. Sure, there are worse names available: Ulysses, Gypsum, Buzzsaw, Hal, Winthorpe, Buddy, Engelbert, Mitt…But Gingrich seems to play up his moniker a bit, as his website is simply “Newt.org.” There’s part of me that thinks he’s just trying to dare some of us to make fun of him.


And so I shall.


Propped up on the discarded remains of his ex-wives, Newt’s site proudly features trophy wife number three on the main page, where Callista tells us what she’s been up to as the dutiful wife and former home wrecker. Lessee…She’s met with supporters, addressed conservative women (all seven of them–and one was actually Michele Bachmann), “bonded” with other candidates’ wives (something there just doesn’t seem right), and personally flushed all Occupy protesters from the bird bath in the back yard. Yes, it’s been a busy week for her…


But Newt has always been a cerebral type, relying on history, reason, metered humor, sarcasm, and his ability to hurl truly injurious insults at opponents to make his way through political discourse. Let’s sample some of his brilliance as he gives us a direct quote on how to solve our budget crisis:

Creating jobs and getting back to 4% unemployment is the most important step to a balanced budget.

Um…Duh. You think? Who’s your economic adviser? A trained chimp?


He does offer up an idea whereby we taxpayers (remember us? The 49 percent who actually pay taxes?) would have an “optional” 15% flat tax. It’s like he’s appealing to the stoners, illiterates and lazy people in the country: “hey, why fill out the two page form and the schedules and stuff when you can just fill out this here postcard and send it in with your check and you’re done with your taxes for the year!” It’s like a procrastinator’s bonus: pay only 15% if you put off filing until April 15th! Fill out the card and send it in! The only problem here is that I think he’s trying to put too much on that postcard, as he says there would be an individual deduction of $12,000, and deductions for charitable donations and mortgage interest would be preserved. Is he going to include the complimentary magnifying glass with that card, or do I have to provide my own?


But as usual for a Republican, Gingrich focuses entirely on the concept that business create jobs, and ignores the fact that to get jobs created, businesses need to feel more confident about the economy and to get that done, consumers need to spend more money in goods and services. And for that to happen, unfortunately, something needs to be done to help increase the confidence of American workers that their finances and jobs won’t get completely screwed over by greedy businesses who seem to want to do nothing but make their shareholders happy.


Gingrich aims to either imitate Reagan as president, or is planning on resurrecting Reagan in zombie form, because ol’ Ronnie is mentioned several times across the site. In fact, it seems very much like Gingrich is planning on just copying Reagan’s policies and changing names where appropriate: in place of Contras, we have “radical Islamics;” instead of a “Star Wars” missile defense system, we’ll have “advanced military weaponry” as the result of increased math and science funding (there’s your education policy, folks!); and just like Reagan, Gingrich wants to issue executive orders for as much as he can, so just like Reagan deregulated the airlines and oil and natural gas prices with executive orders, Gingrich wants to eliminate…um…any bias against healthcare workers who don’t want to perform medical procedures that they may find morally questionable. Yes, that will change the world…


And the last thing that really baffles me: I’ve been trying to figure this one out for a while now, but why is it that the cost of every product and service drops as economies of scale, competition, and the free market take hold, but healthcare is apparently immune to this concept? Shouldn’t it cost less to do things like my nasal surgery than it did 15 years ago? I’ve been trying to figure out how in the world it cost $15,000 for a doctor to pull stuff out of my head. And something’s wrong when people really are having to weigh the need to purchase a drug versus buying food. Is our society so backward that we no longer see the well being of our citizens as the government’s first priority? Social services, education, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, WIC…why are these programs villified when compared to cutting taxes on businesses to create jobs?


Just whisper the answer to yourself, because we all know it…And we should be ashamed that we do.


So a little more soapbox than I’d planned, but the regurgitated Reagan agenda can do that to a guy. Remember: Vote Newt 2012 to relive the ’80s…And not in a good way.


See you tomorrow.