Eye of Newt, Butt of Donkey

The truth is out.  Newt Gingrich is what so many true conservatives have long suspected, a quintessential Washington insider and board-certified member of what Walter Russell Mead calls an "intellectually and morally" corrupt American elite.  His mouth may quote Thomas Jefferson, but his heart is pure Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York notorious for his hypocrisy and self-aggrandizing demagoguery.  And, although the three witches of Macbeth found magic in combining "Eye of newt, and toe of frog," the only thing that mixes with our modern-day mouth of Newt is, perhaps, butt of donkey -- clear to most except Newt at this point.

Of course, the south end of a Democratic donkey -- which began its life as a jackass in Democrat Andrew Jackson's presidential campaign in the nineteenth century -- is a key ingredient in the Newt power potion.  Gingrich has typically fawned over whatever Democrat can offer him a sliver of attention and the trappings of power.  "Me want attention," seemingly crooned this Republican cookie monster, turning his back on the conservative revolution he was leading to petulantly seek a more monarchical seat on Air Force One from Bill Clinton.  And who can forget his embrace of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to promote the global warming initiatives of Al Gore?  With Democrats in control of all three branches of government, Newt opportunistically partnered with the folks who controlled massive amounts of taxpayer dollars, selling his Republican credentials for a week or two of look-at-me-I'm-important television spots with the woman squatting on the congressional throne.

And so we are reminded, once again, that character counts.  With character, Newt would not be admired by Chuck Schumer for his "candor" and integrity.  Without character, Newt is Newt, both public and private, using a cloud of rhetoric to pile up lie upon lie.  I loved my wives, that's why I didn't cheat on them when I cheated on them; I love Paul Ryan, that's why I didn't attack him when I attacked him.  As one Pajamas Media blogger put it, lying "is the kissing cousin of adultery" and -- although I have no interest in who is doing what with whom in which hotel room -- I prefer leaders who are, on average, more virtuous and humble than not.  As history attests, men and women of character have a higher probability of doing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people.  Virtue is one of those Judeo-Christian values that throw our educated I-can-do-what-I-want-when-I-want-on-your-dime elites into a snit, but it works -- even psychologists tell us that honor correlates with peace and satisfaction.

But honor is not what Newt is about; rather, Newt is about Newt.  Or, as National Review explains, "[t]hat's Newt being Newt."  And so an opportunistic Newt again adds donkey butt to his presidential hopeful elixir and joins Democrats in railing against the "right wing social engineering" of a conservative Congress that believes it is virtuous to live within our means.  Newt, of course, has often advocated fiscal integrity for the nation, even while privately racking up $250,000 - $500,000 of debt on a jewelry store credit card for assorted bling.  Integrity is integrity, personal or private, which is why we have the repeated spectacle of Newt channeling his inner Obama, attacking positions he claims to support when he sees a political advantage.  It's an inside-the-Beltway thing, you know, especially but not exclusively prevalent among Democrats.

It will take more than magic to cause voters to forget that Newt has a Democrat-like inner compass.  Public or private, Newt lacks a true north, switching back and forth between positions, depending upon what he calculates will most benefit his greatest love -- Newt.  Remember his enthusiastic support of Dede Scozzafava, the candidate chosen by a New York Republican Party that had partnered with the Democrats for decades in looting the public treasury?  A Tea Party and taxpayer revolt produced an alternative congressional candidate -- spurned by Republican insiders -- intent on helping the nation restore fiscal integrity.  Gingrich stepped in on the side of the Republican establishment and slapped down the Tea Party, seeing an opportunity to build national kingmaker credentials.  Meanwhile, his candidate pulled out of the race, endorsed the Obama Democrat, and denied conservatives another seat in Congress.

Newt, of course, had an explanation -- he always does.  He didn't really shock his first wife by filing for divorce while she was recuperating from cancer surgery, since he had mentioned his dissatisfaction now and then over a decade of marriage.  Newt public is Newt private, always ready to loose a torrent of words to explain why he really didn't do what it seemed he did or does as he always intended to do what it didn't seem that he did or does...or some such.  Hey, throw some more donkey butt into that witch's brew, this time channeling John "I-was-against-it-before-I-was-for-it" Kerry.  Whatever.  After his attack on Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity bluntly told him conservatives are "angry" because you pulled the rug out from underneath them.

Gingrich, of course, agrees that what he had done was terrible if he had done what he actually did -- but look at all the face time I'm getting on national television!  Enough about you, about the taxpayers, about a country increasingly under the thumb of an out-of-control Federal government -- don't you just love how I explain everything and every contradiction, every wrong choice.  I'm fascinating, he explains, not "spectacularly wrong."

But the little people, the ones who don't rack up six figure bling bills and mug with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore, aren't buying it.  "Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself," an Iowa resident told him this week as he sought support from first-round Republican primary voters.  Newt was reported to be "visibly stunned"...which is odd, given that he's heard the same sentiments come from two out of three wives thus far.

Mouth of Newt and butt of donkey...indeed.

Stuart Schwartz, a frequent AT contributor, is on the faculty of Liberty University in Virginia.
The truth is out.  Newt Gingrich is what so many true conservatives have long suspected, a quintessential Washington insider and board-certified member of what Walter Russell Mead calls an "intellectually and morally" corrupt American elite.  His mouth may quote Thomas Jefferson, but his heart is pure Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York notorious for his hypocrisy and self-aggrandizing demagoguery.  And, although the three witches of Macbeth found magic in combining "Eye of newt, and toe of frog," the only thing that mixes with our modern-day mouth of Newt is, perhaps, butt of donkey -- clear to most except Newt at this point.

Of course, the south end of a Democratic donkey -- which began its life as a jackass in Democrat Andrew Jackson's presidential campaign in the nineteenth century -- is a key ingredient in the Newt power potion.  Gingrich has typically fawned over whatever Democrat can offer him a sliver of attention and the trappings of power.  "Me want attention," seemingly crooned this Republican cookie monster, turning his back on the conservative revolution he was leading to petulantly seek a more monarchical seat on Air Force One from Bill Clinton.  And who can forget his embrace of then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to promote the global warming initiatives of Al Gore?  With Democrats in control of all three branches of government, Newt opportunistically partnered with the folks who controlled massive amounts of taxpayer dollars, selling his Republican credentials for a week or two of look-at-me-I'm-important television spots with the woman squatting on the congressional throne.

And so we are reminded, once again, that character counts.  With character, Newt would not be admired by Chuck Schumer for his "candor" and integrity.  Without character, Newt is Newt, both public and private, using a cloud of rhetoric to pile up lie upon lie.  I loved my wives, that's why I didn't cheat on them when I cheated on them; I love Paul Ryan, that's why I didn't attack him when I attacked him.  As one Pajamas Media blogger put it, lying "is the kissing cousin of adultery" and -- although I have no interest in who is doing what with whom in which hotel room -- I prefer leaders who are, on average, more virtuous and humble than not.  As history attests, men and women of character have a higher probability of doing the greatest good for the greatest amount of people.  Virtue is one of those Judeo-Christian values that throw our educated I-can-do-what-I-want-when-I-want-on-your-dime elites into a snit, but it works -- even psychologists tell us that honor correlates with peace and satisfaction.

But honor is not what Newt is about; rather, Newt is about Newt.  Or, as National Review explains, "[t]hat's Newt being Newt."  And so an opportunistic Newt again adds donkey butt to his presidential hopeful elixir and joins Democrats in railing against the "right wing social engineering" of a conservative Congress that believes it is virtuous to live within our means.  Newt, of course, has often advocated fiscal integrity for the nation, even while privately racking up $250,000 - $500,000 of debt on a jewelry store credit card for assorted bling.  Integrity is integrity, personal or private, which is why we have the repeated spectacle of Newt channeling his inner Obama, attacking positions he claims to support when he sees a political advantage.  It's an inside-the-Beltway thing, you know, especially but not exclusively prevalent among Democrats.

It will take more than magic to cause voters to forget that Newt has a Democrat-like inner compass.  Public or private, Newt lacks a true north, switching back and forth between positions, depending upon what he calculates will most benefit his greatest love -- Newt.  Remember his enthusiastic support of Dede Scozzafava, the candidate chosen by a New York Republican Party that had partnered with the Democrats for decades in looting the public treasury?  A Tea Party and taxpayer revolt produced an alternative congressional candidate -- spurned by Republican insiders -- intent on helping the nation restore fiscal integrity.  Gingrich stepped in on the side of the Republican establishment and slapped down the Tea Party, seeing an opportunity to build national kingmaker credentials.  Meanwhile, his candidate pulled out of the race, endorsed the Obama Democrat, and denied conservatives another seat in Congress.

Newt, of course, had an explanation -- he always does.  He didn't really shock his first wife by filing for divorce while she was recuperating from cancer surgery, since he had mentioned his dissatisfaction now and then over a decade of marriage.  Newt public is Newt private, always ready to loose a torrent of words to explain why he really didn't do what it seemed he did or does as he always intended to do what it didn't seem that he did or does...or some such.  Hey, throw some more donkey butt into that witch's brew, this time channeling John "I-was-against-it-before-I-was-for-it" Kerry.  Whatever.  After his attack on Paul Ryan, Sean Hannity bluntly told him conservatives are "angry" because you pulled the rug out from underneath them.

Gingrich, of course, agrees that what he had done was terrible if he had done what he actually did -- but look at all the face time I'm getting on national television!  Enough about you, about the taxpayers, about a country increasingly under the thumb of an out-of-control Federal government -- don't you just love how I explain everything and every contradiction, every wrong choice.  I'm fascinating, he explains, not "spectacularly wrong."

But the little people, the ones who don't rack up six figure bling bills and mug with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore, aren't buying it.  "Get out now before you make a bigger fool of yourself," an Iowa resident told him this week as he sought support from first-round Republican primary voters.  Newt was reported to be "visibly stunned"...which is odd, given that he's heard the same sentiments come from two out of three wives thus far.

Mouth of Newt and butt of donkey...indeed.

Stuart Schwartz, a frequent AT contributor, is on the faculty of Liberty University in Virginia.

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