Be strong, my brothers and sisters.
It has been said that Newt Gingrich’s appeal is that he sounds like what stupid people think smart people sound like. I will disagree with that, but I do think that part of his appeal is actually his own bellicosity and innate dickishness.
Newt is a smart guy. He has that pesky PhD. He is well educated, he has the ability to be eloquent, and when compared to the bumbling and stumbling of Rick Perry, he does appear to be a paragon of well spoken statesmanship. Save, when you actually listen to the man.
Newt is a bright man, who is often forced by circumstance to deal with folks that he has zero respect for. He is a bright fella who has been lauded as an “idea man” for some time, and often forced to deal with fellow former Congresscritters and journalists who are not as well educated, who are not as erudite. This is a situation that rankles the man, and it’s this particular peevishness that is the real focus of this piece. Newt’s own internal dickishness.
The government shutdown years ago, when Newt was offended by his seating on a plane. The recent jabs at the “invented people” of Palestine–and betting that few folks understand anything about the panethnicity of the Arabic world, the same as the Hispanic or even “white” people of the US, Canada, or Australia. Yesterday, Gary Johnson–a fella I really would love to support more, if I didn’t think that his ideas on economics are only a few steps away from Ron Paul’s own deludedness–took a shot at an illustrative position within the Gingrich camp. Newt supports a proposed death penalty for marijuana dealers. Those who bring in 2ozs or more, can be then dealt with harshly.
The problem is, that Newt has a storied past with Mary Jane. He has more than admitted that he has smoked pot, but has been at various times, an avid supporter of legalization. In the 80s, he wrote the AMA in support of medical marijuana. In the 90s, he told New York magazine that his use of marijuana in the 60s”…was a sign that we were alive and in graduate school in that era.”
I have no problem with Newt smoking pot. It’s not something that I do on a regular basis. Not a big fan of the stuff. I don’t particularly care if folks smoke weed, one way or another. Do think that we waste a lot of resources on “fighting” pot, and that it is money that could be better spent on reducing the presence of actually dangerous drugs, that the current “War on Drugs” creates the very environment of danger and competition that fuels cartels, and it drastically inhibits the industrial uses of marijuana that could contribute to our economy in ways that could revitalize a few industries.
So, Newt being a pot smoker doesn’t offend me in the least. Bill Clinton lost a lot of respect from me with his “didn’t inhale” ridiculousness. I pretty much assume, if you attend college in this country, that you’ve been exposed to pot–and if you’re past your 20s, that you’ve had a few tokes no matter the education or background, because it’s out there, and illegality or not, Americans grow some of the finest quality weed in the world.
What does offend me, and is illustrative of the inherent problem with Newt, is the pomposity and that inherent dickishness that Newt has on the issue.
“See, when I smoked pot it was illegal, but not immoral. Now it’s illegal AND immoral. The law didn’t change, only the morality. That’s why you get to go to jail and I don’t…”
That is pretty much, in a nutshell, the sum of Newt Gingrich. No matter what, HE is right, by dint of his doing something, and if anyone else does something, they are in the wrong. He is special, protected, and can do no wrong, because of his innate nobility.
This brand of exceptionalism is part of his appeal to some. That Americans are special by way of just being American. Newt is special and protected, because he is Newt. It is the retreat of someone who took perhaps one too many philosophy classes…
That is pretty much the issue. This fairly smart fellow, is convinced that he is above such petty issues of consistency of his own political philosophy, because the peasants can’t possibly understand. Kids need a work ethic, so we’re going to fire their parents and relatives, so that they can clean toilets to learn their place. Never mind the impact of firing staff and dumping those folks onto the jobless rolls. Never mind the shedding of jobs and the creation of an underclass, that doesn’t neerd to be discussed, because Newt had an idea. Palestinians are an invented people, and treating with them on any issue is useless, since they are just Arabs, and in no way, shape, or form, should anyone take offense to this or you’re a racist scumbag who doesn’t understand geopolitics and if it comes around to bite him on the tochis, then it’s only proof of the mongrel nature of these idiots who don’t understand that Newt is an idea man. Pot is immoral now, because Newt isn’t smoking it on a regular basis, and the Americans who do now, just don’t understand how awesome it was to be a grad student in the 60s…
This peevishness and innate dickishness is the heart and soul of Newt on pretty much any issue. And do we really want a President who is just a dick?