The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

That repeating feeling of unreality

Over the years since we first heard his amusing name -- like something out of Doctor Seuss -- someone in the media or the pundit class has been around to assert that whatever else you might think of Newt Gingrich, he's really smart.

And over all those years, I have been completely unable to figure out why. As John Cleese says in the cheese shop sketch, "Explain, pray, the logic underlying that conclusion." What has Gingrich ever done that can be characterized as anything but smarter than some of his peers in the GOP? And of course the people who voted for him. I'll agree that he's smarter than they are.

But man, oh, man, compared to anyone with actual political chops, he's an idiot. The contract with America, you'll recall, nearly destroyed the GOP, and Newt's other peculations caused him to exit politics with his tail between his legs. Now, in the first week of his formal comeback attempt, he shows his true colors (the plaid and paisley banner of the National Association of Idiots) by savaging a budget plan carefully crafted by -- the GOP. The ones actually holding elected office. The party he apparently expects to nominate him for President.

Well, it's a free country. Even a commie pinko like Walt Kelly admitted that a man has a right to make a fool of himself. And with Trump out of the race, we can be thankful for having Newt's hair to mock. (Yeah, I know, John Stewart said essentially the same thing, and unlike me, his living depends on having things to mock -- for me, it's just a case of my sanity and amour-propre.)

Mark McKinnon at The Daily Beast has a nice summary of the Newtapocalypse, in case you've missed any of it. I really should be doing something more creative -- like making a cup of coffee.

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