For months the folks in DC who worked with Gingrich have been attacking the very notion of him getting anywhere near the levers of power. That was all fine and good before the Gingrich surge, but what will they do when they have to take it all back to support The Professor over President Obama?
Today Joe Scarborough took the lead in showing how this can be done. After spending two thirds of his weekly column in Pravda on the Potomac describing Newt’s many flaws he shapes a myth to fluff The Professor:
By this point in my column, you may be asking yourself what could be the case for a man who is an ideological train wreck and the worst manager this side of Barack Obama?
It’s simple, really.
When Gingrich was speaker of the House, he was responsible for kick-starting a movement that did three historic things:
(1) Balance the budget for the first time in a generation.
(2) Balance the budget four years in a row for the first time since the 1920s.
(3) Pass welfare reform.
Consider that Gingrich did all three over the strenuous objections of Bill Clinton and the Democrats in Congress and you begin to understand the affinity that conservatives who don’t know Gingrich have for Gingrich.
Is there a Republican in the field who can top these achievements?
Does any other living Republican come close?
The fresh hot meme that Morning Joe is selling is a fantasy where you imagine Newt Gingrich as America’s ONLY living Republican hero and the greatest Conservative since Reagan. The Bush/DeLay years are erased as is any factual history of the 1990s. Gone too is any discussion of all the post-1998 Conservative policy failures and disasters caused by wingnut magical thinking. With the Scarborough meme, all you have to do is give Newt credit for things he did not do and a reason to become a Gingrich supporter can be spun from smoke.
Reality was different. Budgets were balanced as a result of a difficult vote Democrats took in 1993 (which Newt opposed and exploited to win the 94 midterms) and Welfare Reform was a Clinton agenda item since the 92 campaign. The final result of Welfare Reform was far more what Clinton wanted than what Newt wanted. The successes of the Clinton years were done over Wingnut objections, not Democratic ones. Still, Joe has invented a fine nutter myth to justify his Gingrich walk back and I expect him to polish it in the coming months.
Look for others to pick up the meme and run with it as well. I look forward to some great hilarity from Will, Bobo, Rove and the other members of the wingnut noise machine as they all get in line to fluff The professor.