Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Newt, neither Mute nor Cute

by Edd Doerr

Newt Gingrich for President? Seriously? Whenever I see or hear his name I am unavoidably reminded of Karel Capek's brilliant 1936 science-fiction novel The War with the Newts. Capek is the Czech writer who introduced the word "robot" to the English-speaking world with his 1921 play "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots", "robot" being the Slavic languages word for slave or servant). Capek died in 1938 before the Nazis could get their bloody hands on him for making fun of them in his "Newt" book.

But back to Newt. Let me cite my review of his 2010 book To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine (Regnery, 356 pages), from the 2010, No. 3 issue of Voice of Reason.

"This awful book conjures up a number of appropriate adjectives, among them: unbalanced, demagogic, vitriolic, mean-spirited, and dishonest. It is apparently intended for use by the Tea Party movement, but it will not convince well-informed or fair-minded readers.

"Of interest to readers of this journal are Gingrich's views on church-state issues. As befits a follower of pseudo-historian David Barton, Newt grossly misinterprets our constitutional separation of church and state. He favors: school vouchers, a word he refuses to use, preferring the misleading 'K-12 Pell Grants'; government-sponsored school prayer; home-schooling; allowing public school teachers to proselytize; barring federal courts from hearing establishment cases; stopping US funding for the UN Population Fund; reinstating the anti-choice Reagan-Bush I and II 'Mexico City policy'; using churches for politicking; and increasing the number of charter schools without limit.

"The publisher should be embarrassed, but this is the usual stock-in-trade for Regnery."

Sigh. Well, at least Newt provides material for limericks --

Newt, nor mute nor cute,
Loves loudly his horn to toot.
But when shove comes to push
He will land on his tush.
The voters will give him the boot.

Or even haiku --

Newt, nor mute nor cute,
His loud horn he loves to toot
We should punch his snoot.


Bill Creasy said...

Gingrich was called a theoretical thinker in the early 1990's when he came up with the Contract with America. What the Republicans desperately need right now is a thinker who can come up with new conservative, fiscally responsible, non-religious-dogma ideas to replace the worn-out Reagan and Religious Right policies. Unfortunately, Gingrich doesn't seem to be up for the job.

lucette said...

"Unfortunately, Gingrich doesn't seem to be up for the job."

I would say "fortunately", although there is no need to worry: Gingrich does not have even a trace of family values. How could the Tea Party accept that?

Don Wharton said...

Gingrich is likely to be one of the most creative in imposing a religious future on America. I heard him seriously suggest that Congress could pass a law precluding the Ninth Circuit from hearing any cases. Technically this is true. It is also an outrageous response to his desire to prevent the Ninth Court from hearing separation of church/state cases. Fortunately with his multiple divorces he is unlikely to get the nomination.

GL Aikin said...

Newt is catching heck from the right wing for saying something positive about the need for mandatory insurance in the health care program.