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Why Are We Listening To Newt Gingrich?

R.L.G. at The Economist makes a nice catch:

I'm not sure I've ever seen academic credentials put to such hackish ends as Newt Gingrich did today:

The president of the United States—the most radical president in American history—has now thrown down the gauntlet to the American people. He has said "I run a machine, I own Washington, and there's nothing you can do about it." Now that's where we are. But I want to remind you as a historian that there are two rules. The first is that elections have consequences, and therefore 2006 and 2008 has a consequence—the consequence is Obama, Pelosi and Reid. However, consequences lead to elections. So here's my promise—if we will go out and recruit at every level...if we'll work as hard as we can from now until election day, not giving up a single day, when we win control of the House and Senate this way, stage one of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. [Emphasis mine.]

Really, Mr Gingrich? That's what your doctoral work on Belgian education policy in the Congo taught you? That Barack Obama is the most radical president in American history and we should vote Republican?

On the subject of Gingrich, here's one thing I don't understand. John Edwards' philandering has made him a public pariah, understandably so. But Gingrich's marital behavior was probably even more disgusting. He cheated on his first wife and told her he wanted a divorce while she was recovering from surgery for cancer. He subsequently cheated on his second wife with a much younger aide. It's fairly amazing how Gingrich has managed to avoid any stigma from this. He's just a conservative "ideas guy."