One of the most frustratingly disappointing politicians of modern times is Newt Gingrich. He is so habitually and instinctively able to transcend the mire of politics by rote and rut that it's doubly annoying when he keeps rising up toward the clouds and disappears into the aether...only to reappear mysteriously in the small-ball world of ineffective political tokenism, as if, like Pac-Man, he disappeared off the top of the game board in order to come back in at the bottom.
So everyone I know is laughing bitterly at his prescription for avoiding what is indeed likely to be disaster for the GOP in 2008. Daniel covers it well enough. Among Newt's game-changing designs:
Introduce a “more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill” as a replacement for the Warner-Lieberman “tax and trade” bill…
This will also be known as the No Trade-Offs/Free Lunch Act of 2008. Gingrich forgot to mention introducing the bill to protect endangered unicorns. Gingrich supplements this with such proposals as, I kid you not, an earmark moratorium (take on those tough issues, Newt!), a gas tax holiday that will allegedly be paid for by “cutting domestic discretionary spending,” using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to manipulate oil prices (very slightly), tackling all of the outrageous waste at the Census Bureau (?), and, naturally, banging the drum about the judiciary. The one idea that sounds mildly interesting is an overhaul of air traffic control systems, and it is the most technocratic of the nine, which means that it will take the longest to put into practice and will have limited impact on public opinion. This list is nothing more than tinkering around the edges and is so far removed from an agenda of “real change” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) that it’s laughable.