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ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Newt Gingrich: Out of Africa and Into Iowa
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 19:02

Newt Gingrich: Out of Africa and Into Iowa

Written by Maureen Dowd
Newt Gingrich Newt Gingrich Larry Downing/Reuters

In the 1971 Ph.D. dissertation Newt Gingrich: wrote at Tulane University, titled “Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945-1960,” he is anti-anticolonialism.

NEWT GINGRICH’S mind is in love with itself. It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior. He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Newt swims easily in a sea of duality and byzantine ideas that don’t add up. As The Washington Post reported on Friday, an America under President Gingrich would have two Social Security systems — “one old, one new, running side by side” — two tax systems and two versions of Medicare. Consider his confusion of views on colonialism. In the 1971 Ph.D. dissertation he wrote at Tulane University, titled “Belgian Education Policy in the Congo 1945-1960,” he is anti-anticolonialism.

“If the Congolese are to confront the future with realism they will need a solid understanding of their own past and an awareness of the good as well as the bad aspects of colonialism,” he argued. “It would be just as misleading to speak in generalities of ‘white exploitation’ as it once was to talk about ‘native backwardness.’ ”

He warned against political pressures encouraging “Black xenophobia.” What’s xenophobic about Africans wanting their oppressors to go away? It’s like saying abused wives who want their husbands to leave are anti-men. He sees colonialism as a complicated thing with good and bad effects rather than a terrible thing with collateral benefits.

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Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, became a  New York Times Op-Ed columnist in 1995 after having served as a correspondent in the paper's Washington bureau since 1986. She has covered four presidential campaigns and served as White House correspondent. She also wrote a column, "On Washington," for The New York Times Magazine. Ms. Dowd joined The New York Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983. She began her career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. When the Star closed in 1981, she went to Time magazine. Born in Washington D.C., Ms. Dowd received a B.A. degree in English literature from Catholic University (Washington, D.C.) in 1973.

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 19:09

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