LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for PORTSIDE Archives


PORTSIDE Archives

PORTSIDE Archives


PORTSIDE@LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

PORTSIDE Home

PORTSIDE Home

PORTSIDE  February 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDE February 2012, Week 3

Subject:

Dr. Gingrich and Mr. Newt

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 15 Feb 2012 20:41:37 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (198 lines)

Dr. Gingrich and Mr. Newt

     The split political personalities of the former
     House speaker.

By David Corn |
Fri Feb. 10, 2012 3:00 AM PST 11
http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/02/dr-gingrich-and-mr-newt

Nine months ago, Newt Gingrich appeared before the
Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum and delivered an
inspiring keynote address. The hundreds in the audience,
who were prepping to lobby Congress for funding for
Alzheimer's research and care, were largely Democrats,
and many were initially skeptical about a speech from
the leader of the Republican Revolution of 1994. But
throughout Gingrich's address, the crowd applauded
roundly, as Gingrich proposed ideas for reaching
breakthroughs in the care and treatment of Alzheimer's.
He urged taking "all brain science off-budget," devoting
as much federal funding as scientists could absorb to
Alzheimer's research, and underwriting this massive
effort with "Alzheimer's bonds." An immediate goal, he
noted, was to find methods that would postpone the onset
of Alzheimer's by five years-which in and of itself
would cut the long-term cost of Alzheimer's from $20
trillion to $10 trillion.

Gingrich wowed the audience as he called for a "healthy
conversation with no partisanship." A subsequent video
of the talk opens with a praiseful introduction from
former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey, who hails the former
House speaker as "enormously intelligent, enormously
innovative." This was Gingrich at his best: thinking big
thoughts about a big problem and deriving big policy.
And he was doing so as a Washington insider who had co-
chaired with Kerrey a blue-ribbon committee on
Alzheimer's that included members of the various elites
Gingrich now routinely assails on the presidential
campaign trail.

For years, Gingrich has led a double life. There's the
bad Newt who has counseled his fellow Republicans to
call Democrats immoral traitors who betray the nation,
who has railed against gay-rights-loving secular
socialists hell-bent on controlling and ruining the
United States, and who has used racially coded language
to assail Barack Obama as a "food stamp president" who
can only be understood as someone with a Kenyan anti-
colonialist mindset. Then there's the other Newt, who
does seem to care about real problems confronting the
nation and who genuinely wants to collaborate with
experts (and even Democrats!) to reach non-partisan
solutions. (Google "couch, Gingrich, Pelosi.")

Think of a gothic novel: Dr. Gingrich and Mr. Newt. And
Gingrich's work on Alzheimer's is a perfect illustration
of how these two parts of his being are at war with each
other.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Democrats, Gingrich says, yearn to impose on the nation
a "secular-socialist machine," which "represents as
great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet
Union once did." Gay rights advocates, he adds, are
striving to establish a "gay and secular fascism." He
now routinely rails against "the elites"-those in
Washington, those living in Manhattan high-rises, those
on Wall Street, those working in the media, those
wearing judicial robes. As he put it in 2006, "the voice
of the overwhelming majority of Americans is rejected by
a media-academic-legal elite."

Yet his work on Alzheimer's shows that when he is not
hurling overheated rhetoric at the elites, Gingrich-who
has pocketed money advising Freddie Mac-is not reluctant
to cooperate (and play nice) with members of these
various nation-destroying cliques to advance policy.

In 2007, the Alzheimer's Study Group was created under
the auspices of the Congressional Task Force on
Alzheimer's Disease, with Gingrich and Kerrey as the co-
chairmen, to draft a strategic plan to overcome the
nation's mounting Alzheimer's crisis. Members of this
commission included the sort of people Gingrich has so
often railed against in the abstract:

 * Dr. David Satcher, surgeon general under President
   Bill Clinton. In 2001, he released The Surgeon
   General's Call to Action To Promote Sexual Health and
   Responsible Sexual Behavior, which urged tolerance
   for gays and lesbians and the distribution of condoms
   to prevent the spread of sexually-transmitted
   diseases. The report, not surprisingly, enraged
   social conservatives.

 * Meryl Comer, president of the Geoffrey Beene
   Foundation's Alzheimer's Initiative. Comer had
   previously been a television anchor in Washington, an
   official at the Chamber of Commerce, and a vice
   president of broadcast at Gray and Company, a mega-
   PR firm in the nation's capital and one of the
   command centers of the capital's permanent
   establishment

 * Harold Varmus, then the president of the Memorial
   Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The Nobel Prize-
   winning Varmus was a prominent Obama supporter in
   early 2008 and was later named by Obama to head the
   National Cancer Institute.

 * James Runde, a special adviser to Morgan Stanley. He
   used to be vice-chairman of the firm. He might even
   live in a high-rise.

 * Steven Hyman, then the provost of Harvard University.

A gay rights promoter, a K-Streeter, an Obama-ist, a
Wall Streeter, and.Harvard-these people represent the
forces that Gingrich says are destroying (literally) the
nation.

Yet when Mr. Newt was not tossing out the red meat, Dr.
Gingrich-he's a historian, you know-was delighted to
pull together with these elitists. Together, they and
other members of the commission (such as former Supreme
Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, former Food and Drug
Administration Chief Mark McClellan, and Dr. Christine
Cassel, the president of the American Board of Internal
Medicine) developed a strategic plan in 2009 that called
for a federal government-backed "bold-project to contain
the staggering impact of Alzheimer's disease" and to
increase and reconfigure Medicare payments covering the
care of dementia patients. The report was a forward-
looking document, calling for a massive government
project (with a public-private partnership)-sort of a
winning-the-future idea that Obama might fancy. In fact,
in early 2011, Obama signed into law the bipartisan-
backed National Alzheimer's Project Act, which was based
in part on the Gingrich-Kerrey group's report and would
create a coordinated national plan to address the
Alzheimer's crisis.

The Alzheimer's commission and subsequent legislation
was a model for how policy should function. Bring
together accomplished experts, focus on an immense
challenge, put aside partisan squabbling, and assemble
recommendations that become the basis of bipartisan
legislation. Not all issues, of course, can be handled
in such an enlightened fashion. (See tax cuts.) But in
this instance Gingrich was part of an endeavor that
succeeded. "Here was Newt at his best," says one
participant.

But Gingrich's involvement with the Alzheimer's project
underscores his own profound erraticism. He too easily
shifts from serious and sober scientific-based policy
work to say-anything, falsehood-fueled political bomb-
throwing. On the campaign trail, he tries to show his
policy visionary side-though it doesn't always work out.
(Lunar colonies for all!) But much of that is drowned
out by his extreme rhetoric and nastiness, as he whines
about being falsely accused by his foes while
simultaneously flinging his own fibs.

Gingrich does have the capacity to be a respected policy
statesman-one of the elites!-which clearly is one of his
aims. But he cannot resist being the flame-throwing bad
boy of American politics. And it's tough to be both.
Jekyll was a philanthropist who couldn't say no to his
uncivilized urges. And Gingrich has been as unsuccessful
as the Victorian-age doctor in controlling his darker
impulses. His inability to resolve such a fundamental
internal conflict may well be his biggest obstacle to
becoming president.

David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief. For
more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter
and Facebook.

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
on the left that will help them to interpret the world
and to change it.

Submit via email: [log in to unmask]

Submit via the Web: http://portside.org/submittous3

Frequently asked questions: http://portside.org/faq

Sub/Unsub: http://portside.org/subscribe-and-unsubscribe

Search Portside archives: http://portside.org/archive

Contribute to Portside: https://portside.org/donate

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

July 2014, Week 5
July 2014, Week 4
July 2014, Week 3
July 2014, Week 2
July 2014, Week 1
June 2014, Week 5
June 2014, Week 4
June 2014, Week 3
June 2014, Week 2
June 2014, Week 1
May 2014, Week 5
May 2014, Week 4
May 2014, Week 3
May 2014, Week 2
May 2014, Week 1
April 2014, Week 5
April 2014, Week 4
April 2014, Week 3
April 2014, Week 2
April 2014, Week 1
March 2014, Week 5
March 2014, Week 4
March 2014, Week 3
March 2014, Week 2
March 2014, Week 1
February 2014, Week 4
February 2014, Week 3
February 2014, Week 2
February 2014, Week 1
January 2014, Week 5
January 2014, Week 4
January 2014, Week 3
January 2014, Week 2
January 2014, Week 1
December 2013, Week 5
December 2013, Week 4
December 2013, Week 3
December 2013, Week 2
December 2013, Week 1
November 2013, Week 5
November 2013, Week 4
November 2013, Week 3
November 2013, Week 2
November 2013, Week 1
October 2013, Week 5
October 2013, Week 4
October 2013, Week 3
October 2013, Week 2
October 2013, Week 1
September 2013, Week 5
September 2013, Week 4
September 2013, Week 3
September 2013, Week 2
September 2013, Week 1
August 2013, Week 5
August 2013, Week 4
August 2013, Week 3
August 2013, Week 2
August 2013, Week 1
July 2013, Week 5
July 2013, Week 4
July 2013, Week 3
July 2013, Week 2
July 2013, Week 1
June 2013, Week 5
June 2013, Week 4
June 2013, Week 3
June 2013, Week 2
June 2013, Week 1
May 2013, Week 5
May 2013, Week 4
May 2013, Week 3
May 2013, Week 2
May 2013, Week 1
April 2013, Week 5
April 2013, Week 4
April 2013, Week 3
April 2013, Week 2
April 2013, Week 1
March 2013, Week 5
March 2013, Week 4
March 2013, Week 3
March 2013, Week 2
March 2013, Week 1
February 2013, Week 4
February 2013, Week 3
February 2013, Week 2
February 2013, Week 1
January 2013, Week 5
January 2013, Week 4
January 2013, Week 3
January 2013, Week 2
January 2013, Week 1
December 2012, Week 5
December 2012, Week 4
December 2012, Week 3
December 2012, Week 2
December 2012, Week 1
November 2012, Week 5
November 2012, Week 4
November 2012, Week 3
November 2012, Week 2
November 2012, Week 1
October 2012, Week 5
October 2012, Week 4
October 2012, Week 3
October 2012, Week 2
October 2012, Week 1
September 2012, Week 5
September 2012, Week 4
September 2012, Week 3
September 2012, Week 2
September 2012, Week 1
August 2012, Week 5
August 2012, Week 4
August 2012, Week 3
August 2012, Week 2
August 2012, Week 1
July 2012, Week 5
July 2012, Week 4
July 2012, Week 3
July 2012, Week 2
July 2012, Week 1
June 2012, Week 5
June 2012, Week 4
June 2012, Week 3
June 2012, Week 2
June 2012, Week 1
May 2012, Week 5
May 2012, Week 4
May 2012, Week 3
May 2012, Week 2
May 2012, Week 1
April 2012, Week 5
April 2012, Week 4
April 2012, Week 3
April 2012, Week 2
April 2012, Week 1
March 2012, Week 5
March 2012, Week 4
March 2012, Week 3
March 2012, Week 2
March 2012, Week 1
February 2012, Week 5
February 2012, Week 4
February 2012, Week 3
February 2012, Week 2
February 2012, Week 1
January 2012, Week 5
January 2012, Week 4
January 2012, Week 3
January 2012, Week 2
January 2012, Week 1
December 2011, Week 5
December 2011, Week 4
December 2011, Week 3
December 2011, Week 2
December 2011, Week 1
November 2011, Week 5
November 2011, Week 4
November 2011, Week 3
November 2011, Week 2
November 2011, Week 1
October 2011, Week 5
October 2011, Week 4
October 2011, Week 3
October 2011, Week 2
October 2011, Week 1
September 2011, Week 5
September 2011, Week 4
September 2011, Week 3
September 2011, Week 2
September 2011, Week 1
August 2011, Week 5
August 2011, Week 4
August 2011, Week 3
August 2011, Week 2
August 2011, Week 1
July 2011, Week 5
July 2011, Week 4
July 2011, Week 3
July 2011, Week 2
July 2011, Week 1
June 2011, Week 5
June 2011, Week 4
June 2011, Week 3
June 2011, Week 2
June 2011, Week 1
May 2011, Week 5
May 2011, Week 4
May 2011, Week 3
May 2011, Week 2
May 2011, Week 1
April 2011, Week 5
April 2011, Week 4
April 2011, Week 3
April 2011, Week 2
April 2011, Week 1
March 2011, Week 5
March 2011, Week 4
March 2011, Week 3
March 2011, Week 2
March 2011, Week 1
February 2011, Week 4
February 2011, Week 3
February 2011, Week 2
February 2011, Week 1
January 2011, Week 5
January 2011, Week 4
January 2011, Week 3
January 2011, Week 2
January 2011, Week 1
December 2010, Week 5
December 2010, Week 4
December 2010, Week 3
December 2010, Week 2
December 2010, Week 1
November 2010, Week 5
November 2010, Week 4
November 2010, Week 3
November 2010, Week 2
November 2010, Week 1
October 2010, Week 5
October 2010, Week 4
October 2010, Week 3
October 2010, Week 2
October 2010, Week 1
September 2010, Week 5
September 2010, Week 4
September 2010, Week 3
September 2010, Week 2
September 2010, Week 1
August 2010, Week 5
August 2010, Week 4
August 2010, Week 3
August 2010, Week 2
August 2010, Week 1
July 2010, Week 5
July 2010, Week 4
July 2010, Week 3
July 2010, Week 2
July 2010, Week 1

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.PORTSIDE.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager