Thursday, November 24, 2011

Newt’s Right Wing Monster

November 24, 2011

Newt’s Right Wing Monster
By Pauline Schneider

In the fascinating horror story by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s Monster, we see a deranged,  albeit well meaning, scientist attempt  to defeat the ultimate fate that we all will meet and in so doing he unleashes an unspeakable horror that eventually turns on him and those he loves in one the most terrifying and grizzly scenes imagined in perhaps all of literary fiction.    If you want to watch a true life version of this story taking place right now, just keep a close eye on Newt Gingrich and his right wing monster that is beginning to devour him,  limb, sinew and bone.

If anyone has any doubt about whose monster is out there raging in congress and tearing up the fabric of our society,  all one need do is take a stroll down memory lane and view the mad experiments of Dr Gingrichstein.
Perhaps a few American citizens are aware that the Newt started out his humble beginnings as a historian. His dissertation was on "Belgian Education Policy in the Congo: 1945–1960", and that he was an assistant professor at West Georgia College.   We all know how that “education policy” turned out with the Rwandan genocide.
Now, being a history teacher myself, I have a soft spot for other historians and professors of the ancient art first championed by my ethnic ancestor, Herodotus,  however the historian known as Newt took his talents to a whole new level of madness in 1993 when he taught a class titled “Renewing American Civilization”, at Kennesaw State College in Georgia. 

In a NY Times article from 1997 titled, “The ‘Teacher of the Rules of Civilization’ Gets a Scolding, “ the author describes an easel sheet from one of Newt’s lessons as “having a drawing of concentric circles in Mr. Gingrich's distinctive scrawl with "Gingrich" at the center; "Staff, Key Members, Key supporters" in the next innermost circle; "Members, Media, Interest Groups, Constituents, Other Staff" in the next innermost circle, and "public" in the outer circle. “   The Newt saw himself at the center of the civilized universe, something psychologists refer to as the Emperor complex usually grown out of by the age of 5 years.   You can see the entire New York Times article here on how that class he taught cost him $300,000 in ethics fines for misusing tax-exempt  funds for partisan purposes and providing untrue information to a House committee.  The most severe fine in ethical violations ever… There’s also a very sweet critique by an actual history professor who called the course “bland, vague, hortatory and lacking in substance…If this is not to be a course but instead a sermon, then you should get a preacher to comment on it.”

You know it thrills me to watch history grinding along and repeating itself as predictably as Newt’s path to his demise does.  Remember this is the man who created the Contract with America, often referred to as the Contract ON Americans…  This is the man who in the same unethical course on how HE defined civilization (with him at its core), advised conservative leaders to rally the unwashed legions with their anger and fear:
“Encourage everyone who has a disagreement with the Democratic program to join a grand coalition. At the optimum the anti-gays-in-the-military anger, anti-tax-increase  anger and the anti-government-waste anger should all be drawn into a broad front of opposition. . . . Every time the Democrats cheat on ethics, the law or simply act secretly and in defiance of the public anger against Washington, we must highlight it and protest it. We are the guardians of the public's right to know.”  Well, at least the public’s "right to know" what HE wants to tell them to think…The beast is being designed!

The Newt was exceedingly successful at designing and creating this beast,  perhaps because fear and anger are the easiest emotions to manipulate in people en masse.   I can think of a couple other men who took advantage of people’s fear and anger and of course that resulted in global catastrophes.  Taking advantage of people's emotions in hard economic times is truly the lowest a person can go. Newt goes even lower.

Before I knew the Newt was a historian I was outraged by his recent comment  that child labor laws should be repealed because they “harmed” poor children. Now that I have learned that he was a historian I’m dumbfounded how he dismissed an entire period of our progressive history that fought to protect our poor children from the abuses of the Robber Barons who happily employed them in coal mines and other horrific conditions. Was this some lost golden era in Newt’s mind? An era when poor children, so marginalized and neglected by adult men who led our nation and were the captains of industry, that they were left with the only option but to work as child slaves for the elite and powerful?
How Newt can dismiss this shameful era and the resulting positive, progressive changes that brought our poor children out of the coal mines and glass shard factories and into schools and given some sense of dignity, finally protected from corporate abuse, is beyond my comprehension.   But he’s taken that radical perspective,  stitched it shabbily to his creature and run with it.   Close behind him, however, also runs the creature following him, doggedly reminding him of his madness, his arrogance and his lies, “I have not had lobbyist relations with that company!” he screeches in terror.  “Puhleese,” the creature moans in horrific disgust, “stop lying!” So he throws the beast a bone to silence it's rebukes, "Those Occupy Wall Street kids should get a job, right after they take a bath!" The beast howls in temporary pleasure at the feast, but it won't be long before it's hunger takes grip again.

It is always important to learn from history so as not to repeat past mistakes and have future attempts  result in failure and Newt, as a historian, seemed destined not to fail. His huge success in congress serving ten consecutive terms in Georgia would attest to his historical &  political prowess as well as his architectural  prowess in designing a Contract withAmerica.  However, the monster he was very successfully creating,  a vast right wing army crafted from a patchwork of fear, anger and mistrust, has now, at long last, turned on its architect…  EN MASSE.  And I’m tickled pink over it, because there's nothing more wonderful to a feminist than prophetic feminist fiction actually coming to life!

 The Creator Missteps
At the GOP debate the other night, Newt entered the final stage of his political career by revealing he actually had a heart.  Well, this is debatable since it could have been just another political ploy to attract the very large and motivated Hispanic vote rather than a genuine show of compassion for deeply marginalized brown workers. I must remind the reader that this is the man who served divorce papers to his wife while she was in the hospital receiving cancer treatment so that he could marry (3rd marriage) the woman he was having an affair with. There is much doubt to the actual ability of this man to feel any compassion.  Perhaps his creature sensed this, because Newt's  “compassionate” response to a question on illegal immigrants was unacceptable  to the monster he had created  and has elicited a harsh response from his beast.  His comment: “I don’t see how the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century,” Gingrich said during the CNN debate.

On the Free Republic website,  an organization dedicated to all things conservative and right wingy, (see here for it’s founder, Jim Robinson’s, fascinating diatribesque description of the Free Republic’s “philosophy”) there is an article on Newt’s stance where the author actually “concurred” with Newt’s soft ideas on immigration.  However, the comments following the article reveal a conservative party prepared to eat its own tail and even their architect.  Here’s a little back and forth:
“So in Newt's grand vision, the longer you have broken this country's immigration laws, the more law-abiding you are,” then a response to that:
“There's ignorant and there's just plain downright dishonest, which are you? I'll bet you haven't even bothered to read the Krieble Foundation's Red Card plan, but you're ready to attack Newt without informing yourself,” followed by:
“Hey, maggot - try refuting what I have posted. You can't, jackass. You're just an apologist and a shill for the worst tendencies of the Beltway GOP.”   

It’s really a progressive’s wet dream to watch the radicalized right wing begin to devour itself from within. We all know how nasty they can be so it’s sure to be a good show! Don't forget the popcorn!

However, perhaps we should feel some sympathy for this uber-radicalized right wing monster.  It was created through a rigorous agitation of the forces of hate, anger, fear and a large dollop of contempt for anything different (gays, feminists, socialists, education), but scratch the surface and it is actually constructed of human beings with all the basic needs of any human just like Shelley’s creature; the parts of it are in essence our friends and neighbors, albeit with a twist of irony and madness.  In Shelley’s story we get the sense that she feels more pity for the creature  than for it’s creator and she even gives the monster a deep sense of wisdom, and a broad historic perspective that seems wholly lacking with the Newt.  
The creature laments, "I heard about the slothful Asiatics; of the stupendous genius and mental activity of the Grecians; of the wars and wonderful virtue of the early Romans-of their subsequent degenerating-of  the decline of that mighty empire; of chivalry, Christianity, and kings….There was non among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery."
There is no sense of kindness indeed to anyone, a typical conservative ethos for anyone even slightly divergent from them, and certainly none for its creator, Victor, (Newt boy) who later warns a colleague: "Learn from me . . . how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be the world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow." I remind the reader of the concentric circles with Newt in the center, indicating his aspirations of greatness and surrounded concentrically by the rest of the world. The beast, which is the general public, is on the furthest circle, as far from the grand emperor Newt as possible... Almost as if Newt knew he was creating a monster and wished to be removed from it.

Ahhh, poor Newtie, seems like he would have done better to study feminist author, Mary Shelley and turn-of-the-century fiction, rather than actual history, whose lessons he wholly ignored. 


  1. Very well written, and correct, and I didn't know you had a blog until right now.

  2. ha, I didn't know I had a blog either! :) Thanks for inviting me to PoliticAnonymous. Is there a 12 step program? My kids want to know for me.