To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Newt’s Alternate Universe



They say Newt Gingrich is relying on that same GOP wordsmith who came up with the “death tax,” which only affects estates in the millions and is an unearned income for the heirs.

Newt and his Daniel Webster of Political Obfuscation are not into Google-ing.

Of course, Newt thought he was going after President Obama’s Berlin speech given July 24, 2008: “Tonight I speak to you not as a candidate for president, but as a citizen, a proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.”

So last night Newt told a gathering of the faithful at a fundraiser with a lot of empty tables: “Let me be clear, I am not a citizen of the world. I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous.”

How stunningly retro of old Newt and so 1990’s Me Generation – US against the world?
That worked right up until 9/11 and in less than a month the U.S. managed to pay all our back UN dues because we needed all those willing to forget how self-interested and semi-self-reliant we had become.

Thanks to Keith Olbermann’s research staff we now have a video of Ronald Reagan at the UN on June 17, 1982, where he said, “I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world.”

What Newt is saying is we are not of this world until we demand that the world act as citizens of the United States when we want them to. Unless we get to be world dictator, we will just remain our own worst enemy.

He claimed that after 4½ months the Obama recovery plan was a complete failure. He bases this on a projection of a peak unemployment figure of 8% and last week we hit 9%. Because the Obama recovery plan used 8% and not 9% then the entire thing is just dust in the wind.

I don’t have time today, but if anyone has some I think there were a number of times that the Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations based all kinds of things on projections that didn’t pan out. All of them promised to get rid of the deficit and instead increased it. Dubya started with a surplus and created a deficit.

The George W. Bush Administration consistently – and I mean daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly – overestimated things like job growth, and underestimated the recruitment advances that torture and locking people up for years without charges or trials would bring. Underestimating the patience of Iraqis going for years without proper electricity, i.e. four hours a day when it is 120 degrees in the shade.

There was that idea that we will be treated as liberators and why should we need a plan for occupation because we aren’t going to be occupiers and we aren’t going to be nation-builders. What about that little effort on the aircraft carrier in the flight suit with the “Mission Accomplished” banner?

For the first 4½ months of Bush’s administration, every effort was devoted to getting a huge tax cut for Bush’s Pioneers and their ilk. That was the Bush recovery plan to save us all from that surplus Bill Clinton left him.

I just don’t have the time to go into the number of nonsensically dangerous projections that the Bush Administration made and all the stunningly dangerous things they neglected to even consider – projections for, like, Iraqi recovery. The GOP model seems to be the just do it and figure it out later plan. We don’t think that will happen so let’s not plan for it.

Last night, I am told, Newt suggested lowering taxes as a recovery method. I can safely say I could have projected he would say that because that is the only thing the GOP ever considers. They say he didn’t even mention how wildly unsuccessful the Bush tax cuts were or the devil-may-care spending of the Bush years. Bush kept telling us to buy things.

He talked about the rule of law over the rule of empathy. George H.W. Bush chose Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for his empathy. We can discuss at another time whether Thomas has even a hint of empathy most of the time. They certainly have a lot of empathy for fetuses, but not much for children. Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito said their past, regarding race and life experiences, would make them better judges. A woman, even one with top grades from every school she went to, should never suggest that she might be smarter or make decisions better than even one old white guy even if he had to have a tutor to pass urine.

My favorite, so far, from Newt’s speech is the new health care buzz word “rationing.” Newt said: “Rationing under health care is inevitable and limiting your life at the whim of a bureaucrat and the manipulation of a politician.”

Get your yearly ration booklet today, one facelift per family, one Botox per family. The GOP really thinks it is Christian for a few to have every benefit money can buy and millions to have absolutely nothing.

I recall talking to the doctors for my terminally ill father and having them say, “This is what we need to make him comfortable, but some idiot bureaucrat at the HMO says he can’t have it because they say so and, besides, it is not cost effective.”

I find it stunningly obtuse for Newt or any other Republican to suggest that politicians are not already limiting my health care. These elected officials who take millions from drug companies and HMOs while giving them all kinds perks have the nerve to suggest they are innocent of what has happened to health care in this country.

Health care linked to profit and not need is sick, really sick.

Karen Webb lives in Moore, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.