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Decades After Historic Victory, Newt Gingrich is Still Living Rent Free in Liberal Heads

Posted on Monday, March 7, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott

Newt Gingrich

As Americans have become ever-more pessimistic about the direction of the country under Democrat leadership, and Donald Trump looks increasingly resurgent in national politics, liberals and the left-wing media have desperately cast about for anyone but themselves to blame. Lately, they’ve set their sights on a rather unlikely target: former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who led Republicans to a historic victory in the 1994 midterms.

A number of liberal journalists and politicians have recently reprised the old canard that it is Gingrich who bears responsibility for the “current state of American politics,” and that things only started to go wrong when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives under his leadership, for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Before Newt, the liberal myth goes, politics was never mean.

The latest angry left-wing pundit to attempt this self-coping mechanism was Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. Last month, Milbank wrote that Gingrich “bears a singular responsibility for precipitating the ruin of the American political system.” Another article from December of last year asserts that Gingrich “didn’t invent harsh partisanship or negative politics, but he brought them to a new level.” In general, the liberal journalists writing these pieces allege that the ‘coarsening’ of public discourse and the ‘polarization’ of American politics can be laid at the feet of the former speaker.

As Milbank argues, Gingrich is responsible for polarization because he “popularized the idea that Democrats weren’t just wrong — they were criminals. They didn’t just disagree — they were corrupt and anti-American.” (Looking at the situation today, an impartial observer might say this was not hyperbolic; it was prophetic.)

Milbank asserts that Gingrich’s style of politics became the basis for all conservative and Republican strategies, which he claims are rooted in the slander and demonization of Democrats and liberals. This argument suggests that the escalation in rhetoric is a “Republican problem” and, should a Democrat engage in vilification, they’re merely matching the energy of conservatives and Republicans. In other words, Milbank is saying, “well, they started it.”

Milbank also blames Gingrich for “pioneering” the “now-common refusal to negotiate, which brought hopeless gridlock and dysfunction to the political system.”

While these columns go to great lengths to employ narrative flourish and even select a handful of Gingrich quotes with little context, they remain noticeably light on the facts. However, only days after Milbank released his piece, Gingrich published an open letter filling in the missing details. As Gingrich explains of Milbank’s claim that Gingrich “popularized” the idea that Democrats were criminals, his “first action concerning Democratic House members who were criminals involved then-Rep. Charles Diggs (Mich.), who had been convicted of 11 counts of mail fraud and received kickbacks from his staff and was sentenced to three years in prison. He was by definition a criminal.”

Indeed, what Milbank and these other revisionist historians seem to forget is that from 1975-1995, when Gingrich became speaker, over thirty members of Congress had been indicted or arrested while serving in office. At that point, this was more than in almost any other single period in American history. It was for this very reason that Gingrich highlighted government accountability in his famous “Contract with America” that handed Republicans control of the House for the first time in decades. Gingrich didn’t set out to portray anyone as a criminal – they already were criminals, and he exposed them.

In almost every case, the crime involved some form of bribery and abuse of public office. Democratic members overwhelmingly committed the crimes. Several of these crimes, including the House Banking scandal, Congressional Post Office scandal, Windtech scandal, Abscam, and the Savings and Loan scandal, were national stories and a mark of shame upon a hallowed branch of government. Gingrich prioritized holding Members of Congress accountable and ending many of the dishonest policies that had been allowed to flourish under Democrat control.

Ironically, if there was one person who is actually responsible for normalizing divisive rhetoric decades ago, it was not a beloved Republican leader but a Democratic one. In 1987, Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to serve on the Supreme Court. Nominations to our highest court had historically been a dignified process in which, unless malfeasance was found, the judge was likely to be confirmed. This time, however, Senator Ted Kennedy shocked the nation by embarking on a hysterical tirade against the eminently qualified Bork. “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution,” Kennedy baselessly claimed. “Writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.”

Kennedy so aggressively attacked the judge that Bork’s nomination was defeated. Further, the attack was so unprecedented and vile that the Oxford English Dictionary turned his name into a verb. To “bork” a person is to: “obstruct (someone, especially a candidate for public office) by systematically defaming or vilifying them.”

Democrats tried the same tactic again four years later with now Justice Clarence Thomas, and again in 2018 with Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Now, however, Democrats breathlessly insist that it is Republicans who have “politicized” the court and the nominations process. They also blame Republicans for polarization in American society generally, even after they have spent over a year denouncing every supporter of former President Trump as a “domestic terrorist.”

In all of these cases, a liberal opinion leader crafts an “invisible bridge” in which the alleged malice of one beloved conservative created a ripple effect that led America inexorably towards the divisive partisan path that we walk to this day. While this fable may bring them some comfort, their time might be better spent understanding the history of why they lost power, rather than complaining about it. They might find that virtually everything Gingrich accused them of was true.

Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.    

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PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Democrats dislike resistance of any kind to their policies and goals. The only “Republicans” that Democrats like to work with are the RINOs, because they are easily manipulated and will consistently cave to Democrat demands in the hope of being “liked” by the MSM. So yeah, Democrats hate Gingrich because he dared to interfere with the Democrat agenda in the 1990s and prevented Bill Clinton from enacting most of his regressive economic and social policies once the Republicans took control of the House. What else is new?

We need to focus on the here and now and how to prevent, or at least minimize at this point, the destruction of our country by the current so-called Democrat in the White House and his fellow Socialists in the Congress. We don’t have time to waste relitigating the past hurt feelings of Democrats. The Democrat Party simply needs to be removed from power before it damages the country beyond repair. Everything else is just noise. Period!

ShellzNCheez
ShellzNCheez
2 years ago

Downright ironic that Kennedy would lament a future in which school children might not be taught about the theory of evolution. Now, children cannot be taught about God and/or creationism in federally funded schools.

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

Things didn’t start going bad with politics until the Klintons got there. Dimocrats forget about the corruption stemming from 40 years of a dimocratic congress which was then put on steroids by the Klintons!
Can these morons not remember Slick Willie getting his cigar blown in the Oval Office? The Arkansas hillbillies removed any traces of proper decorum from the White House almost single-handedly!

Carol
Carol
2 years ago

What lies! Leftist have NO humility! They REALLY think they are gods and that they are the only ones who should ever be in power! What’s really sad is how many voters believe this crap that leftist keep pushing!!! I guess there will always be sheep and some grab at any shepherd they can find that promises them free stuff and no responsibility. Lord HELP US!

Kevin S
Kevin S
2 years ago

I consider it classic comparative psychology: the Left accuses the other side of what they themselves think and do – it’s their only model.

Jeb
Jeb
2 years ago

Along with Trump living rent free, no wonder they are losing their minds.

gin
gin
2 years ago

Three thousand or so years ago, God said He hates pride, lying, murder, wicked desires, in Proverbs chapter six. Human nature tends in these directions if God isn’t put first in our lives. Someday people who continue in these ways without coming to Christ for forgiveness will be judged. Until then, we will live with people who do these things at every level of society. I may be wrong but I think a lot of them are dems.

Wanda
Wanda
2 years ago

The current administration was a result of massive voter fraud, and Biden is NOT the real president….he should have been removed long ago by the military, but they are as corrupt as Brandon. The Democommunists have been working for 50-60 years, starting with LBJ, to undermine this country and take it down. They are now in charge of a divided country with race, socioeconomics and and religion (this started big time when Obumer was president…he set the stage and he was responsible for undermining the middle east by helping to topple presidents there). Now that America has had about a year of socialist/communism in charge, as the wizzard would tell the King….”the peasants are revolting.” And they are….we have decided that we no longer want to have to wear a mask or take a poisonous jab that was in response to a lab made virus that was intentionally released upon the world. We are sick of the current regime who are really no better than Putin….they are corrupt creatures of a slimy swamp who need to be removed at all costs.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

Democrats dislike resistance of any kind to their policies and goals. The only “Republicans” that Democrats like to work with are the RINOs, because they are easily manipulated and will consistently cave to Democrat demands in the hope of being “liked” by the MSM. So yeah, Democrats hate Gingrich because he dared to interfere with the Democrat agenda in the 1990s and prevented Bill Clinton from enacting most of his regressive economic and social policies once the Republicans took control of the House. What else is new?

We need to focus on the here and now and how to prevent, or at least minimize at this point, the destruction of our country by the current so-called Democrat in the White House and his fellow Socialists in the Congress. We don’t have time to waste relitigating the past hurt feelings of Democrats. The Democrat Party simply needs to be removed from power before it damages the country beyond repair. Everything else is just noise. Period!

ShellzNCheez
ShellzNCheez
2 years ago

Downright ironic that Kennedy would lament a future in which school children might not be taught about the theory of evolution. Now, children cannot be taught about God and/or creationism in federally funded schools.

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

Things didn’t start going bad with politics until the Klintons got there. Dimocrats forget about the corruption stemming from 40 years of a dimocratic congress which was then put on steroids by the Klintons!
Can these morons not remember Slick Willie getting his cigar blown in the Oval Office? The Arkansas hillbillies removed any traces of proper decorum from the White House almost single-handedly!

Carol
Carol
2 years ago

What lies! Leftist have NO humility! They REALLY think they are gods and that they are the only ones who should ever be in power! What’s really sad is how many voters believe this crap that leftist keep pushing!!! I guess there will always be sheep and some grab at any shepherd they can find that promises them free stuff and no responsibility. Lord HELP US!

Kevin S
Kevin S
2 years ago

I consider it classic comparative psychology: the Left accuses the other side of what they themselves think and do – it’s their only model.

Jeb
Jeb
2 years ago

Along with Trump living rent free, no wonder they are losing their minds.

gin
gin
2 years ago

Three thousand or so years ago, God said He hates pride, lying, murder, wicked desires, in Proverbs chapter six. Human nature tends in these directions if God isn’t put first in our lives. Someday people who continue in these ways without coming to Christ for forgiveness will be judged. Until then, we will live with people who do these things at every level of society. I may be wrong but I think a lot of them are dems.

Wanda
Wanda
2 years ago

The current administration was a result of massive voter fraud, and Biden is NOT the real president….he should have been removed long ago by the military, but they are as corrupt as Brandon. The Democommunists have been working for 50-60 years, starting with LBJ, to undermine this country and take it down. They are now in charge of a divided country with race, socioeconomics and and religion (this started big time when Obumer was president…he set the stage and he was responsible for undermining the middle east by helping to topple presidents there). Now that America has had about a year of socialist/communism in charge, as the wizzard would tell the King….”the peasants are revolting.” And they are….we have decided that we no longer want to have to wear a mask or take a poisonous jab that was in response to a lab made virus that was intentionally released upon the world. We are sick of the current regime who are really no better than Putin….they are corrupt creatures of a slimy swamp who need to be removed at all costs.

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