Newt Gingrich’s desire to roll back Social Security is no secret. But apparently his quest to tackle decades-old New Deal policies doesn’t stop there.I’m surprised he would pay them. Why not just make them work in order to build character? C’mon, Newt, where’s your head? Wait, don’t answer that!
Now Gingrich is taking on an issue he says “no liberal wants to deal with” — economically suffocating child labor laws.
During a Harvard address on Friday, Gingrich blamed child labor restrictions for doing “more to create income inequality in the United States than any other single policy.” “It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in…child laws, which are truly stupid,” said Gingrich.
“Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school,” he added. “The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they’d begin the process of rising.”
This kind of thing goes over just swimmingly with hard-assed conservatives who live in Fox World and the Limbaugh Zone, rigid, older white dudes who still think it’s Norman Rockwell’s America out there, you know, an essentially fair and benevolent place where hard work is rewarded with a middle class life and the poor are only poor because they’re lazy. Dumb, mean guys who preface all their racist comments with “I’m not a racist but …” Every family has at least one. He might even be dropping by this Thursday, no? But outside of the right-wing echo chamber this stuff sounds exactly like what it is, jarringly retrograde nonsense that doesn’t go over with average Americans, most of whom are quite comfortable with the fact that it isn’t 1870.
I’m a little tired of this media game where a new and exciting front runner pops up very week in the Republican primary. It’s become a stale show. Newt Gingrich has about as much of a shot at being president as I do. He’s as unpalatable to the mainstream as Rick Perry. Everybody knows Romney is going to get the nomination. All the rest is transparently contrived fluff, just the media trying to make a story where there isn’t one. There’s always a horse race even when there isn’t.
Newt Gingrich is a crackpot and a scoundrel. Outside of the FOX News bubble he stands painfully exposed as the charmless, truculent toad that he is. Rants about the “liberal media” are mother’s milk on the Limbaugh show, but in a nationally televised political debate they are embarrasingly out of place. Child labor laws produce inequality and keep poor kids in poverty? Yeah, right. Just ask some Chinese kid slaving away in a sweat shop about the baneful effects of labor laws. He’ll tell you.
He’s also physically repulsive and will give the children of America nightmares (that is, after their twelve hour day mopping floors and cleaning toilets). I don’t know why, but whenever I hear his name mentioned the word “sweaty” comes to mind. I just can’t imagine him without disgusting globs of moisture on his upper lip. I don’t know whether he sweats all the time or not. I don’t want to know. It’s just one of those things that ought to be true. He was the stinky fat kid in school, the one who always reeked of B.O. after recess, rummaged through your mother’s underwear drawer, ate his boogers and taught younger, weaker-willed boys how to masturbate. He’s a creep. Everyone outside of the fetid FOX News/Clear Channel bunghole sees this.
Now Newt’s list of sins is long, but none of them include child molestation. So why is it so natural for me to imagine him lurking around a playground in a trench coat, jerking and twitching in the bushes? That’s my image of his soul, at any rate. Even though it isn’t literally true it has the right, um, tone.
Put simply, Gingrich is a bad man — a bad husband, a bad historian, and a bad political leader, period. If Mitch McConnell didn’t exist I would nominate Gingrich Most Repulsive Public Figure in America (but the weird, butt-puckered, wax-like McConnell wins that contest hands down. I swear he’s not human. He has no soul and gives off the impression that he would melt in the sun. The dude ain’t right. He’s like one of the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers but mean.)
Americans occasionally get it right. We’ll get this right. No Newt in 2012. But our prospects still aren’t real peachy. We’ll have a very dull, politically safe, carefully scripted, Wall Street approved contest between Romney and Obama, a match-up that is about as exciting as oatmeal and dry toast, a duel of dissillusionment. Both will kiss corporate America’s bum and pledge to “get tough” with Iran. They’ll argue about who hearts Israel the mostest. Meaningful cuts in defense spending will not be discussed. Both of them will earnestly tell us that tough choices have to be made, which is code for cuts in social spending, and we’ll be bludgeoned half to death by the term “shared sacrifice.” Obama might make a few hollow remarks about “revenue increases” or repealing the Bush tax cuts, but his heart won’t really be in it. Go ahead and roll tape now.
Big Banks, Big Business and Big Pentagon will continue to run the show for their own narrow interests, and the water will be brought that much closer to a boil for all of us poor doomed froggies.
The good news is that other clowns will be pushed to the margins of public life where they belong. Bachmann will still blight the Senate, and I have a funny feeling Herman Cain is going to wind up with his own show on FOX, sandwiched between Huckabee and Geraldo At Large. Talk about bein’ in heaven, huh? Santorum will go on defending fetuses from homos, or whatever, and Huntsman will blend into the wall paper or dissolve into steam. Rick Perry can go back to Texas and Niggerhead Ranch where he’ll be free to drink all the cough syrup he wants. Have I left anyone out? Does it matter?