The Republican primary contest has been a highly amusing comedy of errors as first one and then another of a large group of misfits step forward onto the stage and do a series of prat falls that would make the old-time silent movie comedians proud. First, Herman Cain swept to the front of the pack in the opinion polls. Then a series of sexual harassment cases fell out of his closet and he began to lose a bit of his luster. Now, he seems to have suffered an intense amnesia in feeble attempts to reply to policy questions. The “heroic” former governor of Texas assumed that he would inherit the job so recently left by that hurricane of public policy, George W. Bush, and he soared like an eagle until he was felled by a black rock and lost his memory. Meanwhile, the old standby, Mitt Romney, peripatetic candidate for president, stand by once again, seeming to find it best to keep his mouth shut inasmuch as each opening of that orifice results in a charge of “flip-flopping.”
Now, the American people are being treated to another “front-runner,” none other than the indefatigable Newt Gingrich! This man was once the Speaker of the House but there was a little glitch. Just as they were preparing to impeach Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky, it was learned that he was himself enjoying a wee fling with his own gorgeous secretary. This, of course, required his resignation as well as those of a couple of predecessors before a new Speaker was found who appeared to possess skirts that were clean enough. This resignation allowed him to be safely out of office before the investigation into the activities of Jack Abramoff.
Not happy with his lot as a happily-married, rich-and-getting-richer “advisor” to the firms affected by the activities of Congress, he has decided that he is suited for the presidency. And the movers-and-shakers of the party, counting on the recurrent amnesia of the voters, seem to have agreed. At first, it was such a crazy idea that laughter would seem appropriate. However, politics has not been funny for a very long time now. It is deadly serious and, if we did not eat George Bush’s mushrooms and we can remember further back than yesterday, this possibility is entirely sobering. As a reminder, Newt Gingrich is the same man who suggested that the answer to the problems with funding welfare would be to put all the children into orphanages. Those who cannot afford to support their children shouldn’t be allowed to have them. Shocking and abhorrent? Stay tuned! Now this paragon of virtue has a new answer for the shortages in educational funding. It is so simple on the face of it that somebody of limited intelligence just might take it seriously.
In a recent speech he said that the problem could be solved by “firing the union janitors and hiring the kids to clean the schools!” This would “teach them how to work.” This hare-brained solution was posited in a recent speech which was documented by Burns and Halberman in Politico.com. Yep, same ole Newt. The frightening part is that there will be some Republicans dumb enough to vote for him! You doubt it? They elected George Bush, didn’t they?