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Campaigning for Pro-Consul of the Republic
(Caricature by DonkeyHotey)
As Newt Gingrich plans his next rebound in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, he's added another arrow to his arsenal of asininity. In a web ad he doesn't have the money to show widely, he says this year's election is the most important since 1860 and will determine "whether we will decisively repudiate an 80-year drift to the left: a drift in our news rooms, a drift in our colleges and universities, a drift with our judges, and a drift among elected politicians."

Over the past decade and a half, Gingrich has inoculated most of the nation against his know-it-all pontifications. Comments that would drop a thousand jaws to the floor coming from just about anybody else flow like margaritas on a Caribbean cruise from the Newt. But in the throes of certain defeat, he's clearly willing to say anything, no matter how outrageous, in hopes of keeping his book tour candidacy alive.

David Corn smirks: "So what about Ronald Reagan? Wasn't his election rather important—at least to Gingrich and his conservative comrades?"

Indeed. For the past three decades, the "drift to the left" actually has been a shift to the right. The tax code has shifted the ratios of wealth and income so much that they are now a match for, well, for 80 years ago. We have shifted nearly 40 percent more in inflation-adjusted dollars into the coffers of the Pentagon than we sent there 14 years ago.

As for our leftward-drifting politicians, a majority of the freshman class of the House of Representatives are climate-change deniers who are working to shift the tax code to make the inequality even worse and shift even more money to defense and away from social programs. The House is, by the way, a body that has shifted control for 13 of the past 17 years into the hands of ever-more right-wing right-wingers.

As for judges, Democrats and Republicans have appointed almost exactly the same number of federal judges since FDR, but in the past 31 years Republican presidents have appointed twice as many as have Democrats. No surprise since they have held office for 20 of those years.

And the newsrooms, those bastions of the so-called liberal media? Well, they're a pitiful lot these days as their audiences fall away, their staffs are whittled into shavings and they continue, most of them, to stick to a formula of balance that reflects the notion that all stories have two sides and only two sides, right and center.

What's adrift and hanging onto any passing bit of flotsam is Newt Gingrich's campaign. A fellow who really wanted Mitt Romney not to get the nomination, who really wanted to stop leftward drift since, say, the Enlightenment, would have endorsed Rick Santorum after his trifecta last week. But Newt, even more than most politicians, is all about Newt. So we can no doubt expect additional historical inventions in the run-up to Super Tuesday.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 09:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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