Newt Gingrich

For GOP, Incompetence Is a Feature (Not a Flaw)

Mike Lofgren

The national security functions of government have long been a subject of mystification: The public and the press have a tendency to regard its practitioners as a kind of priesthood possessing an arcane and special knowledge. But long before Trump, the GOP treated it as a political reward for crackpot ideologues whose credentials were thin or nil. Bill Kristol, whose only qualification for anything was being the offspring of Irving Kristol, somehow blossomed in the late 1990s as a Republican national security expert. 

Hillary, Helmets, ‘Crossfire,’ and Cash

Marty Kaplan

On the surface, the fight between the GOP and NBC is about the effects of media on audiences.  The party’s presumption – based on no evidence – is that the miniseries would put Clinton in a favorable light, and – also based on no evidence – that the halo would translate into votes.  But if a movie could do that, then John Glenn, heroically portrayed in the 1983 movie The Right Stuff, would have been the 1984 Democratic presidential nominee.  The real issue here isn’t the impact of entertainment on audiences, it’s the coup that took presidential debates out of the hands of citizens and handed them to party hacks.

Super PACs and the Specter of Democracy

Maggie Hennefeld

In the wake of Citizens United v. the Federal Election Committee, a landmark Supreme Court decision that prohibits the government from restricting political expenditures by corporations, the notion of “democratic elections” in America now sounds more like an oxymoron than an impetus for political participation. In 2008, a conservative nonprofit group, Citizens defied the FEC by trying to air a scathing film about Hillary Clinton, on DirecTV. Broadcasting “Hillary: The Movie,” a feature-length attack ad against the popular primary candidate, explicitly violated the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold). In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United, a now infamous 5-4 decision that has corrupted political democracy in the name of “free speech.” 

Revisionist Historian: How Newt Gingrich Rewrote the GOP Race

Mike Mariani

A long and tortuous road it has certainly been for the "Newt 2012" campaign for the Republican nomination. But the former Speaker of the House has proven a renegade in both political form and function, blazing a campaign trail every bit as erratic and full of gambits as his politics and incendiary rhetoric. 

The Republicans’ Quest for the Ultimate Outsider

Sandip Roy

The most bizarre thing about the American presidential election is that everyone who wants to move into the White House spends all their time trying to emphasize how they don’t really belong there. It is probably the only job in the world where prior experience is actually viewed as something of a liability.

Romney Wins Iowa Caucuses by Eight Votes

Lynn Campbell, Hannah Hess and Andrew Thomason

It was an Iowa caucus night that came down to the wire, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum running neck-and-neck for first place in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. At 1:36 a.m. Wednesday, the Republican Party of Iowa declared Romney the winner by just eight votes over Santorum, the dark-horse candidate who ran his campaign on a shoestring budget. 

Ron Paul Flunks the R (Racism) Test

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

From New America Media: Things got worse for GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul when his rival Newt Gingrich recently called him out for purportedly using racially inflammatory language in official fundraising newsletters during the 1990s. The newsletters in question brought in a considerable haul of cash for Paul, a longtime politician and presidential candidate. His half-baked racial scribbles are by now well known: He’s bashed Blacks for being chronic welfare grifters, thugs and lousy parents. 

Newt Gingrich Breaks Away From the GOP on Immigration

Julianne Hing

From New America Media and ColorLines: Can GOP voters stomach a presidential candidate who talks about undocumented immigrants without calling them “illegals”? Such are the questions the Republican party has been grappling with in the days since Newt Gingrich, the GOP’s most recent frontrunner, broke away from the pack during CNN’s national security debate last Wednesday and uttered a fairly startling set of words on immigration.


In Defense of Rep. Weiner (and Other Scandal-Ridden Politicians)

Sam Chapin

In 1998, President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky engaged in an act that would forever leave its mark on American politics, not to mention a certain blue dress. It was the day that doomed the reputation of one of our most popular presidents and transformed Capitol Hill into The Real World.

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