Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Did Newt start the Pelosi plane lie?

Check out the final half paragraph of U.S. News and World Report's write up on Newt Gingrich. The context of the quote is Newt attending a meeting of GOP brass, and urging them to get tough on Democrats in Congress. He has three tactics, but the last one is what caught my attention relating to Pelosi and the plane smear.
Finally, drop a bomb the media will love. The gop did, slapping Speaker Nancy Pelosi's demand for an "Air Force Three" to fly her home to San Francisco. Says a leadership aide, "He brings up things that we didn't even know about."
Thus it sounds like the idea for the story was hatched by Gingrich himself, and is solely intended to politically harm speaker Pelosi. How else would one read the sentence "He brings up things that we didn't even know about." in that context. The Republicans may not have even been aware of the plane issue until Gingrich fed them the story.

For a rundown on the history, and just how dirty and slimy this attack on Pelosi is, check out Media Matters, and or TPM's write ups on the (non) story.

If it is true that the lie originated with Newt, would this not be the height of irony considering Newts own troubles with plane travel in the past? Gingrich was widely pilloried for truculently submitting a spending bill that President Clinton would be forced to veto, shutting down the government, complaining of having to exit the back of Air Force One after a flight to Israel to attend a funeral.

Frankly, this kind of hit job has the stench of partisan Republican hackery that so marked the rise of Newt to power. Indeed, this sort of audacious, baseless attack marked his reign as leader culminating when, as speaker he oversaw the impeachment of Bill Clinton for lying about an affair... even as Gingrich was well known for carrying on his own illicit dalliances. Clinton even used what at the time was called the Newt defense: that oral sex didn't count. The woman so willing to wear the kneepads for Gingrich says the he liked to keep it oral, so he can say "he never slept with her". I suppose the perfect answer to this is supplied by Gene Simmons, who while discussing his many many encounters admonishes that sleeping was not the noteworthy part of the transaction.

I apologize for getting all prurient on my readers... I'm just trying to convey the depths of dirtyness which Newt signifies.

The gall! It would not surprise me in the least if it turned out that the unfounded and slimy charge leveled at Pelosi originated in Gingrich's fevered brain. And if this does prove true, she should consider it an honor to be Newts target. I would hardly care to give serious consideration to the worthiness of Newts moral compass, so having him against you must be a good sign.

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