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“‘Consultants argue that public anger, if properly stoked, alone can carry the party over the finish line. In their view, getting bogged down in the issues is a distraction and even a potential liability. One who begs to differ is the architect of the last GOP takeover of the House. ‘Consultants, in my opinion, are stupid,’ former speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in an interview. ‘The least idea-oriented, most mindless campaign of simplistic slogans is a mindless idea.’” — from the Washington Post, July 17, 2010
From the inside flap of “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine,” by Newt Gingrich:
The Obama administration is conspiring to transform America. They want to remake our America—of free enterprise, faith, and personal freedom—into their America—of endless bureaucracy, secularism, and state control—despite overwhelming opposition from the American people…How could such a radical president and his congressional leaders get elected and then take a center-right country in a socialist direction bitterly opposed by most Americans? Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has the answer: the Left have built a secular-socialist machine out of corruption, lust for power, and sheer ruthlessness, and are using it to steamroll over the will of the people…
Exposing the mortal threat now facing America, To Save America offers concrete strategies for dismantling the machine and replacing it with policies and institutions that work. But we must act fast, Gingrich warns, or our children will inherit a secular, socialist America transformed beyond recognition.
Newt Gingrich, the man of big ideas and opponent of “simplistic slogans.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”