Burch: The viceman cometh

Thursday, February 2, 2012 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

If Newt Gingrich has any chance of being the last man standing in the Republican presidential primaries he will have to win southern states, so Tennesseans should soon be subjected to the Newt-onian physics of bombast, hypocrisy and utter disregard for reality.

Gingrich sounds like a Charles Dickens villain, but compares poorly with Ebenezer Scrooge, who was at least honest about his disdain for the poor and didn’t pretend to try to “help” them while getting rich at their expense.

But I doubt that even Dickens could have conceived of a character like Gingrich — a hypocritical egoist who criticizes the “work ethic” of poor darker-skinned children, then imperiously commands them to push industrial-sized mops without pay, while he and his rich cronies line up to “earn” millions via blatant influence peddling.

How can someone who was ejected from Congress and fined $300,000 for multiple ethics violations lecture poverty-stricken children? And of course that fine was just a drop in the bucket to a man who, according to the New York Times, earned at least 38.6 million dollars for “consulting” work he did for Freddie Mac and various health care companies.

Gingrich’s flagrant hypocrisy was also self-evident when he tried to impeach Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair while he was doing the same thing himself. Why do “family values” only apply to other people, in the endlessly strange world of conservative Christian morality?

Fly me to the moon! Gingrich claims to be a “big idea” man, but his big ideas are often erratic to the point of being completely contradictory. For instance, he claims to be a fiscal conservative, but he wants to build a colony on the moon, which would surely cost trillions of dollars. He also seems to be opposed to reducing our military budget, calling plans to sequester $600 billion from the defense budget “totally destructive” and “very dangerous to the survival of the country."

But hawks like Gingrich never mention that fact that our navy is larger than the next 13 largest navies in the world combined or that the second-largest air force in the world is our Navy’s. As Ron Paul has correctly pointed out, we have a huge, far-flung military empire that we don’t need and can’t afford, and which only makes us less secure when alpha males like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld seize opportunities to “advance American interests” through weapons and drones.

Gingrich claims to stand for "American exceptionalism vs. the radicalism of Saul Alinsky." But by “American exceptionalism” he seems to mean disdain for anyone who is poor and non-white, favoritism for rich white men like him. It’s hard for me to see Gingrich as anything but a lackey for the 1 percent who butter his bread. He strikes me as a man who will say or do nearly anything to achieve his personal goals of wealth, power and ego gratification.

The only large group of people potentially dumb enough (or deluded enough) to help him gain the presidency are southern conservatives for whom faith trumps facts and reason. As a recent New York Times editorial pointed out, “Newt Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina turned on an almost comically broad deception, an inversion of the truth in which the insider whose personal wealth and political experience are entirely creations of Washington becomes the anti-establishment candidate. That it worked speaks poorly of voters who let themselves be manipulated by the lowest form of campaigning, appealing to their anger and prejudices.”

Gingrich operates by the motto: “Do as I say, not as I do myself.” For instance, he blasted Mitt Romney for having investments in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But Romney’s research team quickly determined that Gingrich had publicly disclosed the same holdings. When Romney revealed that the would-be emperor was both clothes-less and unwittingly hypocritical, Gingrich’s campaign went into yet another tailspin. It takes irrational voters to elect erratic leaders, so Mr. Gingrich’s only remaining hope is probably to sweep the Bible Belt.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.


71 Comments on this post:

By: conservarage on 2/3/12 at 1:39

never said i was proud of it, but he's got the best chance of winning, despite what some people try to tell themselves.

By: Loner on 2/3/12 at 1:40

Leon Panetta reportedly predicted an Israeli strike on Iran...as early as April, May or June of this year. Some say that the Israelis recently, and abruptly, canceled the scheduled US-IDF war games, because they are preparing for real war, with Iran....they don't want the US brass nosing around at this time....they are mobilizing.

The US is telling the Iranians that we will defend Israel, if they attack the Jewish state.

This public assurance gives the Israelis the green light to proceed with an attack, knowing that when the Iranians respond, the US will obliterate Iran's defenses...the Israelis and the neocons in Washington are hopeful that regime change in Tehran will follow the joint US-Israeli pummeling of the Persian defenses....such is the extent of their neoconic madness.

So, what can we do?

Maybe stock up on gasoline? The price could double by June. This might be a good time to hunker down....the shit could soon hit the fan.

Meanwhile, I still protest every Monday afternoon...same old sign:


By: brrrrk on 2/3/12 at 1:48

I've heard that Romney has decided to try to appeal to Hispanics by changing his name to Juan Por Ciento.....

By: Captain Nemo on 2/3/12 at 1:54

There is nothing holy about this, Loner. Iran has pushed and now Israel will stomp back. If war comes and the end is in 2012, it is a good time to buy a car. You want have to worry about the car payments, for too long. ;-)

By: Captain Nemo on 2/3/12 at 2:11

Will all of the Chickening Hawks that said Iraq has WMD’s be waving flags of war this time around or will they say Obama is lying?

By: Captain Nemo on 2/3/12 at 2:17

lol brrrk

By: Loner on 2/3/12 at 2:33

That's a good one, Brrrrk...Juan Por Ciento...that's Mitt....La Manopla....Viva la Manopla!

By: brrrrk on 2/3/12 at 2:44

My question for Mitt is.... what's a good Mormon (who are adamantly against gambling) like you doing in a casino?

By: yogiman on 2/3/12 at 2:58


The Israel was is just around the corner fellows. Do any of you remember a president in office not being re-elected when we were in a war? I don't, and I go back to FDR. But at that time there wasn't a term limit on the office and he was kept in office because war was going on over much of the world in 1940 and they figured we would be in it soon so they kept him in office (that's why that term limit law was passed).

If we go into war with Israel before November, Barry Soetoro will be kept in office unless the facts on him are allowed to be brought to court.

And don't forget about martial law. Why do you think he is forming an "in house" army now?

By: bfra on 2/3/12 at 3:09

yogi is foaming at the mouth, yelling "Go to war" "Go to war", so he might have a chance of being right for ONCE in his life.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/3/12 at 3:13

"Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."

Let go bfra.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/3/12 at 3:15

George Bush was reelected after he went to war of choice with Iraq.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/3/12 at 3:18

I've got to go. Have a good weekend.

By: bfra on 2/3/12 at 3:21

Nemo - It isn't worth it, but after so many of his inane comments, oh well. You have a good weekend also.

By: Mike Burch on 2/3/12 at 7:22


I get frustrated, but I don't believe in giving up. The world is better today because people like Washington, Lincoln, Gandhi and MLK didn't give up.

By: Mike Burch on 2/3/12 at 7:28


Jesus was a practicing Jew who was quite a heretic. He questioned many things the Jews of his day believed, such as whether it was a "sin" to eat certain foods, or to help people on the Sabbath.

But many conservative Christians are unwilling to follow his lead, and ask why heterosexuals can have extramarital sex, be forgiven, and go to heaven, but homosexuals can't be forgiven and have to go to hell. Is that fair or just?

And they quote verses in the Bible that say God "gave" Palestine to the Jews, when the Bible clearly says that Moses, Joshua, Caleb and King David killed women, children and the handicapped during the process of taking it. That's ethnic cleansing and genocide, matricide and infanticide ... the worst crimes known to man.

Would Jesus have done such things himself? If not, how is not blasphemy for Christians to fund and support such crimes in his name?

I doubt that Jesus would have anything to do with most Christians, if he returned to earth.

By: Mike Burch on 2/3/12 at 7:38


I agree that HOLY WARS SUCK.


My biggest disagreement with Barack Obama is over the lies and hypocrisy that keep Americans in a constant state of war. How is it "wrong" for Iran to create nukes, when Israel has hundreds of nukes and has never allowed inspections of its nuclear facilities. Has the US ever allowed another nation or the UN to inspect its nukes?

Our attitude seems to be "Whatever we say goes, because we have the most powerful military on the planet and the willingness to use it to force other nations to submit to us."

That's what Hitler said too, but it's a big world and no one has enough money or military hardware to rule the earth.

And we don't force Russia or China to give up their nukes, or submit to inspections unless they agree. We only bully nations that are far weaker than we are.

It's hard to understand why the "smartest man in the room" can't see that Ron Paul is right ... we'd be safer and less likely to go bankrupt if we only used our military to defend our borders, which are unlikely to be attacked by anyone we leave alone.

By: pswindle on 2/3/12 at 8:54

The GOP in TN would support Newt. This is their mentality.

By: yogiman on 2/4/12 at 7:03

I read where the judge in Georgia decided Barack Obama is eligible to be placed on their ballot.

Somewhere down the line they have decided native born citizens are the same as natural born citizens.

Trying to figure out why they were determined to be so different for so many centuries.

Ready for communism everyone?

By: yogiman on 2/4/12 at 12:00

I just read where the Secretary of State would have the authority to make the final decision on that issue. I hope he knows more about the law than the judge.

By: spooky24 on 2/7/12 at 5:21

Yea, Yea, Yea Mike. Same ole thing. Our allies in the middle ease know that Israel pays no attention to Obama at all and will do what ever they want to. You fools should be getting ready for the NASDAQ fold, soon to be bursting bubble when the Israel Air Force takes out Iran. Get out of those tech stocks or you can laugh all the way down to the pavement.