How big IS that ego, Leroy Newton Gingrich??
Well, let's see....
After the Republicans took the Congress in 1994, Newt DEMANDED air-time on television to "speak to the American public". So, CBS allowed him a chance to appear on TV. It was supposed to be a report on the new GOP congress' first 100 days in power. He appeared leaning in front of a desk, with the american flag behind it --- with all the trappings of a presidential address to the American people.
I remember my HS students at that time were all confused and wanted to know why "that man" was talking to the public as if he were the President, and where was President Clinton.
Newt Gingrich is the only Speaker of the House of Representatives to pull this stunt - ever.
Here are about 14 minutes of that address. If anyone has he rest, please post it here.
WATCH (yes, he is using a Teleprompter - and notice the fake smile all the time):
1:40: "We made congress subject to the same laws as everyone else".
3:08: "After all, the purpose of changing government is to improve the lives of our citizens"
4:26: "We sincerely believe we can reduce spending and at the same time make government better"
4:52: "The fact is, no civilization can survive with 12 year-olds having babies, with 15 year-olds killing each other, with 17 year-olds dying of AIDS, with 18 year-olds getting diplomas they can't even read". Every night, on every local news, we see the tragedies that have grown out of the current WELFARE STATE. As a father of two daughters, I can't ignore the terror and worry the parents in our inner cities must feel for their children - within a half mile of this Capital - your Capital - drugs, violence, despair threaten the lives of our citizens. We cannot ignore our fellow Americans in such desperate straits by thinking that huge amounts of tax dollars release us from OUR moral responsibility to help these parents and their children. There is no reason the Federal Government must keep an allegiance to failure. You know, with good will, with common sense, with the courage to change, we can do better for all Americans."
"Another fact we cannot turn our head away from is this: no - truly - moral - civilization would burden it's children with the economic excesses of the parents and grandparents. Now, this talk of burdening future generations is not just rhetoric: we're talking about hard economic consequences that will limit our childrens' and grand-childrens' standard of living! Yet that is what we are doing. For the children trapped in poverty, for the children whose futures are trapped by government debt, they are going to have to pay. We have an obligation tonight to talk about the legacy WE are leaving for our children and our grand-children. An obligation to talk about the deliberate re-making of our government. This change will not be accomplished in the next 100 days...."
(see, Newt was already saying, crazy batshit stuff way back then, as well!!! Anyone hear some dogwhistles in there?!?!?)
Then, Newt goes through the things the new GOP congress did (07:00):
1.) Passed the Shay's Act - "which makes the congress obey all the laws that other Americans have to obey".
2.) Balanced Budget Amendment - went through the House, died in the Senate.
3.) Constitutional Amendment on Term Limits - died in the Senate the first time.
"I pledge to you that Term Limits will be the first vote of the next congress"
(It was not, it was the 21st vote of the 105th congress and died again).
4.) Line Item Veto: (08:27) "It's remarkable that a Republican House and a Republican Senate are giving such a strong tool to the President of the other Party"
(The Line-Item Veto didn't live for long: it was struck down as unconstitutional in 1998 - The judge who struck it down, Thomas Hogan, was a REAGAN appointee)
Only once does Gingrich mention Clinton, as "the President of the other party"
5.) Regulatory Reform (passed in the House, died in the Senate)
6.) Legal Reform
7.) Welfare Reform
8.) $500 tax credit per child.
9.) Increase in the earning limit for Senior Citizens.
10.) Capital Gains tax cut (tax cut for the wealthy)
He compares vaccuum tubes and computer chips to how the government currently works and how it will work in the future
10:26: "The same reliance on the obsolete pervades most of the Government."
10:51: "A truly compassionate Government would replace the Welfare-State with opportunity, because the welfare system's greatest cost is the human cost to the poor. In the name of compassion, we have funded a system that is cruel. It destroys families. It's failure is reflected in violence, brutality, child-abuse and drug addiction in EVERY local TV news broadcast. Poor Americans are trapped in unsafe government housing, saddled with rules that are anti-work, anti-family and anti-property. Let me give you some statistics on this failure: welfare spending now exceeds 300 Billion dollars a year, yet despite all the TRILLIONS spent since 1970, the number of children in poverty has increased 40%."
(If anyone knows what in the fuck he means by the green bolded above, feel free to let me know. Wow. Aliens or something)
11:44: Newt then pulls out a chart trying to correlate the rise in welfare spending with the rise in illegitimate births. No shit. Here is a screen-save of that moment:
11:52: "The more tax money we spend on welfare, the more children who are born without the benefit of family"
FACIT: it was supposed to be a report card on how the new GOP Congress from 1995 was doing, but more than half of his speech was extreme right-wing social engineering, designed to convince that entitlements need to go. Sound familiar?
Gotta hand it to Newt: he had the massive ego and the gumption to pull this one off.
Of course, this is what happened to him just one and one-half years later.
I want to issue a bet to both conservatives and liberals here: Everyone copy this http:
1995 ~ new House Speaker, Newt Gingrich ~ makes unprecedented request for TV air time - YouTube
and send it to as many people as you know and see what kind of resonance comes back when people remember how Newt behaved himself back then. This could be an interesting experiment. Who is up to the task?