Oh good, Newt Gingrich is hysterical again. It's been weeks since the disgraced former House Speaker had a noteworthy tantrum
Newt Gingrich accused President Obama on Wednesday of a secret "radical" plot to end work requirements in welfare reform, brushing aside denials from both the Republican architect of the 1996 bill and the Democratic president who signed it into law.
"I think on the hard left, there is an unending desire to create a dependent America," Gingrich said.
To recap, two Republican governors asked the Obama administration for some flexibility on the existing welfare law. The White House said that'd be fine, so long as the work requirement isn't weakened. It's consistent with the policy endorsed by many Republican governors, including Mitt Romney himself, just six years ago.
And now it's a conspiracy to make a country "dependent" on government.
I saw an email earlier blaming this ridiculous mess on the president -- he should have known, the argument goes, that Romney and the GOP would have lied about this.
I can't wrap my head around this. If Obama gives the states the flexibility they want, he's "eliminating the work requirement," even though he's not eliminating the work requirement. If Obama rejected the governors' request, it's very likely Romney would be running attack ads right now saying, "Republican governors want flexibility to help welfare recipients get jobs, but our big-government liberal president refuses to allow states to experiment. He doesn't want to help move people get jobs."
The point is, there's no way to anticipate what garbage the pathologically dishonest will come up with, just as there's no telling what kind of loopy conspiracy theories Newt Gingrich might concoct. Don't blame the target of shamelessly dishonest political nonsense; blame those disseminating the lies.
I'd be remiss if I neglected to highlight this gem.
Gingrich joined Mitt Romney and other Republican leaders in contrasting former President Bill Clinton, whom they now hold up as a model of bipartisanship, with Obama.
"In many ways Obama is the anti-Clinton," Gingrich, who clashed frequently with the president as speaker of the House in the 1990s, told reporters. "Clinton tried to move the party to the center, Obama's moved it to the left."
For those who remember the 1990s, this represents a new level of political hysteria. Gingrich woke up every day for years trying to destroy Bill Clinton, convinced that he was a radical leftist who didn't deserve the presidency. Plus, he even hurt Gingrich's feelings that one time, asking him to use a different door on Air Force One, leading the Speaker to shut down the government.
But now, Clinton and Obama -- who agree on practically everything -- are opposites, and Gingrich sees the man he impeached as a great centrist.
Shep Smith recently explained, "Politics is weird. And creepy. And now I know lacks even the loosest attachment to anything like reality."
Truer words were never spoken.