Sunday, March 14, 2010
Gingrich comes clean: it is all a "vaudeville act" ... by gimleteye
I whispered the description to myself having watched the husband and wife political tag team, James Carville and Mary Maitlin, run the predictable lines and go after their opposite teams as a family feud at a Miami performance in 2004. It is all a vaudeville act.
In the New York Times recently, Newt Gingrich used the same phrase in a noteworthy moment of unscripted candor. Gingrich "... said he was respectful of the Tea Party movement, which he said would “force change,” and that he shared many of its beliefs — in transparency, limited government and distrust of both parties (Mr. Gingrich did periodically criticize the Bush administration). But Mr. Gingrich also said he had seen this movie before — both in Ross Perot’s independent campaigns for president in 1992 and 1996, and his own so-called revolution. “We did a Boston Tea Party event in ’94,” he said. “Some of these things come back full cycle. I feel some days like we’re back at the same vaudeville act.”
In other words, yes dear it was a vaudeville act. The Contract With America. The mid-term elections in 1994. Oh my.
The competition between Gingrich and Jeb Bush, who is patiently waiting out the statute of limitations to declare the Bush vision a new brand, is the underlying contest of the GOP effort to win back Congress in the fall elections. According to the Times, Gingrich "... sits atop an empire of interlocking policy groups, political networks and media enterprises with a total of about 60 employees. His chief vehicle is a policy center called American Solutions for a Winning Future." Bush, using Florida as his base, has summoned the full resources of a solid state GOP majority and a party apparatus that has just completed a major purge.
Their vaudeville act is spinning off interesting side-shows: the insurgency of Marco Rubio against Gov. Charlie Crist for US Senate is key affair. Out of the vaudeville group, there always has to be a character from central casting to lead the troupe. In this case, the GOP -- at Bush's direction-- picked out the telegenic Miami Cuban American as the real, true conservative who blasted Charlie Crist for the temerity of embracing a fiscal stimulus plan by Obama that ostensibly has kept the US economy from plunging into a full scale depression.
Instead, we have a time release depression with municipal and state budgets taking years to reflect the scope of the economic catastrophe unleashed by Bush policies, Wall Street greed, and a Federal Reserve asleep at the switch. The vaudeville act goes on.