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Christian Lorentzen: ‘Anyone but Romney’

23 February 2012
... gay weddings), they all had something Romney lacks: marketable authenticity. He can’t play the victim because he can never stop bragging. His three remaining challengers are authentic haters: NewtGingrich hates liberal journalists and his ex-wives; Rick Santorum hates Ahmadinejad, Chavez and sodomy; Ron Paul hates foreign wars and the Federal Reserve. Romney’s campaign is all about what he loves ...


Christopher Hitchens

24 August 1995
To Renew America 
by Newt Gingrich.
HarperCollins, 260 pp., £18, July 1995, 9780060173364
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... could not read it. But now you can. Or at the very least, now you may. I telephoned the publicity department of HarperCollins to inquire who had tried, and how, to ‘stop the publication’ of Newt’s fruits. There was vagueness. I was referred downwards and sideways and eventually into the post-voicemail void. Now, there was a Washington row about this book, and I remember it very well. Just ...
1 August 1996
Washington Babylon 
by Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein.
Verso, 316 pp., £31.95, May 1996, 1 85984 092 2
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... rise is matched in American history only by the equally spectacular fall of George (‘Desert Storm’) Bush, the collapse that put the Arkansas Governor in the White House in the first place. NewtGingrich rode the Contract with America to victory in 1994, giving Republicans their first control of the House of Representatives under a Democratic president since 1946, and their first control of ...

Programmed to Fail

Edward Luttwak

22 December 1994
... this often fervently church-going new middle class is now voting Republican: in the past the same people would have voted for the Democrats. The new Republicans are exemplified by the supporters of NewtGingrich in his suburban, semi-affluent constituency near Atlanta, Georgia – a state once 100 per cent Democratic. They have little in common with traditional Republicans, who are defined precisely ...

Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen: The Trump Regime

1 December 2016
... Kushner, Steve Bannon. A third contingent is the coterie of failed politicians who aligned themselves with Trump during the campaign and have now come in from the cold. These include Rudy Giuliani, NewtGingrich, John Bolton and Sarah Palin. All of them are touted as potential cabinet appointees but all of them have enemies among the Republicans in the Senate who could block their bids for office ...


Elaine Showalter: At the Modern Language Association

9 February 1995
... was out that they will soon try to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities, the primary funding source for academic research, and its sister agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Gingrich is also gunning for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, home of Sesame Street and National Public Radio. The NEA has been a declared target of the Right since the Mapplethorpe flap, but now the ...


Michael Rogin

5 September 1996
Imagineering Atlanta 
by Charles Rutheiser.
Verso, 324 pp., £44.95, July 1996, 1 85984 800 1
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... the negrophobia of the original organisation with anti-semitism and anti-Catholicism. Half a century later, Cobb County elected a John Bircher to Congress five times; it is now represented by NewtGingrich. Although a 1967 Supreme Court decision finally overturned the Georgia state law that barred racial intermarriage, in 1986 the Supreme Court upheld a Georgia statute outlawing consensual homosexual ...

Shave for them

Christian Lorentzen: ‘The Submission’

22 September 2011
The Submission 
by Amy Waldman.
Heinemann, 299 pp., £12.99, September 2011, 978 0 434 01932 8
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... community centre slated to be built two blocks from the former site of the Twin Towers, in the spring of 2010. Right-wing bloggers took to calling it the ‘Ground Zero mosque’, and the name stuck. NewtGingrich said it ‘would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum’. On Twitter, Sarah Palin wrote: ‘Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ...

Capitalism in One Family

Jan-Werner Müller: The Populist Moment

1 December 2016
... would not be in the White House without his enablers – or, to put it less neutrally, collaborators – in the Republican Party. He could not have succeeded as a third-party candidate. Figures like NewtGingrich and Chris Christie – characters with chequered pasts, but heavyweights nonetheless – were crucial in reassuring Republicans and right-leaning ‘independents’ that voting for Trump was ...

‘It was everything’

Eliot Weinberger: The Republican Convention

10 August 2016
... sounds like … Raised on a cattle farm, married to a row crop farmer, I’m a Christian, pro-life, gun-carrying, conservative woman’). There were a few noted committed Trumpistas (Rudy Giuliani, NewtGingrich, Chris Christie); a few party stalwarts (Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell – who was booed) taking a sip of, if not exactly drinking the Trump Kool-Aid; and a breadline of hungry ‘rising stars ...

Look over your shoulder

Christopher Hitchens

25 May 1995
... drones are responsible. At different pitches and with different timbres, this refrain has been part of the Joe McCarthy movement, the George Wallace campaign and every Republican surge from Nixon to Gingrich. (But let’s not be too partisan about it; the rhetoric evolved from the days when the Ku Klux Klan and the Southern Democratic Party were each other’s official and provisional wings.) As Richard ...

Those bastards, we’ve got to cut them back

Daniel S. Greenberg: Bush’s Scientists

22 September 2005
The Republican War on Science 
by Chris Mooney.
Basic Books, 288 pp., £14.99, October 2005, 0 465 04675 4
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... in the public policy area’. Behind the curtain, however, was Philip Morris, which in 1994 budgeted $500,000 for the coalition. That was the year that the so-called Republican Revolution, led by NewtGingrich, gave the Republican Party full control of both houses of Congress for the first time in forty years. ‘Sound science’ became a battle cry for Gingrich in his commitment to the wholesale ...

After Monica

Edward Luttwak

1 October 1998
... Starr referral was published, Clinton was in the paradoxical position of being overtly defended by his Republican political adversaries while being covertly attacked by the leaders of his own party. NewtGingrich declared that impeachment deliberations must be long and complex – so much so that no decision could be reached until 1999. He further volunteered his opinion that impeachment was ‘a ...

California Noir

Michael Rogin: Destroying Los Angeles

19 August 1999
Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster 
by Mike Davis.
Picador, 484 pp., £18.99, June 1999, 9780330372190
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... promise of American life reached fulfilment in Southern California, against what City of Quartz called the historical school of ‘California noir’. ‘American exceptionalism is real,’ exulted NewtGingrich after the 1994 Republican Congressional landslide; noir is a response to defeat. California noir goes back to Louis Adamic and Carey McWilliams, writing in response to the post-World War One ...

Feeling Right

Will Woodward: The Iowa Straw Poll

16 September 1999
... circuit the process and diminish the voice of the voters to a handful of states,’ Balz wrote. Worried by a poor showing in the midterm Congressional elections, the Republican establishment ditched NewtGingrich and his allies and searched for a credible, electable, emphatically mainstream candidate to take on the well-established Gore. They settled on the 53-year-old Bush with a decisiveness that ...

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