Thursday, July 05, 2007

Newt Gingrich Thinks Americans Need To Work Harder?

In his new Washington Post idiotorial, Newt Gingrich prattles,
Sarkozy had the courage to campaign on the theme that "the French will have to work harder." Imagine trying to get that past an American campaign consultant. In effect, he repudiated the French left's passion for income transfer and trumped it with a passion for pursuing happiness.
The obvious retort is that a political consultant will tell you, "No problem - as long as voters understand you to be talking about the need for other people to work more. Better yet, if it is understood as code directed at certain groups regarded as shiftless and lazy." (Contrary to Newt's apparent belief, they do have political consultants in France.)

But what does this comment really tell us... about Newt. It suggests that he truly believes that Americans need to work harder. It suggests that he has spent too much time hanging out with certain people who appear intent to break records for taking the most vacation, and doesn't have the first clue how much the average American actually works as compared to workers in other nations. (That "uniquely American" work experience....) It suggests that he has never worked a job where he was "on the clock", or at best did so as a teen with the income he earned being largely or entirely discretionary.

Come to think of it, wasn't it Newt's first wife who worked Newt's way through college? Nice reward she got.

How out-of-touch must Newt Gingrich be, to imply that Americans would have no right to object to a politician telling them that they need to "work harder"....


  1. About as out of touch as the average politician? I mean what if some idiot who got $300 haircuts and lived in a mansion started lecturing about wealth redistribution . . . or a trust fund baby started talking about "ask not what your country can do for you," or a guy who flew to awards shows in a jumbo jet talked about global warming . . . or a millionaire who has never held a "normal" job in his life started lecturing on responsibility and the work ethic . .


  2. CWD, the least you can do is get your facts straight - it was a $400 haircut. ;-)

    To be even more accurate, though, it was a $75 haircut, with the additional fee being associated with the hairdresser's travelling to Edwards' location.

  3. CWD, if somebody who could only afford $5 haircuts started lecturing about wealth distribution, I can imagine you'd have more than a few choice words to say about their opinions. So if not the poor, and not the rich, who is allowed to talk about wealth redistribution?

    And no, Newt is way beyond the 'average politician' in terms of out-of-touchness.

  4. Either that, or he knows that if he speaks honestly about the probable outcome of the implementation of his policy preferences, popular support for his ideas would drop to near zero and he would no longer be able to draw funds from his corporate sponsors.

  5. “So if not the poor, and not the rich, who is allowed to talk about wealth redistribution?” writes Mythago

    Evidently, you and me; although I don’t recall saying that anyone didn’t have the right to talk about it. The position I took was basically, “I don’t have a very high opinion of hypocrites or their opinions.” I picked on Edwards, among others, just to show that the problem Aaron was discussing was hardly limited to one particular politician or party.

    But since you asked the question . . .My evaluation of someone's intelligence or the worth of their views on wealth redistribution or any other topic isn't driven by their bank book (high or low); and my opinion of Edwards’ wealth redistribution rhetoric has far more to do with my views on hypocrisy then it does anything else.

    My opinions regarding the limousine liberal set and how much they “care” for the poor, whether they are "old" money like Kennedy or "new" like Edwards, is driven by the inherent hypocrisy in living in a mansion and lecturing about wealth redistribution and how much they care for the poor.

    You will, I am sure, forgive me if I take the opinion that a rich man who refuses to "redistribute his own personal wealth" (even just enough to put him in a "big house on the hill" instead of a mansion) or allow his children to interact with the poor, or for that matter the middle class, (I would be very surprised if any of the people we are talking about have children that attend public school) might lack a little credibility when he starts lecturing the rest of us on how hard it is to be poor, how much he/she cares about the poor, and how much more “we” should do for them . . .

    I’m reminded of an old Sam Kinison routine (and I will freely acknowledge that this is not a fair portrayal of Ms Struthers or of the issue) about Sally Struthers where Sam rants, “Hey Sally, if you care so much about that starving kid in the mud puddle, maybe you should stop asking me to donate, turn off the TV camera, pull the kid out of the mud puddle, and give him one of your sandwiches . . .

    . . . and what have you got against $5 haircuts anyway?



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