I’m kind of fascinated by Newt Gingrich. I’ve known him, or at least
his sort, all my life. He was the plump kid in junior high who smiled
a lot and carried a leather briefcase instead of a football and served
on a mysterious entity called the student council. He was neither
geek, nerd, jock, brain, nor of any other clique, What he was had no
name back then, but would now be called a politico. He was a
second-tier honor student intent on Going Places and eagerly doing the
busy work it takes to get there. He reminded me of a mouse running
the maze in Science class.
They love elections, people like Newt, and the constant rearranging
process that comes with electoral democracy. Think Rahm Emmanuel, or
Karl Rove. But mostly they love to aid and abet power, whether they
are seen to directly wield it or not, and grow hot and inflated with
self-importance. When they fail it is like watching air leak out of a
My favorite image of Newt Gingrich is that after his campaign against
the Democratic party imploded in the 1998 congressional elections, he
is reported to have put his head down on his desk and cried, the big
sissy. His sobs were heard offices away. When his vindictive effort
to get Bill Clinton impeached failed, his own party fired him.
But such people have remarkable tenacity. They are shameless, which
adds weight to the notion they live high on the narcissism spectrum.
Although Newt was disgraced and out of office he did not leave the
Washington maze. He grasped his leather briefcase tighter and hustled
in the halls of congress as a lobbyist for one special interest or
another, scurrying about and looking for all the world like a fat kid
on his way to an after-school student council meeting.
Guys like him never give up and they never go away.