Oh Good God

by digby

Matt Bai has produced another one of this fascinating "character profiles" this time of Newtie Gingrich. I believe this may be the five thousandth such fascinating profile of the man. He always makes good copy, even though he makes no sense.

I'm too burned out to go into in in detail. Read it if you can stomach both Bai and Gingrich at the same time.

I do have to mention this, just in case anyone thinks that Gingrich has lost his megalomaniacal touch:

I think I’m closer to Benjamin Franklin than to George Washington,”Gingrich told me. “I’m a contributor to my country and to my times. If it turns out that there’s a moment when it makes sense to run, then I’ll run. But if I end up never being able to run, then it won’t devastate me.”

That's our Newtie. He's nothing if not grandiose. Here he is from 1995:

In his first public speech to his members, Gingrich cautioned that the electorate has twice since World War II granted Republicans control of the House only to take it away again in the next election. But in private moments, Gingrich allows himself a fabulously optimistic daydream. "I think we'll have a good run," he said contentedly last month. "My guess is it will last 30 or 40 years."

And there was this:

Asked recently what he had learned about himself in the last three months, he hedged, saying that whatever he answered would be portrayed as either facile or the sign of a tragic flaw. Then he said he had been watching a documentary about Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"It talked about the impact it had when he became Supreme Commander," Mr. Gingrich said, "and you could see it in the film footage -- that he literally changed over the course of about six months."


Mr. Gingrich may be the strongest Speaker in decades, but it is not other Speakers to whom he compares himself. It is the great Presidents and commanders -- Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Churchill, de Gaulle


And he's long felt that he "might" need to run for president:

Even before Senate majority leader Bob Dole's uninspired performance during Wednesday's televised forum in New Hampshire for G.O.P. presidential candidates, Gingrich had phoned key Republicans around the country and wondered aloud whether he should launch his own bid for the White House. Already on the previous Saturday, over dinner at the Connecticut home of Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Gingrich had fretted about Dole and launched into a detailed analysis of his own presidential chances.

According to fellow conservative Susan Molinari, Gingrich believed he was a worldwide revolutionary:

Molinari paints Gingrich as nothing short of an incompetent, delusional megalomaniac. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions. . Her behind-the-scenes description of last summer's failed coup attempt against the speaker reveals a world of ruthless backstabbingand deft double-crossing that would make Machiavelli proud. Molinari says Gingrich compared himself to Napoleon, FDR, Churchill, and Eisenhower and was overwhelmed by his own grandiosity. When Gingrich's four top henchmen, among them Molinari's husband, Bill Paxon, Republican congressman from Buffalo, NY., arranged an "intervention" to tell the speaker that he had to shape up, Gingrich dissolved into a rage. "People all over the world are listening to us, watching what we are doing. I'm at the center of a worldwide revolution," he huffed, turning to Paxon, adding, "You will never understand that, Bill."

In fact, he's not just a revolutionary, king or potential president. He's also French. This one is from this past summer when he was, once again, weighing whether his country needed him:

Pressed by The Examiner about whether his political baggage renders him unelectable, Gingrich compared himself to a famous French statesman. "This is like going to De Gaulle when he was at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises during the Fourth Republic and saying, 'Don't you want to rush in and join the pygmies?'" he said.

There are a million of them.

Newtie never fails to deliver the soundbite. The question is, why is the NY Times doing profiles that are anything but satire on this man? He's a clown, not a "man of ideas." It's ludicrous to even pretend otherwise.