Jewish World Review Jan 25, 2012/ 1 Shevat, 5772
Newt Gingrich's first 100 days
By Jay Ambrose
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Join with me in an imagined future, one in which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich manages to grab the Republican nomination for president and then wins the presidency. It had helped that President Barack Obama had decided to wipe out all of America's 2 million miles of pipeline because of possible contamination of the moon.
"Here comes a transformational first hundred days, much of it patterned after my hero, Franklin D. Roosevelt," said Gingrich, a self-avowed, determined conservative who nevertheless goes orgiastic when thinking about the New Deal.
He went on to outline his own Phew Deal at an inauguration in which he had initially planned to reintroduce top hats. The idea was dropped when none could be found to fit his swollen head.
"Ah, how wonderful it is," he said in opening remarks at his first press conference the next day. He lost his composure, though, when a reporter asked why his whole White House staff had just resigned. Gingrich took a swing at him and missed, although he did land some verbal blows about liberal media always looking to embarrass conservatives not just with old news treated as new news, but sometimes with new news treated as new news.
The public loved it, inundating the White House with favorable emails. Some residents of South Carolina wrote that they were so enthused they had gone out and tried to vote for him for a third time, counting the primary, though the hated establishment made it perplexingly difficult.
"Here we are at Day Two, ready to keep on rolling," Gingrich said at his next press conference. He announced he was keeping up with the kind of history-writing he had once done for Freddie Mac, revealing after some original research then that Barney Frank had arrived in America on the Mayflower.
"I am producing an in-depth historical analysis of how health-insurance companies have served America spectacularly well over the years," he said. "I am getting no money for this, and the money some insurance companies are giving to my campaign for re-election is simply because they think I am brilliant. It is true that I have changed my mind and am back where I was for many years, favoring mandated health-insurance purchases, but the public knew about that."
First donning a football helmet with a facemask, a reporter asked whether this wouldn't be a conflict of interest, and Gingrich challenged her to a series of three-hour Lincoln-Douglas debates. He also winked at her and handed her a note.
"My goodness, Mr. President!" she said. "Aren't you married?"
On Day Three, Gingrich said he was closing down Bain Capital, the company Mitt Romney once worked for, on the grounds it was still making money. He said he figured on closing down still other private-equity companies rescuing businesses in trouble and giving high returns to union pension funds. It's not that he's against capitalism, he said. It's just that he was not about to put up with profits that benefited workers. Much could be saved through child labor, he explained.
On Day Four, he recalled how he had talked in a primary debate about ignoring court decisions he did not like, but that he was now going beyond that. He planned to dissolve the Supreme Court.
On Day Five, he sat on a park bench with Barbra Streisand, who sang, "All In Love Is Fair," as he announced a new cap-and-fade policy that would actually try to cap the sun intermittently. "It's a big idea," he said. "I am a big-idea man."
Each day of Gingrich's first 100 days was very much like that, and his administration might have made it a few days longer if Congress had not first decided that some of the money he received from insurance companies was ethically dubious.
He was impeached by the House and evicted by the Senate, Congress thereby going further than when he was once ruled guilty of ethics violations by the House. The only good news for him was that someone finally found a top hat that would fit.
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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.
© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE