I remember when that sorry (then and now) Newt was raising hell with my pal Speaker Jim Wright--then shortly did duplicate stuff himself and nobody screamed.Thanks to Joe, previously unknown to me, a buddy of my buddy Ivan. Am advised that Joe worked for four Democratic members of Congress; served on White House staffs under Presidents Johnson and Carter, and rode the press bus behind John F. Kennedy in the fateful Dallas motorcade so he is entitled to take the long view.
I see Wright some. He's in his 80s, has an office high in the library at Texas Christian U, Fort Worth, and his desk is piled high with unanswered mail. I asked him where was his help (Carl Albert had three clerks on the House payroll when he was retired in the Carl Albert Federal Building--rent free--in McAlester, Okla.)?
Jim said the House stripped his budget--but, with Repug speakers into retirement--are becoming remorseful. As he can, he calls folks and talks about what they asked. He is very philosophical and relaxed. Still a great speaker (even tho his voice was damaged by cancer that was cut out). A great guy and with a profound sense of humor and chuckles about the ironic, lying, anti-American right wing who call their Godless selves "Christians, patriots and Newt Gingrich."
As we watch the idiocy of the the Tea Party, Newt and Palin sway the ignorant majority--and things like SSI and black lung benefits, Title 18 & 19, Social Security and civilized government increasingly fail--maybe there will be an awakening.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
They Don't Make Speakers Like They Used To
NYT's Gail Collins notes that former House Speaker Newt ("The Pope Forgave Me!") Gingrich gets a day older every day. Old Washington hand Joe Carter recalls another relic of the Speaker's aerie: