I’m a long time critic of Newt Gingrich, which is an easy thing to be.
If the man is anything, he’s the father of the current political system that brings government to an unprecedented halt. After all, this is the guy that implied he shut down the government because President Clinton snubbed him on that plane ride back home from Israel in 1995. To complete his revenge, we all got to enjoy the impeachment of Clinton, perhaps one of the most unpopular things anyone has ever done ever and directly lead to other Republicans attempting to oust Gingrich as speaker and Gingrich’s eventual resignation from Congress in 1999… because, when everyone found out that Gingrich himself was having an extramarital affair while he was working on impeaching the president for lying about an extramarital affair, it’s kind of… you know… hypocritical.
Just a little bit.
When it comes to Newt, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This struck me as funny when I first had the thought, but now, I can't remember what it means.
After he left Congress, eventually Gingrich started The Center for Health Transformation, or what I refer to as The Enemy of K Street. Lobbyists must hate Gingrich’s company because it bypasses them, their process and their fee and puts elected officials and corporations in the same room – why pay someone to negotiate on your behalf when you can pay Gingrich’s firm and get first person access? Yeah, you get better access when you hire a former speaker of the house – funny how that works! So when Gingrich insisted he wasn’t a lobbyist a few weeks ago, that’s technically true – but since his company provides a nearly identical service, it’s faster to just call him a lobbyist. Gingrich also supported the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which I think David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, was referring to (in part) when he said:
Rather than workable solutions, my party is offering low taxes for the currently rich and high spending for the currently old, to be followed by who-knows-what and who-the-hell-cares. This isn’t conservatism; it’s a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation.
Well said, sir – well said.
So up to this point, I just thought Gingrich was an opportunist at best and the devil himself at worst – I get the feeling that he converted to Catholicism after hearing about how the whole confession thing works. But after I heard about his thinking on Electro Magnetic Pulse, I have now modified my opinion of him on to Bat Shit CRAZY.
You ever see that movie Broken Arrow, starring Christian Slater and John Travolta? It’s a John Woo movie, so you know that at some point, people will end up pointing guns in each others faces or in a similar Mexican Standoff like scenario.
Stuff like this happens a lot in John Woo movies.
But the point is, this movie features an underground nuclear explosion that doesn’t leak radiation but only emanates an EMP (that’s electromagnetic pulse) which disables all electronic equipment in the area, including knocking a helicopter out of the air in spectacular fashion.
Newt is worried about this.
Instead of underground, Gingrich is concerned that some country will detonate a nuclear device high above the US and knock out our power, and apparently, he’s been worried about this for a long time and has mentioned it frequently over his decades in the public eye. Part of his campaign for president features an argument that we need to focus on a defense against this sort of attack
How do you defend against a magnet? It’s actually a lot simpler than that.
"Magnets - how do they work?"
I don’t think Gingrich is suggesting that we come up with a way to shield ourselves from EMP (although maybe he is), but instead, I think he wants to make sure we can knock such a device (missle) out of the sky before it detonates. However, my understanding is that our missile defense guys are on top of such a situation… knocking projectiles out of the sky is pretty much their sole focus, as I understand it, and it doesn’t really matter what the projectile is, they just want to turn it into a fireball.
Also, the only scientific comments I could find don’t think a nuke detonated in the atmosphere (or whatever ‘above the United States’ means) would push out that kind of EMP to the ground and kill all of our electricity. I read this one account where a scientist called this scenario ‘pretty theoretical,’ which sounds to me like a diplomatic way of saying, “This is horse shit. I have real work to do.”
This seems like typical Newt Gingrich to me. Remember how he reacted to Susan Smith killing her two children?
“I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”
See? We elected Bill Clinton, a Democrat, instead of the incumbent, George H. W. Bush, a Republican, so Susan Smith killed her kids. That must be what happened.
This is the kind of thinking that helps Gingrich arrive at the EMP theory. He wants us to devote time and resources to make sure we can protect against an attack that we’ve been able to defend against since the 80s so we’re secured from a contingency that probably doesn’t exist. OK. We should get our best research and development guys on that.
Right after lunch.
Also, Broken arrow is pretty good – if you like John Woo movies, or just action movies in general, I’d give it a look.