Newt Gingrich tells dirty OWS hippies to get jobs, take baths

I know that I should’t waste any more effort thinking about the candidacy of Newt Gingrich, as it’s doubtful that he’ll remain at the front of the Republican pack for much longer, but I found the following footage of Gingrich, appearing on-stage in Iowa, so offensive that I couldn’t just let it go without comment…

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And, here, for those of you who can’t bring yourselves to watch the vile Mr. Gignrich say the words himself, is a transcript:

NEWT: The Occupy movement starts with the premise that we all owe them everything. They take over a public park that they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms that they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they don’t want to pay for, to obstruct those who are going to work to pay the taxes to sustain the bathrooms, to sustain the park, so that they can self-righteously explain that they are the paragons of virtue to which we owe everything… That is a pretty good symptom of how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, and why you need to reassert something as simple as saying to them, go get a job, right after you take a bath…

And I know that I’m just playing into Newt’s filthy, swollen hands by posting this. I know that this comment of his was intended to whip up the Republican base, in hopes that terrified white culture-warriors everywhere might start sending him the cash that he needs to mount a serious campaign in Iowa, in the weeks preceding the primary there. I know that he doesn’t stand a chance unless he starts to generate some buzz that translates to donations, but I can’t help myself. I feel compelled to share it, and push it that much farther into the gaping maw of the American electorate. Try as I might, I can’t just ignore this nonsense, secure in the knowledge that, like Bachmann, Perry and Cain before him, he’ll eventually be rotated out of the frontrunner position, as the Republican base moves on to court another candidate that they hope to like better than Romney. (One suspects that they’ll try a fictional character next, having already exhausted the limits of reality.)

But, as much as I know that this is just Newt’s turn in the spotlight, and that his candidacy will surely implode once people are reminded that he’s the same corrupt, draft-dodging, serial-cheater who handed one of his wives divorce papers as she lay in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery, I just can’t leave it alone. Hearing him speak is like downing a whole bottle of ipecac – I have no choice but to respond.

I get that he’s a conman who will say anything for a dollar, and that I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it kills me to know that this is the kind of person that Republicans want for our leader. (According to a new Quinnipiac survey of likely Republican voters, Gingrich leads the field with 26%, compared to Romney’s 22%.) The irony that the Tea Partying base of the Republican party, for all its talk of dislike for Washington insiders, would rally behind this man, who became a millionaire after leaving office by lobbying for the likes of Freddie Mac, is overwhelming. Of course, in his defense, Gingrich now claims that the reviled seller of mortgage-backed securities just paid him $300,000 to share his knowledge as a “historian” of the U.S. housing market. Can you believe that shit? Are Republicans really so stupid as to believe that Gingrich wasn’t lobbying for Freddie Mac? Is it conceivable that there are people in this world who would believe that this man was paid over a quarter of a million dollars to lecture on the history of housing?

Anyway, I wasn’t prepared to write anything more about Gingrich after sharing his quote yesterday about how we needed to relax child labor laws, but then this came up. It would have been one thing if he just underplayed the importance of the Occupy movement, and said that the people protesting in the streets weren’t representative of the American people at large, but he decided to go all the way back to the 60’s for his inspiration. It reminded me of when Ronald Reagan delivered his famous, ‘looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah,‘ line about the hippies. But, maybe that’s what he was going for. Maybe, when he said, “get a job, take a bath,” he did so with the belief that it would carry those in the audience back to a better, simpler time, when you could yell those kinds of things about hippies out your car window, and feel good about yourself. It was certainly less complex back then, and, as we live in a nation of people that detest complexity, it might well be a winning strategy.

There are countless reasons to detest Gingrich and this quote. It’s cold. It’s heartless. It’s cruel. It stings at a number of different levels. Most obviously, it suggests that there are plentiful jobs out there for the taking, and implies that, if someone can’t find gainful employment it probably has to do with personal hygiene. As we all know, though, that’s not the case. The gap between rich and poor in our country is growing wider, and the opportunities for one to “pull himself up by the bootstraps” through hard work and education are dwindling. Social mobility is stagnating, and wealth, and the power that comes along with it, is concentrating in the hands of a precious few. For Gingrich to paint this as the whining of lazy hippies, who just want to eat free food, and live in a park paid for by others, is not only insulting but factually inaccurate. This movement isn’t about hippies. It’s about the 84 year old grandmothers who are being pepper sprayed, and the retired cops being dragged away in handcuffs. It’s about the American people finally standing up and saying that they’ve had enough. And there’s no amount of lies that can cover that up.

And, here, on that note, is a photo unrelated to Gignrich that I’d like to share. I think it speaks to the scope of this movement, and the fact that, try as they might, our politicians are not going to be able to lie or triangulate their way around it.

The note held by Obama says the following.

“Mr. President: Over 4000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. While banksters continue to destroy the economy with impunity. You must stop the assault on our 1st amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.”

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  1. Edward
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    If Newt is the Republican candidate, we’re beyond hope, and there’s no amount of work that can be done by OWS to fix things. He’s embodies everything that the Republican base “claims” to be against, and yet he’s their favorite.

  2. Eel
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Newt could have been an abortion doctor, and the Republican base would still lap the shit up that he’s selling. People want righteous white anger, and they don’t care who’s selling it.

  3. dragon
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure who said it first, but I found this quote on Krugman’s blog..

    ‘He’s a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.’

  4. K2
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    He’s a white Kwame Kilpatrick.

    I made that up in my own head.

  5. Robert
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m not kidding when I say I firmly believe Newt Gingrich to be a full-blown sociopath.

  6. anonymous
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    If a friend confided in me over drinks that, when she was younger, her uncle molested her. This is the guy that I’d picture in my mind. So, yeah, I don’t think I’ll be voting for him.

  7. alan2102
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Your indignation and outrage would be a heck of a lot more convincing, Mark, if you were not fond of spouting the same kind of prejudicial remarks, yourself; e.g. about those lazy-ass marijuana smokers. Remember? VERY Gingrich-esque. In fact, indistinguishable from the Gingrichism in question.

  8. Posted November 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Newt and I are practically indistinguishable because I said that, in my experience, a disproportionate number of people who smoke pot seem not to live up to their potential. And that makes me the same as a the only Speaker of the House, in the history of the America, to have been found guilty of ethics violations, left a wife as she lay in the hospital, and is known to parrot whatever he’s paid to say. You have an interesting perspective, but I guess that’s to be expected from a pothead.

    That was a joke, by they way.

    The truth is, I don’t have an issue with people smoking pot, and I think that it should be legal. With that said, it’s been my experience that it robs people of motivation. And I say that as someone who used to smoke pot. Furthermore, I think pot smokers are taking advantage of the current medical marijuana laws to get stoned legally. I don’t care, personally. I just think that it’s silly for people to say that they need to get stoned because a “doctor” they talked with for 3 minutes said that they had back pain. The whole thing is a sham, and everyone knows it. I think we should move beyond it, and make it legal. And then you’ll be free to smoke your brains out, and think that I’m the same as a despicable lobbyist scumbag like Newt Gingrich because I said that I knew a lot of brilliant pot heads who could have contributed more to society.

  9. Posted November 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Mark, why do you hate pot so much?

    You’re such an asshole. No wonder you get punched in the face so much.

  10. alan2102
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Mark, maybe you did not read what I wrote. I wrote that a particular utterance of yours was “indistinguishable from the Gingrichism in question”. That means exactly what it says. I certainly did not say that YOU were indistinguisable from Newt. Somehow, I suspect that you knew that that was what I wrote, but there was more pleasure in responding to a straw man.

    I disagree that pot, or any other drug, “robs people of motivation”. People get robbed of motivation, and numerous other desirable qualities of personality and character, by sick families, sick schools, and sick societies, and THEN they start drinking or using drugs. After that happens, we blame then the alcohol or the drugs! Such idiots we are.

    I also think that there is a small population of people who are either constitutionally lazy and/or who have been so deeply wounded that they cannot function in any “normal” (i.e. average) capacity. These people are naturally attracted to pot, alcohol and other drugs. They are also attracted to TV and other idiotic passtimes. I don’t know if there is anything that can be done for/about this crowd. But I do know that their drug problems are very unlikely to have caused their other (functionality) problems.

    As for me, personally: I don’t care about being “free to smoke my brains out”, as I rarely smoke the stuff. A very long time ago — in high school — I did smoke my brains out, for several years. It was a period in my life, and it did not have any long term consequence. The same is typical of most (NOT ALL) heavy drug and alcohol users: it serves their purposes for a time, and then they grow out of it, or beyond it. For a full expansion on this idea, see Herbert Fingarette’s book “Heavy Drinking”. You might also consult the literature on opiate addiction — largely a phenomenon of angry and frustrated young men, (often men who have very good reasons for being angry and frustrated), who eventually grow out of it, if they don’t get killed by way of a bunch of stuff that occurs only as a result of the illegal status of the drug.

    When you speak of a drug “robbing people of motivation”, you partake of the whole animistic, superstitious ball of shit that underlies the War on [some] Drugs. You demonize a substance, blaming IT for human problems of adjustment (and the social and economic problems that make those individual human problems inevitable) — to the delight of the evil drug warriors, whose whole game is underlaid with just that demonization. You say, sanctimoniously, that you support legalization, while spouting the very crap that is the basis of the illegality! Sorry, but I’m not impressed.

    Your “rob people of motivation” remark harkens back to what was called the “amotivational syndrome”. Remember that? It was immediately recognizable as a sort of bourgeois/Republican attempt to impart intellectual respectability to a bald cultural prejudice: a prejudice in favor of frenetic activity, ambition, and mindless addiction to “growth”, “success” and “progress” (addictions that, need I point out, have been instrumental in causing vast damage to the planet and to our social and economic systems). If you smoke some joints and suddenly start realizing that maybe pursuing that high-powered career path is not truly what you want, then you’ve got the nifty new pseudo-scientific “amotivational syndrome”! You’ve been ROBBED of your motivation! What’s WRONG with you, anyway?! Get rid of those damned drugs and GET BACK ON THE TREADMILL! GET A MORTGAGE! BUY A LEXUS! BE “SUCCESSFUL”! CONSUME!

    The developed world needs a whole lot more of that “amotivational syndrome”. It is the only thing that might keep us from careening into the abyss. Frankly, I wish that marijuana DID reliably cause an “amotivational syndrome”, or rather an enduring withdrawal from the insanity of endless mindless consumption and obsession with “success”, replacing that with a more circumspect and contemplative (read: sane) lifestyle. That would be a major point in its favor. Unfortunately, all too often it does not.

    Considered background on this “amotivational syndrome” is below, FYI.

    I repeat: your expressed views on this issue are VERY Gingrich-esque, very Republican, most distasteful. Did you notice what I just wrote? I just wrote that “YOUR EXPRESSED VIEWS ON THIS ISSUE” are Gingrich-esque, etc. I did NOT say that you are the same as Newt. Note well the difference.


    Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence

    By Mitchell Earleywine

    pages 197-199:

    Defining Amotivation


    Vague definition and varied measurement of amotivational syndrome have led to compelling critiques of the idea. Some investiators have examined employment history and educational achievement; others look at performance on laboratory tasks. Yet all claim to measure motivation or amotivational syndrome. Nearly all measurement strategies reflect stereotypically Western values about productivity. Many researchers tacitly assume that motivated people perform well in school, work hard for their employers, and persevere on laboratory tasks. Yet some of the world’s most famous achievers failed in these domains. People do not share the same goals or value the pursuit of objectives in the same way. Some cultures emphasize future plans over a focus on the present. Others clearly do not. In fact, the intense pursuit of future goals may minimize enjoyment of the present moment, leading to considerable distress (Burke, 1999).

    The notion of amotivational syndrome can inadvertently pathologize behaviors that many people in other cultures find fulfilling (Morningstar, 1985). One culture’s amotivational syndrome may be another culture’s ideal lifestyle. For example, vacation time varies dramatically from country to country, reflecting different attitudes about leisure and productivity (Robinson, 1994). In addition, motivation and achievement do not necessarily lead to happiness or increased satisfaction in life. The idea of amotivational syndrome may present a false promise that accomplishments lead invariably to happiness.

    Even within Western culture, the definitions of amotivational syndrome vary considerably. There is no formal diagnosis or established list of symptoms. Most researchers employ their own unique measures of motivation, making comparisons between studies difficult. Reports usually describe amotivation as a subtle shift in priorities. Achievement becomes less important; leisure becomes more important. Sufferers purportedly have few long-term goals or no concrete plans for attaining them. They may lose the ability to concentrate, endure frustration, and participate in life. If a marijuana-induced amotivational syndrome does exist, its symptoms do not sound similar to obvious problems associated with the abuse of other drugs. Chronic cannabis users rarely report the drastic financial, social and occupational difficulties typical of addiction to alcohol, opiates, or cocaine. Nevertheless, if marijuana created an absence of drive, it would clearly interfere with the steady achievement stereotypically associated with the American dream.

    The purported symptoms of amotivational syndrome are hardly unique to cannabis use. Clinical depression often includes the fatigue, poor concentration, and apathy typical of amotivation. This overlap suggests that a subset of depressed people who use marijuana may account for clinical observations of amotivational syndrome. Sad, unmotivated people may happen to smoke cannabis, giving the impression that the drug has created the symptoms. In fact, the links among depression, amotivation and marijuana consumption are not particularly straightforward.

    Recent data reveal that cannabis consumption has no significant association with depression in adults. A subset of people who use marijuana to cope with problems show more depressive symptoms, but it is not clear that the cannabis caused their depression…. [D]epression, rather than cannabis, may cause amotivational symptoms.

  11. Posted November 27, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the clarification. I get it. And I appreciate your point of view. I’ll stick by what I’ve said in the past, though… Pot should be legal. The “War on Drugs” as we know it should end. Non-violent drug offenders in prison should be released. And we should do what we can to help those who want off drugs to get off them. Furthermore, we should educate and encourage people not to start using them in the first place. The same goes for cigarettes, booze and junk food.

    As for wether or not pot makes one less motivated, I only know that I didn’t get shit done when I smoked. I watched a lot of Quantum Leap, listened to a lot of Opal records, and ate a lot of Velveeta cheese on nachos. Other than that, I didn’t do much. Was the root cause my depression? Maybe. But I started getting more shit done when I stopped smoking pot. And the depression, for what it’s worth, was still there. Maybe I’m an aberration. Talking with friends, though, I don’t think that’s the case. And, as I don’t have the time to go through the scholarly literature, I’ll have to leave it at that.

    It’s probably also worth noting, for folks that didn’t read the last thread on the subject of pot, that I acknowledge that pot has incredible benefits for some people. I’ve known people with cancer and AIDS who couldn’t keep food down without it. And, let’s not forget, it’s fun. There are a lot of great things about it. But that doesn’t change the fact that it gets in the way of life, like drinking does, when you depend on it too much.

  12. alan2102
    Posted November 27, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Mark: “As for wether or not pot makes one less motivated, I only know that I didn’t get shit done when I smoked.”

    Ditto. On the rare occasions that I smoke, I don’t get anything done either. But then, for me the whole point of it has nothing to do with “getting things done”! I smoke occasionally in order to get OUT of “getting things done” mode, and into another mode — a less-driven, more contemplative mode. I really ought to smoke more often. Most people should probably smoke more often. Even though it does not have this effect in all cases, it DOES do so often enough, and we would surely live in a better world if they did.

    I’ve known several people who respond in the opposite way. They find pot to be a great working and focussing type of drug. This amazes me, but there it is. It is also quite unecessary, for most of us. We don’t need more working/focussing drugs; we already have plenty: caffeine, ephedrine, amphetamine, cocaine, ritalin.

  13. Meta
    Posted December 19, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    He’s falling fast in the polls, so I know I shouldn’t even mention him, but I found Gingrich’s suggestion that we arrest liberal judges to be worrisome.

  14. Eel
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    After his devastating loss in Florida, Newt has been driving across the swamp state, euthanizing those seniors who voted for Romney.

    There are photos.

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