The Man of Ideas

As far back as the time when he was selling videotapes of his lectures at a relatively obscure college, Newt Gingrich has marketed himself as a man of ideas.  You could do a credible impression of the man (at least I did) just by dropping the names "Deming and Drucker" into every other sentence, and the words "American civilization" into every other paragraph. 


And now, back out of power and back into the media, Speaker Gingrich (as likes to be called) is again marketing himself as a man of ideas.  "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" sprang from Gingrich's fertile idea farm last summer, and spread to the McCain campaign.  "Twelve American Solutions for Jobs and Prosperity" is a new campaign we'll surely hear more about.  

Yet, in the past three weeks, the man of ideas has launched stunningly vituperative campaigns against two women: Nancy Pelosi and Sonia Sotomayor.  One would expect the ex-speaker to disagree with these people, but the ideas he's been propagating have been, in the cast of Pelosi, the ideas that she's "disgusting" and "trivial", and, in the case of Sotomayor, that she's a "racist".  He demanded that Pelosi resign and that Sotomayor withdraw her nomination.

Apparently, when you're running a non-campaign campaign for the leadership of the Republican party, those are what pass for Ideas.  What would Deming and Drucker think?
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Harry Shearer is an actor, writer, director, musician and radio host. He is best known for his role on The Simpsons and his work on Saturday Night Live. More

Harry Shearer is an actor, writer, director, musician and radio host. He is best known for his long-running roles on Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons (where he voices a stable of characters including Mr. Burns, Smithers, Ned Flanders, Rev. Lovejoy, and Scratchy). He is also part of the comedy writing and acting ensemble responsible for the mockumentaries This Is Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. His most recent book is the novel Not Enough Indians. He also hosts Le Show on NPR's Santa Monica affiliate.

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