Newt Gingrich Spouts Off: Tea Party ‘Militant,’ Unemployed Get Benefits for ‘Doing Nothing’
April 22, 2010
(ChattahBox)— Newt Gingrich, disgraced former Republican Speaker of the House, who was run out of town on a rail in a cloud of ethics investigations in the late 90s, has returned once again to the public discourse to bloviate on a variety of subjects. During a speech given for the Manufacturers’ Association of South Central Pennsylvania, Gingrich derided High School book learnin’ suggesting kids should be allowed to quit school and get a job at McDonald’s. And he declared that lazy jobless Americans having the nerve to accept unemployment benefits, during a recession, should be made to do community service. Ridiculous as these ideas are, they are typical Newt speak. But what really drew the crowd’s, as well as the media’s attention, was his remark calling the tea party movement a “militant wing of the Republican Party. Uh, Oh.
Earlier in April, Gingrich along with Sarah Palin and other GOP stars, spoke before the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, offering plenty of red meat for the tea party crowd, attacking Barack Obama, as “the most radical president in American history.” But now, Gingrich seems to be distancing himself from the tea party movement, or maybe not. No doubt, he will release a statement any minute walking back his “militant” comment.
But regardless, his remarks are noteworthy, because they came from a right-wing leader and not from the left. Last week, former President Bill Clinton received criticism from the right for correctly noting that the current toxic political climate is alarmingly similar to the lead up to the Oklahoma City bombing in the 90s. Right-wing blogs and Fox News falsely attacked Clinton for lumping tea party members together with violent militia groups.
A woman in the audience of Gingrich’s speech spoke out against his choice of the word “militant” to describe the tea parties, but he didn’t take it back:
“Gingrich said the movement is a “natural expression of frustration with Republicans and anger at Democrats,” which is “more likely to end up as the militant wing of the Republican Party” than as an independent or third party.”
“I wouldn’t use the word ‘militant,’” Livermore said, adding that she supports the Tea Party tenets of lower taxes and “government getting out of my life.”
And regarding High School education:
“He said high schools are an expensive “baby sitting service” and that students who want to leave school should be allowed to enter the work force.”
And about those unemployed bums trying to survive on unemployment benefits during a near double-digit unemployment rate and a deep recession:
“Legislators need to “rethink” unemployment compensation, he said, to make people work in some capacity, even community service, so they aren’t “given money for doing nothing.” “You are not getting money to go deer hunting and fishing,” he said.”
“Last year’s extension of unemployment benefits was like a bribe to people to tolerate legislators’ incompetence, he said.”
Like I said, the usual Newt nonsense, but the “militant” remark is sure to put the former Speaker in hot water with the tea party crowd.