Newt’s Thousand Year Dark

With his usual jaunty, modest aplomb, Newt Gingrich reminds conservatives that not voting for him means a millennium of darkness:

Dear Conservative:

In 1964, Ronald Reagan told conservatives that this was a time for choosing. Faced with a radical, progressive President who would weaken America abroad and at home, they could either fight to preserve America as the last, best hope on earth, or consign their children to a thousand years of darkness. …

Of course, what had Ronald Reagan so het up back then was his heartfelt conviction that Medicare would destroy America. Conor Friedersdorf notes at that link that LBJ actually won the 1964 election. So “1000 years of darkness” didn’t ensue– or if it did, the Reagan era was part of it.

Unless…

Newt Gingrich, during Reagan’s second term: “Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing and without a dramatic, fundamental change in strategy will continue to fail. … The burden of the failure frankly must be placed first upon President Reagan.”

Also, in 1985, as Reagan prepared to meet with Gorbachev: the summit is ”the most dangerous summit for the West since Adolf Hitler met with (British Prime Minister) Chamberlain at Munich in 1938.”

Maybe Newt views himself as some sort of science fiction hero, who needs to be president so he can go back in time and prevent what he saw as the “decay” of Reagan’s America. After all, Ronald Reagan would be tossed out of today’s GOP in a heartbeat.

EXTRA BONUS NEWT TALE, from the above-linked Mark Shields article:

after having been chosen Time magazine’s Man of the Year, Gingrich had plummeted in public esteem to where, in a CBS-New York Times poll, just 14 percent of voters had favorable personal feelings toward the speaker.

This prompted an apocryphal Washington exchange between a perplexed Gingrich and Dole. “Why do people take such an instant dislike to me?” asked a perplexed Gingrich, to whom Dole bluntly explained: “Because it saves them time.”

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