Newt Gingrich Makes an Elaborate Historical Argument

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Ed Kilgore points to an intriguing Joshua Green story in BusinessWeek today: at a point during the Republican primary when Mitt Romney was struggling, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum had serious talks about creating a unity ticket:

The negotiations quickly intensified. “We had a series of closed-door meetings about it,” Conway says. Conway, Walker, and Randy Evans represented Team Gingrich; Brabender spoke for Santorum. “Initially, it was through staff,” Conway says. “Then Rick and Newt did talk by phone for quite awhile.”

Finally, the two candidates spoke face-to-face at an energy forum just before the [Michigan] primary. Gingrich made an elaborate historical argument that….

Hey! Why did I cut off the story? Newt Gingrich made an elaborate historical argument for what? That they should run on a platform of abolishing the Fed? Building alligator-filled moats along the Mexican border? Blasting North Korea to bits with a space-based laser? Paying off the national debt with natural gas royalties?

Not quite. It turns out that Gingrich made an elaborate historical argument for….why Newt Gingrich should head the ticket, with Santorum settling for veep. I’ll bet you wish you could have been a fly on the wall for that little lecture, don’t you?

This is all sort of fascinating, in a train-wreck kind of way, and I’m glad Green wrote about it. But can I just say that, no, Gingrich and Santorum never really came close to making a deal. The question of who gets to be president and who gets to be VP is the only real question in negotiations like this. If they were arguing about that, they hadn’t even gotten started.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate