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It’s Republicans! It’s liberals!
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, April 22, 2007

Newt Gingrich on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos speaking of Va Tech. As a preface, Stephanopoulos asked him if he would apply what he said to Littleton, CO shootings to the Va Tech shootings. Gringrich answered "Yes".

What he said in '99 was:
“I want to say to the elite of this country - the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite: I accuse you in Littleton…of being afraid to talk about the mess you have made, and being afraid to take responsibility for things you have done, and instead foisting upon the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.”
A pretty broad indictment. On to what he said this week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the broader context? After Columbine, you gave a speech where you blamed 35 — blamed the shootings on 35 years of liberalism. You went — you said, “I want to say to the elite of this country, the elite news media, the liberal academic elite, the liberal political elite — I accuse you in Littleton of being afraid to talk about the mess you’ve made and being afraid to take responsibility for the things you have done, and instead foisting on the rest of us pathetic banalities because you don’t have the courage to look at the world you have created.” Do you stand by that prescription today?

GINGRICH: Yes, I think the fact is, if you look at the amount of violence we have in games that young people play at 7, 8, 10, 12, 15 years of age, if you look at the dehumanization, if you look at the fact that we refuse to say that we are, in fact, endowed by our creator, that our rights come from God, that if you kill somebody, you’re committing an act of evil.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But what does that have to do with liberalism?

GINGRICH: Well, who has created a situation ethics, essentially, zone of not being willing to talk about any of these things. Let me carry another example. I strongly supported Imus being dismissed, but I also think the very thing he was dismissed for, which is the use of language which is stunningly degrading of women — the fact, for example, that one of the Halloween costumes this last year was being able to be either a prostitute or a pimp at 10, 11, 12 years of age, buying a costume, and we don’t have any discussion about what’s happened to our culture because while we’re restricting political free speech under McCain-Feingold, we say it’s impossible to restrict vulgar and vicious and anti-human speech. And I would argue that that’s a major component of what’s happened to our culture in the last 40 years.
Yeow. McCain-Feingold? 'Restrict vulgar and vicious and anti-human speech?" Violent games and prostitute/pimps costumes for 10 year olds lead to Va Tech?

Talk about a stretch. Reminds me of something Joe Biden said:
"I would argue, since 1994 with the Gingrich revolution, just take a look at Iraq, Venezuela, Katrina, what's gone down at Virginia Tech, Darfur, Imus. Take a look. This didn't happen accidentally, all these things."
Same sort of silly and over-simplified sentiment, just a different target. Sometimes it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool ....

Etc., etc.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Couldn’t agree more. This sort of sloppy causative venom has always existed - on all sides of the political dodecahedron. I just wonder if it only seems that it has gotten worse in the last ten years, or that the media is maybe just a little more ubiquitous than it used to be.
Written By: nick
Liberals mean so well; how can anyone blame them for anything? Surely they cannot be responsible if their meticulously crafted fantasies go awry in the real world? Governments did not spend enough, conservatives failed to change enough, we did not try hard enough to understand foreign cultures, yes. But to blame liberalism for anything? Literally anything at all?
Why, my friend, you simply do not understand the Liberal Narrative, for there is absolutely nothing in it for even the implication that its tenets could be harmful or wrong for humanity in any way.

sarcasm/humor alert
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Nice, evenhanded catch.

This is the same guy that was hugging trees with John Kerry’s book signing two weeks ago.

There are genuine centrists, and there are those determined to overreach in alternating contrarian directions. Newt is definitely #2. Thank G*d he’s not headed for the presidency.
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Always blame the other guy.
Written By: unaha-closp
Well, you all read Glasnost every day. He opines that this is a nice, even-handed catch. Nuff sed.
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
We’re at it again. Looking for who to blame for a whacko (as if we can apportion blame, and thereby, rest assured it probably wasn’t ’us’) and looking for the quick fix that will make it all go away so "it can never happen again".

America, the great ’one source’ shopper.
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I dunno, I don’t think Gingrich was anymore uselessly overbroad than McQ here.

VA tech happened because we stopped institutionalizing nutty people.

That happened to a degree because of what both McQ and Gingrich were saying, but the most cloesly proximate solution is to lock up nutjobs.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Violent games and prostitute/pimps costumes for 10 year olds lead to Va Tech? No, not lead. The games and the costumes reflect tolerance carried to an extreme. We practically celebrate/romanticize gangster culture in film and music.

You had 5 roommates who failed to recognize that Cho’s odd remarks were indicative of something far more serious than wierdness. How, why? Is it a liberal point of view to be so accomodating that we no longer differentiate between what is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable behavior, what warrants inclusion and what warrants intervention or outright rejection?

Those 5 roommates are lucky to be alive.
Written By: susie
URL: http://
Love Newt as a teacher and an intellect; hate him as a politician. His reasoning, may be sound from a moral perspective, but it is downright scary from one who wields the reins of power.
Written By: MichaelW
I agree that Gingrich and Biden are spouting nonsense, at least in the specifics of what they are saying. But, aren’t they just executing a partisan rip-off of the point the WSJ made in their "No Guardrails" editorial back in ’93. The WSJ referenced this editorial last week (and McQ linked to the reprint at Opinionjournal).

Now you would think that these two politicians would be able to present their ideas more clearly (or maybe not). But are Gingrich and Biden just twisting the "No Guardrails" argument and assigning blame to their own partisan boggeymen to feed it up as red meat to their base?

I don’t want to give either of these guys any credit, but to me the parallels were apparent even if the WSJ’s argument was grossly distorted.
Written By: Oztalia
URL: http://
Bob, do you have any idea how infantile, pointless and downright wasteful it is, in matters intellectual, ethical, or plain old living, to form opinions on anything because
"this jerk likes it, so it must suck?"

I’m not sure you do.

It makes me feel better to know that, as much as I regret wasting my time on political blogs arguing abstractly over the world, it’s not as bad as it could be.
I could be you, wasting my life trying to score cheap shots on a total stranger with no reason, no purpose, and no principles beyond a dimwitted social map of online popularity.

I’m not important, Bob. I’m a voice on an online forum. Get over me. It’s pathetic. Even you can do something better with your life.

You’re an unreconstructed assh*le, and you’re not accomplishing anything whether you succeed in making me look stupid, or whether you don’t.

Going back to ignoring you now, until the day an admin here finally gets impartial and bans you.

Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Gingrich’s argument is just a variation on the tired "root causes" melody, as was Biden’s. I don’t deny that culture powerfully influences us, but to extrapolate responsibility from that leaves us in an amoral hell where no one is individually responsible for anything. Notice how Gingrich wants other people (liberals) to "take responsibility" for these horrible acts.

Maybe it’s a stretch, but I’d say the whackjob doing the shooting is the one who should take responsibility.

There’s a fine line (but a big difference) between motivations and influences on one hand and rationalizations and excuses on the other. The former can be illuminating, while the latter is just a self-serving method of deflecting and scattering blame.
Written By: Robby
URL: http://
A long, lomg time ago I thought Newt Gingrich was the best mind in the political world, a visionary who thought more clearly than any of his critics.

Wow my mind was in completely other place then. This comment is actually vintage Gingrich, but his "I’m a bigger tree hugger than any Democrat" garbage I saw a couple of weeks ago with Mr. Hienz was just appalling. That event showed that Gingrich, is really just a pandering statist policians who thinks that the world revolves around the wonders government. The reason I single out Gingrich in particular for ridicule is that at one time I thought he was different, turns out he is just the same.

Unfortunately almost every bad government policy we have came about by those in government wanting to show the public that they were "doing something" during a crisis (usally caused by government in the first place). The first step is to show that the tragedy in question was a natural outgrowth of the other party’s failed policies, which Gingrich ahs now done, as have almost every other politician in the land. I have no doubt that politicians across the country will be falling all over each other to try and solve the problem of an isolated, deranged person freaking out and killing people every 5 years or so. What will result will be mostly duplications of existing laws that didn’t keep this tragedy from occuring in the first place (like gun control) and a few new ways that the government can infringe on the rights of EVERY citizen in a vein (or should I say vain?) effort to prevent literally a handful of people crazy enough to go on a sucidal killing rampage.

At the end of this very predictable cycle we will be no safer but with fewer rights.
Written By: DS
URL: http://
It appears that Newt has gone over to the "If they would just let me, I could tweak big government to be a force for good" side.

Big government is what it is, force. It responds to the daily whims of the public mob with new legislation, under the guise of altruistic goals of trying keep us on the straight and narrow and saving us from ourselves.

I thought he knew better but I guess the allure of power was just too great.
Written By: Jay Evans
URL: http://
To quote a late great reporter of life in America......
"The winners are at war with the losers......and the prospects for peace are simply aweful."

Written By: darohu
URL: http://

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