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Little Man Klein Hearts Newt


Joe Klein has really outdone himself this week. Crooks & Liars tells us he says nukes in Iran have a place on the table, he believes Francine Busby’s popularity in a predominantly red district is much ado about nothing, and in this week’s issue of Time he devotes himself to the political rehabilitation of Newt Gingrich: 

It’s almost always a joy listening to Gingrich when he’s on a tear. And he’s almost always on a tear of some sort. I caught up with Newt as he wandered around New Hampshire last week, which is what people who think they’re running for President do. Please, God, no, you say. Not that angry guy again. "He’s probably carrying too much baggage to be President," said Peter Bergin, a Republican state representative from Amherst, N.H. "But he sure is a terrific idea man. He needs to be part of the debate."

Absolutely. We might even create a new federal position to accommodate him, sort of like party ideologist in the old Soviet Union, except that the U.S. job would be the opposite of what it was in the U.S.S.R. Instead of imposing orthodoxy, the party idea-ologist—ideology is so un-American—would propose unorthodoxy. Gingrich was certainly wild with ideas last week, flicking them off at warp speed, like a dog shaking himself clean after romping through a pond.


As the man said, Newt may be carrying too much baggage to be President, but wouldn’t it be fun—and a boon for our democracy—to have him onstage in the coming debate?

The language he uses to paint Newt is positively McCainian — a maverick who is quite fearless in his willingness to buck an unpopular president and court bipartisan support (as if).  That Klein does not see any of Newt’s shortcomings is no surprise; Klein shares most if not all of them with his warmongering brother-in-arms.

I want to take a moment to express the sheer joy I felt this week when Joe stopped by the Huffington Post to enlighten the blogosphere  (using Newt’s own language) that what he really meant to say was that leftists, not liberals, are the ones who hate America.

The thorough, righteous, spontaneous and damn near universal humiliating ass-kicking he got from his 188 commenters, and then from his fellow posters, was a thing of abject beauty.  Let’s have a round of applause for:

The Crucial Difference Between Joe Klein and Reality by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Reply to Joe Klein by Eric Alterman
Say It Ain’t So, Joe by Trey Ellis
What’s Wrong With This Picture? Joe Klein Hasn’t Been Fired Yet by RJ Eskow
Being A Considered Treatise On The Proper Role Of ‘Ass Kicking’ In The Contemporary Political Discourse by RJ Eskow
Let’s Pile On Joe by Jane Smiley
The Crucial Difference Between Your Ass and a Hole in the Ground by Greg Saunders

Joe Klein is no dummy; despite his blog-hating rants he knows the future for people like him is in pixels not paper.  This was quite clearly an attempt to make a beachhead over at the Huffington Post, and it was a glorious, miserable failure.  I have never been prouder.

Even as he is no doubt rubbing his bloody little neocon hands together in glee at the prospect of war with Iran, that has to be a sobering thought for a pompous, overbearing egomaniac like Klein. 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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