In the op-ed piece titled, “A rising anti-government tide,” Republican leader Newt Gingrich wrote last week about California’s special election,
vote is the second great signal that the American people are getting
fed up with corrupt politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, greedy interests
and incompetent, destructive government.”
unfamiliar with the history of Newt Gingrich here is a quick lesson in
what you are hearing. Newt Gingrich is a father of Republican
nasty-talk. In 1990 Gingrich introduced a memo titled, “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control,”
advising Republicans to use certain words over and over, always
describing opponents as “destructive,” “incompetent,” “greedy,” etc.,
and always describe Republicans as “humane,” “fair,” “principled,”
etc. Please go read the memo and see for yourself. Gingrich’s advice
was to just insult and insult and be nasty dirty up the discourse, and
you will win elections. And, of course, that is what they did and they
did win elections – for a while. They are still nasty and just insult
and insult, but they haven’t been winning elections.
knowing that, take anything Gingrich says with a grain of salt. (Never
mind that Gingrich is also known for committing adultery in a car in
the parking garage of the U.S. Capital, with a much-younger
Congressional aide while he was Speaker of the House, during the Republican effort to impeach President Clinton for adultery!) And ask yourself why any supposedly respectable news outlet would give him a platform to do the damage that he does.
back to the subject-at-hand, whether voters really, as Gingrich claims,
expressed an “anti-government” message last week? Does Gingrich have
his facts right? Let’s check a fact. Gingrich wrote, “This model of
high-tax, big-spending inefficiency has already driven thousands of
successful Californians out of the state…” But everyone who actually
knows anything about California knows that the reason people leave the
state is because of high real-estate prices. And the reason they are
high is because so many people want to live here. Of course,
the implication (because it coincides with another Republican talking
point) is that businesses leave the state because of taxes. Studies
that look at actual facts show this isn’t true, either. Brian Leubitz
on Friday wrote about this at Calitics,
[Gingrich] highlights the Yacht Party theme that all these businesses
are leaving California…except that they aren’t. As noted by the CA
Budget Project blog, the PPIC has shown that this really isn’t true.
PPIC event went so far as to say, in a report, that “it is important to
be wary of anecdotal evidence of businesses fleeing the state to
support arguments that California has an economic climate hostile to
Can any readers name even a single business that has left California because of taxes? If so, leave a comment.
Next: A look at the polls.