(NY DAILY NEWS) — Where is the Democratic Gingrich?
I do not mean that Newt Gingrich — the one who is a virtual Michelin Man of grandiosity, pneumatically overstuffed with self-references and appeals to the political gutter. I do not mean the man whose public life has been as chaotic as his private one (and vice versa) and who is capable of the most sinister simplicities, such as the time when he suggested that Susan Smith would not have murdered her two children had Republicans been in power. This Gingrich is a Rorschach. If you don’t think he’s nuts, you are.
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The Gingrich I seek is not the man above, but the one of big ideas . The term gets thrown around a lot, and Gingrich himself is apt to think his every idea is BIG. His mind is always in the tumble cycle. And even when he is spouting boilerplate, he can distance himself from his worn verbiage to say something fresh or provocative or ugly — it’s all the same to him. Out of nowhere, he has exhumed Saul Alinsky, whose fame is limited to university sociology departments, and yet whose name is so perfectly evocative of old-style radicalism, vaguely European in sound, that it fits Gingrich’s recent formulation, “people who don’t like the classical America.” Who dat, Newt?