Newt Gingrich Makes an Elaborate Historical Argument

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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.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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