Newt Gingrich Erases Ronald Reagan

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

In his latest campaign web ad, Newt Gingrich peddles some odd history. The spot—which Gingrich doesn’t have the money to air widely—opens with a shot of water and then pans to show the former House speaker staring at the Statue of Liberty. (He’s not really a huddled-masses type of guy, though.) And Gingrich narrates: “2012 is the most important election in this country since 1860.” The issue at hand, he says, is whether to continue with “bureaucratic socialism” or “whether we will decisively repudiate an 80-year drift to the left: a drift in our news rooms, a drift in our collleges and universities, a drift with our judges, and a drift among elected politicians.”

Whoa. So what about Ronald Reagan? Wasn’t his election rather important—at least to Gingrich and his conervative comrades? (Didn’t Reagan single-handedly end the Cold War?) And how were Reagan’s eight years in office a part of that drift to the left? Or, say, the Republican revolution of 1994 led by Gingrich? It’s as if Gingrich has airburshed Reagan and himelf from the historical record. And where is that drift to left regarding the Supreme Court? And the rise of Fox News doesn’t really fit in with said drift. 

Gingrich likes to point out that he used to be a historian (such as when he was first accused of being a paid influence-peddler for Freddie Mac). But this rendering of faux history is just another demagogic exercise of pandering to the right. Perhaps he can blame his puny campaign bank account on this drift to the left.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate