Newt Gingrich is the most unprincipled leader of the conservative movement stagnation. Not because his testimony against the Waxman-Markey bill was filled with some of the biggest lies ever told in Congress, such as “it should be no surprise that I care deeply about and am committed to the protection of our environment” (see “Memo to media: Eco-fraud Gingrich has always opposed clean energy, climate action“).
What else would you expect from a man who has spent much of this decade writing fictional alternative histories of World War II and the Civil War? Gingrich is, quite literally, a professional history rewriter.
Newton Leroy Gingrich is not unprincipled because he’s a liar. He’s unprincipled because he has no principles. Just two years ago, he thought the road to resuscitating his disgraced political career was to pretend to care about climate. As Media Matters (and Rep. Jay Inslee) noted, Gingrich uttered these remarkable words in a 2007 PBS interview:
I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support….
The caps, with a trading system, on sulfur has worked brilliantly because it has brought free-market attitudes, entrepreneurship and technology and made it very profitable to have less sulfur. So people said, “Wow, it’s worth my time and effort.”
Americans get incentives. Americans like winning…. What we ought to be doing is inventing a whole series of breakthrough mechanisms that create incentives for people to have a better environmental outcome in an economically positive way, to accelerate the transition to better and cleaner technologies.
But Friday he gave the lie to his own statements.
In testimony (here) before the body he once commanded, he savaged the very policies he had so recently embraced. He did so in a series of fear-mongering lies so egregious that House Energy and Commerce Chair Henry Waxman Whacksman dressed him down like a judge who was seen the same unrepentant criminal come before his court one too many times.
I am especially delighted that, as the video clip shows, Waxman used the arguments and the interview with Reilly that I wrote about in my Thursday night post: Exclusive: MIT Professor says GOP, Weekly Standard “misrepresentation” of his April 2007 study to project costs for Waxman-Markey is “inappropriate,” “silly” and “just wrong.”
He points out that Gingrich relies on figures from an MIT study that is
2 years old, used outdated data, examines a different piece of legislation…. Just yesterday, Dr. Reilly confirm that “the Republican approach to estimating the cost of cap-and-trade is just wrong.”
So if you want to read what they’re reading in the halls of Congress — well, you already are!