Newt Gingrich: That Donald Trump Is Super Smart On Foreign Policy

Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K
Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K

Yesterday Donald Trump gave a foreign policy speech that approached a barking mad shambles in its understanding of the actual world. The speech was nothing more or less than a declaration that American interests more or less ended at the water’s edge and that “America first” is possible in a world where regional superpowers and transnational terrorism are allowed to flourish. Far from Trump’s goal of making our enemies fear us and protecting our friends, the real outcome of what he proposes will be exactly the opposite. It was one of those speeches that works, as my colleague Leon Wolf says:

See, the whole appeal of Trump, to his supporters, is that he says things with total confidence. The fact that they are complete and utter nonsense – like for instance the idea that Trump is going to fix the massive operating deficit of the United States government by negotiating more trade deals – is completely beside the point. Trump supporters for the most part do not understand policy well enough to know whether what he’s saying is actually true or not. All they are doing is responding to an authoritative tone and air of competence – in other words, almost exactly the same way dogs choose whether to obey a human being or not.

Enter Newt Gingrich:

Newt Gingrich is not a dumb man. Also, if you had to make a list of “establishment” types, Gingrich would be on it. The speech Trump gave was NOT a serious foreign policy speech and the “establishment” and just about everyone else gets what is going on. Via Ben Domenech in The Transom (subscription only)

[T]his was a policy purposely constructed for a general election against Hillary Clinton. It achieves Trump’s goals of being to Clinton’s left where she is to the right of the country and to her right where she is to the left of the country. It is overwhelmingly backwards looking, critical of past mistakes, and when it comes to the forward looking portion is profoundly limited by the vagueness of Trump’s outlook. It is designed to appeal to a great number of Americans who feel betrayed by the leadership of both parties, and the accusations of irresponsibility and isolationism from the nation’s elites will only further that perspective. It is a policy built to win, not one built on a coherent worldview.

And it is equally obvious that Gingrich is acting as a shill for Donald Trump:

For some time now Gingrich has been stumping for Trump behind the scenes, on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. Last week in a closed-door meeting before more than 100 Republican chiefs of staff from the House and Senate in Baltimore, Gingrich raved about the Republican frontrunner, calling him a “blue-collar bar room brawler.”

Gingrich touted Trump’s business successes in New York City, such as the skating rink in Central Park and the Ferry Point Golf Course, as evidence that the businessman would know how to run a political campaign—and, quite possibly, the country.

“[The] guy who knows how to run Miss Universe, The Apprentice, Trump Towers, construction, golf courses, casinos, ties… hotels,” Gingrich bragged, according to a chief in the room and confirmed by The Daily Beast. “A guy who runs that every morning—you think he can’t run a presidential campaign?

“You should study Trump and apply it to your member,” [WHOA. WAIT A F***ING MINUTE. YOU WANT ME TO APPLY TRUMP TO MY MEMBER?] Gingrich said. “There’s a lot to learn here which you can take back to your member’s office.”

Gingrich and Trump have had multiple political strategy conversations over the past year, as Gingrich dispensed advice to the man who has become the Republican Party’s likely presidential nominee. It illustrates the continued bromance between the insider politician and the outsider rabble-rouser as the latter inches closer to a general election showdown with Hillary Clinton.
Gingrich and Trump came face to face again this Monday, when a small, core group of Capitol Hill Trump backers and potential backers huddled at the D.C. offices of law firm Jones Day. It wasn’t a policy discussion as much as an opportunity for those assembled to meet Trump.

Newt offered some commentary to the group, a source familiar with the meeting said. And there was some talk around the notion of how various politicians might come to endorse Trump and when—but not explicitly when Gingrich might formally endorse, if he ever does.

“I don’t think there’s any surprise that [Newt is] backing Trump—whether he’s doing it publicly or from the sidelines,” according the source.

The one singular talent Donald Trump has demonstrated throughout this election cycle is his ability to utterly humiliate and destroy anyone associated with him. It is a shame to see a man like Gingrich who nearly single-handedly gave the House of Representatives to the GOP and who has done so much to further conservatism beclown himself like this in the service of a man as unworthy as Trump. Presumably this netted him 30 pieces of silver… if it didn’t cost him his soul.