Everything must be made into a sweeping analogy. And his instinct for grandiosity is so pronounced that only a small group of recurring subjects are fit for the comparisons that he offers. Would anyone other than Newt Gingrich respond to failing to get on a ballot by asking, “Okay, what’s the historical analogy?” Even the “the” is perfect — as if there is one definitive analogy that fits….
Knowing Gingrich regards Pearl Harbor as “the analogy” for effectively losing Virginia, what comparison will he think appropriate if he loses the entire campaign. The Bataan Death March? Lincoln’s tragic night at the theater? The fall of Rome? Or maybe he’ll win, and God help us if so. Has there ever been a politician more inclined to make history? In a president of the United States, that is a dangerous impulse.
There’s actually a serious point here, as Conor observes. For all his love of history– or his love of himself as an historian– Gingrich’s use of history is remarkably shallow, and really consists of a kind of Mad Libs consisting of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War (how many people has Gingrich challenged to “a series of Lincoln-Douglas debates”?), and the Cold War; comparisons of himself to Washington, Reagan, and Thatcher; and apocalyptic language that would have warmed the hearts of Leo Strauss or Nostradamus.
He truly is a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person is like.
Also, this handy flow chart.