A few follow ups from posts recent and ancient. . .
So Newt did it again last night, saying of Occupy Wall Street that they should “go get a job, right after you take a bath.” (The build up to this punch line is good too; see the whole video here—it’s short.)
I’m surprised that no one has drawn the obvious parallel that Ronald Reagan essentially clinched the GOP nomination in 1980 with a single debate moment: the famous “I paid for this microphone” outburst in New Hampshire on the eve of the primary there. Note that Reagan directed his ire at the media, and not his rivals on the stage. Newt has been having an “I paid for this microphone” moment in nearly every debate. And we’re surprised people noticed? More surprising is that none of the rest of the field seems to have the wit to get it, with the possible partial exception of Bachmann. But her moment seems to have come and gone.
Meanwhile, one thing Newt ought to recall from the Reagan experience is that Reagan mostly used humorous attacks against the hippies of the 1960s—the Occupy crowd of its day. Reagan’s greatest hits include his quips that most of hippies, “act like Tarzan, dress like Jane, and smell like cheetah.” Of the famous “make love, not war” slogan, Reagan said most of them didn’t look like they were capable of either. Smog, he said, could be reduced if they just cut down on flag-burning, and in his 1970 campaign he liked to open with the joke, “I had a nightmare last night; I dreamed I owned a laundromat in Berkeley.” Of course, the Daily Show (second segment) has beat us to it.
In other news, I snorted a few months back in National Review about all the libs who thought the New Gadhafi was just a swell guy, until he became an embarrassment. My favorite was Dartmouth professor Dirk Vandewalle, who explained on NPR that Qaddafi’s bizarre squad of all-female “Amazon” bodyguards was not evidence of the usual tyrant’s indulgence in kinkiness, but arose from his “attempt to improve the situation of Libyan women.” Actually, the whole quote is just too golden to pass up:
And the whole point about the amazons, as they were called, the female guards around Gadhafi and so on, was in a sense Gadhafi’s attempt to improve the situation of Libyan women, and so he created a military academy specifically for women and so on. I tend to treat with great suspicion, as I said, all these allegations of Gadhafi’s involvement with women, in part because there simply is no real record of that. He was a pretty austere man, as we know from one of the WikiLeak cables, and he was also a very devout Muslim. Indeed, most of the pictures that you see of him particularly in the first decade after taking over are him praying in the desert.
“There were four or sometimes five women each day,” Faisal said. “There were so many. They had just become a habit to Gaddafi. They would go into his bedroom, he would have his way with them and then he would come out, like he had just blown his nose.”
No wonder Berlusconi liked him so much.