Newt Gingrich and “fundamental” everything

Newt Gingrich continues his lifelong metamorphosis into Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.

Newt Gingrich is a hyperbolist. When he says that child labor laws are “stupid” and articulates a plan for poor children to work half the day as janitors in their own schools, it’s not the right direction for America’s futureā€”it’s “exactly the right direction for America’s future.” Mitt Romney changing his support for individual mandates isn’t just flip-flopping; he’s adopting “radically different positions.” Radically different! Remember when Rom-bot was like, “our plans to reduce the deficit should not rest on increasing revenues” and then, six months later, he was like “abolish the money system! kill all humans!” Neither do I. As an ironist, I consider the hyperbolist a dangerous jerk, for much the same reason that certain science fiction fans will get really angry when you ask them about Star Wars. Hyperbole is irony with no referent in truth. A man who thinks everything is “profoundly” or “truly” or “actually” what it is prefers the feeling of ideas to their content. You can learn a lot about such a man from which intensifier he likes best, and for Newt Gingrich, that intensifier is “fundamentally.” Props to John for the link.

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