What I Learned at Newt University

This morning, I attended Newt University’s second class: “We Built It -- Small Businesses and Civil Society Build America.” It is simply amazing how much I learned.

The class was two hours long, and, it being a Newt Gingrich joint, was brimming with too many ideas to count, many of which bore no particular relationship to small business or civil society. Here are some highlights:

-- Ellen Barrosse, Republican National Committeewoman from Delaware and chief executive officer of Synchrogenix Information Strategies, stood up and declared of her firm, “We built it, and the government didn't help us a bit.” What, you might ask, does Synchrogenix do? They prepare regulatory filings for firms in “highly regulated industries,” of course.

-- In remarks that would make Mark Penn proud, Gingrich declared that “Obama has become the personification of the rejection of the American tradition.”

-- Callista Gingrich gave a little bit of history on the partitions of Poland and then urged against a “weak foreign policy,” because “we never want America to be conquered as Poland has been conquered again and again.”

-- Then Callista really pulled out the red meat. “Be not afraid of President Obama’s war on religion. We can defeat it and protect our God-given rights. Be not afraid to tell the truth and stand up for the facts, no matter how many lies, distortions and falsehoods the Obama campaign engages in. We can tell the truth better than they can lie, and we have faith that the American people will choose honesty over dishonesty, candor over deceit, and courageous facts over cowardly lies.” Oh Callista, if you’ve got some stale anti-Obama rhetoric, you didn’t build that.

-- Near the end, Newt ruminated on the need to reclaim the word “public.” Why should this word be reserved for entities owned by the government, rather than all that operate for the benefit of the larger society? To avoid confusion, Newt proposed that we start referring to government-run schools as “bureaucratic schools.”

-- Unfortunately, there was no discussion of a moon base.

    There were about 50 attendees at today’s Newt University session. That meant the room was less than half full, but in fairness to Newt, the session was held at a Marriott in St. Petersburg, 16 miles from the convention site. Perhaps, if the Republican Party decides to get serious about education, Newt U. will get better real estate at the 2016 convention.

    (Josh Barro is lead writer for the Ticker. E-mail him and follow him on Twitter.)

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