How Do You Satirize a Politician Who Is Already a Self-Parody? Like This.

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 27 2012 10:10 AM

Follow Friday: Gingrich Ideas

Newt Gingrich is a man of many ideas


Newt Gingrich and I disagree on many things, from abortion and gay marriage to taxes to whether or not “people like me are what stand between us and Auschwitz” is a reasonable characterization of his role in American life. But we share a passion for alternate history and big ideas that verge, at times, on the wacky.

I think we could rid the world of recessions by eliminating coins and paper money, shifting to an all-electronic payments system. Bland technocrats of the Romney/Obama mold will never get us there, but the guy who proposed replacing highway lighting with a system of space mirrors to reflect sunlight just might.


Newt would seem to be a man who defies parody. But the Internet knows no bounds: An excellent parody does indeed exist, in the form of @GingrichIdeas, whose feed has been brightening my day these past few weeks.

The format is simple. Rapid-fire ideas. Big ones. Launched into orbit with a perfect dry wit and no commentary. For example:


But the feed doesn’t simply caricature Gingrich as a heartless rightwinger, it tries to capture the strong progressive strain in his thinking:




Mostly it’s just a good-natured reflection on Gingrich’s egomania, suggesting everything from “use gene therapy to turn ex-wives into much cooler X-Wives,” “use an elaborate system of mirrors and false walls to make the Palestinians disappear,” “give smart people defective condoms,” and beyond.

Best of all, though, @GingrichIdeas respect’s Slate’s unique role in American culture, suggesting on January 17:


He should have done it. The level of moon-related mockery out there already has me chomping at the bit to come up with some reason why Gingrich is right about this. Joshua Keating at our sister publication Foreign Policy says there’s nothing of value to mine on the moon—but how will we really know until we start digging?

Previous Follow Fridays:


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

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