Dissecting Newt

Newt Gingrich is mad as hell and he’s not gonna take it anymore. President Obama included in his State of the Union Address the sentence “We will win the future.” No phrase including the words “win” and “future” are permitted to be uttered because Gingrich wrote a call to action entitled “Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract with America” in 2005.

The former Speaker of the House penned the work as a warning to republicans that they needed to be more conservative. You know, less taxes, less spending, less government regulation. And what’s his proof that he’s right and everybody else is wrong? I’m not making this up – these are actually his own words:

They didn’t listen and suffered the consequences in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

“They”, meaning fellow republicans who failed to heed his warnings. That’s right. In his attack piece against Obama and all things liberal, his entire defense is exactly one sentence long. Nothing wrong with brevity, let’s see if his argument makes sense.

Gingrich is trying to prove that America needs to be more conservative. He wrote a book espousing his beliefs. After the book was published, Americans voted to put more liberals in office. (Twice.) Therefore, America needs to be more conservative. This is called a post hoc fallacy in logic. Actually, the argument is so spurious, it falls into not just one, but several subsets of post hoc fallacy.

Should America be more conservative? Maybe, maybe not. (I happen to think not.) The point is, if Newt Gingrich is going to run against Barack Obama next year, he’s gonna need to sharpen his reasoning skills.