PEEK

Slimy Newt: How Gingrich Is Hoping to Trick the Public By Taking the 'High Road'

Never take Newtie at face value. He's a slime, just as his name suggests. Always has been, always will be.

Back in 1998 Newt Gingrich made a fatal decision to allow the Lewinsky scandal to be used in the midterm elections despite the fact that the public supported Clinton and the press was already acting like slavering beasts day in and day out on the subject. He had expected that they Republicans would gain seats in the election and instead they almost lost their majority. He lost his Speakership.

What he learned was that when the press and outside groups are already doing the job for you, take the high road.

That's why he's saying right now that the Republicans should not be so crude as to put out critical Balogojevich-Obama Youtubes under the name of the RNC. It's not because he's suddenly discovered ethics or that he thinks that Obama is special. It's that he sees that the press and the gasbags are running with this anyway and he wants to position the party as acting in good faith. They aren't, of course, as we saw with the auto bridge loan debacle. But Newtie understands that it's important to pretend that when they "oppose" it's for principled reasons rather than obstruction for political gain. Which is, of course, exactly what they are doing.

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo.