Touché, Jonathan (he drawled while slouching in an old office chair…). You are quite right that Gingrich is no Reagan, nor are any of the other impostors. The analogy is flawed, but nonetheless retains its admonitory power. Indeed, as Robert Reich has written elsewhere, liberals should temper their enthusiasm for a Gingrich candidacy because even a small percentage chance of his election is too much.
Ultimately, all such comparisons should make us remember Jonathan’s favorite philosopher, Karl Marx, who famously wrote in The 18th Brumaire: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice.
He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Caussidiere for Danton, Louis Blanc for Robespierre [Gingrich for Reagan]….precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.”