Newt Gingrich is getting plenty of grief from comedians and pundits these days for his plans for a lunar colony. In case you missed it, a few days ago he said, “By the end of my second term [!], we will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it will be American.”
“When we have 13,000 Americans living on the moon,” Gingrich continued, “they can petition to become a state.”
What about, you know, Puerto Rico? Why isn’t it a state?
What about Washington, D.C.?
Will that Lunar State get one House member and two Senators?
Three electoral votes for the Moon?
Here’s Jon Stewart on the Lunar Trump:
There are lots of people who think we need to reinvigorate our space program. There are some great arguments for doing so. It seems inevitable that we will be looking increasingly into space, private entrepreneurship and targeted public investment could yield all kinds of unimagined innovations, and the world’s citizens have been at times galvanized and invigorated by space exploration efforts.
If Gingrich would just lay out a simple case for those and other goals in a general way, he might have a winning issue. But Gingrich knows no restraint when he’s convinced of his own policy prescriptions.
It’s no wonder that the Republican establishment is fleeing from him and panicking over the prospect of a Gingrich victory in the Florida primary.
From the Washington Post’s The GOP empire strikes back at Gingrich:
The quintessential example of establishment angst came Thursday from Bob Dole, the former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee. Hours before Thursday’s GOP debate, he released a letter — circulated by Mitt Romney’s campaign — attacking Gingrich and pleading with Republican voters not to make him the party’s nominee. There is much rich history behind that letter.
Dole is just one voice in a chorus of critics who have spoken out. Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina just a week ago sent a shudder through the ranks of elected officials and others who make up the establishment and the conservative elite. Fear of Newt has displaced lack of love for Romney as the dominant emotion among these Republicans.
In recent days, the group has included former House majority leader Tom Delay (R-Tex.) and the caustic Ann Coulter. A trio of House members shadow Gingrich’s events. Others who are prominent in the conservative movement have joined ex-colleagues of Gingrich to sound the alarms.