The Recipe for a Typical Newt Gingrich Political Attack

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Photo: Steve Pope/Getty Images

Start out with literally any action or decision made by President Obama — in this case, military intervention in Libya.

Sprinkle in some kind of ridiculously exaggerated historical comparison. In this case, that the five-day-old operation in Libya — which has resulted in zero American deaths and has so far accomplished its limited goals of preventing a slaughter of Libyan citizens — is "about as badly run as any foreign operation we've seen, I think, in our lifetime" as Gingrich told Today this morning. Completely ignore all examples (Vietnam, Bay of Pigs, Desert One, Somalia, etc.) that clearly don't comport with your wildly embellished assertion.

Then you're going to need a big shameless infusion of hypocrisy and flip-flopping. Here's what Gingrich said to Today about how he would have handled things:

I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi .... I would not have used American and European forces.

But a couple of weeks ago, Gingrich was chomping at the bit for America to intervene. When asked on March 7 what he'd "do about Libya," Gingrich replied:

Exercise a no-fly zone this evening .... Provide help to the rebels to replace [Qaddafi] .... All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that we’re intervening. And we don’t have to send troops. All we have to do is suppress his air force, which we could do in minutes.

To sum up: Obama decision + ridiculous historical comparison + blatant flip-flop = a typical Gingrich political attack. Mmmm! Tastes like desperation!

Gingrich: Gaddafi Has to Be Ousted [Today/NBC via First Read/MSNBC]

Update: For what it's worth, here's a response from Team Gingrich on the flip-flopping accusations. Determine for yourself whether it makes any sense.