Aside from the theatre of the Schiavo melodrama, Republicans are engaged in a variety of entertainment spectacles these days. And as always, the GOPers from my home state of Georgia are in the vanguard of play-acting, as illustrated by two separate items in John Harris's SundayPolitics column in today's WaPo.
Neither of these items involve that classic impresario Ralph Reed, who is running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, and who will soon have to stage a true Oscar-quality performance to explain his role in the ever-burgeoning Ambramoff/Indian Casino scandal, destined to become an HBO miniseries.
First, Harris reports on the acting studio that Rep. Jack Kingston, who chairs the House Republican Conference, has set up to train GOP congressmen and staff in how to deal with hostile constituents in all those Social Security town hall meetings they are reluctantly hosting. Turns out most of the sparse audience for Kingston's Method Acting production wants to know about substance, not style, and there the Georgian is at a bit of a loss. He is, however, offering pizza to his attendees.
Second, and for dessert, Harris notes that a familiar figure has joined the Retread Circuit in Las Vegas:
If you are on the Vegas Strip next month and get shut out for tickets to Wayne Newton, you could have a fallback with a different Newton. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) is playing at Vegas next month, with an April 14 appearance at the Silverton casino, just a few miles south of the Strip. The Silverton said Gingrich will appear to "tell his inspiring story."
I'm not a big Vegas fan, and have never been to the Silverton casino, but with Gingrich as the headliner, you have to figure this is a place where the most exciting action is Keno. Still, Vegas is Vegas, and Gingrich will probably have to croon a few tunes between episodes in the "inspiring story" of his rise from young party hack to right-wing incendiary to national pariah and twice-divorced hypocrite, and back again. Given what we have heard about his future plans, he probably won't belt out his own version of the other Newton's signature song, Auf Wiedersehen
Let's hope that this time, for real, "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."
And BTW, what's with Republicans and casinos
these days? Is that what makes them so determined to gamble with Social Security? You tell me.
UPDATE: In an amazing demonstration of the omniscience of TPM readers, I have learned from several sources that Wayne Newton's teutonic signature song is not "Auf Wiedersehen," but "Danke Schoen."
But according to a quick Google search, here's the signature line of that signature song:
"Though we go on our separate ways, Still the mem'ry stays, for always,
My heart says, danke schoen. Danke shoen, auf weidershein, Danke shoen."
Spelling issues aside, I still don't think this is a sentiment Newt would want to deliver in Vegas, or in Washington.