Time for a False Flag Operation

Newt Gingrich says that if he is the nominee, he will challenge President Obama to a series of Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Someone in the Obama campaign should leak a confidential memo revealing how absolutely terrified the President is of this prospect.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

19 thoughts on “Time for a False Flag Operation”

  1. And remind Newt that the following was said on August 27, 1858 by Stephen A. Douglas:

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: The silence with which you have listened to Mr. Lincoln during his hour is creditable to this vast audience, composed of men of various political parties. Nothing is more honorable to any large mass of people assembled for the purpose of a fair discussion, than that kind and respectful attention that is yielded not only to your political friends, but to those who are opposed to you in politics.


    1. Wait a minute! Damn! What was I thinking? Newt is an historian–he knows that already!

      Sorry about that, chief.

  2. Newt is about as close to being a historian as he is to being a squid–no offense to cephalopods everywhere. Nor would this be a “false flag” operation. In simplest terms, this kind of action is known as disinformation. A false-flag operation would involve Democrats pretending to be Republicans–or, more realistically, Republicans pretending to be Democrats. Doug Schoen is a regular at false-flag operations. In fact, his entire career seems to be a long false-flag operation.

    1. I stand corrected. Too late to change the post’s title, but I’ll keep it in mind. Thanks.

    2. “A false-flag operation would involve Democrats pretending to be Republicans–or, more realistically, Republicans pretending to be Democrats.”

      In light of Americans for Gun Safety, or that fake Tea Party out in Michigan, what’s so much more realistic about Republicans pretending to be Democrats? Democrats run false flag operations all the time.

      Agreed about Newt not being a historian, though; That’s a joke.

  3. Not so fast on the squid imagery there, ShadowFox. Spineless, slippery, infinitely supple, rapacious, squirts a cloud of blinding, opaque ink under stress…hmmm.

    1. I stand corrected on the slipperiness, spinelessness and propensity to cloud everything with a squirt of opaque, dark matter. But I still think that Newt falls short of a squid–in intelligence.

  4. Michelle Bachman was planning on doing the same thing…thinking she had a chance to position herself as the Lincoln, given the beard.

    1. No need to bother; Lincoln did not have a beard in 1858. She is good to go right now. Just needs to find a brain somewhere.

      1. The point is that everyone remembers the Lincoln/Douglas debates as a defining moment for Lincoln which certainly is true, but that if the success is to be measured by who actually won the election then Douglas bested Lincoln. In addition, even though, the debates vaulted Lincoln to national prominence and led to his nomination by the Republicans for the 1860 election, he only won an electoral college majority with a plurality of the popular vote most likely due to the way the division on the Democratic side split the vote. So when everyone suggests that somehow Obama “wins” any Lincoln/Douglas debate, keep in mind that the historical “loser” of those debates was the actual winner at the polls (well, technically the legislature elected Senators at that time, but hopefully you see my point).

  5. Also, that in the 1860 election, that Lincoln got considerably less than 50% of the popular vote even if he won an electoral college majority. The Southern Democrats shot themselves in the foot in that election in much the same way that the Soviet Union did when they boycotted the UN Security Council prior to the Korean War.

    1. Yup. Lincoln’s just one of several presidents to be elected with only a plurality of the popular vote.

  6. Someone in the Obama campaign should leak a confidential memo revealing how absolutely terrified the President is of this prospect.

    And perhaps the memo might mention Team Obama’s real concern over the possibilities of a Gingrich-Brewer ticket.

  7. Perhaps if he gets the nomination Newt can actually propose such a series of debates, rather than simultaneous press conferences. And then we can learn who is and isn’t terrified.

      1. Let’s be clear: Newt would not be terrified at the thought of real debates, even if he should be: He’s got far too high an opinion of himself. Unrealistically high, IMO, but that’s the case with all candidates for President; Who runs for President out of modesty?

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