NEWT….Every week, OxBlog’s David Adesnik watches the Sunday morning chat shows and then grades the participants. Newt Gingrich was on Meet the Press today, and fellow OxBlogger Taylor Owen wonders how David is going to grade his performance:

Newt (the new, mild mannered iteration) is one of those guys who sounds reasonable 95% of the time and then says something truly off the wall….Meet the Press this morning was a case in point. He even had some good ideas on Iraq, but then, without changing tone and without warning, he would drop a bizzare bomb of a comment. He wasn’t called on any of them though. Interested in David’s grading of him. Does he get penalised for four or five really stupid statements amongst a relatively benign 30 minute interview?

I think this shows just how debased our treatment of conservatives has become. Taylor believes that Newt made “four or five really stupid statements” (!) in the space of a mere half hour (!!), but is still genuinely curious if a conservative fellow blogger will even notice. Apparently Tim Russert didn’t. We seem to have gotten to the point where guys like Newt can literally say anything, no matter how demented, and it just whistles into the ether because, you know, it’s just Newt being Newt. Insanity is part of the package.

Remember when this guy was the future of American politics? I don’t know about the rest of you, but in my book November 1994 was when the Republican Party became officially unhinged from reality. It’s all been downhill from there.

POSTSCRIPT: Did anyone see the show? I didn’t. I’m just taking Taylor’s word for it that Newt fired off a series of crackpot suggestions. What did he say?