GINGRICH DROPS THE SUBTLETY…. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has an op-ed in the far-right Washington Times today, complaining about, well, a whole lot of things. But he’s especially worked up about President Obama’s efforts to stimulate the economy, and his piece uses a subtle attack. See if you can pick up on the phrase he wants readers to remember:

The Bush-Obama big government, big bureaucracy, politician-empowering, high-tax, high-inflation and high-interest-rate system continues to grow and to place the country in greater and greater danger from inflation, bureaucratic control of the economy, political interference in every aspect of our lives and massive debt.

The first job of the conservative movement is simply to tell the truth about how bad these Bush-Obama proposals are…. President Obama represents continuity rather than change. The new spending bill (as the president called it in his Williamsburg speech last week) is more of the Bush-Obama continuity and represents more of the same instead of “change you can believe in.”

Ol’ Newt is nothing if not subtle.

To hear the ethically-challenged former Speaker tell it, the problem with Obama’s economic agenda is that it’s too similar to George W. Bush’s economic agenda.

I will give Gingrich credit for creativity and child-like imagination. For weeks, Republicans have screamed that Obama’s policies are “socialism,” and intended to make the United States more like “Western Europe.” Gingrich offers a novel approach, insisting that Obama’s policies are just like the last eight years — that Republicans, including Newt, proudly and consistently endorsed Bush’s economic policies is apparently irrelevant — when what we really need is change.

He’s not, by the way, kidding.

Gingrich does, however, have an innovative agenda — he calls it “bold” — to offer as an alternative. It includes cutting taxes a whole lot and repeating Ronald Reagan’s name over and over again.

Just think, a decade ago, House Republicans got together and forced Newt Gingrich to resign. Why they ever let a brilliant mind like this go is a mystery to me.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.