IF WE JUDGE PELOSI BY HER ENEMIES…. The other day, I compared Newt Gingrich to an erupting popcorn maker, spewing incoherent talking points in every direction. Today, he offered a good example of what I was talking about.

In an interview with ABC News Radio’s Marcus Wilson, Gingrich, R-Ga., said Pelosi, D-Calif., “has lied to the House” in claiming that she was never briefed by the CIA about the Bush administration’s use of waterboarding and other harsh tactics.

“I think she has lied to the House, and I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don’t think the Speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters,” Gingrich said.

He continued: “I think this is the most despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

“She is a trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes, and she dishonors the Congress by her behavior.”

I see. The Bush administration engaged in systematic torture, but our disgraced former House Speaker is outraged that Nancy Pelosi did what members of Congress have been doing for decades: she questioned the veracity of a CIA briefing.

I’m not even sure what ol’ Newt was whining about. The Speaker of the House is a “trivial politician”? What does that even mean? Pelosi’s questions about the briefing she received in 2002 is “despicable” and “vicious”? How’s that, exactly? Kevin Drum suggested Gingrich may be “getting political Alzheimer’s or something,” which sounds about right.

But the controversy surrounding Pelosi’s comments yesterday seem to have brought out the nuttiness in the GOP’s most nutty personalities. Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, always a paragon of journalistic integrity, asked Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) this morning “what can be done to take away her speakership?” King then called for Pelosi’s ouster, calling her “an enemy of national security.”

And if Steve King wants the Speaker replaced, I’m sure House Democrats will get right on that.

In the meantime, let’s not lose sight of a key detail here: Pelosi wants a full investigation. She’s so confident that she’s telling the truth, she’s anxious for a Truth Commission to determine exactly who’s right, who’s wrong, who committed crimes, and who covered them up.

As Josh Marshall concluded earlier, “[Pelosi] still says there should be an investigation. Her critics still want the book closed. That says it all. She’ll have to stand or fall with the results of an actual investigation. Her opponents on this are simply risible hypocrites.”

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Steve Benen

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.