NO WONDER NEWT WANTS TO PURGE THE RECORD…. Disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) has long considered himself something of a techie. He’s been more engaged with computers and online innovations than most, and has been tweeting for quite a while.

But don’t expect to go back and look at his old Twitter messages. Vanity Fair reported today that every tweet Gingrich published before July 22, 2010 have been expunged, and even permalinks to individual messages now go nowhere.

It’s unlikely, I suspect, that anyone has screen-grabs of all of those earlier messages, making it likely that whatever ol’ Newt wanted to hide will remain hidden.

When, exactly, Gingrich and his team erased the Twitter record is unclear, and it may or may not have related to yesterday’s unpleasantness regarding the blatant, shameless flip-flop on Libya. But under the circumstances, it wouldn’t be surprising if the former Speaker feels like he needs to be a little more careful.

After all there are other examples like these floating around.

Just a few weeks ago, Gingrich insisted that the Obama administration needed to end the “conspiracy of silence” regarding U.S. policy towards Libya, and administration officials must no longer “stay quiet.” And then this morning, Gingrich offered very different advice to the administration:

“[Y[ou should have said nothing. Be very quiet. Condemn the violence. Do everything you can covertly.”

I suspect there’s a part of Gingrich’s brain that can rationalize all of this. If President Obama thinks day, the truth must be night. If the White House believes up, the best move is to believe down. It doesn’t matter what one says or does before; as long as you’re saying the opposite of whatever the administration is saying today, you’re doing the right thing.

But such shallow and pathetic laziness can only go so far. Eventually, the knee-jerk rhetoric starts to look ridiculous, and it apparently becomes time to start purging Twitter messages to help stop the embarrassment from spreading.

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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.