Over the last few years, whenever I have been forced to watch Newt Gingrich on television, I have had this nagging question at the back of my head: where have I seen this before? And suddenly, it just hit me: Gingrich is AWESOM-O.

AWESOM-O, you might recall, is a fake robot, invented by Cartman from South Park. Cartman pretends to be a robot so that he can find out embarrassing things about gullible Butters. Butters gets the last laugh: as they say, watch the whole thing. But what reminded me of Gingrich was when Butters and his family takes Cartman/AWESOM-O to Hollywood, and through a bizarre series of circumstances, Cartman/AWESOM-O starts having to randomly spit out stupid ideas for movies. He comes up with thousands of them — most of which involve Adam Sandler. None of the ideas makes any sense, and none of them has anything to do with each other, but the Hollywood brass eats it up and thinks that the robot is a genius.

That’s Gingrich! He just spits out stupid ideas. Let’s give every child a laptop! Let’s get rid of child labor laws! Let’s put Barney Frank in jail! Let’s go to the Greek islands to come out with a world-historical transformative idea! Let’s bomb Libya! Let’s not bomb Libya! Let’s say that Freddie Mac hired me as a historian! And Republicans think somehow that this makes him a genius.

I’m just waiting for Gingrich to propose making Adam Sandler Secretary of Commerce. He’s a film star! He knows how to sell things!

Paul Krugman said the other day that Gingrich is what a stupid person thinks a smart person sounds like. I don’t think that that’s quite right: Gingrich is what Cartman thinks a smart person sounds like.

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[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Jonathan Zasloff is Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law.