Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newts Verisimilitude

Newt loves that word. As a History Professor he should be an expert in verisimilitude which is the approximation of what is true. Historians use this term to get their hands around historical events. They use primary sources to figure out what is the closest approximation of what actually happened. I have a Masters in History and when I did my grad work, verisimilitude was everything. You would think Mr. History Professor would be way into verisimilitude the way he spins out facts and dates and historical references (we used to do that around the History Department too) but Newt is really interested in his own version of what the closest approximation of the truth is.

Take lobbying for Fannie Mae. Mitt had him dead to rights. He made  1.6 million from the lending giant as a "historian" but then he released his contract which said nothing about being a historian but plenty about how much he was paid. Romney hammered him in the debate for influence pedaling and the history professor got red in the face and said any citizen anywhere can lobby anybody anytime. Mitt nodded and pointed out that most citizens didn't work for government and then used their contacts to influence Republican Congressman. Ouch.

Still Newt stuck to his verisimilitude and went high and mighty and said he never lobbied anybody anywhere. Period. And further more he had better things to do than get in arguments with Mitt. Newt just didn't want to admit the primary source material (first hand material diaries, scrolls, contracts) could paint a different verisimilitude of the facts. Newt has his own facts and he doesn't care if he costs the Republicans the election, the historian has the facts.

Verisimilitude. A close approximation of what actually happened at a point in time. In my historical opinion, using primary sources and deductive reasoning and watching the debate: I deduce that Newt lied about his role as Fannie Mae historian.  Just my historical opinion of course.


Books by William Hazelgrove