Newsweek leads off an interview with Newt Gingrich by saying that when it comes to the challenges of energy policy, he "understands these challenges better than most."

Says who? What in Gingrich’s writing and record show that he is anything but a party-line conservative Republican on energy? It’s bizarre how the media repeats these things about Newt’s alleged policy acumen purely because, as far as I can tell, Newt tells them so. The interview itself doesn’t evince much understanding.

It’s late, so I’ll outsource debunking to others.

On this:

If Obama wins and you had a line-item veto on his energy plan, what would you eliminate?
His energy plan is largely pious hope. He hopes they can make breakthroughs and do this or that.

Matt says:

But if we change the structure of the market to ensure that emitters need to pay the true cost of their emissions, then the market will keep working and the economy will develop in a different direction. There’s nothing especially pious about the hope, it’s well-grounded in theory and in our experience with past environmental regulations. The real pious hope is the idea that if we do nothing to change incentives, a miracle solution will just emerge out of the ether for no reason.

On this:

Obama said in one of the debates that Americans need to sacrifice and cut back their energy usage. How do you think that’ll fly as part of the solution?
Just as well as it did with Jimmy Carter. People don’t elect presidents who tell them to sacrifice. They elect presidents who solve problems so they don’t have to sacrifice.

Brad points out that McCain calls for sacrifice virtually every time he opens his mouth. Also that Kennedy guy.

It’s the post-Reagan Republican Party that refuses to treat Americans like adults or ask for sacrifice in exchange for competent leadership, and indeed casts the very notion of paying taxes as an affront to Americans’ right to hoard. It is Gingrich Republicans that hold Americans in such incredibly low esteem. And coincidentally, they’re the ones “people” are busy “not electing.”

For my own vintage Newt-bashing, see “Newt Gingrich’s ‘green conservatism’,” “Newt? Seriously?,” and “A one-legged man at a butt-kickin’ contest.” See also this expose of Newt’s 527 group, and this update on it.