First, though, Woodward needed to establish order, because some actual human interaction had broken out between Gingrich and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell over who had said what about the Clinton tax hikes back in 1993.
MR. GINGRICH: When we balanced the — when we balanced the budget, we balanced the budget with a tax cut not a tax — four consecutive balanced budgets with a tax cut, not a tax increase.
MR. O'DONNELL: A tiny tax cut compared to the biggest tax increase in history which is what Bill Clinton did. You didn't dismantle it.
MR. BOB WOODWARD: ...to re-litigate the 1990s.
Yes, because it takes a guy who steadily turns out gigantic doorstops full of establishment stenography to remind us that historical parallels are basically worthless because history basically ends and then starts again, like it's got carbureator trouble, and nothing in the past ever teaches us anything worth knowing now. Besides, there is the terror of The Cliff to confront.
And never more than when I try to watch a single one of the Sundays, let alone all of them, Jesus save me. I haven't made more than ten minutes in decades.
That's about what I managed this week with This Week, with a panel that included Paul Krugman and Mary Matlin, the political equivalent of a comedy panel including Louis C.K. and a drunken Greta van Susteren. Matlin responded to something Krugman said with "Are you an economist or a polemicist?" and, apparently because she'd been practicing it all week, used it six more times, a couple of times out loud before the rest were muttered under her breath.
I lasted until Stephanopoulos threatened to return to talk about the Court and gay marriage with the same bunch.
Here is what I learned. Maybe "learned" is overdoing it:
The last Presidential Press Secretary worth a shit was Bill Moyers.
Consider that Mary Matlin, David Gergen, James Carville, Stephanopoulos, Pat Buchanan, Bay Buchanan, Peggy Noonan, Diane Sawyer, and Dana Perino (!) once worked for U.S. Presidents.
Am I leaving out someone who could turn either list to gold?