After discussing the various roles some of the other GOP presidential contenders might be playing in the Republican primary race this year, Rachel Maddow concluded that current frontrunner Newt Gingrich's role is that of the Johnathan Swift character whose “modest proposal” recommended making use of poor children by turning them into a source of food.
As Maddow noted, Swift was joking in order to shock the public into having some awareness of the plight of the poor. Newt Gingrich, the “eat the poor” candidate with his long history of attacks on the poor in America, sadly, is not.
Between his advocating for having poor children replace union janitors in schools to clean the bathrooms, to calling child labor laws “stupid”, to arguing in the 90's that the government should take poor children away from their mothers and ship them off to orphanages, to his scam of a child literacy program he ran in the 90's, to calling President Obama “the finest food stamp president in history”, Gingrich if nothing else has served one purpose in this race as Maddow summed up this way.
MADDOW: It is useful to have Mr. Gingrich playing this role, articulating this viewpoint in this race. It's a return to Reagan era attacks on welfare queens, right? Eat the poor time. Everybody's got a role to play in this Republican campaign. […] Everybody's got a role to play. And Newt Gingrich's role as the frontrunner is he's a bit of a clarifying tonic with the whole country trying to understand the difference between the two parties on the most important issue of the election and the most important issue in the country, which is of course, pain... economic pain. The worst income inequality we have seen in generations.
Mother Jones has more on Gingrich's literacy program that she mentioned -- What Newt Gingrich Isn't Telling You About His Literacy Program