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Newt Gingrich And Nancy Pelosi Co-Sponsored A Lot Of Bills, And This Is Meaningful Somehow

First Posted: 12/07/2011 11:40 am Updated: 12/07/2011 1:34 pm

The relationship between presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both former Speakers of the House, has been ... well, let's say "complicated." One day, they're both sitting on a couch shooting a commercial for Al Gore about the need for sensible climate change policy. The next, they're beefing with each other because she threatened to spill an unknown quantity of past dirt on him. The latter example is the more recent development, so it's probably safest to say that the two aren't exactly chummy. But over at The Daily Caller, Alex Pappas wants us to imagine that the two are historically of the same mind on many matters. Hundreds of matters, in fact:

Newt Gingrich has taken heat on the campaign trail from conservatives for filming a 2008 commercial on climate change with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

But that was hardly the first time the Republican presidential candidate and former House speaker collaborated with Pelosi.

Gingrich co-sponsored 418 bills in Congress with Pelosi during the 12 years they served together in the House, according to the Library of Congress’s THOMAS database.

Hoo, boy. So, do you remember that time back in late July when at the height of partisan dickery over the debt ceiling negotiations, House Republicans unexpectedly broke off deliberations over John Boehner's objections and spent an hour with Democrats, just straight up dedicating various post offices to various people? Yeah, well, a lot of what Congress does on a daily basis is some nonsense. So when you tell me that two ordinarily opposed ideological partisans co-sponsored hundreds of bills with each other, my eyes just glaze over because I know that stuff like this is coming:

Many of the bills Gingrich and Pelosi co-sponsored were hardly divisive: authorizing an award for Mother Teresa, giving a congressional gold medal to former President Gerald Ford and recognizing the 50th anniversary of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

That Pelosi and Gingrich bestowed some Congressional chintz upon Mother Teresa and Gerald Ford isn't anyone's idea of an election-year game changer. To Pappas' credit, he notes this reality, but it's all at the expense of his larger point, which is that one particular piece of legislation that the two co-sponsored, the Global Warming Prevention Act of 1989, "could be problematic for Gingrich with conservatives" because it included "language" about “family planning services” and "a declaration" that “curbing world population growth will be critical to achieving the goals.” (For a more detailed take on this bill, and how Gingrich's position on population control policies have evolved, here you go.)

And hey, that sounds like it could be dicey, but as Alex Pareene notes, "What Newt is good at — and it’s the exact thing Romney is awful at — is defending himself against charges of apostasy."

And if you want the charge to be taken seriously, you probably shouldn't serve it up in the context of "you co-sponsored a lot of meaningless bills with Nancy Pelosi."

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