Getting the band back together at CPAC

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Continuing the Right's ongoing efforts to relive the 1990s, David Bossie will introduce Newt Gingrich at the Conservative Political Action Conference tomorrow.

Bossie and Gingrich were key players in the right-wing's efforts to undermine the last Democratic president. Gingrich was, of course, Speaker of the House; Bossie was a key staffer for Rep. Dan Burton's unintentionally-hilarious investigations of the White House.

While many conservatives seem to think that duplicating their conduct during the 1990s is the best way to deal with a new Democratic president, Gingrich and Bossie should serve as a cautionary tale - both men lost their jobs due in large part to their overzealous attacks on President Clinton.

Gingrich resigned his Speakership (and seat in congress) in disgrace after Republicans lost seats in the 1998 elections in large part because of public disgust at the GOP's obsession with the Lewinsky matter. Earlier that year, Gingrich had vowed to never again give a speech as Speaker without bringing up Lewinksy.

Bossie's obsession with attacking Clinton cost him his job, too. Bossie and Burton's investigation was a bumbling Keystone Cops routine that involved investigating Socks the White House cat, subpoenaing the wrong people (they kept getting confused by Asian-American surnames) and shooting up Burton's vegetable garden in an effort to prove that Vince Foster was murdered.

Bossie finally went too far even for House Republicans when he released doctored transcripts of Web Hubbell's prison conversations, falsely making it appear that Hubbell was implicating Hillary Clinton in wrongdoing. That led Gingrich to order Burton to fire Bossie, telling Burton: "I'm embarrassed for you, I'm embarrassed for myself, and I'm embarrassed for the [House Republican] conference at the circus that went on at your committee."

UPDATE: In case you're wondering what they're up to now, David Bossie is an author and "documentary" producer, among other things, and Gingrich is a Fox News contributor.

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