We live in Newt Gingrich's alternate universe

There are certain figures that genre writers like to use as defining specific eras.  If you go to early-to-mid eighteenth century America, no matter where you go, you run into Benjamin Franklin. Straining at the limits of biography, Neal Stephenson bootlegs an extremely young Ben Franklin into Quicksliver, and Jim Morrow puts an only slightly older one into The Last Witchfinder. Similarly, Mark Twain puffs a cigar and comments mordantly in almost any version of the Gilded Age you can imagine, Theodore Roosevelt yells "Bully!" in alternate worlds with steam-powered land dreadnoughts and Confederate empires, and Winston Churchill nobly faces down invading German armies even in worlds where history varied widely from our own. No amount of historical change can seem to get rid of these guys.

I am sure Newt Gingrich sees himself as a similar linking figure, looming darkly in a variety of divergent histories. Often he is scorned and disregarded, which doesn't make him any the less penetrating and right. But now, in our universe.... The muffin and the moment have met.

Gingrich writes and reads science fiction. I am sure that he consciously thinks this. This is the right universe, he thinks, for his improbable ascent. This is the line of history that is the true one. There are lesser lines where he goes down to defeat. They are low-probability lines, inhabited by shadows.

I don't think he'd ever blurt this out, in debate or on the stump. He has learned some control over the years. It would make him seem...crazy. But look into his eyes. He doesn't really believe that you exist. You're just a shadow appearing in a single universe. But he is a reality in all of them. Believe it.