THE FRENCH LIKE to say they have "la droite la plus bête du monde," the stupidest Right in the world. But that dubious honor went to Washington's Republicans last week, as the attempted coup against Newt Gingrich drove the campaign-finance hearings out of the headlines. A lot of the blame for the failure of the attempt to dump Newt as Speaker is assigned by House GOPers to their majority leader, Texan Dick Armey, who was perfectly prepared to join it when he thought he would replace Gingrich, but who walked away and ratted to Newt when he found out the plotters preferred Bill Paxon of Buffalo. The real reason that the coup's organizers didn't want Armey has appeared nowhere in anything I've read: They feel Armey has a serious drinking problem, and the hard-right moralizers who instigated the attempted political decapitation were loathe to replace one scandal-prone... More >>>