The egregious Gingrich

Newly declared presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s speech to a Republican gathering in Georgia, broadcast on C-SPAN on Sunday, was impressive. He spoke about the American belief in the God-given sovereignty of the individual, which is then delegated in a limited fashion to representatives, as contrasted with the left’s belief in unlimited state power, and about how Obama’s presidency threatens to turn America into a European-style statist system. A conservative friend was impressed. I said that Gingrich can send out impressive intellectual sparks, but then he does things like make Al Sharpton his partner in a speaking tour, or team up with Nancy Pelosi on global warming and Cap and Trade, showing that there is zero reality behind his intelligent- and conservative-sounding words. The man is a talented producer of words, but there is nobody home. Or, to use Gingrich-speak, there is literally nobody home. (See my summing up of his character and modus operandi.)

Well, on Monday Gingrich made my point for me, in a way that no conservative could miss. He said that the Republican Medicare plan is “right-wing social engineering,” and is just as bad as the left-wing social engineering of Obamacare. Just as bad as Obamacare? Meaning, that a serious attempt to scale back the statism which threatens to bankrupt our country, is as bad as the statism which Gingrich says threatens to destroy our country?

I’m glad to see that the House Republicans denounced him over it. One representative said, “Typically, you’ll find people in a presidential campaign running against the current president of another party, rather than running against their own party.” And Paul Ryan said, “With allies like that, who needs the left?” Exactamundo.

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James P. writes:

Newt is just following in the proud tradition of McCain 2008, who waged a vicious war against his own party in order to set the stage for his graceful surrender to the candidate of the opposing party.

Clark Coleman writes:

Not only does Newt Gingrich call the GOP medical reform plan too “right-wing” for his tastes, he supports the ObamaCare individual mandate to buy medical insurance.

LA replies: (May 18):

How can this be? How can Gingrich say that Obama’s statist policies threaten imminently to destroy American constitutional liberty and turn us into a European-type administered state, and then turn around and support the single most statist and unconstitutional feature of Obama’s signature statist legislation?

Part of this may be political or career calculation, as James P. and Charles T. suggest. But I think a major part of it is simply that Gingrich is, as I’ve said, a high-energy talking machine lacking judgment or intellectual conscience. Or, as he has said of himself, that he is a four year old who wakes up each morning looking for a cookie.

N. writes:

In fact, the GOP medical reform proposal that Gingrich calls “too radical” is not far from the proposal he himself offered in the mid 1990’s. I think that his 180 degree switch on this issue in the space of a day or so will sink him. I certainly hope so. The last thing the Republic needs is a president who likens himself to a 4-year-old child eternally searching for a cookie.

May 18

Charles T. writes:

Yesterday, R. Limbaugh was opining about this. He played a brief sound clip with an un-identified voter in Iowa raking Gingrich over the coals for his remarks about Ryan’s budget and Medicare reform plan. He was telling Gingrich how he—Gingrich—was an embarrassment to this party and should quit now.

Limbaugh then theorized that Gingrich is deliberately positioning himself as a maverick against his own party on certain issues in order to seek or secure post-primary employment at organizations that share his views. Limbaugh emphasized this is only a theory. However, he also stated that Gingrich is intelligent and certainly knows that his own party and conservative voters would react against his over-the-top criticism of Ryan. So, Limbaugh asks, why would Gingrich do this? Hence, Limbaugh’s theory.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 17, 2011 08:30 AM | Send

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