Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Thinking About Newt Gingrich

Posted by Warren Peterson on May 16, 2011

On last Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich angered conservative pundits for calling Representative Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform “too big a jump.” He said, “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.” He then poured salt on the wound by declaring, “Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay – help pay for health care. And, I think there are ways to do it that will make most libertarians relatively happy. I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way indicate that you are going to be held accountable.”

Before we dismiss Gingrich as a lefty in a Reagan mask, think about his two points. While radical reform may be desirable, it is extremely difficult to sell it to the voters in our ten-second sound bite, “got cha” campaign system. Support of Paul Ryan’s plan should not be a litmus test for conservative candidates. It is a departure point for a national debate. Certainly conservative, it may go too far too soon or not far enough but in the end, it must carry a majority. As to an insurance mandate, if we want a national policy that every citizen have health care (a debate in itself) then some form of required participation or agreement to self insure or bear the consequences of no insurance (get sick, don’t come asking the rest of us to pay for your care) is necessary.

Health care led off the show but other important issues were also covered. Newt”s positions on taxes, debt, radical Islam were conservative and right on target. He also correctly admitted to problems he faces as a candidate. He said, “One of my great weaknesses is that part of me is a teacher analyst. And part of me is a political leader….Analysts can say anything they want to because there is no down side. But the person to whom you’re entrusting the leadership of the United States had better think long and hard before they say things. I think that is a fair criticism of me.” His private life, three marriages and affairs, was questioned and he responded with the “I’ve asked God for forgiveness” defense. One either accepts it not.

Gingrich is an idea person, PhD history professor, think tank fellow, legislative animal. He’d be a true asset as a key advisor to any president. For Chief Executive of the United States, I’d prefer a governor but don’t count Newt out yet. Peggy Noonan, one of the commentators on the show, made two interesting observations. In the green room before the show, “…people where walking around chatting, stopped and watched it. It was a silent green room. That tells you something. People will stop and listen to him. He is a compelling character. Gingrich is one of the best explainers of generally conservative views and philosophical starting points that there is out there…” She also noted that for 18 to 22 year olds he is new and possibly compelling.

While not my first or even second choice for president, I hope he stays around for the coming Republican debates. He will keep them focused on serious issues and solutions and maybe even convince us he is the best alternative to our 2008 mistake.

Read the transcript of the Meet the Press interview HERE</a

Cross posted on: Sound Politics


5 Responses to “Thinking About Newt Gingrich”

  1. Gramps said

    He’s a whoremonger, Sir…

    But then both you and I have known great leader’s that were whoremongers…perhaps some of the very best.

    In fact the very fact… that they have an excess of the horny, testosterone hormone…is what makes them great leaders…?

    My only problem with Newt is…
    Perhaps, he can’t keep any woman satisfied…or, better, perhaps he requires more than three or four women to keep him satisfied…?

    Damn… that brings, Osama Bin Laden to mind holed up for the last five years with, three nubile babes…

  2. Gramps said

    The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.
    – Following the Equator

    Damn if that ain’t Newt…!

  3. Gramps said

    “Before we dismiss Gingrich as a lefty in a Reagan mask, think about his two points. While radical reform may be desirable, it is extremely difficult to sell it to the voters in our ten-second sound bite, “got cha” campaign system.”

    On yer remark, Colonel…

    Marshall Mcluhuan…“The medium is the message…”

    What more is to be said…?

    • Fredc said

      Gramps: get back on your meds.

      Warren: Gingrich would be a gift to Democrats as the GOP candidate, and everyone knows it. He will continue to add “spice” to the dialogue. Daniels and Huntsman are the only serious Republican candidates.

  4. Nancy Timms said

    While I believe Newt to be very intelligent, he’s not very smart. His personal life is not only a disaster, it is a shame. The media will tear him to more shreds than they have already. Now there is the Tifany thing. He told one wife, while she was in the hospital with breast cancer, that he was leaving her. I hope he doesn’t have a chance with the Reps, because, he is unwinable. (my word)
    In fact, I don’t see anyone, yet, who is at all winable. Sad.

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