The Corner

Gingrich: ‘Replace the Left’

Washington — Former House speaker Newt Gingrich will address the American Legislative Exchange Council this afternoon at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Gingrich, a potential 2012 presidential contender, will speak about the challenges ahead for the GOP:

The great conservative victories of 2009 and 2010 are only the beginning. The elections of 2011 and 2012 must create a conservative majority large enough and durable enough to replace the increasingly leftist political system which has dominated America since 1932.

Last year in Virginia and New Jersey, and this year across the country, the American people rejected the left by decisive margins; however, the American people have rejected the left before.

In 1972 the left was decisively repudiated. In 1980 the left carried as many states for president as Herbert Hoover in 1932. In 1984 the left carried only one state for president. In 1994 the left was rejected as Republicans won control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

Rejection proved to be an inadequate remedy for leftwing ideologies, bureaucracies, judgeships, interest groups, and academics.

After each rejection, the left continued to grow in the institutions it dominates. The left grew more radical and more demanding even as the American people rejected it in the electoral arena.

The challenge for us is to turn rejection of the left into replacement of the left.

The challenge for us is to have conservative policies that lead to jobs and paychecks replace liberal policies that lead to bureaucracy and food stamps.

The first great laboratory for replacing the left will not be in Washington. It will be in the states.

Washington is trapped in obsolete policies, regulations and ideologies.

However, in your states, you will have an opportunity to provide creative leadership and to organize innovative, creative citizens in new models of solutions appropriate to the age of the iPhone, iPad, You Tube, Facebook, Twitter, Google and text messaging.

We can regain full employment, have the best jobs in the world, compete successfully with China and India and protect ourselves from those who would destroy our civilization. To do so we need dramatically new policies and institutions.


There are at least 12 steps you can take in your states to advance change that will positively impact the people you represent and bolster their pursuit of happiness and financial security for their families:

1.            Turn the $132 billion spent on unemployment compensation last year into a human capital development fund by requiring every person who can’t find a job to take a training program in return for their compensation. Paying people to do nothing for 99 weeks is as wrong in unemployment compensation as it was in welfare. This is an opportunity to dramatically enhance the working skills of the American people at no new cost.

2.            Replace litigation-focused workers compensation with a rehabilitation and capabilities focused program that maximizes the speed of helping people medically, and focuses on retraining and focusing on what they can do rather than on what they can’t do.

3.            Review the IBM proposal to take $1 trillion out of the cost of running the federal government over the next decade, and ask IBM and other technology companies to make a similar proposal for state and local government.

4.            As a first step toward a tenth amendment project, identify every federal regulation which costs money and minimizes state creativity. Work through the ALEC collectively to have Congress repeal the regulation, abolish the office or agency or defund the activity.

5.            As a step toward replacing Obamacare, block grant Medicaid by number of people in poverty per state, and give the states freedom to invent a more effective system of prevention, wellness, and chronic disease management without Washington red tape and bureaucratic dictation. 

6.            As a step toward more affordable care, eliminate the $70 billion to $120 billion in theft in Medicare and Medicaid created by the administrative incompetence of the federal bureaucracy and the innovative determination of modern criminals. 

7.            Propose a fifty-state competition to block grant all federal Health Information Technology money and see which state can complete the first paperless health system. 

8.            As a leader in your state, bring together every innovative entrepreneur and CEO in the state to develop a benchmark for helping businesses and entrepreneurs create high paying jobs in competition with China, India, and Germany and to focus on growing your state’s export success to create local jobs through worldwide sales.

9.            Emphasize the right of parents to know how their children are doing, know how their school is doing, and have the right to choose a better school if they believe their child is being inadequately prepared for success.

10.              Insist on paying great teachers a lot more and releasing bad teachers before they can cripple the future of the children they serve. 

11.              Benchmark salaries and benefits in your state and insist that government employees be compensated fairly within the framework of the taxpayers’ capabilities. As Governor-elect Scott Walker has said, we are not going to have bureaucratic have’s and taxpayer have-not’s in America.

12.              Insist on reasserting American Exceptionalism by having every student in taxpayer-financed schools, whether K through 12 or in the state college and university systems, have a brief course annually on the Declaration of Independence, its assertion of self-evident truths, and its declaration that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The time has come to reassert that we are Americans, and America is a learned civilization.

There are many other opportunities for modernization and transformation, but these give you a sense of the scale of leadership we need.

This is an enormous challenge.

It is our generation’s rendezvous with destiny. 

We must have the courage to complete the job and the persuasiveness to work with the American people so they reward us in the next five elections with the right to continue moving America toward freedom, safety, and prosperity.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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