The Corner

Taking Newt Down A Peg

Gene Healy at Cato pushes back:

 Say what you will about Newt Gingrich, but he has that rare political gift: he sounds captivating and forceful even while talking complete dreck.  I witnessed that up close a couple of years ago when I crashed a meeting of conservative activists, and saw Gingrich take the floor to urge everyone to get behind the president’s prescription-drug bill.  Given that the plan represented the greatest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society, you’d think this would be a tough sell.  But to hear Gingrich tell it, signing onto the president’s bill would be a stroke of genius for limited government activists.  The bill would cause a “plate-tectonic shift in the continental architecture of the modern welfare state.”  Or something.  I didn’t understand what that meant then and I still don’t.  Yet so confident was the pitch, so bold the hand gestures, that Gingrich probably convinced a few people who knew better. 

Me: There’s more. I think Healy is being way too literalist, but it’s a good rejoinder with some good points nonetheless.


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