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.