The Brilliant Mr. Gingrich
Another day, another overheated statement from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich giving politically dubious marching orders to the Republicans he last led a decade ago.
Senate Republicans should make it clear that they will not permit a tax evader to become the secretary of the Treasury … it would be wrong for someone who did not pay taxes to become secretary of the Treasury in charge of getting taxes from the rest of us. It would be doubly wrong to appoint him in an administration which intends to raise taxes on the rest of us.
The interview by Ralph Z. Hallow comes with eye-rolling statements from elected Republicans. Doug Bandow, though, is intrigued.
With the Republican presidential contest in 2012 looking very open at this stage, might this be Gingrich’s “Churchill coming in from the Wilderness” moment?
I can’t think of anything the Obama team would enjoy more than for Gingrich, a mostly-loathed public figure whose power crested before the introduction of the iPod, to become the face of the GOP. He’s done a remarkable job of making it conventional wisdom that he’s a restless fount of new ideas, mostly because the men who followed him in Republican leadership (Dennis Hastert, Tom DeLay) were such duds. But this is closer to what Gingrich actually does: make splashy recommendations to Republicans in public, then grouse when they don’t listen to him. The ultimate example of this must be his ditzy conduct during the debate over bailing out Wall Street: He was for it, then against it, and in both cases explained that his position was the only reasonable one.