Understanding Newt Gingrich’s Statement On Ryan’s Plan

May 17, 2011

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh said he couldn't explain Newt Gingrich's statement on the Ryan plan, particularly as regards MediCare - calling it inexplicable (video). I believe I can explain it, which is not the same as defending it. Glenn offers up a few disapproving links today. No doubt there are many.

Here's the gist of Newt's comments. Gingrich remains a problematic mix of academic meets politician. That mix does not make for good leadership. The anti-social engineering comment is actually designed to make him look safe, as in, I don't believe in forcing change from Washington, be it from the Left, or the Right. See how cuddly I am?

In Gingrich's view, when it comes to health care reform, there needs to be this large national discussion. At end, everyone sings Kumbaya and comes together on a plan - no doubt, Newt's, because he fancies himself the smartest guy in the room. In essence, he wants to educate America on its way to health care reform, not impose it. Unfortunately, while that may sound nice, it's impractical and isn't really leadership.

As for him sticking with mandatory coverage, that's part political and part intellectual. He knows having everyone in the pool is one way of cost sharing and has previously supported it. Politically, he doesn't want to be called out for flip-flopping, so he's staying with it, likely also seeing it as expeditious. Of course, that would seem to contradict his claim of not dictating terms from D.C. The way he gets around that in his mind is by thinking of it as an educational process, not a legislative one. If everyone agrees everyone needs to be in this, or that, insurance pool – and joins it, it's not really a mandate it, right … right??? Yeah, that's going to happen – in the classroom, perhaps – just not the real world.

Talk about Newt's baggage all you want, in the end, his intellect may be the best argument for his making a very poor President. He invariably gets himself caught up in too much complexity, while tripping over himself trying to explain it. He's also prone to bad finger in the wind, let's all get along, decision-making, like supporting Global Warming efforts on a couch with Pelosi and endorsing Dede Scozzafava in NY 23.

Gingrich is far better suited to teach a course, or seminar, or give a lecture on government, than he is qualified to run one. His ego may not permit him to accept that for now. Unfortunately for him, the reaction to him on the campaign trail will. We can expect more of this until he drops out.

White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare "right-wing social engineering," injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party's efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.

In the same interview Sunday, on NBC's "Meet the Press," Mr. Gingrich backed a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance, complicating a Republican line of attack on President Barack Obama's health law.

The former House speaker's decision to stick with his previous support for an individual mandate comes days after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney defended the health revamp he championed as governor, which includes a mandate.

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  1. Ragspierre says:

    Newtie needs some butter and jam. The guy is toast.
    The fella in Iowa spoke for the rest of us.

  2. Elmo says:

    “That mix does not make for good leadership.”
    Far as I got (before stopping). Agreed. I’m looking for the real thing. What is needed. What is required. What we absolutely cannot do without (in a time of growing/expanding war).
    Not calculation/triangulation (if that was Newt’s political campaign intent).
    Leadership can oft be undefinable. I think however, the trenches might be a good place to start (looking). Bachmann, Palin, West (tho personally I’d have to subtract a point, for the meter/rhythm/vibrato of the Griz’s spoken output (petty, to be sure. But still a practical real world consideration).
    “Politically, he doesn’t want to be called out for flip-flopping, so he’s staying with it, likely also seeing it as expeditious.”
    Someone we do not need.
    “Gingrich is far better suited to teach a course, or seminar, or give a lecture on government, than he is qualified to run one.”
    Yesterday, I was thinking … oh … say a slot over at Fox News :-)
    I’ve never seen a horse win, after tripping/falling/stumbling out the gate. Unless Newt’s got a dog named Checkers? It will be one mighty tough slog from here on out.

  3. Well, I think Newt can make the tough choices…

  4. Elmo says:

    State Dinner at the White House is next (I gawrantee):
    ‘Course, that’ll be afta Buraq Hussein brings his spayshul brownies … to AIPAC, [later this week (eat up everyone!)].
    Associated Press – Los Angeles … ‘New energy source discovered’ (elmo’s boiling blood).

  5. barfo says:

    So do the Goldilocks conservative have a candidate they’ll support?

  6. Sharon says:

    Don’t you worry your pretty little head about us, barfo. Unlike your dear leader, we realize the campaign season is young. We’re just letting the herd thin itself.

  7. barfo says:

    Four years ago today the Republican running order was:
    Giuliani 27 percent
    McCain 19 percent
    Romney 8 percent.

  8. Ragspierre says:

    Hey, barfo, how about something a LOT more relevant…and topical.

  9. Sandy says:

    To call Ryan’s budget plan “radical” was unforgivable. Ryan’s plan is a blueprint, which even he would expect to be modified in some ways. To call it radical, after praising it a few weeks ago is stoooopid. Also, he never did walk back his Pelosi global warming commercial. Does that mean he still is buying into what has been proven a fraud? It’s not bad enough he backed Dede Scozzi, he bashed those that backed Hoffman, then Scozzi endorses the Dem. Ha. Newt may be book smart, but he is common sense dumb.

  10. Sharon says:

    Sweetie, barfo. Don’t you worry ’bout us. You should be worrying about how your candidate will stand up with his record. I love his platitudes, they’re catchy, but he has a record now and that is something you should be worrying about. This election will not be the 2008 election.

  11. barfo says:

    “Hey, barfo, how about something a LOT more relevant…and topical.”
    Boy, those House Republicans sure have failed…be nice to see Nancy Pelosi back in cahrge where she belongs.
    “Sweetie, barfo. Don’t you worry ’bout us.”
    I don’t hun.
    It really doesn’t matter who you guys pick to play Bob Dole this time around.

  12. RFN says:

    See, I realize that you’re truly either a real life griefing moron {shudders} or a fabrication by Dan to increase commenting, but either way you need to reason that “Boy, those House Republicans sure have failed…”, comment. By your own lack of logic, the dems, of which you are a lockstep automaton, did far less in regards to the budget (read: nothing), given the amount of time they had the chamber. How does that reconcile?

  13. barfo says:

    “How does that reconcile?”
    Are you saying the House Republicans, who pledged to Americans they were going to fix the economy, share none of the responsibility for it now that they’ve been given control of the House?

  14. Elmo says:

    Sharon | Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 01:00 PM
    “he has a record now”
    Cart before the horse my Dear [he hasn't been to prison ... yet (uh L*rd, yes ... I know you're busy ... but, well, see we have this lil traitor problem down here. And I was wonderin' ...)].

  15. Ric says:

    I took Newt’s comment as jealousy. The plan was not HIS plan, so he had to criticize it as “social engineering”…
    Also am curious as to WHY the media is helping to dispatch Newt. If Newt is messing up the GOP, wouldn’t they want to encourage him to stay around and muck up the primary? Did he find a flaw in the Ryan plan that Dems want to use against us later?

  16. Ricky says:

    Sorry Newt.
    A conservative that is fluent in Obamalese? I smell a rat…

  17. Ragspierre says:

    Wow, barfo…
    When a Collectivist loses Ted “Red” Rall…!!!!!