May 16, 2011
Thinking About Newt Gingrich

On last Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich angered conservative pundits for calling Representative Paul Ryan's Medicare reform "too big a jump." He said, "I don't think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. I don't think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate." He then poured salt on the wound by declaring, "Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay - help pay for health care. And, I think there are ways to do it that will make most libertarians relatively happy. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way indicate that you are going to be held accountable."

Before we dismiss Gingrich as a lefty in a Reagan mask, think about his two points. While radical reform may be desirable, it is extremely difficult to sell it to the voters in our ten-second sound bite, "got cha" campaign system. Support of Paul Ryan's plan should not be a litmus test for conservative candidates. It is a departure point for a national debate. Certainly conservative, it may go too far too soon or not far enough but in the end, it must carry a majority. As to an insurance mandate, if we want a national policy that every citizen have health care (a debate in itself) then some form of required participation or agreement to self insure or bear the consequences of no insurance (get sick, don't come asking the rest of us to pay for your care) is necessary.

Health care led off the show but other important issues were also covered. Newt"s positions on taxes, debt, radical Islam were conservative and right on target. He also correctly admitted to problems he faces as a candidate. He said, "One of my great weaknesses is that part of me is a teacher analyst. And part of me is a political leader....Analysts can say anything they want to because there is no down side. But the person to whom you're entrusting the leadership of the United States had better think long and hard before they say things. I think that is a fair criticism of me." His private life, three marriages and affairs, was questioned and he responded with the "I've asked God for forgiveness" defense. One either accepts it not.

Gingrich is an idea person, PhD history professor, think tank fellow, legislative animal. He'd be a true asset as a key advisor to any president. For Chief Executive of the United States, I'd prefer a governor but don't count Newt out yet. Peggy Noonan, one of the commentators on the show, made two interesting observations. In the green room before the show, "...people where walking around chatting, stopped and watched it. It was a silent green room. That tells you something. People will stop and listen to him. He is a compelling character. Gingrich is one of the best explainers of generally conservative views and philosophical starting points that there is out there..." She also noted that for 18 to 22 year olds he is new and possibly compelling.

While not my first or even second choice for president, I hope he stays around for the coming Republican debates. He will keep them focused on serious issues and solutions and maybe even convince us he is the best alternative to our 2008 mistake.

Read the transcript of the Meet the Press interview HERE

clear fog blog

Posted by warrenpeterson at May 16, 2011 02:48 PM | Email This
1. Warren, do you really think "bear the consequences of no insurance (get sick, don't come asking the rest of us to pay for your care)" is a wise health care policy for a developed country in the 21st century? Not that this should determine your answer, but few Americans, Democrat or Republican, would agree.

Posted by: Bruce on May 16, 2011 03:15 PM
2. Bruce, Of course "bear the consequences" is not a "wise health care policy" and it would not be supported by a majority of Ds or Rs but freeloading is not a wise policy either. So if there is going to be a nationial policy that every citizen be covered, then every citizen has to be in whether a private system or government system.

Posted by: Warren Peterson on May 16, 2011 03:47 PM
3. Warren, I don't understand what you'd support. If "every citizen has to be in" then the system must be funded by either taxes (single payer) or mandatory private enrollment (which most conservatives are claiming is unconstitutional). Which do you support?

Posted by: Bruce on May 16, 2011 03:53 PM
4. I don't say what I support. I only say that if the policy is to cover all citizens then some form of mandatory participation will be required.

Posted by: Warren Peterson on May 16, 2011 04:27 PM
5. Citizens is the key word here. What about all the non-citizens that get care on some one else's dime?

Posted by: Smeethow on May 16, 2011 04:35 PM
6. I wouldn't vote for Gingrich if he was giving away free ice cream! The guy is just another one of those arrogant jerks who feel entitled to be in elected office. He's a poster boy for term limits!

Posted by: Poitically Incorrect on May 16, 2011 04:44 PM
7. Newt Gingrich is a RINO just, like John McCain. He and John McCain both supported Global Warming and Cap and Trade. They're are both Crapheads who are Career Politicians and an embarrassment to the GOP. They are the kind that this Nation needs to eradicate. However, the GOP itself has become an embarrassment as well. If the GOP can't bring anybody forward except this Crap then, a third party is our only chance to save this Nation. Let the Tea Party be that choice.

As far as, mandated insurance goes, let the uninsured deal with their own crisis. Let them face payments that can extend for many years if need be. Right now, we have welfare recipients getting free health care who are clogging of our ERs with sniffles and bruises. Yeah, any service that is Free is going to be overused. But, for Government to become involved, forcing everyone to have insurance is going to cost this Nation, as a whole, a far greater and crippling Expense, let a lone, a further clogging of our heath care services where heath care services have to be Ration. You can be waiting months to see a doctor. Yes, you can DIE waiting to see a doctor.

Posted by: Daniel on May 16, 2011 06:15 PM
8. Not thinking about Newt Gingrich.

Posted by: Jeff B. on May 16, 2011 09:39 PM
9. Newt Gingrich is just a distraction. He should follow Trump's lead and remove himself as a candidate.

Posted by: KDS on May 16, 2011 10:09 PM
10. He has the experience, he is smart enough, and would be an awesome head of state and he knows economics.

Posted by: Automated Forex Trading on May 16, 2011 11:09 PM
11. Healthcare as we know it is buckling to a large degree because of innovation, evolving from when entitlements and hospitals that turn away no one and tell patients, "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do", to today, where there is plenty we can do. The problem is, that plenty we can do costs plenty of money. If you have someone taking a 4-month live extending drug for over $100k, if you have someone with a condition requiring round the clock care, they can't pay for it. Ditto with end of life care that consumes vast economic resources in the final few days of elderly patients. The question is if others or the government is obligated to pick up the tab, recognizing that tab as we continue to find new drugs, develop new devices, and find more methods to care for what ails us. Personally, we need to recognize government has its limits and can pay for a modest entitlement system we can afford while remaining economically competitive with other places in the world not so generous.

Posted by: JC on May 16, 2011 11:54 PM
12. Gingrich is a non-starter. He suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. He is better on the talkies.

Posted by: swatter on May 17, 2011 07:24 AM
13. @10...You're full of Crap! Newt Gingrich has supported to many Liberal causes as some I have mentioned above. He also, supports the Insurance Mandate. Plus, he has demonstrated what a responsible, principled and nobel fellow he is by his three failed marriages coupled with all his infidelities. Yeah, Newt Gingrich is an honest straight forward fellow. What a Laugh! As far as experience goes, you can have all kinds of experience, intelligence and still be a Fool.

Posted by: Daniel on May 17, 2011 07:43 AM
14. The health care solution I would like to see is a public insurance plan that provides minimal coverage that is given to all citizens, with more affluent citizens able to purchase add on policies to have more things covered, a higher standard of care, and shorter waiting times. The problem with the national medicine model is it only allows lowest common denominator health care. With my plan the poor may have to wait 4 months for a routine appointment, but they are covered. If I work in a good job I get to walk in to my doctor's office with a week's notice or less.

Just as I get to live in the best house I can afford, and eat the best food I can afford, I should be able to buy as much health care coverage as I can/choose to afford. The idea that everyone must get exactly the same level of health care for the world to be "fair" is an impractical liberal conceit.

Posted by: Hairy Buddah on May 17, 2011 10:42 PM
15. Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.

Posted by: Newt on May 18, 2011 11:43 AM
16. Dede Scozzafava

Posted by: Attila on May 19, 2011 05:40 AM
17. I don't see Gingrich as being much of a player in the 2012 election. He's done. Time to hit the speaking circuit and write a couple of books.

Enjoy you retirement, Mr. Gingrich.

Posted by: Libertarian on May 19, 2011 07:14 PM
18. Bill Bennett took him to task and asked to apologize to Paul Ryan, which he did. Poor leadership - the GOP is currently down and Obama is undoubtedly overconfident. What does Gingrich have to do with this ? It will play into the 2012 election and not necessarily in a negative way. Gingrich will prevent a mainstream or recycled Republican candidate from being the nominee thanks to his miserable performance - this time it will be someone outside of the beltway/mainstream, which will only improve their chances.

Just below the surface, there is a mountain of outrage like a 55-gallon drum of whop-a$$ poised and ready to erupt by the Tea Party - still growing. Timing is everything. I bet that things will appear quite different one year from now and this event will be well downstream.

Posted by: KDS on May 19, 2011 07:28 PM
19. Agree with Daniel above that Gingrich is just another RINO career politician like McCain. Is there something in the water in our nation's capitol building that turns rational people into drooling, gov-speak socialists? Disappear already, Newt...your time in the limelight has obviously cooked your brain..

Posted by: Saltherring on May 20, 2011 07:00 AM
20. Here is a very good program to listen to.

As much as I hate Obama, I will suffer through another four years of Obama rather then vote for a RINO.


Posted by: Gene on May 20, 2011 02:36 PM
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Posted by: razqjhfa on May 20, 2011 02:37 PM
22. Obama has just continued Bush's policies to a large degree. We must understand that both parties under progressives have gotten us to where we are.

Don't let Obamahate drive you. We survived eight years of Clinton we will survive eight years of Obama. Yeah things will be bad off but at least people will know who to blame rather than when things were bad off under Bush.

Best case is vote for a true American Constitutionalist but if the Republicans pull another 2008 (or 1996) on us, then just don't vote. RINOS are the worse of all possible worlds. They take us further left and conservatives get blamed for it.

SO, I Just say NO on ROMNEY (I rather have Four Years of Obama which does strengthen opposition).

So I just say NO on Bush (don't even think of it Jeb).

So I just say No on Huntsman.

SO I just say NO on Gingrich.

SO I just say NO on Pawlenty.

If any of these win the primary I am siting out of the general.

Posted by: CnR on May 22, 2011 06:19 PM
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