-->

Conservative Daily News - The best news, analysis and opinion articles written by a collection of citizen journalists. Covering a range of important topics in blogs, op-ed, and news posts, these upstanding patriots are bringing back American exceptionalism with every entry..

Newt Gingrich's Record: Uncomfortable But True

I’m going to say something uncomfortable to many of you, but it has to be said:

Newt Gingrich has a history of flip-flopping on issues which rivals that of Mitt Romney.

There, I said it. I’m not the only one to say it, either.

Let’s look at Gingrich’s record:

On global warming: He supported government sponsoring of alternative energy programs. He supported cap-and-trade. He supported ethanol subsidies. “Green” was the fad, people were spellbound by it, and Newt being the clever politician he is, he got behind it, too.

And then there’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When asked about his lobbying efforts on their behalf, he lied. He claimed he never lobbied for them. When proof of payment from them to him was made public, he claimed he worked for them as an historian. Do people seriously believe this? A financial institution hires an historian about as often as the Marine Corps hires an interior decorator.

And then there’s the substance of the “historical analysis” he allegedly gave them (from the National Review link two paragraphs below):

It wasn’t obvious until 2007… Initially, it wasn’t Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Initially, it was things like Countrywide, but the minute you started getting people who could buy houses with no credit, no money down, I mean, these things are insane. And I was cheerfully saying that in my public speeches.

Gingrich contradicts himself here: It certainly was obvious, long before 2007, that a policy of government guarantee of loans without proof of the borrower’s ability to repay was a bad idea (and defies basic common sense). The existence of this program was well-known within government circles and by “policy wonks” (such as yours truly), but largely ignored by the media and the public at large. I have also criticized Herman Cain for the same failure of common sense in this regard.

On government-run medicine, Gingrich’s record rivals that of many prominent Democrats. He was an early champion of the individual mandate, more than a decade before Romneycare. He now excuses himself from the criticism Romney recieves, claiming that his endorsement of an individual mandate was an effort “to block Hillarycare“. Let’s state this another way: Gingrich’s response to a massive government healthcare initiative was to offer a slightly less-massive initiative of his own.

Gingrich was also one of the minds behind Medicare Part D. Newt again excuses himself from criticism for this multi-trillion-dollar giveaway, claiming that it helped reduce the cost of government-provided health care by subsidizing medicines in lieu of more-expensive surgeries, ignoring one of the basic principles of government interference in the market: Subsidizing a product makes it more expensive in the long-run. If the government gives people a dollar to buy an apple, the cost of an apple goes up by a dollar.

Gingrich, in keeping with his long-standing record of favoring greater government intervention in the health care industry, described Paul Ryan’s proposal to convert Medicare into a premium support plan as “right-wing social engineering“. Of course, Gingrich changed his tune when he caught flak for saying this, and has spent the last six months crafting an “alternative history” of his 17+ year record of supporting socialized medicine.

Jacob Sullum from Reason made an excellent point on this topic: Gingrich’s rhetoric actually endangers real reforms while giving the public a painless-sounding but totally ineffective placebo of “cutting waste, fraud and abuse”- a rhetoric he (along with numerous Democrats) also applies to other areas of government spending by advocating ‘modernization’, rather than actual cutbacks, as his primary concept for controlling the cost of big-government programs, as if new computers will make big government acceptable.

In sum: I’m frankly disturbed by the recent fascination with Gingrich and the amnesia regarding his record. Somehow, conservatives have developed a belief that intellectualism and con artistry are mutually exclusive. Voters have been lulled by the superficially-impressive nature of his speeches.

This means the Tea Party effort to push out slick salesmen in favor of principled, fiscally-minded, small-government representatives is failing. And “slick salesman” is an apt description of Gingrich’s career: People wanted free medication for Grandma and Grandpa, and Newt delivered. People wanted a house they couldn’t afford, and Newt delivered. Gingrich will give the public whatever they want, and sound convincingly principled while doing it. The fact that Newt also participated in welfare reform and budget balancing isn’t a demonstration of his bona fides, it’s merely another thing the public asked for and got (for a brief period).

The notion that Gingrich is the ideal “not-Romney” candidate is wholly misguided: Newt Gingrich is Mitt Romney without running shoes.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to Technorati

Conservative Daily News allows a great deal of latitude in the topics contributors choose and their approaches to the content. This is due to our approach that citizens have a voice, not only the mass media. Readers will likely not agree with every contributor or every post, but find reasons to think about the topic and respond with comments. We value differing opinions as well as those that agree. Opinions of contributors are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of CDN, Anomalous Media or staff. Click here if you'd like to write for CDN.
Put This Story in your Circles and Share with your Friends

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Phil Latour says:

    Newt Gingrich is a screwed up flip flop conservative. He a globalist who supports a world economy. He has always supported out-sousing of American jobs and wants to legalize 11 million illegal immigrants. His campaign contributors are the rich, and super rich, a few such as fannie mae and freddy mac gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    He presently uses his personal business to train his rich clientele how to lobby against consumers so they can get what they want. He states once elected, he will push legislation to take your hard working social security dollars and invest your entire pensions with rich corporations. He was buddy buddy with Pelosi, and supported her in the house. He’s an abuses fornicator and adulterer who divorce his first wife on her death bed and slept with other woman. On the abortion issue, for now he’s quiet, but in the past, he supported the slaughter of 45 million unborn babies. His “contract with America” never materialized, and he ruined the Republican party by not delivering. Tea partiers better think twice before going to the polls, because Gingrich is un-electable, he is no match for Obama.