Understanding Newt Gingrich’s Statement On Ryan’s Plan
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.