There Once Was a Time I Would Have Voted for NewtPosted: May 17, 2011
Back in the 1990’s I would have have happily voted for Newt Gingrich. He was, and presumably still is, a very intelligent man. In the 1990’s he was espousing solid conservative ideals, but since that time he has been tacking further and further left. Without digging into the details I simply recall that over time I was less and less satisfied with his rhetoric and his policy positions.
Now, as part of his Presidential Bid for 2012 he has come out and basically called the Republican Party a bunch of radicals for showing support for the proposed Ryan budget. Normally a very astute observer of the political landscape this incident only underscores my previous concerns regarding his directions in recent years.
There once was a time when I would have happily voted for Newt, even with his personal baggage, but he appears to have left the party given his recent statements. How he thinks that this will win him a Republican nomination only he knows.
Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday about Paul Ryan’s reform plan, Mr. Gingrich chose to throw his former allies in the GOP House not so much under the bus as off the Grand Canyon rim.
The Ryan program “is too big a jump,” he said. “I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes, better solutions, better options. Not one where you suddenly impose upon you—I don’t want to—I—I’m against ObamaCare, which is imposing radical change. And I would be against a conservative imposing radical change.”
Mr. Gingrich’s charge of radicalism is false in any case. Mr. Ryan is proposing a “premium support” model for Medicare of the kind that already governs health plans for federal workers and public employees in California and other states. The government would pay a set annual fee (starting at $15,000 per senior and rising with inflation) to private Medicare plans that would then compete to attract seniors. With consumers paying the marginal costs of their own care, providers and insurers will begin to compete on price and quality.