April 09, 2009
Reading the Conservative Heritage Times blog, I ran across a very disconcerting video from last weekend?s FOX News Sunday in which Mark Sanford appears alongside Newt Gingrich to discuss re-branding the GOP—and launching a preemptive strike against North Korea to guard against Kim Jong Il?s use of a elctro-magnet pulse against Washington (you know, typical Republican stuff.)
In his post-political career, Newt Gingrich has specialized in hawking the latest Republican ?reform candidate? who offers ?solutions,? ?real change,? and other focus group-tested buzzwords. His last invention was Bobby Jindal (whom Newt seems to have dropped after the Louisianan?s governor?s Howdy Doody-like performance last month in his response to Obama?s first State of the Union.) It worries me that Newt might now be latching on to Sanford as the Next Big GOP Thing.
In some of the major articles out recently on Sanford, including our own Jack Hunter?s columns, there?s been speculation that Sanford might inherit Ron Paul?s netroots ?r3VOLution.? I?ve heard similar thoughts expressed in private conversations with people who were involved with Paul?s 2008 campaign who are already thinking about 2012.
In the ?90s, Newt was quite good at discerning unrest in the Republican base and then crafting a pseudo-revolutionary insurgency within the party. As Newt mentioned on Sunday, after the Ross Perot campaign split the conservative movement in ?92, he reconfigured the GOP in the form of the Contract with America and the ?94 Republican takeover of Congress. But the former leader of the Rockefeller Republicans of West Georgia College helped push NAFTA through Congress in late ?94, just before the new Republican revolutionaries could have their say, and in his four years as speaker, he achieved nothing truly radical, just some ?free market solutions” to traditional welfare. Big Government was definitely not over.
One hopes that Newt isn?t turning Mark Sanford into his latest GOP safety valve.
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