There are certain times you read something, and say Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking.
But just as the Gingrich of November 1995 is different from the one who assumed the speakership, so too the Gingrich of November 1996 could be a far different, far more inspiring public figure. Gingrich may be a lightning rod, but he also embodies the revolution like no one else. He is its most articulate, self-confident, and unapologetic voice, and he burns with conviction that America can and will be a better place because of it. And if he’s sufficiently freed up from the punishing legislative schedule of the last few months, he can rediscover the youthful realization that drove him to dedicate his life to politics in the first place: that at certain critical moments in history, effective leadership is all that stands between a civilization and its collapse.
There are times in life when risking everything is more prudent than protecting what you have. For Gingrich, this could be one of them. And if Gingrich fails to accept the mission, the mission does not go away. The hole in the heart of the Republican revolution remains, waiting for a leader to fill it.
And sometimes the thing was said by someone you didn’t expect, in this case the author was pre-liberal Arianna Huffington.
I also found this passage interesting:
And how can the speaker of the House, who has delivered on the legislative agenda of the revolution more decisively than even his most ardent supporters thought possible, have a 49 percent negative rating? Most important, how can the revolution move forward when Republicans have allowed its opponents to define it?
Contrary to the anti-Newt conservative writers, Newt was effective in delivering a legislative agenda, but much of the subsequent electoral defeats resulted from allowing Democrats and the media to define conservatism in a negative light. Another thing that has not changed.
Update: Byron York really nails it, The insider-outsider divide over Newt Gingrich:
While insiders remember Gingrich’s low points from the 90s, outsiders remember his triumphs. They remember a Gingrich who had the vision to imagine a Republican takeover of the House when no one else could, and the skill to make it happen. And when outsiders think of the two greatest policy achievements of the Clinton years — a balanced budget and welfare reform — they know Gingrich can legitimately claim a lot of credit for both. So what if he was abrupt with colleagues? Or, for that matter, if he was the target of a Democratic-driven ethics attack? As far as the 1990s are concerned, outsiders remember Gingrich’s high points.
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