Newt Gingrich effectively withdrew from the Presidential race yesterday. Merely days after announcing his candidacy Gingrich did what he does best; flip flopping on his support of the Ryan Economic Plan thereby distancing himself from the Republican Party, and ending any chance at winning the nomination.
When Paul Ryan announced the details of his bold economic plan Gingrich was quick to jump on the bandwagon. But after watching Ryan and his Republican cohorts get blasted by constituents enraged by the plan’s overhauling of entitlements, Gingrich has changed his tune. Yesterday he referred to the Ryan Plan’s Medicare component as “imposing radical change” and “right wing social engineering”. His sudden change of heart brought a tidal wave of criticism from conservative Republicans and pundits alike.
This is typical Gingrich; always preaching the values of social conservatism but folding up his tent when the polls suggest that those views are unpopular. He is the egotistical bully in the school yard who is quick to back down when challenged. Even while serving as the powerful Speaker of the House Gingrich displayed his lack of conviction. As Speaker he hoisted the conservative standard with bombastic fervor only to cast it aside when the polls demanded he bow to the popularity of Clinton’s politics. Clinton used Gingrich’s inflated ego and weak character to get his way. The result was a balanced budget and economic prosperity. Naturally Gingrich takes credit for it all.
Jon Meacham said that Gingrich: “deals in the politics of hyperbole. With Gingrich everything is a profound crisis.” He compares Islam to Nazism, political foes to Stalin the President to illegal immigrants. He cannot just disagree with Obama’s policies. He prefers to call Obama a socialist, a Marxist, a Kenyan and a member of the Mau Mau revolution who wants to destroy our country. He speaks forcefully in explaining his views…until the polls tell him to take another path. He will alter his opinion seamlessly without one shred of hypocrisy. He was for the Ryan plan…before he was against it. Simple!
Now he has criticized the cornerstone of his party’s economic platform and in doing so brought to an end his run for the nomination. He doesn’t know that yet. His ego won’t allow him to understand that he is done.