By Gloria Borger, CNN Senior Political Analyst May 17, 2011 2:13 p.m. EDT
Gingrich inspires another GOP
revolt -- against himself
Washington (CNN) -- It's unusual, to say the least, for a presidential candidate to have a defining campaign moment on Day One of the campaign, but Newt Gingrich never disappoints: Right out of the box on Sunday TV, fresh from his presidential announcement, he declared the House GOP plan for Medicare "right-wing social engineering." Then he went on to explain how he still supports individual mandates in health care -- despite the fact that the mandates are the key to the Republican attacks on the president's health care law. Just another day on the Gingrich campaign, in which the candidate throws gasoline on a fire. And then walks into it. Privately, one source close to Gingrich says, "he immediately understood what he had done and was worried." What he probably didn't get is just how bad the fallout would be. Outraged Republicans erupted in unison (don't forget: nearly every House Republican voted for this Medicare plan). Gingrich, of course, had to spend the next day backtracking, re-explaining, defending, parsing and, er, restating his complete devotion to the House budget chairman's "model" and his unequivocal opposition to President Barack Obama's health care plan. And, for a measure of good luck, he blamed the media, describing himself as a victim of "beyond gotcha" politics. If anyone played "gotcha" here, it was Gingrich -- on himself, and on the Republican Party. First, Newt, what has Republicans scratching their heads is one simple question: Why? "If you want to dig deep into what this tells us about Newt, it's that he's lost a sense of the conservative constituency in the party," says one disappointed GOP ally. "Why doesn't he know that these issues [the House GOP budget and Obama's health care mandate] have become the Holy Grail for GOP primary voters? He used to get the pulse of the Republican Party better than anyone." Well, not anymore. Not since he cut off the blood supply. Which brings us to Republicans. Sure, we can blame Gingrich for his big mouth. But we can't blame him for exposing what is a huge divide within the GOP right now: Most every House Republican is on the record supporting a budget that profoundly changes Medicare. They have gone home to their districts and have been bombarded with complaints. Their leadership has sometimes wavered -- only to re-endorse -- the plan. To make matters worse, they all know it's not going anywhere in the Senate. So House Republicans are now out on a limb. Conservatives are happy, but there are 61 House Republicans who now serve in districts Obama won in 2008. They're already nervous. And now this. "Gingrich re-opens this issue in a way that gives a perfect sound bite to every Democrat that voted against the budget," says a GOP House campaigns strategist. "Now Republicans will be forced to explain why their position on Medicare is not radical social engineering." It's an eerily familiar story. No one has to tell Republicans what happened to Democrats who dared reform health care: They lost control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. And what issue was used against them? Medicare. None other than Newt Gingrich, in his damage control tour, told the Wall Street Journal that this time Republicans were making the same mistakes Democrats made when they forget to sell health reform. "Republicans should learn," he said. "There's a big lesson here." Yes, there is. Only it's not about salesmanship. It's actually about substance. Rep. Paul Ryan, the author of the GOP budget roadmap, likes to call his budget realistic and honest as it takes on Medicare spending. But it's more about theology than realism because of what it omits: tax hikes. So don't tell people you are going to change Medicare unless you're taking on everything. That's the lesson, only it's one the GOP refuses to utter. Even Gingrich, who threw Ryan overboard, would never say that. Instead, he will no doubt continue to inflame. Even his friends say he can't help it. After all, he pioneered the use of incendiary language successfully when he masterminded the GOP takeover of the House in 1994, calling the Democrats thugs and corrupt. "He uses inflammatory language no matter what he is talking about," says one irritated ally. "Why can't he express a thought in a calm, rational way?" The problem with scorched-earth politics -- and language -- is there's always going to be payback. Only this time, Gingrich is getting it from the party he wants to lead, not destroy. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Gloria Borger.
Great Job Gloria Borger, but,
the Democrat Soldiers?
I find it very interesting that for the past 2.5 years, Obama is the only person seems to represent the Democratic Party on all the issues that matter, such as this story, which provides such a great opportunity for all Democrats to pounce on this extraordinary talking point.
Yet, I see Obama flying around the country, speaking for Democrats, raising money for Democrats, and those are the only occasions that I observe any Democrat at his side.
Conversely, the Republicans all pounce on "any" talking point that is ever out there, and all the Republicans march in-step to all of their talking points until Mr. Gingrich threw a wrench into this specific subject. And it's that specific loyalty to the subject that causes me to call the republican party a "gang institute", in that, they will all pledge as one as if no one individual has a individual thought.
Where are the Democrats?
In my opinion, it was this same degree of silence on the part of the Democratic party that caused them to loose all those seats in the last election. Obama was going around the country fighting, seemingly on his own, for Health Care. The Republicans threw lie after lie, misrepresentation after misrepresentation at the public, supported by the media propaganda machine, repeating the Republican's lies and misrepresentation for sensationalism that ultimately influence the "ignorant" citizens to believe that the Republican comments were accurate. Then, the Tea Party jumped all over the support of the propaganda media machine by throwing their own "extra" as a show closer, describing their movement as "Taking Back America", which received huge propaganda support from the mass media propaganda machine.
Where were the Democrats then? Where are they now?
It's as if the Democrats are reluctant to side with the President, who have been the only semblance of stability for the Democratic Party.
The Lack of support or lack of back bone by the Dems is a prime example of why I suggest that the Democratic Party is right behind the Republican Party in becoming "Obsolete" in the very near future.
It's not just the Republicans that have some racist among their constituency, it's not just the Republicans that are for the big businesses, it's not just the Republicans that love the lobbyist at their doors, it's not just the Republicans who voted for the Iraq War, it's not just the Republicans who chose not to prosecute Bush for War Crimes...,,, and I can go on.
The Lack of voice by the Democrats says more than the words of Gingrich, as far as I'm concerned.
The Future Political Office holder will have to be extremely honest because the information highway is only going to get wider and faster and the only way that one can remain popular is by being honest, have convictions and stand for the people. All other politicians will be exposed by sound bites, past history accessed by all, corrupt deals caught on video, and lies being brought to the light for all to see.
That's what the future tells me.
In My Opinion