Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gingrich vs. Ryan ends with a KO for Ryan

Gingrich slammed Ryan, calling his anti-Medicare plan "radical."

Ryan retaliated, suggesting that Gingrich is just like "the left."

Other right-wing Republicans, like Nikki Haley and Rick Santorum, sided with Ryan and piled on Gingrich.

And Gingrich, tail between his legs, humbled and humiliated, apologized to Ryan.

This is how it works in the GOP.


I can't say I ever admire Gingrich, but I understood, or thought I understood, why he took the risk of criticizing Ryan's plan (and, for all intents and purposes, the Republican plan). It was opportunistic, a transparent (or so I thought) attempt to situate himself between the party's right-wing mainstream and grassroots on one side and the somewhat more moderate (and rather more pragmatic) establishment on the other, recognizing that Ryan's plan is deeply unpopular, including among many Republicans, and a likely vote-loser in 2012.

But it was also a shot at the leading Republican wunderkind of the day as well as at what has become a key element of conservative orthodoxy, and for that The Newt got crushed.

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