The Moose suggests that the conditions are ripe for a Gingrich candidacy.
Newt Gingrich has no better enabler of his future political aspirations as Tom DeLay. As the Moose has pointed out, there is no love lost between the two Republicans. Gingrich has always viewed DeLay as a political hack who was never sold on the reform impulse behind the 94 GOP revolution.
Now that DeLay and the Congressional Republicans are neck deep in the ethics muck, they appear to be betrayers of the Gingrichian reform. Increasingly, they appear even worse than the old Democratic establishment as they engage in an orgy of pork barrel spending and enlargement of the state on behalf of their corporate clients.
This is not to say that Newt is now or has ever been a Common Cause reformer. He has always exploited the reform impulse to serve his political ambitions. However cynical and insincere he may be, Newt is now given the opportunity to position himself as the insurgent - this time against a entrenched Republican establishment.
Lately, Gingrich has been increasingly critical of both DeLay's ethics stonewalling and the lack of a compelling Republican vision. Note these words in a recent Gingrich article,
"Conservative elected officials increasingly find themselves caught between two impulses: the revolutionary ideas that brought them into power and the need to explain and defend the institutions they inherited. And the longer these good men and women stay in office, the more likely they will be to defend the very bureaucracies and policies against which they once campaigned. The goal to transform government will be gradually overwhelmed by contentment with merely presiding over it.
"So in 2005, in the wake of another in a string of electoral victories, the conservative movement faces a choice:
"Is conservatism a grassroots movement dedicated to the transformation of government into an institution capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century within the values of smaller government, lower taxes, stronger national security, greater individual freedom and strengthening American civilization as a unique "Creator endowed" system of human liberty?
"Or, is conservatism a national and state capital-focused system of defending whatever compromise with the old order of liberal, big government is required in order to keep people we support in office?"
Setting aside the conservative ideological poppycock, these words are a clear challenge to the Republican powers that be who have become fat and happy on the spoils of power. Hell hath no fury like a Speaker scorned.
Old Newt may very well be laying the groundwork for his outsider's candidacy for the Republican nomination. The Moose looks forward to an acrimonious, bitter, divisive and nasty 2008 GOP primary race, and he is confident that Newt can deliver that.
Needless to say, Gingrich carries more personal baggage than an 747 jumbo jet. But never, ever underestimate his chutzpah. --