Thursday, February 10, 2011

“Going Gingrich”

By Howard Rich

Have recent elections taught Republicans nothing?
Routed from power in 2006 and 2008 for their wholesale betrayal of the American taxpayers, the GOP was granted a new lease on life because Democrats chose to put Bush-era bailouts and deficit spending on steroids while forcing a socialized medicine monstrosity down the throats of the American people.

Yet scarcely a month after being handed control of the U.S. House, Republicans are already losing sight of why they were given another chance. In retreating from their commitment to cut $100 billion from the budget (which let’s face it — will barely make a dent in our $14 trillion debt) the GOP is demonstrating a fundamental but all too familiar lack of courage. Republicans are also refusing to address the entitlement behemoths of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — ticking time bombs that pose even graver dangers to our nation’s long-term solvency.

Such squeamishness is not surprising given the party’s recent pattern of backing down in the face of an ideologically inferior foe. In fact, I refer to this flight reflex as “going Gingrich.”

Riding a similar wave of limited government fervor in 1994, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s “Republican Revolution” promised taxpayers balanced budgets, less government and term limits — but quickly caved on all fronts. As a result the “era of big government” that Democratic President Bill Clinton promised was “over” ended up coming to pass — under GOP rule.
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