Newt Gingrich's Star Turn Incenses Liberals

The former Speaker calls for another Revolution of '94

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Newt Gingrich spoke Thursday night at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference and it was a doozy. Sixteen years after Gingrich led a nationwide campaign against President Bill Clinton that resulted in Republicans retaking the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, he wants to do it again. "We'll repeal every radical bill passed by this machine," he said. Gingrich promised that Republicans would retake Congress, stop President Obama's agenda in its tracks, and he even hinted he might run for president in 2012. Here's the talk on Newt's latest star turn.

When we win control of the House and Senate this fall, Stage One of the end of Obamaism will be a new Republican Congress in January that simply refuses to fund any of the radical efforts. ... Stage Two is…to ensure Obama joins Jimmy Carter in the tradition of one-party presidents (sic). And, that in that context, that we be prepared to commit that a Republican President and a Republican Congress in February and March of 2013 will repeal every radical bill passed by this machine.
  • Another 'Shut Down The Gov't'?  Think Progress' Faiz Shakir compares the current Gingrich plan to his 1996 plan to "shut down the government," which he did for three weeks. "Gingrich orchestrated a shutdown of the entire federal government by refusing to fund its operations, either by passing a budget or a continuing resolution," Shakir writes. "Newt’s budget showdown with President Clinton caused the former Speaker significant political damage. His personal disapproval ratings reached a high of 65 percent. ... It’s a mistake that Gingrich appears willing to make again."
  • Will GOP Follow Newt's Example?  The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen exasperates, "it may seem almost amusing that Gingrich would actively encourage his party to follow his misguided playbook all over again. Perhaps the more relevant question is, would the GOP be so foolish as to follow Newt's ridiculous advice?"
  • Boy, I Hope This Doesn't Work  Liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias worries, "I don’t think voters are very good at understanding the overall consequences of their congressional votes, but I do hope people consider whether they really want the government to simply cease all regulation of business enterprises due to lack of funds when they contemplate their election options."
  • So Much For 'Party of Yes'  Salon's Mike Madden muses that the "theme" of the speech "was supposed to be 'the party of yes.' ... But the plan that Gingrich got the most applause from" was his plan for "refusing to pay for anything the (hypothetical) GOP Congress didn't want to let President Obama do."
  • What A Failure  Wonkette's Ken Layne just loses it. He calls Gingrich "such an awful failure within his own party, we can probably just write off this whole episode as another sad blurt from a infantile blob who briefly held a position of power in the House of Representatives two decades ago and BLEW IT because he was an infantile blob then, too."
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