Gingrich gives voice to moderation or something

Compared to today’s Republican agenda, the Revolution of ’94 now appears to be a halcyon period of moderation and good sense. Then, there was a hope that government-run Medicare would “wither on the vine” when recipients were offered alternatives. Now the plan is to pull the whole thing up by the roots…

Whatever you think of Gingrich, his political analysis on this point is shrewd. He has learned, over time and at great cost, that important policy will fail if it is forced on one side by the other. Even if legislation passes, such as last year’s health-care reform, public support will be badly weakened if opinion makers on both sides don’t provide validation. Republicans understood this when they criticized Democrats for overreaching, yet now they are attempting precisely the same thing with Ryan’s budget.

Gingrich, for all his petulance and partisanship, ultimately became a dealmaker, building consensus for the 1997 balanced-budget agreement. As a private citizen, he has continued to search for common ground on health-care reform. “I’ve spent enough of my life fighting,” he said during a joint appearance with Hillary Clinton in 2005. “It would be nice to spend some time constructing.”