Indeed, when it came time to make vital changes to welfare policy, such as work requirements and anti-illegitimacy provisions, Gingrich tried to scuttle them. He denounced such provisions — the very heart of welfare reform — as, yes, “social engineering of the right” (e.g., Republican Governors Conference, Williamsburg, Va., Nov. 22, 1994).
The guy who wanted orphanages for children on welfare suddenly called work requirements for adults on welfare right-wing “social engineering.”
Gingrich went on to lose almost every negotiation with Bill Clinton — and that was with solid Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. His repeated capitulation to Clinton led former Vice President Dan Quayle to remark that the Republican “Contract With America” had become the “Contract With Clinton.” (Not to be confused with Newt’s book, “Contract With the Earth.”)
Perfectly good policies are constantly being undermined by Newt’s crazy statements — such as his explanation that women couldn’t be in combat because they get infections, whereas men “are basically little piglets,” who are “biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes.”
With Gingrich we get the worse of all worlds. He talks abrasively — offending moderates and galvanizing liberals — but then carries a teeny, tiny stick.