Gingrich’s second crisis on inauguration day would be diplomatic. There’s a reason no president from either party has moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, despite Congress voting to do so. It would throw American diplomacy in the Middle East into chaos. Moving the embassy would change a long-held policy that Jerusalem’s formal status should be determined in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians aren’t likely to feel warm toward Gingrich anyway, since he dismissed them last month as “an invented people.” But more important, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Persian Gulf states — important allies in the confrontation with Iran — would feel compelled to put their relationships with Washington into a deep freeze.
Would President Gingrich actually take those two crisis-inducing steps? If he were an ordinary politician, the answer almost surely would be no. But Gingrich, as he often says, wants to “fundamentally transform” the way government works. As speaker of the House, he never shied from creating a bit of chaos in the service of his larger agenda.