Paul Silver of The Moderate Voice has an interesting piece about Newt Gingrich, who will make a presentation at the National Review Institute's Conservative Summit.
Newt Gingrich is one of my favorite conservatives because he is relatively open minded to pragmatic ideas regardless of the source. As you read his list, could not most of his proposals come from moderates and even progressives? It would be wise for the Democrats to find a way to include Newt as part of the process of crafting policy able to draw bi-partisan support. It would be wiser still for the GOP to shift to his pragmatic rather than ideological approach to policy.
Silver quotes an entire list of proposals from Gingrich and Silver is correct: many of them would sound like lefty or centrist (I hate that term) ideas were they coming from anyone else.
Back in the 1990s, I thought Gingrich was an idealogue. After all, he was the architect of the Contract with America, but was also the architect of the government shutdown and standoff with Bill Clinton. Perhaps Gingrich learned something from both of those situations: you can't always stand on principles to get things done.
I'm an idealogue through and through. I am the person who would rather gain the Pyrrhic victory that concede a point. But it's easy enough for me to do that, since I'm responsible for and answer to no one but myself (and perhaps my husband!).
When the practical, lawyerly part comes out, I can look at a list like the one Gingrich presents and admit that much of it is an agenda Americans of all political stripes would embrace. Is there really anyone left in the U.S. who doesn't think energy independence is a good thing? Or doesn't think the cost of higher education should be lowered?
It seems to me that Gingrich has become more pragmatic since his fall from grace, but that seems to have made him more creative in his approach to policy. Someone should be listening to him. I just hope it is the Republicans.