December 8, 2011
MEANWHILE, WHAT DID MITT LEAVE BEHIND IN MA?:Gingrich's Unimpeachable Conservative Credential (NATE SILVER, 12/07/11, NY Times)
I have seen a lot of other commentators bring up versions of this point, but there is a reason why Republicans, especially conservative Republicans, see Newt Gingrich as by far their most qualified nominee and why they have been willing so far to excuse his periodic lapses from conservative orthodoxy.Posted by Orrin Judd at December 8, 2011 6:01 AM
The reason is simply that under Mr. Gingrich's Congressional leadership, the Republican Party finally broke the New Deal coalition that had dominated American politics for more than a half-century, moving policy substantially to the right. That is a pretty impressive credential. [...]
What has happened since then? Mr. Gingrich resigned under the cloud of an ethics scandal in 1999. But there was no backlash to speak of; instead, the Republicans' score card since then has looked pretty good. They have won two of three presidential elections and retained control of the House of Representatives in three of the five elections. And they have continued to move toward the right on economic policy. The current 112th House is probably the most conservative since the New Deal on economic policy.