Nervous on Newt

Gingrich said of Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposed budget plan this spring:

“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering.  I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”

Gingrich was attacked for the statement, but he seemed to be channeling the classic gripe about the Left and big government: that it is dangerous and silly to use bureaucracy to “engineer” solutions to complex social problems.

However, it all seems a bit hypocritical given Gingrich’s historical tendency to favor big, radical overhauls instead of  more practical (and feasible) tweaks.  As first grade teachers everywhere will attest, there is no problem with dreaming big, but one cannot help but wonder at both the nature and efficacy of a Gingrich presidency.

It is refreshing to have a more articulate candidate at the fore of the GOP race after the cringe-inducing stumbles of Rick Perry. But just because he’s gaffe prone doesn’t mean the Governor didn’t have a bit point when he emphasizes in commercials the importance of “doing” vs. “talking” in a presidency.

Gingrich has proven himself an adept talker. But can he be a “doer”? And, in the context of already bloated bureaucracy & waste, will he be truly committed to the idea of smaller government?


-Ke Ding