Conservative pundits have been lining up to voice their frustration over the possibility that former Speak of the House Newt Gingrich could become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. And you can add Washington Post columnist George Will to that list. He appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio program Friday
“Mr. Gingrich said it’s not enough that he is the smartest guy in the room, he also has to be wise,” Will said. “Now you can associate many things with Mr. Gingrich, but wisdom isn’t one of them. Surely the Republican nominating electorate should understand the fact that people have patterns. Don’t expect the patterns to go away. Expect the patterns to manifest themselves again. If Newt Gingrich has any pattern at all — and he does — it is a pattern of getting himself into trouble because he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.”
Will said that he thought Gingrich actually believed it when he said he was going to be the Republican nominee, particularly because the stage in Gingrich’s mind “is lit by the fires of crisis and grandeur.”
“Ask yourself this: Suppose Gingrich or Romney become president and gets re-elected – suppose you had eight years of this,” Will said. “What would the conservative movement be? How would it understand itself after eight years? I think what would have gone away, perhaps forever, is the sense of limited government, the Tenth Amendment, Madisonian government of limited, delegated and enumerated powers — the sense conservatism is indeed tied to limitations on federal authority and the police power wielded by Congress — that would all be gone. It’s hard to know what would be left.”
Will also noted Gingrich’s association with “the catastrophic government commitment to ever cheaper mortgages.”
“Newt Gingrich was a willing, rented spokesman for the housing crisis that we’re now living through,” Will said. “So there’s the ideas and the reason he gave for doing them.”
Will also chalked up Gingrich’s support of ethanol as one of his poor policy choices.
“Life’s full of close calls,” Will said. “Ethanol isn’t one of them.”