The Moderates Who Lighted the Gingrich Fusetags: Republican Party
Geoffrey Kabaservice is the author of Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party.
WASHINGTON — THE government shutdown is the work of the so-called kamikaze caucus of about 40 Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives. But why is the body of the Republican Party in thrall to its erratic right foot? Maybe the real blame should go to the far more numerous non-Tea Party Republicans, from Speaker John A. Boehner down, who have been unable or unwilling to restrain the radicals.
Behind this question lies another. Why are Republican legislators like Peter T. King of New York and Devin Nunes of California unwittingly repeating the errors of a previous generation of moderate Republicans who elevated Newt Gingrich to party leadership?
It was Mr. Gingrich who pioneered the political dysfunction we still live with. His inflammatory rhetoric provided a model for the grandstanding guerrilla warfare of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. And his actions — particularly his move to shut down the government in 1995 and 1996 — undermined popular trust and ushered in the present political era of confrontation and obstruction....
comments powered by Disqus
- New museum in Poland -- the grandest space created since 1989 -- tells the story of the Jews
- Lewinsky mistreated by authorities in investigation of Clinton, report says
- Scientists Say Proof Of Jack The Ripper's Identity Is Fatally Flawed
- Memorial for black Revolutionary War soldiers finds spot on Mall after 30 years
- Sherlock Holmes star to feature in a new movie about Alan Turning
- How Laurel Thatcher Ulrich caught up with the past
- Postal Workers Take on Harvard President, historian Drew Faust
- Symposium held in honor of John D’Emilio
- Thousands of Historic Archives from British Asylums to Go Online
- American Studies Association boycott of Israel: Conservatives say it’s weakening