Newt Gingrich has done all of us — or at least all of us who won't be able to afford the GOP's higher and rising “Medicare” premiums after retirement — a tremendous service by keeping the GOP plan to essentially end Medicare in the
public media eye.
The public was already stirred up about the Republican budget plan — author Paul Ryan even had to leave one of his town halls via the back door a few weeks ago — but there was danger the media would lose interest and start covering Republican sex scandals instead of their plan to gut Medicare. Newt's attack of the truth last Sunday, when he called Ryan's plan “radical” and “right-wing social engineering,” breathed new life into this important policy debate. Thanks to him, preserving Medicare is almost getting equal TV time with Arnold's love child.
This has come at a cost for Newt, though. Under fire from within his own party …
… Newt soon began walking back the “radical” and right-wing social engineering” remarks. Right-wing pundits said his candidacy was finished. Then Newt outright apologized to Paul Ryan. Which didn't satisfy his critics, but kept the media interested.
The real beauty of this is that Newt's attack seems to have led Republicans to rally around Ryan and the GOP budget. They're essentially doubling down on that enormously unpopular vote where all but four House Republicans voted to essentially end Medicare. The Senate may even take a vote on the House GOP budget soon.
And call me cynical, but Newt begging Democrats not to use his quotes in ads is really just begging Democrats to use his quotes in ads. Brilliant!
Thank you, Newt, for trading your non-existent chance of becoming President for another week or two of media focus on Paul Ryan's terrible, awful, devastating-for-the-middle-class budget plan. If I were a Republican, you'd get my vote.