As Newt Gingrich’s improbable rise to the top of the GOP field continues – like some kind of political Tim Tebow (without all that repressed abstinence) – it might be a good time to look back at how far he’s come when it comes to health care reform. Yeah, he’s a regular Virginia Slim baby.
He’s been pretty vocal so far during the campaign about his opposition to the individual mandate – calling it nothing less than an “unconstitutional” application of federal power.
But Gingrich – along with a host of other big GOP names, including the Heritage Foundation – wholeheartedly supported the individual mandate – even if it emerged as little more than a counterpoint to Hillarycare.
Now don’t get me wrong. To quote Seinfeld, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” I still think Gingrich is one of the more intelligent, well-read candidates left (or right) in the field – although I still lament the lack of attention Hunstman’s received (ahh, maybe next time)
And his personal issues, which certainly will return to the spotlight if he makes it to the general election? Well, ask anyone: I’m no one to judge. Besides, I like having someone who’s screwed up once in while. Isn’t it about time we got someone more like the rest of us in the White House, anyway? As opposed to some preprogrammed automaton or wooden doll who’s done little more than work for this his whole life? (I’m looking at you, Mitt.)
Besides, the individual mandate is a vital piece of the puzzle if you insist on covering everyone. As I’ve argued before, like love and marriage, you can’t have one without the other.
And you don’t have to be some kind of CSPAN groupie to find footage (or documentation) of the former Speaker’s support of the mandate. So it does puzzle me that he continues to deny he ever supported it to begin with. That’s just being dishonest. Changing your mind or re-evaluating your position, or whatever you wanna call it – just be straight. Otherwise, you’re just lying. And we have enough of that in Washington already.