Back in May, Newt Gingrich received a lot of attention for these comments about Rep. Paul Ryan’s entitlement reform plan (emphasis is mine):
“I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich said on Meet the Press, when asked about Ryan’s plan. “I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate.”
“I’m against Obamacare, which is imposing radical change, and I would be against a conservative imposing radical change,” Gingrich continued.
At the time, I wondered where the old Gingrich — the one who supported “radical change” during the ’90s — disappeared to. Fast-forward seven months. Here’s Gingrich speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition this afternoon:
“We are far enough off the right track that we need fundamental change. Are we in favor of American exceptionalism, or are we in favor of Saul Alinsky radicalism?” Gingrich said. “I don’t feel it is possible to get the scale of change we need just by the president alone.”
Gingrich urged the audience to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with him “to insist on fundamental change.”
Maybe in Gingrich’s mind, “fundamental change” means something vastly different than “radical change.” Maybe something has happened since May that has convinced him drastic change is necessary. Or maybe he’s once again flitted from one conviction to the next, with no real explanation or self-reflection.