Newt Gingrich apologized to Rep. Paul Ryan today, and that apology itself revealed why Gingrich is not a positive but rather a destructive force in the GOP presidential primary. There is nothing wrong in itself with Gingrich saying he opposes aspects of Ryan’s budget plan. That plan is not the flag; it does not need to be saluted. It’s a set of proposals and, as Gingrich noted, the proposal involving Medicare isn’t popular taken in isolation. Debating the issues is perfectly fine. It’s the way Gingrich talks about things that is so awful. He is incapable of disagreeing on any matter about anything without creating a whirlpool of negativity that ends up sucking in his own confreres while leaving his partisan and ideological antagonists amazingly untouched. In the end, then, no matter the issue, Gingrich somehow manages to turn the conversation away from the topic at hand and focuses it squarely on him—what he said, what he meant, what he was doing, why he did it, what’s the matter with him. The Ryan apology just added to the psychodrama of the last few days with Gingrich. The havoc generated by his narcissism will not abate. It can’t. Alas.
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