Regarding the Q&A with Professor Julian Zelizer about Newt Gingrich’s politics (online and in condensed form in the October issue):
1. Zelizer says “conservatives didn’t trust Washington because they believed government, inherently, was bad.” No, it’s anarchists who think government is inherently bad. Conservatives think too much government is bad.
2. Zelizer says “the Democratic Party” today is “playing by old rules.” That’s very hard to square with the Democrats’ invocation of the “nuclear option” for judicial nominations, the sit-in over gun legislation, the unprecedented magnitude of their attempts to obstruct President Trump’s judicial nominations, the nakedly partisan impeachment of President Trump, the personal (vs. jurisprudential) attacks on Supreme Court nominees from Bork to Thomas to Alito to Kavanaugh, Speaker Pelosi’s ostentatious tearing up of the State of the Union speech, and, of course, their flying of trial balloons about abolishing the legislative filibuster and ditching the Electoral College.
3. Zelizer says “Republicans have moved much further to the right than Democrats have to the left.” Zelizer’s assertion is difficult to reconcile with the Democrats’ movement to the far left on abortion, sexuality, borders, police, environmentalism, etc. Remember that an avowed Socialist almost won the presidential nomination of the Democratic party.