You could have surprised me when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, lord of the outliers, let it be known that he is considering Newt Gingrich, lord of the insiders, as a possible pick for vice president.
Gingrich, the former House Speaker, is as inside as you can get, with a long political and lobbying history–which is exactly what we’re supposed to believe that Trump wants to bring with him to the White House. Someone who knows the ropes, knows the insider’s best secrets. Trump, the guy who has ridiculed and condemned anyone with Washington connections (except for himself, that is, as proud as he is of the expensive lobbyists he has hired to advance his own wealth), now wants to ally himself with someone who an navigate his way Inside the Beltway.
So, I was somewhat surprised that some of Trump’s most avid fans have not raised calls of betrayal, treachery and bad faith. But realists will recognize Trump’s move in that direction to be an acknowledgment of his own political ignorance, his inability to set aside his mountainous ego and his level of ubiquitous nastiness that could turn Sen. Ted Cruz, the most despised man in the Upper Chamber, into a beloved figure.
It’s also an acknowledgement that this is a democracy/republic (take your pick) that requires compromise to get things done. When either side digs in (e.g. government shutdown), democracies/republics fail. Sadly, many Trump zealots don’t understand or appreciate this reality. They expect Trump to roll through government like shit through a goose, “fixing” everything, the way they want it fixed.
Aint’ gonna happen. The alternatives:
Trump says “my way or the highway,” making the stalemates that have led up to such deep disenchantment with Congress and government, seem seem mild. Some believe that Gingrich will be able to restrain Trump’s most outrageous plans, but has anyone been able to talk sense to Trump so far? In the White House, his ego will become even more massive and uncompromising.
Gingrich manages to moderate Trump, for the sake of the Republic. Trump’s zealots will throw a fit, but at least government might move forward. However, probably not fully in the direction that the zealots insist on going. Making their outrage and sense of betrayal even worse. Who will they find to support next, Genghis Khan?
Talk also abounds about Trump’s picking as his vice president Mike Pence, the Indiana governor, former Republican congressman and chairman of the House Republican Conference. But he, too, is an insider.
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