GOP going back to the future

As Republican governors argue over the stimulus, the party looks to Newt Gingrich's strategy from the 1990s.


Alex Koppelman
February 24, 2009 1:00AM (UTC)

Months after its drubbing in the 2008 election, the GOP still remains a party without a real public face or a coherent strategy. The debate over the stimulus has made that clear, as Republican governors are continuing to argue over the package, with those who apeear to be eying a run for the White House in 2012 making the loudest noise in opposition.

A group of politicians who might want to appeal to people who vote in Republican primaries opposing the stimulus isn't exactly surprising, obviously, especially when you consider the dynamic that Politico's Jeanne Cummings explored in an article published Monday.

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"Republicans are hatching a political comeback by dusting off a strategic playbook written nearly two decades ago," Cummings says. "Its themes: Unite against Democrats’ economic policy, block and counter health care reform and tar them with spending scandals.

"Those represent the political trifecta that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich bet on in 1994 to produce a historic Republican takeover of Congress."

Cummings also makes a pretty convincing case, though, that 2010 isn't like 1994. Her article's worth reading in full.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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