Newt Says "Change, Now!"

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET
Tue May 6 21:48:33 MDT 2008


My Plea to Republicans: It's Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster
by Newt Gingrich 
<> (more 
by this author) 
Posted 05/06/2008 ET
Updated 05/06/2008 ET

The Republican loss in the special election for Louisiana's Sixth 
Congressional District last Saturday should be a sharp wake up call for 
Republicans: Either Congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold 
course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this 

The facts are clear and compelling.

Saturday's loss was in a district that President Bush carried by 19 
percentage points in 2004 and that the Republicans have held since 1975.

This defeat follows on the loss of Speaker Hastert's seat in Illinois. 
That seat had been held by a Republican for 76 years with the single 
exception of the 1974 Watergate election when the Democrats held it for 
one term. That same seat had been carried by President Bush 55-44% in 2004.

  *Two GOP Losses That Validate a National Pattern*

These two special elections validate a national polling pattern that is 
bad news for Republicans. According to a New York Times/CBS Poll, 
Americans disapprove of the President's job performance by 63 to 28 (and 
he has been below 40% job approval since December 2006, the longest such 
period for any president in the history of polling).

A separate New York Times/CBS Poll shows that a full 81 percent of 
Americans believe the economy is on the wrong track.

The current generic ballot for Congress according to the NY Times/CBS 
poll is 50 to 32 in favor of the Democrats. That is an 18-point margin, 
reminiscent of the depths of the Watergate disaster.

  *Congressional Republicans Can't Take Comfort in McCain's Poll Numbers*

Senator McCain is currently running ahead of the Republican 
congressional ballot by about 16 percentage points. But there are two 
reasons that this extraordinary personal achievement should not comfort 
congressional Republicans.

First, McCain's lead is a sign of the gap between the McCain brand of 
independence and the GOP brand. No regular Republican would be tying or 
slightly beating the Democratic candidates in this atmosphere. It is a 
sign of how much McCain is a non-traditional Republican that he is 
sustaining his personal popularity despite his party's collapse.

Second, there is a grave danger for the McCain campaign that if the 
generic ballot stays at only 32 % for the GOP it will ultimately 
outweigh McCain's personal appeal and drag his candidacy into defeat.

  *The Anti-Obama, Anti-Wright, and Anti-Clinton GOP Model Has Been
  Tested -- And It Failed*

The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try 
to run an anti-Obama, anti- Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton 
wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.

This model has already been tested with disastrous results.

In 2006, there were six incumbent Republican Senators who had plenty of 
money, the advantage of incumbency, and traditionally successful 

But the voters in all six states had adopted a simple position: "Not 
you." No matter what the GOP Senators attacked their opponents with, the 
voters shrugged off the attacks and returned to, "Not you."

The danger for House and Senate Republicans in 2008 is that the voters 
will say, "Not the Republicans."

  *Republicans Have Lost the Advantage on Every Single-Issue Poll*

A February Washington Post poll shows that Republicans have lost the 
advantage to the Democrats on which party can handle an issue better -- 
on every single topic.

Americans now believe that Democrats can handle the deficit better (52 
to 31), taxes better (48 to 40) and even terrorism better (44 to 37).

This is a catastrophic collapse of trust in Republicans built up over 
three generations on the deficit, two generations on taxes, and two 
generations on national security.

  *House Republicans Should Call an Emergency, Members-Only Conference*

Faced with these election results, the House Republicans should hold an 
emergency members-only meeting. At the meeting, they should pose this 
stark choice: Real change or certain defeat.

If a majority of the House Republicans vote for real change, they should 
instruct Republican Leader John Boehner and his team to come back with a 
new plan by the Wednesday before the Memorial Day recess. This plan 
should involve real change in legislative, communications, and campaign 
strategy and involve immediate, real action, including a complete 
overhaul of the Congressional Campaign Committee. The House Republican 
Conference would then vote for the plan or insist on its revision.

If a majority of the House Republicans are opposed to acting then the 
minority who are activists should establish a parallel organization 
dedicated to real change. This group should focus its energies on 
creating the changes necessary to survive despite a conference with a 
minority mindset that accepts defeat rather than fights for real change 
(which is what we had when I entered Congress in 1978).

  *Nine Acts of Real Change That Could Restore the GOP Brand*

Here are nine acts of real change that would begin to rebuild the 
American people's confidence that Republicans share their values, 
understand their worries, and are prepared to act instead of just talk. 
The Republicans in Congress could get a start on all nine this week if 
they had the will to do so.

   1. *Repeal the gas tax for the summer, and pay for the repeal by
      cutting domestic discretionary spending* so that the
      transportation infrastructure trust fund would not be hurt. At a
      time when, according to /The Hill/ newspaper, Senator Clinton is
      asking for $2.3billion in earmarks, it should be possible for
      Republicans to establish a "government spending versus your
      pocketbook" fight over cutting the gas tax that would resonate
      with most Americans. Lower taxes and less government spending
      should be a battle cry most taxpayers and all conservatives could
      rally behind.

   2. *Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve
      onto the open market*. That oil would lower the price of gasoline
      an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon, and its sale would lower the

   3. *Introduce a "more energy at lower cost with less environmental
      damage and greater national security bill" as a replacement for
      the Warner-Lieberman "tax and trade" bill* which is coming to the
      floor of the Senate in the next few weeks (see my newsletter next
      week for an outline of a solid pro-economy, pro-national security,
      pro-environment energy bill). When the American people realize how
      much the current energy prices are actually a "politicians' energy
      crisis" they will demand real change in our policies.

   4. *Establish an earmark moratorium for one year and pledge to uphold
      the presidential veto of bills with earmarks through the end of
      2009*. The American people are fed up with politicians spending
      their money. They currently believe both parties are equally bad.
      This is a real opportunity to show the difference.

   5. *Overhaul the census and cut its budget radically*. The recent
      announcement that the Census Bureau could not build an effective
      hand-held computer for $1.3 billion and is turning instead to
      600,000 temporary workers to do a paper and pencil census in 2010
      is an opportunity to slash its budget, shrink its bureaucracy, and
      turn to entrepreneurial internet-based companies to build an
      information-age census. This is an absurdity that cries out for
      bold, decisive reform (see my YouTube video "FedEx versus federal
      bureaucracy <>" for an
      example of what I mean).

   6. *Implement a space-based, GPS-style air traffic control system*.
      The problems of the Federal Aviation Administration are symptoms
      of a union-dominated bureaucracy resisting change. If we
      implemented a space-based GPS-style air traffic system we would
      get 40% more air travel with one-half the bureaucrats. The union
      has stopped 200,000,000 passengers from enjoying more reliable air
      travel to protect 7,000 obsolete jobs. This real change would
      allow the millions of frustrated travelers to have champions in
      congress trying to help them get places better, safer, faster.

   7. *Declare English the official language of government*. This real
      change is supported by 87% of the American people including a
      majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Latinos. It
      is an issue of national unity that brings Americans together in a
      red, white, and blue majority.

   8. *Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot*. The vast majority
      (around 81%) of Americans believe that American workers have a
      right to have a secret ballot election before they are forced to
      join a union. Last year the House Democrats passed a bill that
      would strip American workers of the secret ballot. A new bill
      should be introduced reaffirming that right, and it should be
      brought up again and again until marginal Democrats are forced to
      vote with the American people against the union power structure.

   9. *Remind Americans that judges matter*. Senate Republicans should
      mount an ongoing fight (including a filibuster of other activities
      if necessary) to get the American people to realize that liberals
      want to block all current judicial appointments in order to
      maximize the number of left wing radical judges they can appoint
      if they win the White House. This issue has three advantages. It
      reminds people that judges matter and that a leftwing radical
      Supreme Court would be bad for the values of most (70 to 90
      percent, depending on the issue) Americans. It shows the Democrats
      are not engaged in fair play. It arouses the activism of those who
      have been disappointed by Republicans and have forgotten how bad a
      liberal Democratic Presidency would be.

  *What Is at Stake*

No Republicans should kid themselves. It's time to face up to a stark 

Without change we could face a catastrophic election this fall.

Without change the Republican Party in the House could revert to the 
permanent minority status it had from 1930 to 1994.

Without change, the majorities of Americans who support the Republican 
principle of smaller, more efficient, smarter and fairer government will 
be in for a rude awakening.

It's time for real change to avoid a real disaster.

  *The "May Day Massacre": Can Liberals Govern in a Global Economy?*

Despite the poor outlook for conservatives in our elections this 
November, there is encouraging news from across the Atlantic. The 
conservative wave sweeping Europe hit England last week when the liberal 
Labor Party suffered its worst local election results in 40 years.

Boris Johnson became the first Conservative Party member elected mayor 
of London when he defeated Labour candidate "Red" Ken Livingstone. In 
contests for more than 4,000 local seats across England, Conservatives 
captured 44 percent of the vote, compared to 25 percent for the Liberal 
Democrats and just 24 percent for Labour.

This Conservative victory in England comes on the heels of a 
history-making rout of the Communists and the Greens in parliamentary 
elections Italy two weeks ago. And the Italian results follow 
center-right victories in France (Sarkozy) and Germany (Merkel). The 
countries of so-called "old" Europe are turning away from the liberal 
high tax, big government policies that have crippled their economies and 
are turning toward pro-growth, pro-competitive center-right solutions.

All of which raises the question: Can the Left successfully govern in a 
modern, global economy? The voters of Europe seem to be saying no.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

*P.S.* -- Father's Day is just around the corner and there are great 
gift ideas available at great prices at Just click here 
to order personally signed copies of my new novel, /Days of Infamy/, as 
well as /Pearl Harbor/ and /Real Change/. With the purchase of either of 
these three personally signed books, you can get a signed copy of 
/Gettysburg/ for only $5. If you buy both a personalized copy of /Pearl 
Harbor/ and /Days of Infamy/, you will receive a signed /Gettysburg/ for 

*P.P.S.* -- The Days of Infamy book tour took me to New York City last 
week where Callista took some great pictures of us on the set of Hannity 
and Colmes, The View, The Daily Show and others. You can view them here 

I'm continuing the tour with a signing in Marietta, GA Wednesday. Click 
for details


© Callista Gingrich, Gingrich Productions

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives 
and author of "Winning the Future 
(published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company). Click here to get 
his free Winning the Future e-mail newsletter 

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