Newt Gingrich: "My Mandate on Individuals Is Not Like the Individual Mandate":
Let us give the Devil his due, shall we? Republican presidential candidate and author of World War II fan fiction Newt Gingrich says that he was taken out of context when media on the left and right pointed out that he had seemingly approved of individual mandates for health insurance, the centerpiece of the President Obama's health care reform law, on Meet the Press with the matching grey mane of David Gregory. So let's give him some context.
On Sunday, Gregory played a 1993 clip of then-elected Representative Gingrich saying, "I am for people, individuals--exactly like automobile insurance--individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance. And I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance."
He then asked Gingrich, "What you advocate there is precisely what President Obama did with his healthcare legislation, is it not?"
And Gingrich said, "No, it's not precisely what he did. In, in the first place, Obama basically is trying to replace the entire insurance system, creating state exchanges, building a Washington-based model, creating a federal system. I believe all of us--and this is going to be a big debate--I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for health care. I think the idea that..."
Then Gregory interrupted, "You agree with Mitt Romney on this point."
And Gingrich continued, "Well, I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay--help pay for health care. And, and I think that there are ways to do it that make most libertarians relatively happy. I've said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you're going to be held accountable."
And Gregory pushed, "But that is the individual mandate, is it not?"
And Gingrich said, "It's a variation on it."
So what Gingrich said was simple: Buy health insurance or put up money elsewhere, in an account, one supposed, where one keeps money that the government says you have to keep so you can pay for health care, but, no, really, as long as it's not "insurance," per se, it's not exactly an individual mandate for health insurance, just a mandate for money. Individually. That's not flip-flopping. That's noodle-dancing.
And it allows Gingrich's campaign to make this statement: "Newt believes it is unconstitutional for the federal government to impose an individual mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance." And so he's right. But he apparently doesn't think it's unconstitutional for the federal government to make you post a health care cost bond, a kind of "insurance," if you will, that you will be able to afford that heart surgery.
If turds had legs, they'd be called "Gingriches" because Newt is simply one of the most vile politicians...no, no, one of the most vile Americans of the last half century. He is a bloated reminder of the depravity inflicted on the nation during the Clinton administration. And as for his much-vaunted "ability to work across the aisle"? Well, fuck, he only made deals with President Clinton because Clinton decided to triangulate the hell out of the right's positions. Or, in other words, in simpler words, Clinton veered conservative, and then Newt was ready to deal.
As Gingrich flames out, as anyone who paid attention during the 1990s knew he would, as he makes barely-coded racist statements, as he pisses off members of the cult of Paul Ryan and then offers to blow them, we can all sit back and watch the hubristic Hindenburg burn and say, "Oh, the inhumanity."