…in writing that anti-Gingrich letter that all the fuss was about yesterday, TNR’s Timothy Noah offers further background on some possible reasons behind Dole’s anger (in addition to what I’d already suggested here).
An excerpt summarizing the gist of it:
In 1990, when Dole signed on to the tax increase with which President George H.W. Bush broke his 1988 pledge, “Read my lips: No new taxes,” Gingrich had begun his sweaty climb up the House leadership. In that capacity, Gingrich participated in the deficit-summit meetings and gave every impression that he would loyally support the tax increase (which proved instrumental in gradually lowering the deficit, finally eliminated during Bill Clinton’s presidency, only to be resurrected almost immediately once George W. Bush became president). In the end, though, Gingrich double-crossed Dole, Bush père, and the other Republican leaders by marching out of the White House and declaring his opposition to the tax hike. In doing so, he helped throw the 1992 election to Democrat Bill Clinton.
Read the whole thing. If true, it certainly sheds more light on why Dole might be a tad perturbed by the prospect of Gingrich’s becoming the 2012 nominee. And if true, this sort of behavior would also go a ways towards explaining why almost no former colleagues of Gingrich’s are endorsing his candidacy (actually, I can’t think of any who are, but you might be able to offer some).
So, what’s your reaction? Do you think it’s all a lie or the truth (after all, it’s TNR, and in the article they get a chance to bash both Dole and Gingrich, a twofer)? Either way, does it just describe business as usual in DC? Is it the kind of clever maneuvering you want to see in a candidate? An example of Newt’s devotion to the principle of no new taxes? Or a case of Gingrich’s enormously self-aggrandizing duplicity? Or some combination of these?
Some further observations from the author of the piece:
These graybeards [the old guard “establishment Republicans”]…I suspect, hate Gingrich more than any Democrat does, because if you’re a Democrat you probably never had the opportunity to be double-crossed by Gingrich.