Even Newt Gingrich is recognizing the danger of purging the Republican party of all but the most hardcore right-wing candidates running for office. In an interview with Politico, he says:
“If we get into a cycle where there are tea parties and there are conservative third-party candidates, we will make [Nancy] Pelosi speaker for life,” Gingrich told POLITICO in an interview Thursday, calling the practice “totally destructive.”
But Gingrich, who broke with many fellow conservatives by getting behind the liberal Republican who was nominated but ultimately dropped out and backed the Democrat in a New York special congressional election, admitted that Dede Scozzafava was too far to the left to hold the GOP’s center-right coalition together.
“That’s a mistake,” he said, referring to a candidacy such as Scozzafava’s. “But it’s equally clear that you can’t be a right-wing party and govern the country.”
He’s right, of course. And it’s especially interesting coming from Gingrich, who practically invented the form of political attack being used by the hard right these days on those moderates he is now defending. Gingrich wrote the book, quite literally, on how to demonize and dehumanize your opponents through the use of marginalizing language. He just wants it aimed solely at Democrats rather than fellow Republicans.