John Richardson has made excellent use of the internet to add some extra notes he gathered while researching “Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican” to his Esquire blog. I’m not going to quote much here, because you don’t want to read this stuff over breakfast (or just before you go to bed). But here’s a teaser from Mickey Edwards, a former Congressman so conservative he was one of the original trustees of the Heritage Foundation:
[Newt] was the one who really more than anybody got Republicans to start thinking of themselves not in terms of their constitutional obligations, but thinking of themselves first as Republicans. The classic example of when this came back to haunt us is when George Bush became president and started doing these things that were unconstitutional, like his signing statements. Republicans rallied to support him. My whole life has been in the conservative movement, and if Lyndon Johnson did those things we would have had a mass protest. But they went along with it because he was their leader. That’s the fruit of what Newt brought.