Newt Gingrich gave a talk at AEI yesterday that was highly tauted. You got the impression that he was going to have something important to say. I saw part of the speech, and read it all. I am mystified why people think this was a great speech. See, for example, Jonah Goldbergs praise of it. But even worse is Frank Gaffneys boundless intemperance in saying that it "may be one of the most important foreign-policy addresses by a former national leader since Winston Churchill warned in March 1946 that an iron curtain has descended across the Continent." This is way over the top.
It seems to me that although the State Department can be criticized on a variety of grounds, it absolutely cannot be criticized simply the way Gingrich does. Or, if it can be so criticized, it is, in fine, a criticism of the President himself. And that is both wrong and politically dangerous. Is Gingrich (and some so called conservatives) now willing to take on the President and his very succesfull foreign policy (of which war making is only a part) by relentlessly and comprehensively criticizing the State Department? What kind of suicidal mission are these guys on? Or, it is possible that I am missing something having to do with some kind of petty inter-office wars within the beltway. But if its only that than Gingrich ought to be ashamed of himself for creating an inside-the-administration-war at a time when that administration is about to conduct some very, very serious diplomacy in order to further its foreign policy agenda. I think that Gingrich is either a fool, or a knave, or is being used by some for highly imperfect ends. If I am wrong, you should let me know.