David Brooks mourns the candidacy of Newt Gingrich.
As nearly everyone who has ever worked with him knows, he would severely damage conservatism and the Republican Party if nominated. He would severely damage the Hamilton-Theodore Roosevelt strain in American life.
It’s really too bad. We could have had a great debate about the progressive-conservative tradition. President Obama is now embracing Roosevelt. Gingrich has tried to modernize this tendency.
But how you believe something is as important as what you believe. It doesn’t matter if a person shares your overall philosophy. If that person doesn’t have the right temperament and character, stay away.
In short, if Newt wasn’t such an asshole, he’d be a great candidate.