September 23, 2008 11:02AM

Slow Learner

Newt Gingrich tells the Washington Post, “We have now launched big‐​government Republicanism.” Referring to the Bush administration’s bailout‐​and‐​takeover plan for the financial sector, he said, “If we saw France do this, Italy do this, we would have thought it was crazy.”

He has a point. But some of us identified “big‐​government conservatism” as the operating system of the current Republican party a long time ago. I wrote about it in the Australian in early 2003 and in the Washington Post in late 2003. Or check out Bill Niskanen’s comments in this 2004 Los Angeles Times article. Of course, Ed Crane saw it coming in 1999. And Mike Tanner wrote a whole book about it — Leviathan on the Right: How Big‐​Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution — in 2007.

Or you could read Mike Tanner’s critique of “Gingrich’s Big Government Manifesto” back in 2006.