It’s largely going to be gridlock. President Obama will veto what he doesn’t like. The Republican Congress will not have votes to override the vetoes. The GOP will not destroy itself “shutting down government as the Gingrich Congress did in 1995.” Republican congressional leaders will try tactfully to instruct the tea party members on political reality: If unemployment is still above 8.0 percent in 2012, either party might be in a position to take the White House. Below 8 percent, Mr. Obama probably gets re-elected.
As Newt Gingrich’s press secretary and close adviser from 1990 to 1997, I believe these conclusions are premised on a simplistic misreading of 1994-98. By this theory, Newt, believing he could persuade the public to follow him anywhere, overplayed his hand.