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That's fine, but admitting that the GOP should avoid bribery scandals in the future isn't the boldness you might expect in the party's dream candidate. If you want to argue that those scandals were a symptom of the GOP's D.C. nativism and big spending, as epitomized by the 2003 Medicare bill, Gingrich isn't quite as inspiring: He supported that bill. If bellicose calls for war are bringing down the party and ruining the conservative brand, Gingrich... well, it's obvious how that sentence is going to end.
Obviously, the Newt '08 buzz is happening in one of those incredible buzz-fueled wormholes that opens up every campaign season. Some of the people aching for a Gingrich run expect him to lose the Republican primaries, only after infusing the race with his ideas and (admit it) eccentricity. Those are Gingrich qualities that never faded during his speakership, a fact that delighted Reasonoids and non-Reasonoids alike.
Those are also the only reasons to cheer the potential Newt run. Dreaming up a heroic, retconned version of the Republican Revolution and then praying for a comeback? Not good enough.
David Weigel is an associate editor of Reason.