Matt Welch on the Cloudy Libertarian Lessons of the Gingrich/Clinton Shutdown

Of confrontations and purges



As a heavily unpopular partial government shutdown sails along for a second week, many of the Republican insurgents who helped will it into existence are weathering the unfavorable poll numbers by reminding themselves that the popular narrative about last great shutdown hurting the GOP is a "myth," an idea not limited to conservative circles.

But, as Reason Editor in Chief Matt Welch writes, any full reading of the Newt Gingrich/Bill Clinton showdown and its aftermath should take into account not only the 1996 midterm elections, but the post-'96 GOP purge of libertarian ideas.