1. Apparently because Gingrich didn't ask the Senate to stay in session in October 1998 while the House still had to vote on the 1999 budget, five Republican candidates (four of them were at the time serving in the House) lost Senate races.
“'When the House finally voted on the budget October 20, it was too late for any of them,' [the anonymous staffer] said.Remember the brouhaha over the supposed cost of the House taking an hour and a half to read the Constitution?
"When the November 3 election votes were tallied, the GOP lost five seats in the House and gained no new seats in the Senate, he said."
“'When one chamber of Congress is in session but not working, we the people still have to pay for members’ salaries and expenses, and for their police protection, and for keeping their lights and phones and coffee machines on.'"Apparently this anonymous staffer believes it is a good use of taxpayer funds to keep the Senate in session three weeks or so without any work to do (how would that have played in the headlines?) to keep five Democrats from campaigning as effectively as when not in session. Maybe the anonymous staffer does not know that even when Congress is in session individuals can be out campaigning. Most of the last six months while Congress was in session, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Rep Ron Paul have been out campaigning. This anonymous staffer gives us a twofer. No political or monetary sense.
2. Apparently Gingrich convinced this staffer that Republicans would gain 30 seats in 1998 instead of losing 5.
“'What was even more galling to the members was the way Gingrich and Linder had everyone convinced we were headed for a 30-seat gain,' said the former staffer, who is not affiliated with a presidential campaign."Political leaders are supposed to be overly optimistic. They're supposed to say they will win even though it looks like they will lose. But, staffers are supposed to be hard-headed and doing real research. But somehow the anonymous staffer was credulous enough to believe that though there were no (none, zero) seat gains in the 1996 elections, there would be a blow out of a 30 seat gain in 1998 as a delayed follow up to the 63 seat gain in 1994.
3. The 1999 budget was a "disaster".
“'It also didn’t help that the budget that passed was a disaster. It had no tax cut and Clinton got everything he wanted,' the former staffer said. 'Limbaugh was killing us and calling the budget a sellout, so conservatives stayed home.'”One of only four balanced federal budgets in modern history (1998-2001) was a disaster? If a balanced budget is a disaster, what does that make all the budgets passed before and since? Cataclysms? Utter ruinations? Armageddons?
4. Then there are the small ball gripes. Newt wanted to "be driven in [an] American-made car".
“'Even when he campaigned for candidates it was a crazy production,' he said. 'He had a 13-page rider with requirements like: Must be driven in American-made car, must have steak for lunch and must have a treadmill in hotel room.'”Talk about crazy. Why would any candidate want to boost American-made products? Or someone trying to keep in shape ask for a treadmill in his hotel room? Or, having to eat the junk food that is part of campaigning, ask for certain food to be provided at least at lunch?
No wonder the staffer wants to remain anonymous. Who would want to be identified as the professional pol who said this stuff? It doesn't say much for Human Events that they are publishing such drivel.
H/T Byron York