Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Live Blog: UGA Getzen Lecture featuring Newt Gingrich

Wrap Up: A very interesting lecture from someone who is high on the FHQ Elite Eight list for 2012. Some things mentioned to me at the reception afterward:

"Where were the solutions?"

"He was more partisan than I thought he would be."

Both were true and aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. Several times Gingrich mentioned not getting into things because of time constraints. You can understand that, but when you're talking about such a fundamental restructuring of the federal government, people are generally going to want specifics. Of course, those were some of the same specifics people wanted from Obama throughout 2008. But that's life on the campaign trail.

Gingrich has a vision, but how compelling that story is -- in view of 2012 that is -- will depend on how Obama has been viewed. If Obama's version of change hasn't actually changed that much in Washington and across the country, that'll make a sweeping vision like Gingrich's much more palatable -- not that it isn't already. And this could be an interesting clash in 2012. Obama as the "government can work for you" candidate against Gingrich as the "government is inefficient if it is filtered through a broken bureaucratic system" candidate.

And what about that Jindal mention? Of course, that was couched after the fact as "Jindal won't be John McCain's age until after 2040." In other words, this guy's a future leader in the GOP.

I'll be back shortly with some more thoughts.

4:08pm: Ends on the Second Amendment.

4:04pm: Israel and Iran?
A: "Would not be shocked if Israel took pre-emptive action."

4:00pm: Government Shutdown?
A: It was healthy. "I have a different view on this than the media. We were the only Republican majority reelected when a Democratic president was being elected."

A: Again, back to the bureaucracy. "Show me a bureaucracy that operates like the Toyota mode of production."

3:57pm: Global warming?
A: Green Conservatism (Contract with the Earth): Unelected Supreme Court and an unelected bureaucracy making these decisions. Carbon tax is akin to helping fuel China.

3:55pm: de Tocqueville's soft tyranny in the US?
A: Paraphrasing: A government that can fire the head of GM is a government to be feared.

3:51pm: Future of the GOP?
A: Name-dropping: Bobby Jindal!
GOP has to: 1) Worry about the GOP and not America.
2) Solutions, solutions, solutions
3) Work to bring together those who are not committed to a hard left ideology.

3:47pm: How would you describe America to the rest of the world given Obama's statement about American having been arrogant on the world stage?
A: Yes, there has been some arrogance, but would tell Europe that we are "partners in freedom," that the Europeans have to provide some help and not just talk.

3:41pm: Obama's foreign policy?
A: "I think he had a bad trip [abroad]." The French and Germans didn't give anything. North Korea tests a missile just before Obama is set to deliver a speech on nuclear disarmament.

Obama is at a defining moment. He has a choice between being Jimmy Carter and learning nothing or being John Kennedy and learning that the world is a tough place.

3:40pm: Q&A!

3:39pm: Everything hinges on fundamentally changing the way in which the government works, especially the bureaucracy.

3:35pm: The bottom line here is that outcome-based implementation of metrics can work to fix the bureaucracy around foreign policy, education, etc. to prevent the failure of the American civilization. In this case, we're talking about the US as the top nation in a unipolar world.

3:32pm: Values --> Vision --> Metrics --> Strategy

3:30pm: Nate Silver may like this talk. Gingrich just cited Moneyball as a good use of metrics.

3:27pm: Real change takes will-power. In the New York case of implementing this metrics-based reworking of the law enforcement bureaucracy, it meant manipulating the bureaucracy; forcing the old school thought process and people out.

3:21pm: The metrics approach to the bureaucracy management is borrowed from Giuliani's New York model.
3:19pm: Problems in foreign policy are similar to what the US faces in terms of health care: The bureaucracy is broken.

3:15pm: Hints of responsible parties here. A cohesive national party message. Not in 1994 with the Contract with America, but in 1980 with what Gingrich calls the 5 Capitol Steps.

3:10pm: Two questions: What is it that America has to do to survive (as a civilization)? How do you convince the American people to go along with it?

3:05pm: Topic: Effective American Policy in an Increasingly Dangerous World

3:00pm: Alright, we're waiting through the introduction of Mr. Gingrich here live in the UGA Chapel. It is difficult for FHQ to approach anything like this without a view toward 2012, so we'll be covering this with an eye toward that election.

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Jack said...

Just in case anyone wants to listen to this, it's online here. (RealPlayer required.) I'll watch what I can before I have to go.

Josh Putnam said...

Thanks Jack. Thankfully I was reminded of the lecture by another faculty member, but that made for a hastily planned trek across campus and an even hastier decision to tote my laptop.