Originally created 01/08/97

Gingrich's gutsy win

A hearty congratulations to Rep. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., for being the first Republican in 68 years to be re-elected as House speaker.

A lesser man would have wilted - and who could have blamed him? - under the unrelenting barrage of liberal Democrat hate-propaganda leveled at him - not just during past weeks or even during the '96 election campaign, but ever since his first election two years ago.

The same gang of cut-throats who tried to sink the Georgian's speakership are the staunchest defenders of White House scandals - and going back several years, of Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, who resigned from the House in disgrace as a result of Gingrich's ethics charges.

Nothing Gingrich has done compares in magnitude with those scandals. If Gingrich were a Big Media darling, there would be little controversy surrounding his re-election.

In the fullness of time Americans will understand the raw courage it took for the Georgian not to cut and run - and for his party to stand by him. In the end, they'll both be stronger for it.

Tuesday's vote was not about ethics anyway. That will come in several weeks after the Ethics Committee makes its recommendation on Gingrich's punishment, which he has agreed to accept.

Yesterday's vote was about an angry, frustrated minority party trying to usurp the majority's power to pick the leader of their choice.

Had Republicans yielded to the Democrats' propaganda campaign, they'd have proved themselves to be a bunch of wimps unworthy of leading the House.


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