I’m missing something here. The so-cons are a reliable vote on all manner of issues near and dear to conservatism. The RINO’s are, uh, not. The only justification for voting for a RINO can be the achievement of a Republican majority and the tacit assurance that as a member of that majority they will either do little damage or follow the party line more often than not. There’s only one problem with that theory; there’s no historical precedent for it. The RINO’s end up steering the party towards a more moderate position, while the party has little effect on steering the RINO’s towards a more conservative position. And once the spending orgy commences, even more reliable legislators abandon principle. At least, that’s what happened during the Bush years and I see no evidence offering me comfort that it wouldn’t happen again.
Aside from Gingrich’s personal baggage, and voters tend to like their Republicans washed and combed, he has the problem, and the temperament, that he’s been around long enough to have been on both sides of many issues. He has a very active mind, but is not so good at development and implementation of his ideas. Ideas that are as often as not abandoned seemingly overnight for new enthusiasms. While he is quite adept at explaining away these flip-flops, and he’d do very well in debating the current president, the TV commercials highlighting his flip-flops and ethical issues would devastate his campaign. Even there, the flip-flops could have been overcome, absent the ethical questions. And it is those events, and the questions that surround them, that long ago derailed what might have been a natural ascendency to the nation’s highest office.
I believe that he is running for the vice presidency and he could be devastatingly effective in that role, both as a candidate and as a counselor to the eventual Republican nominee for president once in office.