UPDATE: James Fallows points out that what is new is not the Republican desire to wreck the country in order to make the Democratic President look like a loser, but rather the accusation that to try to promote the public interest is "almost treasonous". That is genuinely new. He is correct. Gingrich worked as hard as he could to try to make sure that Clinton's policies failed and the country became worse off, but he didn't call those of us trying to make the policies work traitors.
3 Points on Rick Perry - Politics: For the past few months, Democrats have had the suspicion that Republicans are playing a double or even triple-game in opposing the Obama Administration on spending and deficit issues. At the most principled levels, they're upholding their belief in a smaller government. At the next level down, they're trying to limit Obama's operational successes wherever they can. And, most cynical of all, they understand the idea of "the worse, the better." The surest path toward beating Obama next year is for the economy to stagnate or decline.
Perry's comments about Ben Bernanke cut through any such subtlety. If Bernanke "prints money" in the next 15 months, toward the end of forestalling a recession or preserving jobs, Perry would consider that "almost treasonous." This is the kind of thing you just don't hear from national-level politicians, and for a reason.
On the contrary, this is what I have heard from national-level Republican politicians--admittedly, in private and among friends--since I went to Washington in 1993. What do you think Gingrich sounded like when rallying his troops? That the path to power was to make sure that Clinton's policies failed. Little has changed.