Here's another aspect of the McDermott tape case that most have missed. The original NYT story, written by Adam Clymer - yes, that Adam Clymer - included the transcription of the crucial portion of the tape. The conversation on it convinced McDermott, Clymer, and other Gingrich haters that Gingrich had broken his promise not to campaign against the agreement he had reached with the Ethics Committee. Even a casual reading of the transcript shows that to be false, that Gingrich and the others were not organizing a campaign. Gingrich explicitly says that he is not to campaign against the agreement. Then, one of the other congressmen predicts that the Democrats will attack Gingrich and that the Republicans will be asked to reply. That's it. No plan for planting stories, no suggestions for contacts with supporters, nothing to show that Gingrich was not keeping the agreement.
It shows, I think, just how much McDermott, Clymer, and others hated Gingrich that they could read this innocuous conversation this way. Or, perhaps, it shows just how cynical they were to present it as evidence
against Gingrich. Either way, it isn't a pretty sight.
This was something of which I was not aware. I went searching, and I found the excerpt from the tapes cited by the New York Times. The link can be found here. While it is true that Gingrich and his allies are looking for the best possible way to deal with an embarrassing situation, they are clearly following the constraints placed upon them. The hysterical fulminations of some lefty Seattleites notwithstanding, the republic was not being threatened by their actions in any way.