The difference is Gingrich had the nerve to force a govt. shutdown. It wasn't the popular thing, and cost him dearly, but it was the right thing to do, and he has no regrets about it. Gingrich was not perfect, he is weak on immigration and the climate for instance, but he succesfully regained control of the house and pressured the administration to enact things like welfare reform. Despite all of Gingrich's flaws, Boehner is not one iota of the Speaker Gingrich was.