Monday, November 14, 2011

Why this shouldn't be Newt's moment

There is all sorts of buzz surrounding Newt Gingrich who is turning his good debate performances into rising to the top of the not-Romney crowd. He's been able to win over Republican viewers by bashing the media, always popular among Republicans, while declining to criticize his fellow candidates.

But before we all jump aboard the Newt train, let's remember some things about Gingrich. He has a long record in politics, and has taken as many positions that should annoy conservatives as Mitt Romney. Here are some examples that bloggers and writers have come up with:

If Mitt Romney is anathema to conservative voters, what about Newt Gingrich who just in May of this year was supporting a federal mandate to require citizens to buy health insurance.

Michael Brendan Dougherty of Business Insider has his list.
Ever wonder why Newt Gingrich has so many ideas?

It's pretty simple. Ideas come to you easily when you have no principles to get in the way of your roaming untrained intellect. So what are some of the ideas Newt Gingrich has promoted? Are they even conservative ideas?

* He promoted the return of the Fairness Doctrine.
* He was for a federal individual health-care mandate, the lynchpin of ObamaCare.
* He was practically spooning Nancy Pelosi in commercials about the need for government action on global warming.
* He supports green energy projects [Solyndras] and farm-subsidies.
* Even as late as this year he was pitching for more government intervention in the health-care system at the progressive Brookings Institution. (links in original)

Gary P. Jackson says that conservatives can't trust Gingrich.
Anytime the chips were down, whether it was backing a far left liberal “republican” like De De Scozzafava instead of a solid Conservative in New York, hopping on the couch with Nancy Pelosi while shilling for Al Gore’s global warming hoax, shilling for the ethanol farmers, or wanting to replace one giant government boondoggle with another, you could always count on Newt Gingrich to betray you.
Jennifer Rubin has some more parts of his record.
Gingrich has supported the individual mandate and cap and trade. He vouched for Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. At various times, he supported creating the Department of Education, ethanol subsidies and Medicare Part D. And let’s not forget his counterproductive and false attack on Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan as conservative social engineering. In short, it’s not like his record is so much more conservative than Mitt Romney’s.
Rich Lowry reminds us of Newt's pandering in Iowa on ethanol.
When he went to Iowa and predictably plugged ethanol subsidies, he inveighed against “folks in big cities” who “decide what should happen to people in rural America.” Every candidate in Iowa endorses ethanol. Only Gingrich makes it a grand sociological clash between different regions of the country.

He can’t help himself. Gingrich prefers extravagant lambasting when a mere distancing would do, and the over-arching theoretical construct to a mundane pander. He is drawn irresistibly to operatic overstatement — sometimes brilliant, always interesting, and occasionally downright absurd.
But that's not all. How about his flip flops on Obama's actions in Libya.
Gingrich made the most compelling and damning statement about Pres. Barack Obama’s inaction in Libya, right before he made the most compelling and damning statement about Obama’s action in Libya. He tried to square them after the fact in an unpersuasive explanation that lacked the eloquence and conviction of his mutually exclusive denunciations.
And let's not forget his embrace with the Dinesh D'Souza theory that Obama shares the anti-colonial views of his father. Gingrich might trumpet his leadership of the House in the 1990s, but don't forget that, at times he was an awful leader who alienated many of his colleagues.

And then there is the personal baggage as he had a pattern of cheating on a current wife with women who would become his next wife. He did this even while he was leading the impeachment efforts against Bill Clinton. doesn't that display a reckless quality that Republicans have decried in Democratic politicians? And what was his excuse? He was working so hard for the American people that he behaved inappropriately.
There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.
But not to worry: he feels that God has forgiven him.

If Republicans are going to nominate a moderate who flip flops on issues in order to pander to the electorate, why pick Newt with all his personal baggage and peccadilloes instead of Mitt Romney about who has never had to blame how hard he was working for the American people for his adultery?