Nomination Excitations: The Case For And Against Newt Gingrich
Two people who I have enormous respect for, Stacy McCain and William Jacobson, are on opposite side of this issue. They have both published excellent posts making the cases against and for the candidate.
I would encourage you to read both, but here are a few highlights from each man’s arguments.
As to Newt’s conservatism, one needs to view his almost 35 years in the public eye as a whole. There are few politicians who have fought as hard over so sustained a period against the false narrative in which an ever-expanding central state is seen as necessary and the decline of the United States is deemed inevitable.
Newt has made some policy mistakes, but that is to be expected from someone who has been so forthcoming with ideas and solutions, not just polled talking points. Some of those positions have been distorted and misrepresented, but some of the criticisms are fair, as Newt would acknowledge.
We never get a perfect candidate. We choose among those who are running. So don’t tell me about all Newt’s supposed heresies unless you are prepared to make the case why one of the other current candidates stacks up better. Among those who are running, no other candidate measures up to Newt.
Newt has a political history which fits very well with the current political and economic conditions. While Newt was a combative Speaker of the House, he also was someone who fought successfully to balance the budget, reform welfare, and implement an economic growth agenda with a Democratic President in office. An electorate sick and tired of Washington politics and deficits will welcome this narrative.
Here we are two years later [after his endorsement of Dede Scarfozza], and Gingrich wants to pretend none of that ever happened. Newt is currently prospering because he talks a good game. He’s always been brilliant at articulating issues, and has benefited by comparison to the hapless Rick Perry, at a time when Herman Cain has been under siege for two weeks. But the Newt Bubble won’t last, because people will eventually remember Newt’s past and his lack of grassroots volunteer enthusiasm will doom his candidacy.
Nobody is going to volunteer to campaign for a career politician who blows half a million at Tiffany for his third wife and then goes off on a luxury Mediterranean cruise. Newt isn’t going to get those $25, $50, $100 campaign contributions from retirees and housewives. Whatever campaign Newt puts together, he’ll have to rely on paid staff, and he’ll get no help from Tea Party activists who remember what he did to Doug Hoffman, the original hero of the Tea Party movement.
…This whole “Second look at Gingrich” nonsense — I’m looking at you, Ed Morrissey – is almost as much a waste of time as the Jon Huntsman campaign, and the sooner people wake up and realize it, the better.
Da Tech Guy has excoriated me for my anti-Gingrich attitude, but I’m serious and will repeat what I said yesterday: To support Newt is tantamount to advocating the re-election of Barack Obama.
Anyone who thinks Newt can beat Obama is delusional. As bad as Romney is, he’s not worse than Gingrich, and if this Newt Bubble isn’t deflated PDQ, I fear that I might be stuck making that argument next February, a profoundly depressing prospect.
My friend Jeffrey Lord has taken leave of his senses. Comparing Gingrich to Winston Churchill? The most obvious difference is that the latter was a man of action, who understood that deeds counted more than words.
There you go.
I may offer a summation of my opinions of Mr. Gingrich that I have been making in these Dispatches over the last several years in a future posting.