Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Newtonian Politics

Like most everyone, I'm a bit skittish about Newt Gingrich.  Why?  Because, you know, he's a bit flaky.  Shoots from the hip.  And all the other things we "know" about Newt Gingrich, which is to say, stories that his enemies have launched into the public square through their willing accomplices in the mainstream media.

On the one hand, I don't think that Newt is a dreaded "progressive," in the mold of TR, Wilson, and FDR, as Glenn Beck seems to think.  On the other hand, I don't think that Newt is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative.

We hear now from former House members that didn't like Gingrich as speaker and thought he was erratic, and then you read Tony Blankley, who used to work for him, write this:
Curious. I remember most of them enthusiastically following his leadership year after year as the Republican whip from 1989-1994. It was the most successful congressional opposition movement since Benjamin Disraeli formed the modern Conservative Party in Britain in the mid-19th century. And after the GOP took back the House for the first time in 40 years (and the Senate, too, by the way), Gingrich's four years as speaker proved to be the most productive, legislative congressional years since at least 1965 to 1967, and they were led by Lyndon B. Johnson from the White House. Working against -- and with -- Democratic President Bill Clinton, we passed into law most of the Contract with America, welfare reform, telecommunications reform (which ushered in the modern cell phone and Internet age), we had the first balanced budget since before the Vietnam War, we cut taxes and lowered unemployment to under 5 percent.
And the other thing about Newt is that when they said: Go, in 1998, he went.

So which is it?  The big thing about Newt is that Democrats can't stand him and like to make fun of him.  But then they made fun of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush: they sneer at all conservative Republicans.  They have a special reason to be angry at Newt.  It was he that forced Speaker Wright (D-TX) to stand down and it was he that led the 1994 campaign that switched the House to R. for the first time since 1954.

I met Newt at a fundraiser back in 1994 when I was working on the congressional campaign for Rick White.  What did I think?  I think it was outrageous that the left were demonstrating outside the fundraiser.  They called Newt a bomb-thrower back then, meaning that he said nasty things about the opposition.  You mean like every Democrat that ever lived?

Here's what I think.  If the American people are determined to get rid of Barack Obama it won't matter whether Newt is a flake or has "baggage" or has taken money from Freddie Mac.

And you know what?  They would be right.

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