Count me in the anti-Newt camp. I have not forgotten and I don’t forgive him for squandering the historical achievement of capturing the Congress in 1994 in order to service the needs of his pecker and inflated ego. Newt is a great talker, a dandy debater and an organizational disaster. I believe the man is bi-polar. He bears all of the symptoms.
Anyway, there are two pieces out today that are worth your time. One is by neo-con John Podhoretz. It is a negative piece to say the least. Podhoretz writes:
We’ve made the Fitzgerald mistake: Once again, we forgot that the United States is either an uncommonly forgiving or uncommonly forgetful place.
We remember Gingrich well. Too well. We should; we’re paid to. But we failed to take into account that most people who vote aren’t paid to and have other things to think about.
We remember him going through one of the great political flameouts of our time — first helping to engineer the 1994 GOP takeover of Congress, then resigning after the 1998 midterms.
We remember the brilliant political design of the Contract with America — and how little of it actually made it into law. That would prove to be very much the pattern with Gingrich, who loves to think in grand terms but who tends toward not grandeur as a result but grandiosity, instead.
We remember how he tarnished his own “Republican revolution” even before it started between the 1994 election and the swearing-in of the new Congress by getting himself a $4.5 million book deal (that would be $6.5 million today) — a PR blunder and possible ethics violation that backfired so badly that he had to forswear his advance.
It troubles me to find myself agreeing with a neo-con but, right is right. I encourage you to follow the link and read the entire piece.
And if you love Newt? Well, John Hawkins is for you:
Picking a candidate in cases like this for me always starts out with the same question: Who’s the most conservative candidate that can be elected?
I’ve decided that candidate is Newt Gingrich. To begin with, he’s a conservative and Romney’s a right-of-center moderate.
I also believe Newt’s more electable than Romney. That’s not because he polls better than Romney against Obama right now — although he does according to Rasmussen. It’s because Mitt Romney is a weak, bland, moderate candidate who inspires no passion and who seems to have no core convictions whatsoever. These are features, not bugs to establishment Republicans, but conservatives have fought too long and too hard to keep embracing guys like Romney just because a bunch of Republican careerists in D.C. like him or because it’s “his turn.” Is it too much to ask that the conservatives who provide the vast majority of energy, money, and the ideas in the GOP have one of our own as the nominee?
I don’t think it’s too much to ask and, yes, Newt Gingrich is a conservative. I won’t sit here and tell you that he has no flaws or that he hasn’t gone off the reservation a few times. But, I will also tell you that other than Ronald Reagan himself, Newt Gingrich has actually helped push through more conservative legislation than anybody else in the last 30 years. This is the man behind the Contract with America, welfare reform, and a balanced budget in D.C. He has a lifetime ACU rating of 90. This isn’t a man who governed as a centrist and is now telling us how conservative he’ll be this time around. This isn’t a man who simply said “No” to everything that came down the pike because it wasn’t “conservative enough” for him. This is a man who actually moved the ball forward for conservatives on Capitol Hill. When was the last time we got off defense and actually started moving D.C. to the right? Oh, yes, it was when Newt was the Speaker. So, people can criticize his performance as Speaker all they want, but no Republican in D.C. since Newt left has even come close to filling his shoes. Even the best people we have in D.C. right now are doing nothing more than holding the line. There’s a lot to be said for that, but we’ve got to do more than that if we’re ever going to turn the country around.
So, who is right? Podhoretz or Hawkins? What do you think?