June 18, 2011
Why Newt?By J.J. Speelman
It could be said that Newt Gingrich's campaign "problems" of late have put the White House beyond the former speaker of the House's reach. The most recent issue was the defection of Newt's campaign staffers, who believed there was a strategy difference between themselves and Gingrich on how to move forward.
But not so fast. The departure of Gingrich's staffers is nothing more or less than a breath of fresh air -- after all, it is Newt himself, and not his campaign advisers, who is running for president.
The fact is that Newt Gingrich has a vision on how to move this country forward, and his pragmatic approach to dealing with America's issues has worked in the past. So while the light on his campaign might look dim, Gingrich in fact has a record that shines bright.
Newt's revolution wasn't new, but the idea was lost amid bureaucracy and bloated government. Nevertheless, the idea, as it was intended to be, molded government to the will of the American people. It came in an effort to offer an alternative to democratic policies and unite the Republican Party with what they called the "Contract with America."
As the architect of the contract, Minority Whip Gingrich, along with help from fellow Republicans, laid out ten policies on which Republicans, if given the majority, would vote on the House floor within their first hundred days. The people "signed," voting in the 104th Congress and giving the Republicans a majority that, under Speaker Gingrich, made good on their promise, bringing the prosperity America enjoyed in the nineties.
Today, however, Gingrich has been the target of many personal attacks, even from those within his own party. Before going into Gingrich's successes as a leader, let's take a look at people's objections to a Gingrich 2012 run for the White House:
Newt bought into the global warming scam and taped an advertisement with Nancy Pelosi.
Knowing that conservatives would be concerned, Newt immediately explained his reasons for the "Alliance for Climate Protection" ad with Pelosi. He said, "I want to be clear: I don't think we have conclusive proof of global warming. And I don't think we have conclusive proof that humans are at the center of it." He does, however, believe that conservatives shouldn't be absent from the debate regarding environmental concerns. He wants a "Green Conservatism" that utilizes science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurs, and incentives to create a positive environmental future. Newt believes that if America doesn't make the case for Green Conservatism, our environmental and energy future will inevitably fall prey to left-wing environmentalism, such as Cap and Trade, which requires oversized government with command-and-control "solutions."
Gingrich tried to impeach President Clinton for having an affair while he was also having one. He's a hypocrite without the necessary moral character to be president.
While Newt admitted to having a marital affair, his reason for leading the charge to impeach President Clinton was for committing perjury. Lying to a federal judge is a violation of an oath that Clinton had sworn to uphold, and is an impeachable offense.
To address the conservatives who share the "hypocrite" view popular among former Clinton supporters, Newt's affair was a setback in his personal life that he has since reflected on and for which he went before God for forgiveness. Since Newt left the Speakership, he has been in the vanguard to put God back into the public sector, devoting time to documentaries and leading organizations that promulgate ideas for fixing government and improving public policy.
If Americans must look into the personal lives of those we elect, then the focus must be on those whose personal lives trickle into their policies and political appointments. Are Americans going to worry about Newt's personal life or about whom Obama appointed to head the Justice Department? Clearly, Eric Holder's appointment is the result of Obama's history with ACORN and twenty years of Jeremiah Wright's America-loathing sermons. One could challenge anyone with an argument to name one time that Newt's personal missteps adversely affected his decisions as House Speaker.
Gingrich is controversial; he shut down the federal government!
Newt has taken on tough positions over the course of his career and, as Speaker, redefined the power of the Speakership by standing up when others took comfort in sitting down. Gingrich and his new majority made a promise to slow the rate of government spending, which conflicted with President Clinton's bureaucratic Medicare, education, and public health big spending agenda. This eventually led to a U.S. federal shutdown. Prior to the shutdown, Congress passed resolutions for funding that were vetoed by Clinton. The shutdown became the longest in U.S. history and finally ended when Clinton caved, agreeing to submit a CBO-approved balanced budget plan. Gingrich "didn't flinch" and, as a result, balanced the budget and got his majority reelected for the first time since 1928. Great leaders are controversial. Their voices are heard, and they make an impact.
Gingrich was forced out of Congress due to a slew of ethics violations.
The 84 charges brought up against Gingrich were a product of then-Minority Whip David A. Bonior's vendetta. Bonior, a socialist Democrat, became obsessed with pursuing Gingrich ever since the Republicans won the majority in 1994. Of the 84 charges Bonior leveled against Gingrich, 83 were found to have no merit. In terms of the one violation, Newt admitted he made inaccurate statements during a lengthy probe into Democratic allegations that he misused tax-exempt donations. He denied the charges, but submitted to the House reprimand, agreeing to pay $300,000 to cover the cost of the investigation.
Gingrich stood as an obstacle to Bonior's agenda. Newt stopped reckless government spending, the lifeline through which socialism works against prosperity. In late 2008, Obama appointed Bonior to his Transition Economic Advisory Board -- the same Bonior who, in 2000, was the keynote speaker at the Detroit Democratic Socialists of America's fundraising dinner.
You heard what Newt said about Paul Ryan's budget plan. He can't take that back.
While Newt said he used language that was probably too strong, his point was well-made. Responding to Gregory's question whether Newt would support a complete overhaul of Medicare against the will of the people, Newt answered no. Newt doesn't believe in imposing massive changes on the American people against their will, whether it's from the right or the left. This was misinterpreted as an attack on Ryan and his plan.
Newt's action as a leader made government accountable to the people. In 1995, Gingrich and the Library of Congress unveiled THOMAS, an internet-accessible database of congressional information, for transparency in government. Under Newt's leadership, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the 1996 reform of welfare. They passed a capital gains tax cut and brought the first balanced budget since 1969. Newt's term saw monthly unemployment fall from 5.6% to 4.2%, creating 8.4 million jobs, and limiting government spending to 2.9% per year, including entitlements, which was the lowest levels since the 1920s. The 1996 budget deal saw the largest drop in discretionary spending since 1969. This led to four consecutive balanced budgets.
This sets a platform by which Newt could ignite his campaign. He represents the opposite of what this country is dealing with as far as the Obama administration goes. Newt has a proven record of leadership -- decreasing the size of government and bending it to the will of the people. So the question shouldn't be "Why Newt?" but rather, "Why Not Newt?"
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