December 7, 2011
A Message from Dems Every GOP Primary Voter Should HearBy Ed Lasky
One would expect Democrats to be down in the dumps with approval of Barack Obama's handling of the economy -- and other issues -- underwater. But GOP primary voters have given them a gift: support for Newt Gingrich.
All voters in the GOP primaries should listen to the "inside the beltway" glee regarding the prospect of Newt Gingrich being the GOP nominee for President. Christmas has come early in Washington as headline after headline trumpet Gingrich's rise. The Obama campaign team indeed has reasons to celebrate.
Here is the headline from Will Rahn's column in the Daily Caller: "Democrats' attacks on Romney indicate they would prefer Gingrich as the nominee." Here are some telling quotes plucked from the article:
Politico's Glenn Thrush picks up on the good spirits animating Democrats as GOP primary voters express support for Gingrich. His column "Team Obama cheers on Newt" should be a wake-up call to primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Will they listen?
There is no bigger flip-flopper among the GOP candidates than Newt Gingrich. A list of his flip-flops could fill pages. Gingrich flip-flops with the flexibility of a Slinky. He grabs hold of fads with the abandon of a teenager and can drop them just as fast as a new fancy crosses his screen. And all too often these ideas are ones that liberals promote. His ideology changes when someone gives him a paycheck (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). He attacked Paul Ryan's Medicare plan and then flip-flopped on his opposition. He called Ryan's budget plans "right-wing social engineering". Then he backtracked. He was for the Libya War before he was against it. He has shown very little consistency in his positions.
His positions -- such as they are at any moment in time -- have included advocating for a federal mandate requiring people to purchase health insurance, cap and trade, ethanol subsidies. His willingness to abuse people's property rights to further the environmentalist agenda might rile conservatives who value the search and seizure clause of the Constitution . But perhaps we should not be surprised: he always has had a warm spot for liberal elites.
His slipperiness in trying to avoid the label of having been a lobbyist by trying to pass himself off as a "historian" for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is akin to the Clintonian nuance that should drive conservatives away from Gingrich.
He is the type of opportunist who symbolizes what is worst in Washington. Newt is the reverse of the Jimmy Stewart character in Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Ron Paul has already pointed out the true nature of Newt Gingrich: he is a shape-shifter. He has made millions by capitalizing on his political connections and by his willingness to adopt the policies of whoever pays for his Tiffany visits and Aegean cruises.
Paul's video has gone viral but will be dwarfed by the ability of Obama and his campaign gurus, David Axelrod and David Plouffe, to paint a very unflattering portrait of Gingrich all next year. And they will have a lot more money than Ron Paul.
There is no candidate that would provide more grist for attacks from the Democrats and their media allies than Newt Gingrich. There is no GOP primary candidate with as much personal baggage that would offend women. There is no candidate more likely to blow up during the general campaign than Gingrich. Then what will the Republican campaign look like? A very damaged candidate facing a machine fueled by a billion-dollar war chest and its media cheering section. Gingrich is the ideal candidate all right...ideal for Obama and the Democrats as they all but make clear in their unrestrained glee at his rise in primary polls.
I have had a hard time wondering why GOP primary voters would prefer some debate idol to be the nominee. Performance in debates should not be the most important criterion for selecting nominees. Obama's ability to give a good invigorating speech is the major reason we have him in the White House. We already have been down this road before and its has been quite a ride towards the disaster zone. Poll after poll have shown that Mitt Romney fares far better than Newt Gingrich in one-to-one matchups against Barack Obama
Are GOP primary voters going to give us four more years of Obama? One would be tempted to bring up the maxim that purity kills but Gingrich is very far from being pure (see below).
If Romney has evolved his views to reflect the views of a national electorate what is so wrong? He won the governor's race in Massachusetts because he listened to the voters in that state. Now he is running for the President of the United States and is advocating the positions that a majority of Americans prefer. Don't we want a President who listens to us? At least Romney adopted policies because voters wanted (and want) him to; Gingrich changed views and advocated policies (for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, for drug companies, and more) for personal profit. The Dover, New Hampshire Daily Democrat endorsed Romney with these words:
Should GOP primary voters reject Mitt Romney because he listens to them instead of paymasters happy to make Gingrich a millionaire for doing their bidding?
Gingrich is a crony capitalist of the worst sort. An impecunious professor goes to Washington and years later milks the city to become a multi-millionaire. I prefer my capitalist straight up, not of the parasite variety who sells his soul for lucre.
GOP primary voters should remember three things: Reagan was not as pure as they may think. He signed the most liberal abortion law in the nation when he was Governor of California, for instance. And that is just one of the policies he followed as governor that he would repudiate (or deep six) when he ran for and became President.
The second thing they should remember is William Buckley's principle that GOP primary voters should vote for the most conservative candidate who can get elected.
Romney may not be perceived as conservative, but how can Gingrich be perceived as being more conservative (cap and trade, federal mandate for health insurance, climate change, partnerships with Pelosi and Al Sharpton)? Does a conservative build businesses or milk a political career to make millions?
The third thing that GOP primary voters should remember about electability is what Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote last week:
GOP primary voters have a choice: to go down in flames with a Newt Gingrich or nominate a candidate who has a fighting chance to save us from four more years of Barack Obama.
The choice: martyrdom or victory.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.
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