The Tea Party Case for Newt Gingrich
The Republican Party seems to be struggling to find a candidate it can unite around. One impediment may be a mindset common among some of my fellow Tea Partiers, a false dichotomy that if you are in government you are part of the problem, and if you are not in government, you are part of the solution -- whatever those problems or solutions may be.
Herman Cain says, "The folks in Washington have held public office. How's that working out for you?" It's a catchy comeback. But is government tenure, whether recent or not, the reality of the problems in Washington? The biggest problem in Washington today is that we have a president who basically has no experience doing anything important or relevant. And he has surrounded himself with advisors and staff that are inexperienced as well. That's the problem.
This problem can befall Democrats or Republicans. Let me give a Republican example. President Bush's first cabinet had many folks with Washington experience like Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft, Mel Martinez, Norm Mineta, and Spencer Abraham. All of these, except Mineta, were conservatives. Many of their replacements had no Washington experience. Most folks would agree that Bush's second term was not as successful as his first. Experience was the difference. Next, let's look at the recent Tea Party successes. Two of the biggest successes are Marco Rubio, who had legislative experience, and Scott Walker, who had much executive and legislative experience. I won't belabor the Tea Party failures here. Needless to say, some of them lacked valuable experience. And what about folks in Washington who agree with the Tea Party, like Senator DeMint or Congressman Pence? They predate the Tea Party but they believe the same policies. Are they part of the problem? No, they are not.
Republicans have seen Herman Cain before. They ran him against a liberal Democrat who had implemented the most liberal policies the country had experienced up to that point. The Democrat was Roosevelt. The Cain of the day was Wendell Willkie. And he lost. Go back and study the 1940 campaign. Roosevelt was vulnerable. He was trying for an unprecedented third term. The New Deal was in full swing. Willkie ran as a Washington outsider with business experience who would roll back the big government Democrat policies. And he lost. The electorate decided that government executive experience did matter.
In 1980, the most conservative Republican in a generation won the election. But why did Reagan win? The number-one reason was because President Carter had mismanaged the government so badly that it affected the economy adversely, and many Democrats were willing to vote against him. But Reagan also benefited from the fact that he could explain conservative policies in a way not heard by most Americans before. He had honed his speaking and exposition skills first as an actor, then as the governor of California, and then on a series of radio commentary shows, where he explained conservative principles to his audience. Reagan dominated Carter during their presidential debates. And he won. Twice.
Conservatives want and need a candidate who can enunciate, persuade, and encourage the implementation of conservative principles. That takes some experience. But we need a candidate who can implement conservative executive policy and legislative initiatives well. Mr. Cain says he always evaluates the problem and then surrounds himself with the right people to get the job done. Do we have time for his evaluating process? Will he really know the best people for the job? Or will he bring in other people with no Washington experience? We don't have time for another president who has to come down a learning curve or needs on-the-job training.
There is a candidate who can do these things. He can eloquently expound on conservative principles. And he has already been a participant in the conservative revolution of the '80s and was the leader of the conservative revolution in the '90s. We need someone who can lead another conservative revolution now. And that man is Newt Gingrich. Is Newt perfect? No. Has he made compromises in the past? When you are working with a Democrat president and Senate, some compromise is going to be necessary. Does anyone really think Newt would implement cap and trade? Not likely. Plus the climate science is radically different now. Newt has a lifetime ACU rating of 90. That is conservative.
Read the 21st Century Contract with America. It is just a beginning and will be fleshed out in detail in time, because Newt has done this before. Go back and read the original Contract with America as well. The Republican Congress implemented virtually all of it in short order. In her book Slander, Ann Coulter called Newt one of the most consequential politicians in the last century. He gets that billing from his work as a conservative.
The sooner we unite around a general election candidate, the better. Newt has the ability to beat Obama and hit the ground running on day one, with executive orders and legislation ready to roll. Let's roll with him.