Gingrich v. Leftism
The endorsement of Newt Gingrich by Rick Perry, as well as the virtual endorsement of Gingrich by Sarah Palin, forms the battle lines for the Republican nomination. Look quickly for Santorum and Bachmann to line up behind Gingrich as well, just like Huntsman has endorsed Romney. In a three-man race with Gingrich representing historic conservatism, Paul embracing constitutional libertarianism, and Romney representing the pragmatic political wing of the party, Gingrich should wrap up the nomination relatively quickly.
The left, of course, will try to destroy Gingrich, just as it has been trying to destroy him since he forced Speaker Jim Wright into disgraceful retirement in 1989. Today, the attack will be on his personal life -- this by the same leftists who loved Bill Clinton, who ignored the ghastly behavior of John Edwards, and who since JFK have said that the private life of a political leader is not important -- but the left's real fear of Gingrich comes from Gingrich's understanding of the weaknesses of leftism and the ways to defeat it.
Begin with a much-maligned, much-misunderstood document: Gingrich's 1994 Contract With America. As a tool of ideological war, it is unparalleled in modern American history. The purpose of the Contract, as Gingrich said clearly at the time, was to end the game which House Democrats had been playing for many decades: notionally support conservative ideas, but use control of the House to prevent any votes on measures which might implement those conservative principles.
The second part of the Contract was a solemn promise to bring each of the ten substantive bills for a vote in the House within the first 100 days of the new Congress and also to implement eight procedural changes in how the House conducted business on the very first day of the new Republican House. Gingrich kept every promise made in the Contract and, in fact, honored his pledges sooner than he was obligated to.
The Contract also generated an enormous backwind of support for all Republicans running for state or federal office in 1994. As a consequence, in the midterm election of a very savvy Democrat, when the economy was in reasonably good shape, Republicans won not only the House and the Senate, but also most gubernatorial and state legislative elections, breaking an iron partisan grip that Democrats had held on America since FDR.
There was a reason why union goons entered Gingrich's offices and why House Democrats filed 84 ethics charges (one of which stuck, and most of which were absurd) against Gingrich when he was speaker and why Nancy Pelosi threatened to raise these ancient charges yet again. Not only was Gingrich liberals' enemy, but he defeated them.
There was another vital component of the Contract: it depersonalized national politics and focused instead on explicit legislative initiatives, whose whole and simple terms were made public beforehand. Take personal destruction; vague rhetoric; and huge, indigestible bills and regulations out of politics, and the left has nothing at all.
Gingrich also understands and undertakes the next line of attack against leftism: he attacks directly the leftist media itself, discarding the premise that the leftist media is impartial and treating it, instead, as the enemy. Other Republicans, who try to act civilly to the journalistic hacks of leftism, appease an unappeasable enemy. Without near-monolithic ideological unity among the rich corporate media, the left would have no chance of winning national elections.
How to handle despicable personal attacks? Do what Gingrich did in the debate on January 19, when he confronted ABC News directly regarding the "news" of the decades-old griping of his ex-wife. Call ABC News's actions despicable, and make their vile bias the issue.
The best way to handle the leftist media is to directly attack it. Those who recall Spiro Agnew's Des Moines speech in 1969 or the constant and effective needling which Rush Limbaugh used to expose the leftist media in spite of odious actions like the Florida orange juice boycott know that these vast media empires are full of cowards who cannot face the man who faces their bullying. We will never win until someone tackles these malefactors of great wealth on our behalf and with righteous indignation.
Gingrich also sees that as long as an unelected, remote, and imperial judiciary retains the power, without check, to read whatever absurdities it wishes into the Constitution, we cannot restore the greatness of America. Some conservatives fear that if Congress exercises its duty and right to rein in a rogue leftist judiciary, then Congress will later harass conservative jurists. In fact, the left began that combat twenty years ago with Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.
Unless conservatives resist the imperial judiciary and challenge directly its supra-constitutional and invented powers, we will face constant attacks by those who piously pretend not to be implementing a leftist agenda even as they do just that.
Gingrich can beat Obama and add more Republicans to elective office. His debating skills will eviscerate Obama, and a Republican platform like the Contract With America would put the left on the defensive through November. More importantly, however, Gingrich can actually defeat leftism in America.