It's Time for the Bull in the China Shop
With all due respect to his enormous contribution to the conservative movement, John Ziegler really blew it in his January 20th article on the American Thinker website, The Myth of 'Newt The Great Debater'. In less-than-subtle terms, Mr. Ziegler bemoaned how the media would react to a Gingrich-Obama debate by portraying him - at best - as "angry, unhinged, and lacking the temperament to be president of the United States" and at worst as "like a rabid, uncaged, animal and, inevitably, maybe even racist," conjuring images of Newt as a proverbial bull in a china shop.
Mr. Ziegler based his comments on the fact that "Newt somehow got rave reviews for calling his ex-wife a liar."
First, Newt did not call his ex-wife a liar, nor direct any anger toward her. He said her statement about him asking for an open marriage was not true. Indeed, if you listen closely to the interview, it becomes clear that the term "Open Marriage" (which carries far stronger connotations than just infidelity), was his ex-wife's characterization of the situation, not Newt's, but that's the phrase the media has latched on to...precisely for that reason, I'm sure.
As to his attacks on the media, we've seen what happens to Republicans that try to play nice with the media. They either get destroyed by a continuing barrage of sarcasm and innuendo, like George Bush, or become useful idiots, like a certain other Republican who was led all the way to the nomination by the friendly media, then savaged as an old fool.
The media has declared open war on conservatives, and openly recognizing that fact and responding accordingly is the only way to effectively fight their insidious invective.
But Mr. Ziegler has overlooked the real basis for Newt's appeal.
Not only is he possibly even smarter than we were led to believe Obama was, Newt possesses that rare combination of a highly logical analytical mind that can think through problems and issues and arrive at the real heart of the matter, with a fertile imagination that can generate solutions to those problems in a non-linear fashion.
Take, for example, the charge that is frequently leveled against him that he supported the idea of mandating health insurance coverage. With his typical insightful reasoning, however, he had simply explained the alternatives. We, as a society, are either going to require people to make some kind of financial provision for their own health care or we're not. If we don't, some people are not going to get insurance, and some of those are going to contract catastrophic illnesses. Since they don't have health insurance, we are either going to have to deny them health care, or provide it at public expense.
Newt argued that the first alternative is not something a compassionate society will allow to happen, while the second (which is what we have today) is unaffordable.
I don't like the conclusion, either, but his analysis is rock solid. And Newt has mastered the unique position of accepting these kinds of realities, and then developing innovative solutions to these problems that are consistent with conservative principles.
But Newt's greatest strengths are his ability and willingness to enunciate solid positions rather than resorting to the kind of oralbatic displays of highly nuanced phraseology that has become so common in political discourse today, and the ability to communicate a common-sense vision of a future America based on our founding principles, and to do it in terms that an average American can easily comprehend and appreciate.
So what we'll have in an Obama-Gingrich debate will be O's poll-tested gibberish and promises against an articulate vision of what our country once was and can be again.
We know what side the media is going to be on, no matter who the nominee is.
Will Gingrich prevail?
I honestly don't know. I certainly hope so, but it really depends on whether our core values have been so eroded by a half-century of "Great Society" liberalism and whether the entitlement mentality is so firmly rooted in our citizenry that they are incapable of breaking out of the long slide we are in.
I am, however, firmly convinced that simply reducing the rate of decline will only prolong the inevitable.
We need more than a good manager. We need a bull in a china shop, who will break the hold the 60s counter-culture elitists have on our nation and replace the "Great Society" with a Great Nation of Great People once again.
It's not about winning or losing an election. It's about saving the country that is still the best hope for all mankind.
I think Newt may be the only one who can do that. Yes, he's far from perfect, but history is full of flawed characters who have risen to the occasion and done great things.
At this point in our history, he may not only be our best hope, but our only hope.
That's why I'm rootin' for Newton.