Newt and the base
It looks the angry mob mentality, so forcefully laid out by Ann Coulter in her last book, has come to the party of conservatives. The overwhelming majority of the comments I have read over the weekend about Newt -- his win and his flaws -- have not just been in total support of Newt but express a willingness to overlook all flaws personal, professional and political in the hopes of having an attack dog take on Obama.
People want to get rid of Obama so badly because they are understandably angry, frustrated, scared and disgusted -- myself included. We know that another four years of Obama will snatch opportunity and hope from our children and force an America upon us we don't recognize.
But does it make sense to vote for someone just because he has good ideas, can articulate them and would be great in a debate? Isn't that what so many conservatives had against Obama -- that he could lay out the Democrat position with a sonorous voice and pretty words and throw out idea after idea?
Peruse the comments and you will immediately get a feel for the anger, the desperation and the justifications and defenses for Newt's many flaws -- to the point of ridiculousness. But I will admit that as I read them, my heart starts to palpitate, my face flushes and I'm running to the garage looking for a pitchfork. It's easy to get caught up in it especially when you've been at the forefront of activism. Is this how we want to select our nominee?
Pamela Geller's comment expresses what I am driving at best: "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch. And we need a son of a bitch to defeat the snake in the White House.'
I adore and admire Pamela Geller but I don't agree with her. After reading all of the articles and comments and exchanging heated emails with members of my Tea Party and watching the punditry on TV ad nauseam, I have yet to be convinced that replacing one idea man with another idea man (yes, I know he's OUR idea man) is right for the future of this country and our children.
I want to get rid of Obama more than a bad case of the clap. But not to the point of forfeiting my soul. Attack dogs serve an unpleasant purpose but do you want them in the Oval Office?
The comments are rife with "I don't care's" about his infidelities and he is the only one who can attack Obama in a debate. I also don't care about his infidelities. But the flaws you are all so willing to overlook are precisely the flaws on which the left will perseverate. Moreover, they are the kind of flaws that make me nervous about whether or not Newt can deliver the results we need IN the White House.
How reformed is he? Is he tenacious enough to roll up his sleeves and get the job done unaffected by the distractions that accompany the power of the Office? I'm not as concerned about his infidelity as much as I am about his comments a year ago: "There's no question that at that time in my life, partially driven by how passionate I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and that things happened in my life that were not appropriate." (CBN, March 8 ,2011). Being a congressman is one thing. Being Speaker another. But being President entails an array of pressures, privileges and temptations unrivaled anywhere else in our government. Can Newt handle it?
Newt's national favorability ratings should also not be overlooked. I know, polls schmolls. But the numbers are incredibly high against him. Sure, it's possible he could persuade that 30-40% that he's their guy, but it's not probable. He would start the race against Obama heavily handicapped.
It is both obvious and of great concern to me that so many of us are not only willing to turn the other cheek, but willing to look the other way and forfeit the war just to win a few battles on the debate stage.
Mobs are irrational. They force societies to tack in the wrong direction. Conservative America is justifiably angry and we should use that anger constructively and strategically. Let's take a step back and make sure we are voting for the right person for the right reasons. Not just in protest against some "establishment" that we mistakenly believe will decide the nomination (WE the voters do that) and not just in anger against the worst sitting President in modern history. If we decide Newt is the man so be it, but let's make that decision intelligently not viscerally.