Will the right sell its soul to nominate Gingrich?
Whether you believe Marianne Gingrich's story about Newt's offer of an open marriage or not, the sad fact is, this is a morally flawed candidate who has shown a shocking disregard for his family, and specifically, the women in his life. Two divorces caused directly by his philandering is evidence that Newt cannot be trusted on a personal level. And he has given us no indication that we should trust him on a political level either.
It is beyond hypocrisy for Newt Gingrich to talk about family values when his own personal failings highlight someone who could care less about those values, and more about his personal, hedonistic pleasure. The right didn't put up with that crap from Bill Clinton - rightly so. So the question is; will conservatives overlook the massive personal failings of Newt Gingrich just to nominate someone for president besides Mitt Romney?
It is incomprehensible that culture warriors and values voters on the right would swallow hard and look the other way when it comes to a candidate's obvious shortcomings with regard to the very issues they hold dear and proclaim to champion. But judging from the debate last night when Gingrich received a standing ovation for avoiding the issue of his second wife's charges, it would seem that many values voters have thrown those principles under the bus in the name of a crass political expediency. And if that be the general reaction from the mass of voters on the right in the entire electorate, Gingrich may very well skate through to seriously challenge Mitt Romney from now until the convention.
I am not a values voter. I am a pragmatic conservative who wants to see Obama defeated and the Democrats tossed out of the senate next November. Newt Gingrich is not the man to lead the party to that victory. He will be a millstone around the neck of the GOP, dragging the down ballot candidates with him as the GOP loses its identity as a party of principles and values and is defined as a party of opportunistic and cynical calculation. Already it is apparent that nominating Gingrich would open a gender gap in the general election through which Obama would march to triumph. Add to that those who are simply disgusted with the personal moral turpitude of the candidate and Obama doesn't have to work very hard to fashion an electoral college majority.
The hatred by many on the right of the "establishment," and of "moderates" -- Romney's perceived sins -- has apparently overcome their reason and logic. Romney is not the best conservative to nominate. He may not even be the best candidate to challenge Obama in November and win. But at least he has a grounded moral center that people can sense and that gives him a strength of character so obvisouly lacking in the former speaker of the House.
Better to swallow hard and nominate and support a "RINO" for president than swallow hard and betray every important principle and value you stand for in order to stick it to the establishment.