Can Newt ride the anti-establishment mood into the White House?
I'm absolutely convinced Newt Gingrich would love to be president. But every time he starts making noises like a candidate, he seems to back off as if remembering his sky high negatives and problematic personal life.
This is a shame because if ever we needed an idea man in the White House - someone who could grasp the essentials of a problem and offer a solution (some more viable than others), it is the former speaker, public intellectual, and I believe, the primary carrier of the Reagan legacy today.
Listening to Gingrich speak is a treat for the mind and his columns are equally thought provoking. His latest points up something that many in the MSM and pundit class are ignoring; that the vote in California rejecting tax increases was, at bottom, a vote against the political establishment and a victory for the grass roots:
This vote is the second great signal that the American people are getting fed up with corrupt politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, greedy interests and incompetent, destructive government.The elites ridiculed or ignored the first harbinger of rebellion, the recent tea parties. While it will be harder to ignore this massive anti-tax, anti-spending vote, they will attempt to do just that.Voters in our largest state spoke unambiguously, but politicians and lobbyists in Sacramento are ignoring or rejecting the voters' will, just as they are in Albany and Trenton. The states with huge government machines have basically moved beyond the control of the people. They have become castles of corruption, favoritism and wastefulness. These state governments are run by lobbyists for the various unions through bureaucracies seeking to impose the values of a militant left. Elections have become so rigged by big money and clever incumbents that the process of self-government is threatened.Sacramento politicians will now reject the voters' call for lower taxes and less spending and embrace the union-lobbyist-bureaucrat machine that is running California into the ground, crippling its economy and cheating residents. This model of high-tax, big-spending inefficiency has already driven thousands of successful Californians out of the state (taking with them an estimated $11 billion in annual tax revenue). The exodus will continue.
Gingrich points out that this anti-establishment mood is exactly what powered Ronald Reagan into office as his victory followed closely on the heels of the 1978 anti-property tax revolt in California that then swept the country.
Gingrich strongly supports the tea party movement and ties it in with the California vote, citing these twin protests as evidence there may be a groundswell of anti-government sentiment waiting to be tapped.
Is he the politician to do it and by doing so, ride that wave all the way to the Oval Office? As for the former, I have no doubt. But if he runs, he will reopen old wounds as well as bare his private life which at times has been pretty sordid. Moreso than Clinton's? No, but what does that matter when he will have the MSM gunning for him in ways they never went after Clinton.
All of this I'm sure he is taking into account as he ponders his future while directing his intellect and energies toward fighting Obama and his ruinous policies. In the end, he may find that he can be more effective outside the political arena than in it.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky