Who's the Real Tea Party Candidate?

The most important elective Republican since the 1920s was surely Ronald Reagan. Ronaldus Magnus' coattails ushered in the first Republican Senate in 26 years. And unlike Eisenhower, who lost his GOP Congress in the next election, Reagan's GOP Senate held on through two more election cycles. Reagan stood athwart progressive history and stopped it for a while. It was Morning in America. Not bad.

But even Tea Partiers may need to be reminded about the significance of the 1994 election. It was a ground-shaking turning point in politics: Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 40 years. And it was the first time in 40 years that the GOP had control of both houses. Except for the 1.5-year gap in Senate control caused by the 2001 defection of Jim Jeffords, Republicans would control both houses for 12 years.

This GOP Congress would go on to produce 4 back-to-back balanced budgets -- the first since the 1920s -- and the largest budget surpluses in American history. The captain of this sea change in fiscal direction was one Newt Gingrich of Georgia.

As the architect of one of the GOP's most stunning victories, and with such a splendid record of controlling spending and balancing budgets, one might think that Newt would be faring better in his bid for the presidency, especially amongst the Tea Party. So I'm directing you to a terrific article at National Review Online by Andrew C. McCarthy, "The Root-and-Branch Candidate." McCarthy writes:

Will the 2012 presidential-election campaign be about big ideas? Ideas like whether the American people are still masters of their own destiny ... Americans have now seen the future, and, in growing numbers, they are horrified by it. ... We have a moment in time in which it is possible to demonstrate, starkly, that statism does not work, and therefore that it ought to be removed root and branch. That argues not only for dumping Obama but also for rolling back the tide of which Obama is merely the most destructive wave.

McCarthy's article examines Gingrich's ideas about how the judicial branch has gotten out of whack and what he wants to do about it. (McCarthy writes with authority on this; he was a U.S. Attorney.)

Newt Gingrich probably has more good ideas each morning before coffee than most Democrats have in their entire lives. America is in such a state of decline, that the GOP shouldn't just settle for winning this election; they should instead try to find the most competent candidate they can. That candidate may be Newt.

Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.

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