October 25, 2016: Newt Gingrich v. Megyn Kelly

Wednesday, October 26, AD 2016



TV doesn’t get better than the confrontation between Fox News host Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich last night.  Kelly has had a vendetta against Trump since their clash early in the campaign.  Rumors are rife that she is leaving Fox soon and is now basically auditioning for a slot at CNN or MSNBC, and is tailoring her show to reflect the prejudices of her next employer.  Newt Gingrich, love him or hate him, never suffers in silence media bias and he let Kelly have it yesterday.  (It should be noted that while Gingrich supports Trump he has been forthcoming about problems in the Trump campaign and has publically criticized Trump on numerous occasions.)  Note that while she was ready to call Trump a sexual predator how defensive she became about rapist Bill Clinton.  Bravo Mr. Gingrich!

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26 Responses to October 25, 2016: Newt Gingrich v. Megyn Kelly

  • Megyn Kelly is simply another liberal progressive feminist catholyck. Rich. Famous. Aristocratic. Stuck-up. Feminist.

  • God bless Newt. The only thing he should have added is that there is no “if” when it comes to Bill Clinton, and Hillary bullied and threatened her husband’s rape victims. Just more inconvenient truths for the Megan Kelly’s of the world.

  • One redeeming value: She is strongly pro-life on her show.

    Her ego had to have the last word: telling Newt he needs to work on his anger issues. That’s a feminist mantra when one is losing an argument or been caught in faulty reasoning or lies.
    Newt is the voice of reason in this campaign. Hope he will be Trump’s Chief of Staff.

  • hah! ” when one is losing an argument or been caught in faulty reasoning or lies.” I have recognized that in myself upon a few times! … but Megan was wrong to throw “sexual predator” out there. She has been given quite a pulpit and needs to be responsible to it. From 39 Psalm “I said, ‘I will guard my ways
    that I may not sin with my tongue; I will keep a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.’”
    Good for Megyn, me and Trump!
    I am voting for Trump not because he is so Good, but because he is the best choice given what we have to work with.

  • I never registered that there was such a person as Megyn Kelly up until a few months ago. Evidently she’s a lapsed lawyer (as is, I believe, Geraldo Rivera). Her next employer should insist she quit using Tammy Faye Bakker’s make up artist, wash the Crisco out of her hair, and quit coloring it.

  • The discord between men and women in America was on display here ,as well as a generation gap. Kelly wants to get in the ring with an experienced pol like Newt Gingrich, but when he disagrees with her labels vehemently, she basically tells him he needs counseling. As a male, I say to women,you can’t have it both ways. If you want to fight it out in politics with males, then you can’t pretend like you are the man’s wife or girlfriend and start demanding he get psychiatric care when he uses emotion (supposedly YOUR forte) to express his views. Megyn Kelly needs to go to her safe space.

  • “The women of America. . .”
    Can’t say I much like that phrase. As if we were all the same. I know some who are voting Hillary; I know quite a few ladies who are voting for Trump. A number of them just don’t know what they are going to do.

  • Newt is correct.
    The Americans that are paying attention;
    HHS mandate-
    Obama’s bathroom policy-
    Tax dollars funding PP-
    “Religions must change their views on abortion” HC.
    Just to name a few….oh, and the e-mails BS.

    My prayer is that come November 8th, the tea floating and half submerged in the harbor is a signal to main stream media that America is not going to feed from the Ellen show, the Whoopie’s, the Barbara Streisand’s nor the so called News from ABC-CBS- NBC- CNN- MSNBC… and segments from Fox.

    Media in general is in need of a douche.

    Newt is simply “setting the record straight,” so to speak.

    Spin that on your Hillary moral player you Clinton thugs.

  • Says the man on his third wife, the one who resigned as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives while he was accusing then POTUS Bill Clinton of lying about sexual misconduct as he was having an affair on his second wife with his now third wife. The one who served divorce papers to his first wife who had cancer (she was in the hospital at the time). For his second wife who had MS, at least she was not in the hospital when the divorce papers were delivered. The one who then magically makes all this go away by becoming a Catholic and getting an annulment before marrying his third wife, the one he was having an affair with on his second wife. Finally, the one who loves to speak about the “sanctity of marriage.” He believes in it so much it took him three times and a magical formula to give him permission to attack others about their sexual morality or conversations about such. Why is this guy given any semblance of credibility when it comes to subjects such as this? No, really, why?

  • You know, one would think Mega-ego Kelly would look inward a moment and admit she can’t possibly outwit and outduel a Newt Gingrich — yet such is hubris.

    There were two dumbfounded dead-stops in the exchange, each initiated by Newt when he clearly penetrated her armor:

    First, when he skewered her fascination with the newfound conga-line of Trump accusers (“You’re fascinated by sex.”): she was momentarily speechless —because it was tranparently true (besides subtly reminding everyone of her hypocrisy); then, at the conclusion, when he directly challenged her to simply state an established fact: [Gingrich:] “Say, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.'” (She would not.) Why not, Megyn? Pray, tell, explain.

    Kelly, you are through—on this sense: Everyone has now seen right through you.

  • “Why is this guy given any semblance of credibility when it comes to subjects such as this? No, really, why?”

    A better question Lezzie, since Newt Gingrich is not running for President, is why should Hillary Clinton be given any semblance of credibility as she has been her rapist husband’s shield throughout his long career of preying upon women? That is the issue that Gingrich was raising and that Kelly did her best to dodge.

  • Lezzie, none of what you wrote changes the fact that Megyn Kelly would NOT say Bill Clinton is a sexual predator. And what about Megyn’s 2nd marriage though she calls herself a devout Catholic? And what about the risque photos she had taken for GQ magazine and others? Such photos epitomize objectification of women as sex objects. Her photos encourage machismo objectification. I even found one of her barely covered in a black negligee. A Playboy audition perhaps?
    Maybe Gingrich repented after his 3rd wife. Kelly’s behavior however shows her far from repentance.

  • DJH-in context my “women of America” phrase referred to my view that men and women in the US, and abroad for that matter, have a real problem communicating, It was not a reference to who they favored in the election.. I suppose this issue has always been the case to a degree. My opinion: Viva la Difference. But studies show that more and more young men and women are just giving up on relationships and pursuing careers or hobbies. As a male I partly blame the acceptance by many of the views of RADICAL feminism for this. I do consider myself a feminist. I have daughters and I want them to have as much opportunity as men. But in this interview, to reiterate, Kelly came at Newt with “get some help with your anger issues”, which sounded to me like something a woman would say to her man in a bad relationship. In that respect, Kelly is the queen of misandry.

  • Timothy wrote:
    “As a male I partly blame the acceptance by many of the views of RADICAL feminism for this. I do consider myself a feminist. I have daughters and I want them to have as much opportunity as men. ”
    I understand what Timothy is saying. But I think words mean everything. So I do not use the word feminism or feminist except derogatorily. Today’s feminism tries to make women equal to men in function – “see, you can have sex just like a man and not have a baby” – and thus removes all that is noble and virtuous in authentic womanhood.
    Obviously Timothy isn’t referring to that when he says that he wants his daughters to have the same opportunity as men to succeed in the real world. But because of what a women is and what she can do, success for her may often be different than success for a man. Equality in dignity is therefore what we should be seeking, not equality in function (can any man here conceive and bear a child?). Feminism is therefore the opposite of femininity. Indeed, female feminists tend to look more and more like men (why is it Megyn Kelly prefers pants suits and short hair?). And male feminists tend to look effeminate and emasculated.
    No, I hate feminism, but I love femininity – true, authentic, real, noble, virtuous, honorable womanhood.
    And for the record, I work with men and women on my job at Neutrons ‘R Us. Indeed, the best nuclear power engineer with whom I ever worked was a woman some 20 years ago. She was my plant’s emergency diesel generator engineer while I was at that time the plant’s configuration management engineer. She and I fought like cats and dogs about almost everything. And I would never hesitate to help her no matter what she might need. We had an odd relationship because on many technical issues we disagreed. But she was smart, dedicated, hard-working and honest. If she thought I was messed up, she would tell me straight to my face and often did. But by golly, when we got the job done, it was done right, and we followed the Regulation. And best of all, she was feminine – a real woman. She left the plant for greener pastures and the diesels never did work right after she departed.
    But my point in all this is that you don’t have to be feminist. Real equality is related to dignity, not function, and I adored that engineer because she had a dignity about her that most women in today’s working environment do not have. Instead, they’ve been taught to be like Megyn Kelly. Yuck!

  • The one who served divorce papers to his first wife who had cancer (she was in the hospital at the time).

    This is a libelous meme which never dies. The two of them were separated prior to the time she underwent cancer treatments. He dropped off some paperwork related to their divorce proceedings when he went to pay her a visit to the hospital. (She lived another 30-odd years and died at age 77).

    Marianne Gingrich did not have multiple sclerosis at the time she and her husband separated.
    Gingrich is such a problematic character that you’re not going to run out of material to work with; no point in making up things.

  • I do consider myself a feminist. I have daughters and I want them to have as much opportunity as men.

    I’d remind you that Margaret Thatcher called feminism ‘poison’. The most succinct definition I’ve see was offered by Dr. Helen Smith: a habit of looking at human relations with the assumption that women have options, and men have obligations. There are some subsidiary points, such as the notion that women have the option of ruining a discussion of public affairs by making use of gamesmanship of a sort you see in unproductive domestic arguments (yes MeAgain Kelly, I’m looking at you). Another would be that all discussions of how men and women differ must be met with indignation unless you adopt one of two frames: either that the masculine is pathological or that the conventionally discussed masculine advantage is a ‘myth’. Another is that its an unjust assault on a woman to hold her accountable for anything. Google the name “Mary Winkler” if you want an example of an extreme application of such a precept.

  • “Gingrich is such a problematic character that you’re not going to run out of material to work with…”
    Perhaps the same could be said of most of us. I certainly have many problematic things in my past (my 12 step sponsor told be that if I didn’t have defects of character, I probably wouldn’t have character – ha! ha!). Fortunately I am an unimportant cog in the wheel of neutrons ‘R us that no one cares. But what of Lezzie’s problematic things? A hand that points one finger forward has three pointed back at the pointer. Real easy to accuse Gingrich.
    Oh yeah, that’s that “judge not lest ye be judged” thing which is invariably ignored when it’s a liberal accusing a conservative, but is shoved down a conservative’s throat when the conservative makes a valid but embarrassing observation about a liberal.

  • Timothy, sorry, I was not referring to what you wrote, but what Megan Kelly said. She implied we (American women) are all alarmed at Trump’s behavior. I know a few, who are quite “yes, sexism is a major problem,” who are Trump supporters.

  • Drudge has it today that Megyn wants $20 million in her new contract at Fox. Now someone who is making Fox sound like NBC this ridiculous. If Trump loses he will create some sort of new populous/conservative network that will take Fox’s audience do in part to folks like the liberal feminist and probable Democrat Megyn. Trump and Gingrich will have the last laugh.

  • Michael Dowd, good observations: but Trump is not going to lose: his campaign is full of energy, is rising, and the other side looks as listless and flaccid as the physical condition of their candidate. Michael Moore’s analysis bears a big impact with people in Michigan for one thing (not your standard “Repub” clientele, either); the black vote isnt interested in supporting HRC; and Wikileaks keeps drip-drip-dripping.

    As for “Lezzie,” the talking points about Newt Gingrich were too rehearsed and too coordinated to be believable, and likely taken from 4 years ago on DNC websites: but those comments about Newt are also monumentally irrelevant.

    All to keep attention off of putting Bill Clinton back in the White House. “Lezzie” probably is one of the several thousand paid operatives for Hillary’s crowd trolling the internet to dis-coordinate opposition to Mao-in-a-Pantsuit.

  • Perhaps the same could be said of most of us.

    Few people don’t need the confessional. That having been noted, he’s on his 3d marriage and cheated on both previous wives. (He also wasn’t the first married man Marianne Ginther ever rolled with – sometimes what goes around comes around). Callista with the snap-on-hair benefits from the effects of age on the Newt. In re professional settings. William Paxton interviewed some time ago offered that he decided to leave Congress when it came to him after a plane ride with Newt that he’d been working for a man who had issues denominated with terms which have the character string ‘-path’ in them. It’s a pity because he has real and unusual skills, and, for all the trouble he is, he was a more capable caucus leader than any other in recent decades (at least according to the criteria a Republican voter might use, not what a Capitol Hill denizen might use).

  • How anyone who thinks Newt got the better of this exchange is beyond me. Kelly correctly pointed out how prior to the first debate, Trump’s numbers against Hillary looked good. Then his abysmal performance in the first debate (I would say Trump’s performance in all three debates were horrible, albeit a little less than the first, but I digress), the Machado trap, and the Access Hollywood tape where Trump brags about being a sexual predator (btw, Megyn Kelly didn’t say Trump was a sexual predator, she said “if”) caused his numbers to tank. Which they did. Newt’s attempt to deflect the discussion by falsely accusing her of media bias was a sorry one, to put it mildly. Megyn Kelly has her flaws, significant ones, but media bias is not one of them. In fact, one or two segments after that one she lit up a Clinton surrogate for trying to a stunt similar to the one Gingrich did. As for her vendetta against Trump, while the way she questioned Trump in the first primary debate left much to be desired, Trump’s attacks on her have been far more vicious than the other way around. As to why she wouldn’t call Bill Clinton a sexual predator in that discussion, it wasn’t relevant to the discussion at hand. It was another attempt to deflect by Newt. And she wasn’t having it. And as she pointed out, she has reported on Bill Clinton situation. She has interviewed Kathleen Willey etc. Newt Gingrich’s sorry performance against Megyn Kelly was another example of him jumping the shark and getting eaten alive in the process. Bravo Megyn Kelly!

  • Well, well. I’ve heard so much about this interchange but didn’t bother to look it up, so disinterested am I in anything Megyn Kelly. I’m not surprised. Newt is obviously boiling, never seen him like that. She is force to be reckoned with- just pushed & bullied and lobbied til she could give full impact to the allegations against Trump as forcefully as a sledge hammer driving them home without interruption. Well done, Megyn. But I think it’s reprehensible, and you are a vicious snake! I stopped watching Fox about half an hour into the first round of Repub debates because of Megyn Kelly. Never looked back.
    Maybe she will marry Rachel Madow. Now that would be a couple!

  • Well, Christine, that is probably true about Mega-whine (“Maybe you can deal with your anger issues [Newt]!”) Kelly.
    I think Michael Dowd has the best explanation about her angling for a big contract with a competitor network. This is just to burnish her pro-Moveon.org credentials.
    Yet, her furious [and furiously ridiculous] attack on “Sex-Predator-Trump” really has to have backfired, because 1) it is doubtful any undecided voters watch Fox and 2)to refuse to call Bill Clinton a sex predator with the same willingness is a mind-bending exercise. It has however certainly endeared her to the Clintons, no doubt.

  • By the way, an interesting article about the proliferation of the paid internet operatives of the Clinton Campaign (specifically in this case, the Clinton group oxymoronically named, “Correct The Record”, or CTR) and the counter-efforts against them in this most liberal city (San Francisco) appears in The Daily Caller yesterday:

    Even Reddit users are annoyed by the efforts to obstruct the release of Wikileaks dumps at one of the topical sub-sites, subreddit/r/Wikileaks (and other sub-sites).

    So it is not a surprise when someone appears here on this venerable site re-hashing the same old untruths in an ad hominem attack against Gingrich (effectively Hindenburg’ed by Art Deco above). The Dark Riders must search all Middle Earth until the ring is secured.

A Pro at Work

Thursday, July 21, AD 2016


My favorite speech last night was by Newt Gingrich.  I have never seen Gingrich give a bad speech and he was at the top of his game last night.  Note how he deftly attempted at the beginning of his speech to turn the non-endorsement of Cruz into an implicit endorsement of Trump by Cruz.  He then went on to make a devastating speech against Hillary Clinton. The smartest man in American politics, it is a tragedy for the nation that his inability to not engage in tawdry infidelities earlier in his life cut short his political career after he had masterminded the Republican winning of the House for the first time in almost a half century.  If Trump wins in the fall, and I abide by my prediction that he will, I hope that Gingrich is his chief of staff.

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5 Responses to A Pro at Work

  • it is too bad if his earlier infidelities are still holding him back in the public mind- he has repented and moved on and become I think a good Catholic- we heard him speak about John Paul a few years ago and we hope that some one with his scope of experience and insight can be in a position to lead.

    Sometimes we read about the influence of “Catholic thinking” on W. Civ. and on the founding of America… could that happen again? Well, we certainly have Catholic politicians today! – some not very well formed like Cuomo, Biden, O’Malley, Pelosi etc; but on the right , Gingrich, Rubio, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush etc. If good Catholic sense could prevail (as Ganswein and some bishops, even US bishops) are trying to present) there still is hope for us… here and around the world.

  • His “earlier” infidelities were going on while he was orchestrating his success in the House.

  • I would take Gingrich over Hillary ANY DAY OF THE WEEK!!! Of course, I would take my dog over Hillary. (With no negative reflection on Gingrich–the negative reflection is all on Killary –mispelled on purpose.)

  • Yes, which rather enhances the Greek tragedy aspect of his life.

  • Agreed, superb speech by Gingrich. After he turned Cruz’ “vote your conscience” into a positive “vote for Trump”, the son and father Trump should have kept mum on Cruz.

    I wouldn’t vote for Gingrich for president in the presidential primary given his marital history, but as .Anzlyne commented he and Calixta have repented. Having heard him speak at a luncheon I truly believe that. Isn’t repentance and redemption Christ’s message? Hopefully Trump will choose him as his Chief of Staff. With Pence as VP and Gingrich as a close adviser I think a Trump presidency has a chance for success. Success to mean saving our country. Certainly Pence and Gingrich are both ardent pro-lifers and Catholics. ( That said Pence is listed as an Evangelical Catholic, though after reading the definition online, there is still some confusion in my mind.)
    We know Hillary who is. Anybody but Hillary! To paraphrase Edwin Edwards, “Don’t vote for the Crook. This election is too important.” We need Constitutionalist supreme court judges.

Gingrich vs. the Abortion Extremists

Tuesday, September 4, AD 2012



Newt Gingrich was a very flawed candidate in the Republican primary race, but no one is better than he is at pointing out blatant media bias.  He did so on Sunday on Meet the Press, pointing out the extreme media bias on abortion.  Tom Friedman, who amazingly gets good money to write columns for the New York Times, then, hilariously, underlined by his pro-abort response that Gingrich’s criticism was completely on target:

DAVID GREGORY: Understanding, Mr. Speaker, the difference between Todd Akin talking about rape versus the abortion plank of the platform, I understand there is that distinction. Nevertheless, the question, social issues versus economic issues as being a big motivator for women, is a question.
NEWT GINGRICH: Let me just take a second to disagree with Carly [Fiorina]. I think Todd Akin was the choice of the people of Missouri. I think Todd Akin has publicly apologized, and the last poll shows he’s beating the Democratic senator. I think that we ought to go on from that. Karl Rove said some terrible things on Friday for which he has apologized, which should remind us, people make mistakes.
GREGORY: He was joking about if he shows up murdered somewhere–
GINGRICH: In the age of Gabby Giffords, it is not a joke to say that a member of Congress ought to get murdered. And I’m frankly fed up with the one-sided bias, OK? Let me give you two examples. Vice president of the United States goes to a black audience and says, ‘If the Republicans win, you will be in chains.’ How can Biden remain as vice president? Where’s the outrage over overt, deliberate racism? We talk about people saying things, they ought to get off tickets. How come Biden shouldn’t get off the ticket?
Second example: The Democratic Party plank on abortion is the most extreme plank in the United States. The president of the United States voted three times to protect the right of doctors to kill babies who came out of an abortion still alive. That plank says tax-paid abortion at any moment, meaning partial-birth abortion. That’s a 20 percent issue. The vast majority of women do not believe that taxpayers should pay to abort a child in the eighth or ninth month. Now why isn’t it shocking that the Democrats on the social issue of abortion have taken the most extreme position in this country, and they couldn’t defend that position for a day if it was made clear and vivid, as vivid as all the effort is made to paint Republicans.
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: I’m a Planned Parenthood Democrat on the issue of choice, and I think that that is where the country should be, that is where many, many women in this country are, and I am glad there are people running for the presidency who will defend that position. Period, paragraph, end it.
GREGORY: Newt, I guess the question too is whether you’re seeking, even in the Akin example, to seek an equivalency between that and, say, Biden, who was using language that Republicans have used about the regulatory shackles as opposed to making an overt racial–
GINGRICH: Biden was not talking to a black audience about regulatory shackles, OK? Let me go back to Tom’s point. So, you think it’s acceptable to have a party committed to tax-paid abortion in the eighth and ninth month? And you think that’s a sustainable position in the United States? If the news media spent as much time on the extremism of the Democrats as they spend trying to attack us, they would not be able to adopt that plank this week.
FRIEDMAN: I do believe that’s a defensible position, but I also believe I’m here as a journalist. I’ll let the Democratic Party defend it.

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8 Responses to Gingrich vs. the Abortion Extremists

  • These people are pure evil.

    There is no talking with them.

    I keep saying, “You will not be going to Heaven if you vote Democrat.”

  • “Friedman’s last statement is beyond parody.”

    -Amen to that Brother Don.

  • I watched a few minutes of that Meet the Press episode. Here’s the part I caught:

    MR. FRIEDMAN: I would have a lot more, you know, willingness to listen to some of the critiques if one speaker that was there in Tampa stood up said you know, we had a hand in this deficit.

    MR. BROKAW: Yeah.

    MR. FRIEDMAN: We had a president who for eight years, launched two wars, which is the first time in our history we did not pay for it with a tax increase but with a tax cut, passed a Medicare, you know, Drug Benefit Bill that we could not afford. We are in this situation, ladies and gentlemen, because we Republicans, and Democrats, okay, have– there was not an iota, history started the day Obama was elected.

    And here’s some quotes from the Ryan convention speech:

    President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account.

    [This presidency] began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

    In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less.

    My conclusion: either Friedman is a deliberate liar, or he’s passing himself off as an expert on TV when he doesn’t know anything about the subject matter.

  • I cannot watch Sunday morning lib-lie extraganzas.

    I’d need to buy a new TV every week, and I’d need to go to Confession every Monday.

  • I like how Friedman starts out bold “I’m a Planned Parenthood Democrat… Period. Paragraph. End it” but when challenged he retreats to a “I’m here as a journalist” defense.

  • “I like how Friedman starts out bold “I’m a Planned Parenthood Democrat… Period. Paragraph. End it” but when challenged he retreats to a “I’m here as a journalist” defense.”

    But this is the closest thing you get to honest journalism from the New York Times.

  • Pingback: NBC News David Gregory Edict of Milan Holy Hour of Adoration | Big Pulpit
  • Has no one noticed how they literally took God out of their platform? Literally!

A Few Thoughts About Last Night

Wednesday, March 14, AD 2012

As was tweeted by a few individuals, it is remarkable that a conservative, Catholic, Republican – who largely rejects JFK’s sentiments on religion in the public square to boot – won primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.  It’s also becoming evident that exit polling means squat with regards to Rick Santorum.

Mitt Romney continues to be the weakest front-runner imaginable.  It was funny to listen to John Batchelor and his parade of insiders smugly dismiss Santorum’s victories and chat away about the inevitability of Romney’s nomination while Santorum was winning two southern states in which Romney finished third.  Yes, Romney still has an edge, and with victories in American Samoa and Hawaii Santorum’s delegate edge last night was minimal.  But Romney has far from sealed the deal.

Speaking of Romney, his gaggle of supporters truly marked themselves by their utter gracelessness in defeat.  As Mark Levin said, Romney supporters are quickly becoming as obnoxious as Ron Paul supporters.  It’s true that partisans of all of the candidates can be particularly blind to their own candidate’s faults and to exaggerate the foibles of the others, but Romney supporters in all corners of the internet have been particularly bitter and have done little to actually sway others to their side.  What might explain this phenomenon is that unlike the others, Romney voters aren’t particularly enamored with their candidate and are instead motivated by either dislike of the other candidates and/or fear that any other candidate would lose the general election.  So they don’t really have any convincing arguments to make on behalf of Romney, but instead they kick and stomp their feet every time Romney fails to win a primary.  I would suggest that calling those of us who don’t vote for Romney a bunch of hayseed hicks, and suggesting that social cons be banished from consideration this election might just not be a winning strategy.  Just saying.

As for Newt, there is absolutely no compelling reason for him to stay in this race.  He won his home state, the state neighboring his home state, and has otherwise been a distant consideration save for the states he lost last night in the south.  Rick Santorum already had a slight lead in Louisiana, and I think that last night’s victories just about clinches the state for him (though that’s a rather dangerous prediction considering the wildness of this primary season thus far).  That being said, his reasoning for staying in is not all that outrageous.  He suggested that he didn’t want Romney to concentrate all of his fire on Santorum, something I said not that long ago.  And while he has no realistic shot to win the nomination before or even during the Republican convention – is a brokered convention really going to nominate the guy with the third most delegates coming in? – he might be able to prevent Romney from securing the necessary number of delegates, and that seems to be his primary goal.  After all, not all of his supporters will switch to Santorum.  By staying in the race he is hurting Santorum, but he’s also hurting Romney by picking off a few delegates.  Take away Gingrich from last night, and both Santorum and Romney would have won more delegates.  That would have inched Romney closer to the nomination.

On the other hand, I don’t suppose Gingrich contributors are going to be all that enthused to continue propping up a candidate who has no intention of actually winning, and is instead motivated by nothing more than spite.  Also, as was discussed last night, even if Romney fails to secure the precious 1,044 delegates by the time Tampa rolls around, he’ll still be the favorite at a brokered convention if he is significantly ahead of Santorum.  There is no magical candidate that will emerge from the ashes of a brokered convention.  It’s either going to be Romney or it’s going to be Santorum.  Every delegate that Santorum doesn’t win from here until the convention is just as good as a delegate for Romney under a brokered convention scenario.  If Santorum remains fairly close in the delegate count while neither candidate has the necessary majority, then Gingrich can play kingmaker at the convention.  He would be well-advised to drop out sooner than later if he wants to achieve his twin objection of derailing Romney and having a hand in deciding the eventual nominee.

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59 Responses to A Few Thoughts About Last Night

  • The electablility argument is getting pretty thread bare for Romney, which has been the only selling point of the Weathervane’s campaign. There is a poll out today showing Romney getting trounced by Obama in Pennsylvania by six points with Santorum trailing Obama by one. Plus, as Paul points out, polls routinely understate Santorum’s actual vote totals, usually by three-four points. We are beginning to see a “Reagan Effect” in Santorum’s numbers, Reagan consistantly doing better on election day than his polls indicated.

  • As that commenter at Paul’s blog noted the other day, Romney must be the most unelectable candidate in history whose most compelling argument in his favor is “electability”.

    Larry Sabato seems to get what we get and what so many GOP Establishment types (see, e.g., Pawlenty’s gawdawful and pathetic shilling last night) just can’t seem to grasp:

    “Yes, he’s constructed a solid organization, but it cannot hide Romney’s unappealing inadequacies. Maybe a bad economy will elect him anyway, but without pure luck tossing the White House into his lap, he needs Rick Santorum’s challenge. Santorum is forcing Romney to earn the nomination every step of the way, and maybe, just maybe, he’s making Romney face up to his severe shortcomings on the campaign trail before it is too late to do anything about them.”

    I doubt it, if the oh-so-inspiring delegate-math talking points the Romney sycophants are spouting is any indication. They JUST DON’T GET IT. Romney has run the sort of campaign an incumbent runs – the sort of campaign Bush ran against Kerry in 2004 – that focuses on the negatives of the alternative and relies on superior organizational infrastructure to ensure the votes are there when and where they are needed. But Romney is NOT an incumbent, and, at any rate, this type of strategy will NOT work against Obama in the fall.

    What he has utterly failed to do is provide a compelling reason to vote FOR him. He has offered no compelling conservative vision for the GOP or for the nation. And he has never provided a satisfactory narrative explaining how a life-long self-described “progressive”/”moderate” Republican and a supporter of the “pro-choice” viewpoint suddenly at the age of 60 decided that he could be be the “conservative” standard bearer. And he can’t provide such an explanation because we’d all know it to be complete crap. Just look at who those supporting him are today. Just look at his discomfort in trying to sound like a “severe conservative”. Just look at how easily and with such flair he gets into his comfort zone in going to his opponents’ left.

    Quite honestly, Romney offers nothing to the GOP electorate other than a warm body and nice hair to put up as an alternative to Barack Obama. Sorry, but given his ACTUAL track record, that ain’t enough to get me to pull the lever for him.

  • I’m not as sanguine about Santorum’s prospects. The following is this morning’s take from one of my politically astute partners:

    The upcoming calendar will be much more favorable for Romney. (Even last night, he gained more delegates than Santorum with his wins in Hawaii and Samoa.)

    Here are the upcoming races with number of delegates:

    March 17 Missouri (52) Expect Santorum to win here
    March 18 *Puerto Rico (23) Romney
    March 20 Illinois (69) Romney
    March 24 Louisiana (24) While the south, very different than SC, GA, AL, MS with the very heavy Catholic vote
    Apr 3 *Wisconsin (42) Romney (although Gingrich claims he will win because wife no. 3 is from here)
    Apr 3 *Maryland (37) Romney
    Apr 3 *DC (19) Romney
    Apr 24 New York (95) Romney
    Apr 24 Pennsylvania (72) Bet it is close
    Apr 24 Connecticut (28) Romney
    Apr 24 Rhode Island (19) Romney
    Apr 24 *Delaware (16) Romney

    I have marked with an * those primaries that are winner take all. That has been a huge plus for Romney so far. He has won most of those states so far. And the calendar is shaping up well for him going forward on those. I really can’t see him losing any of the upcoming five—Puerto Rico, Wisconsin, Maryland, DC, or Delaware.

    Because most of the other primaries, until you get to California, will be some sort of proportional award of the delegates, it is very hard for the others to catch Romney. Right now, he has the pretty commanding lead and more than everybody else put together. And he is entering a much more favorable calendar for him. The worst is behind him. He should have a big day on April 24. If he does not, then he is in trouble. But I really can’t see Santorum winning New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Delaware. He will have lot of pressure to win in Pennsylvania. If he loses there, then I think it is over.

  • Actually, I’d rather argue with Ron Paul fans.

    The Romney bots are becoming indistinguishable from progressives in their hatred for Santorum. And their inability to recognize the slightest of flaws in their guy is on the verge of sending me into a cricket bat flailing frenzy. One bot tried to chalk up Santorum’s margin entirely to evangelical bigotry.

    Because, as we all know, southern evangelicals are renowned for their love feasts with the Roman Church.

  • Maryland is not winner-take-all. Three delegates from each congressional district are awarded, and ten delegates go to the overall winner. Romney will likely win here (though I am gonna be doing my best for Santorum), but there are several districts where Santorum will do well and likely win.

    Other than that, you are correct that we are entering a slightly tougher portion of the contest for Santorum, though I think you are slightly over-rating Romney’s chances in some of the states. My guess is is LA and PA are safer for Santorum than you suggest, and Wisconsin could be in play. If he survives this, then we are back to states that would seem to favor Santorum.

  • Mike, I think your analysis is pretty sound. It’s definitely an uphill battle for Santorum, especially since Gingrich is determined to stay in. Even without him, though, it’s not easy to see RS’ path to victory.

    Romney needs to wake up and see that he’s not entitled to the GOP vote in November just because he gets the nomination. Right now, he seems determined to keep the base at arms length, and he just might get that in return come November 6.

  • Thanks, Dale. Just a few more thoughts: Plainly one cannot assign Santorum’s success with evangelicals exclusively to anti-Morman bigotry, but as a resident of the capital of the South, I think it is a surprisingly significant factor. I have many friends who are evangelicals, and they uniformly report widespread discomfort with Romney’s Momanism. In the end, this discomfort is not likely to hurt Romney too badly in the general election because the evangelical vote is concentrated in states that GOP is almost sure to win regardless. Regarding the South and Catholics, I can confirm that things have changed dramatically in the 30 years I’ve resided here.

    In addition, I don’t see Romney as distancing himself from the base. What he is doing is concentrating on the issue that is most likely to get him elected: the economy, which is also the issue his resume suggests he is most competent to address (i.e., his strong suit). While this may frustrate social conservatives (like myself), I don’t think there is any intention to keep the base at arm’s length — instead he is staying on message. Time will tell whether that works.

    Finally, regarding social issues, I predict Romney would do fine as president. I worry Santorum’s passion would backfire. I do yearn for a president who would replicate W’s consistency and passion for the pro-Life cause, etc., but to be effective that president needs to skilled in persuading others. Santorum has a tin ear for this in my view, and badly so. His election could actually hurt the pro-life cause simply due to the clumsy way he tends to express himself or frame the issues. This is one reason I believe that Romney would be more successful than Santorum in appointing conservative jurists, and this is the single most important role the president plays with respect to abortion and other issues of importance to faithful Catholics.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’d vote for Rick over Obama in a NY minute, but I think Romney would be the better President. I realize mileage varies on this assessment.

    Finally, I would note that not all politicians are particularly ideological or interested in abstract things such as the role of government in matters of social policy as it effects either personal behavior or the economy, especially Republicans who typically are not products of political science schools and career politicians. Romney, like many Republican candidates, is a man of conserative sensibilites and impulses, but he is mostly a practical problem solver, more technician than ideologue. I know many good and solid Catholics like this — we are not all policy wonks.

  • “Romney, like many Republican candidates, is a man of conserative sensibilites and impulses, …”

    I’ll ask again: On what basis can anyone confidently and credibly make this claim on Dullard Flip Rino’s behalf?

    His rhetoric before he decided to run for President at age 60 gives no indication that he is anything other than a self-proclaimed “pro-choice progressive”. His ACTUAL governing record indicates that he is a slightly left-of-center big-government technocrat. When he decided to seek the GOP nomination, suddenly a lifetime in the progressive wing of the GOP gave way to a “conservative” Romney who seems ill-at-ease talking like a conservative and right at home talking like a progressive, big-government technocrat.

    Based on those measures, Romney is easily the least conservative (i.e. most liberal) candidate likely to win the GOP nomination since Gerald Ford.

  • Mike Petrik, I don’t want to cast aspersions on your politically astute partners; however just because a state tends to vote liberal in general elections doesn’t mean the GOP primary will be filled with moderates and liberals. For example in Delaware the establishment Mike Castle was beat by Christine O’Donnel. One would think in the land of DuPonts and Big Bank headquarters Governor Romney would be a natural, don’t bet on it. Don’t believe me, ask Mike Castle.

    In Illinois the adult home of President Obama, he lost more counties in 2008 than he won outside the Chicago Metroland Area (where few Republicans live in the first place.) The bulk of the GOP is in the downstate area and they are hardly the Romney type. Senator Santorum was only by 4 points behind in Illinois, and that was even before he won Alabama and Mississippi.

    Finally New York and California, surely one would think listening to the mainstream media that Romney would win at least 2-1. However, remember that Carl Paladino won the New York GOP primary (for Governor) and he was hardly a moderate (talk about firebrand language.) As for California again like Illinois GOP voters don’t live en masse in the liberal enclaves of San Francisco and Hollywood. GOP numbers tend to cluster in Orange County and San Diego where Romney should do well, but Santorum could equally do well in the Valley outside LA as well as Central California in places like Bakersfield and Fresno. Even if Santorum lost but the loss beat expectations in Illinois, New York and Califorina, there would be more whispers about the Romney candidacy than already exists.

  • Dave,
    Time will tell who is astute or not, but my understanding is that Romney is running very well with suburbanites, and it is those suburbanites who deserted the GOP in 2008, including Chicago suburbanites. You may be right regarding NJ, NY, CA, etc. We’ll know soon enough. In the end, it is a matter of delegates, not whispers.

  • Here’s a story on Hot Air alluding to Gingrich’s big donor possibly cutting him off. This paragraph struck me:

    The question will be whether Adelson himself acknowledges that. He’s already been rumored to have pledged to support Romney if Gingrich didn’t win the nomination. He might just decide to move his very large fundraising capability to Team Romney now and focus on defeating Santorum in the primaries. That would make more sense than keeping Gingrich on life support at this point in the nomination process, especially since the primaries will be shifting away from states where social issues carry as much sway as they do in the Deep South, at least after Louisiana. If Adelson really does decide to move onto the next phase, then Gingrich’s campaign will become moribund whether he suspends it or not.

    It’s possible that Gingrich believes his big donor will move to Romney if he bows out, and that’s what’s keeping him in the race. Gingrich may have made a strategic decision that he’s ultimately be helping Romney, not Santorum, if he quits the race.

    Just something to chew on.

  • I am a Santorum supporter but to call it straight he needs to win Pa like Gingrich needed to win Georgia and Romney Michigan. I have not heard anyone talk about it yet but not sure he can pull a win in Pa.

    The sooner Gingrich gets out the better it is for Santorum.

  • Just to follow-up on an earlier point, there are in fact no winner-take all primaries. Several states allot a chunk of delegates based on the overall winner, and there are several party delegates awarded, but they all basically use a system where delegates are awarded based on congressional districts (three for each c.d. in the state).

    Okay, I have to amend this, because that link just showed how the state is awarded the number of delegates it has. This link shows how each state awards its delegates. Again, though, it looks like Utah is the only state with a true winner-take-all primary. I really don’t know why NJ, MD, and CA are listed as winner-take-all when clearly they are not.

  • Mike, you certainly are right Governor Romney does well in traditional suburban areas as he did in Ohio and Michigan. However, California, New York and Illinois are a little different. It is my understanding that the Chicago Metro Area as well as the vast Los Angeles and New York metro areas has many more Democratic suburbanites than do most places. Therefore, the GOP is concentrated in other areas of those particular states as I outlined in my previous post, which is why I don’t believe one can say that Governor Romney will win by a hugh margin in those states. Paul, good point about the former Speaker and Sheldon Adelson. Newt seemed to go out of his way to compliment the former Pennsylvania Senator. I read somewhere that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich shared a very pleasant phone call last night after the primary results.

  • I have not heard anyone talk about it yet but not sure he can pull a win in Pa.

    I believe he was up by a considerable margin last time they released polling numbers, but that was a while back.

  • Just read this so not sure it was such a bad night for Romney:

    However, despite the disappointing results in the two southern states, Romney ended up winning the night anyway — at least in delegates.


    I believe he was up by a considerable margin
    Glad to hear Santorum is up!

  • Santorum is up by 14% over Romney in PA according to Quinnipiac survey dated today. Now I’m going more carefully through the states, and I guess Delaware is also winner-take-all, as is DC. PA is tricky – it looks like it’s basically winner-take-all as well.

  • Chris, I just checked Real Clear Politics and the RCP average for Pennsylvania through the month of February (including one poll which included Monday) has Santorum up by 15.5%. Of course, as has already been said elsewhere, this primary season is about as unpredictable as they come.

    I am encouraged by Santorum’s run thus far and if he can do well and stay standing after April 24th (which is a long way off), he will have a very strong case for the candidacy come the convention.

    In the end, I’m not sure that this whole primary season is really hurting the eventual candidates chances at beating Obama. I don’t see any of the problems being brought up concerning who is more conservative being a problem come November. The distinctions will likely be very clear and can be easily made by either candidate. Then again, I am still a rookie when it comes to discussing politics, so feel free to correct me.

  • I’m not exactly one of those Ron Paul fans you were talking about earlier, however I work at being a true centrist, because I’m sick of the civil war (ineffective government) of the left and right.
    I believe Ron Paul is the best candidate based on his consistent record throughout the years and what he stands for.
    Less government (the government out of our homes and businesses), the constitution, no FED, improve our foreign policy, he believes in liberty and justice and fiscal responsibility, less taxes, etc.
    Obama, Newt, Santorum, Romney…pound for pound are not as good of a candidate as Ron Paul.

  • There is no reason for Newt to get out. The Republican establishment wants Romney, who is perfectly situated to lose to Obama, when gas hits $5.00+ and then suddenly drops to the low threes, high twos following the Republican convention. If Romney manages to pull it out, then we’ll get a new boss, the same as the old boss – Bush!

    Santorum is only winning because he keeps taking words and ideas from Newt. If Newt wasn’t driving the conversation, Santorum wouldn’t have much to say. Additionally, the Democrats are salivating at a Satntorum candidacy, which is why 20% of Santorum’s numbers from last night came from Democrats at the request of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. Santorum is the Democrat’s patsy. Wake up people.

    Newt may not be able to win, neither can Santorum and Romney is limping because he’s an empty suit. Newt ensures that Romney can’t gain 1,144 and this goes to convention. After Newt pulls Paul’s people because of his stronger stance on the Fed vis. a vis. the other two, then we’ll have the right ticket. Gingrich/Santorum – the senior and the junior. Rick will be a very effective President of the Senate and can pick up the conservative Catholic mantle in 2020.

    I am hopeful that Newt will win, I am mildly comfortable with Santorum, but I fear that as we approach 40 years of a self-inflicted holocaust, God will give us over to Moloch and Ba’al and we’ll see 4 more years of Obama and an overt persecution of the Church in America. Grab your rosaries, we’re in for a bumpy ride.

  • Newt has no chance. Zero. And I am glad for that because I think the man is ill-suited to be president. Romney has more in common with Bush I than II, but really is different from either. Bush I’s experience and accomplishments were public sector, unlike Romney’s. And Bush II is much more ideological, whereas Romney is more of a pragmatist. Gingrich’s strong suit is that he is thoughtful, insomuch as he is full of thoughts.

  • Yeah, that’s the problem. Why would we want a president who can think? The only one of all five in the race with not only the ability to think strategically, but a record of actuating those strategies is Newt. Of course, I suppose we have to acknowledge that BHO has been effective in bringing Christian persecution to America; however, even principled atheists agree that he has gone beyond the pale.

    Newt rising – just wait and see. If not, get on your knees and beg for Mercy.

  • Santorum is only winning because he keeps taking words and ideas from Newt.

    Amusing, but no.

    Santorum is the Democrat’s patsy.

    Rick Santorum continues to poll evenly with Obama, as does Romney. Even Ron Paul polls well against the President. You know the one candidate that lags all others in head-to-head matchups with Obama? Newt “29% favorability rating” Gingrich. And I say that as someone who far prefers Newt to either Mitt or Paul.

    After Newt pulls Paul’s people because of his stronger stance on the Fed vis. a vis. the other two, then we’ll have the right ticket.

    Yes, their whopping 200 delegates and collective 25% of the vote are gonna take the Republican convention by storm.

    Newt has no chance. Zero.


  • Why would we want a president who can think?

    Oh, no one doubts Newt can think. He’ll give you 15 different solutions to 10 different problems. I’m just not sure we necessarily want one with ADD.

  • I’m not voting for a dictator, I want a president who can put forth a strategy, articulate it to the people and get Congress to debate it and send him a bill. Does that require 15 different solutions? Perhaps. Better than a one-trick pony.

    Paul – End the Fed, end the wars.

    Santorum – Rebuild the factories and behave like a Catholic while being casual about the Natural Law.

    Romney – Big Business, just be a good consumer and let the adults run the show.

    Obama – There is nothing we can’t solve by killing more babies.

    Come on, you all know that Newt is the right man at the right time. The clock is ticking and when 40 years are up – so are we.

  • you all know that Newt is the right man at the right time.

    According to the polls, no, we don’t. But we’ll let you know as soon as we need a guy to berate the press and bluster during a debate.

  • “Come on, you all know that Newt is the right man at the right time.”

    I have praised Newt several times on this site AK for his elequent denunciations of the manifest bias of the Mainstream Media, and I would certainly prefer him to Obama or to Romney, but he would be massacred in a general election due both to his messed up personal life and to his unerring ability to cut his own throat whenever he appears to be riding high. Newt is one of the most imaginative politicians of our day, and he would come up with a 100 new ideas a day, five of which would even have some merit, and 25 of which would land this country in deep kimchi if ever implemented. He should stick to retirement and writing imaginative alternate histories with William Forschten.

  • The beautiful thing about our Republic (its still a Republic right?) is that we can each make our choices and God decides the outcome. Sometimes it is good, when I was young and first made it to these shores, it was morning in America. Four years ago we were duped into placing an incompetent man who hates our country in charge. Out of the five choices we have I like Dr. Paul because he brings issues to the table that are too often ignored; unfortunately, he’s a libertarian and that may look good at first, but eventually it leads to disaster and probably along the scale of the death knell of the ancien regime. I like Santorum, but I’ve only met him once and he got pissy and flustered because I accused him and his fellow Republicans of losing site of authentic conservatism and especially their profligate spending (which began as soon as they ditched Newt.) I fear that he is unprepared to defeat BHO and is likely to be managed by the Washington-Wall Street establishment. Nevertheless, he is a strong second choice for me.

    The other two, BHO and Romney, will most assuredly be a disaster and we may not survive.

    Newt can do it. Does he even have a chance of winning? Sure, why not. Stranger things have happened. The fact is that we are, at core, a conservative and Christian people. The last time we ran two conservatives against each other was at the end of the first Progressive experiment – in 1924. Reagan was never ever supposed to happen – but, he did. Newt is not Reagan, he’s Newt and in all reality, Reagan could not secure the Republican nomination today. We are a mess and a bold visionary is what is needed to institute a major course-correction.

    Either way, he needs to stay in the race because he makes all the others, even Romney, better. As far as Santorum supporters go, Newt is helping Rick and hurting Romney. That is a good thing. We cannot see tomorrow. This is a strange primary. The rules are quite different, the lay of the land has never been like this and the insider manipulations have never been worse. I want Newt not only because I think he is the best suited, but also just to upset the current order of Demopublican management of America’s decline.

    This should be a two man race – Gingrich and Santorum. The winner of that contest would obliterate Obama.

  • This notion that Newt is a man of ideas is rubbish, but his supporters have said it enough that even his critics have begun to believe it. It’s fundamentally baloney, as Newt would say.

    What are his grand ideas and bold vision?

    A flat tax?

    Henry Hyde said it best about Newt, “Him and his new ideas—there are no new ideas!”

    I don’t know who to support between Santorum and Romney, to be honest. Santorum is such a bad campaigner I have my doubts regarding his ability to beat the president, despite what polls right now say. Romney’s marginally better.

    I despair of democracy.

  • Francis, I pretty much agree with your take, but try to avoid despair, even of democracy — it is still the best form of government save all the others. It’s a fallen world, and we won’t fix that in 2012.

  • “In Illinois, the adult home of President Obama, he lost more counties in 2008 than he won outside the Chicago Metroland Area (where few Republicans live in the first place.) The bulk of the GOP is in the downstate area and they are hardly the Romney type. Senator Santorum was only by 4 points behind in Illinois, and that was even before he won Alabama and Mississippi.”

    This analysis appears to be accurate. Republicans in Cook County or any of the close-in suburbs have been scarce as hen’s teeth for years, though there were and are exceptions (for example, Rep. Henry Hyde came from a suburban Congressional district).

    Meanwhile, Democrats south of I-80 are becoming an increasingly endangered species; Gov. Quinn and, more recently, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (with his proposal that ALL guns owned by state residents should be registered and the owners charged $65 a pop for that dubious privilege) have succeeded in alienating many of the downstate working-class voters that used to be reliably Dem. And voter registration overall in the Chicago area has dropped precipitously in the last few years.

    I think Santorum COULD pull off a win in Illinois if the more liberal/RINO leaning suburbanites north of I-80 decide to sit out the primary because they like none of the candidates being offered, while the more conservative and motivated downstaters turn out in droves.

  • I’m currently reading a Romney bio, and based on that I am pretty confident in the sincerity of Romney’s pro-life convictions. As a church leader, he counseled women against having abortions, at one point showing up at a woman’s hospital room to try to talk her out of having an abortion and telling her about how a relative’s child with Down Syndrome had proven to be a blessing for the family. It’s true that he ran as a pro-choice candidate in 1994 and 2002, but when it came to actually governing he wasn’t able to follow through and govern as a pro-choicer. There are issues on which Romney’s personal instincts seem to be moderate, but abortion is not one of them.

  • Meanwhile, the Weathervane, true to form, tests the political winds before taking a stand on another critical issue:


  • Well, I’m pretty confident that Romney is a fraud, and will vote accordingly. Which means it’s either Santorum or the Constitution Party for me.

  • “Quite honestly, Romney offers nothing to the GOP electorate other than a warm body and nice hair to put up as an alternative to Barack Obama. Sorry, but given his ACTUAL track record, that ain’t enough to get me to pull the lever for him.”

    See that’s the problem…Conservatives who want Santorum to win can’t wrap their heads around the fact that he’s unelectable. He has virtually no chance of winning. A candidate’s electability is inversely proportional to his enemies desire to see him nominated and democrats would love a Santorum nomination.

    Another way to put it is this way, Santorum would make a fine, trustworthy, and authentically Catholic president but since the American public currently has no appetite for such a man conservatives would nominate one at their and the country’s peril.

  • The portion of my comment that you quoted was about Mitt Romney and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Rick Santorum.

    My position on Mitt Romney has been the same since the first time I ever laid eyes on him in 1994. I felt the same way about him in 2008 – even back then, he was the one candidate other than Giuliani for whom I would NEVER cast a vote.

    And I don’t know where you’ve been during this election, but I’ve been saying the same thing about Romney since the days Santorum was pulling single digits and was begging to get asked questions in every debate. I was saying the same thing about Romney when I briefly flirted with supporting Hunstman. I was saying the same thing about Romney for the 5 seconds I considered Pawlenty. I was saying the same thing when I was on board with Rick Perry. In short, I’d be saying the same thing about Dullard Flip Rino REGARDLESS of who his competition was. Your focus on Santorum in response to the portion of my comment that you quoted is a complete non-sequitur and a big fat red herring.

    See that’s the problem…so-called “Conservatives” who want Romney to win can’t wrap their heads around the fact that he’s the problem – he can’t close the deal because he’s fundamentally flawed as an at-best “moderate” candidate running for the nomination of a conservative party. He has no chance of winning my vote and virtually no chance of winning the votes of countless other conservatives who simply don’t trust him and believe him to be a liberal fraud.

  • Nice post Jay. You hit (Dim)Mitt Romney right on the head. He is a fake. He is not trustworthy. He is not conservative and sadly, neither is most of the Republican Party; hence why he is the ‘favorite’.

    We are close to a tipping point and Christians in general and Catholics specifically need to be very careful for whom we vote. Persecution is building in our land and it is not from any single man. It comes from a radical secular establishment and they use pawns like BHO and Romney to execute it on their behalf. To avoid this you need a faithful Christian or possibly a libertarian, preferable a Constitutionalist rather than an anarchist.

    Romney will lose the ‘conservative’ vote. I know that I am leaning third party if we are stupid enough to make that empty suit the nominee. I’d prefer any of the other three.

  • so-called “Conservatives” who want Romney to win can’t wrap their heads around the fact that he’s the problem

    1. THE problem is that the federal government’s net borrowing is around about 9% of domestic product; the incumbent President disregarded the solutions a bipartisan national commission offered to repair the problem and offered nothing to replace said solution; and the competitors for his job have offered no worthwhile plans either.

    2. A secondary problem is that three of the principal candidates to replace them have never supervised anything other than their office staff and the fourth has for 18 years been given to bouts of blatant opportunism and no one knows what he really thinks (though we can be fairly sure he is not a ‘dullard’).

    Wunnerful wunnerful.

  • “Romney will lose the ‘conservative’ vote. I know that I am leaning third party if we are stupid enough to make that empty suit the nominee”

    He certainly may lose the “cut off your nose” conservatives. Having done that too many times myself I no longer have a nose to cut off.

    This election is neither about Romney nor any bona fide conservative. The election is squarely about Obama and for that we gratefully have the opportunity to replace him. The fact that some replacements are further to the right than others is picking nits with extreme prejudice.

  • He certainly may lose the “cut off your nose” conservatives.

    No, he is going to lose the “I don’t want to replace Obama with Obama-lite” conservatives.

    You know, Romney backers have had months to make the case for Romney, and in that time all you have managed to say – repeatedly – is that he is better than Obama and he is more electable than the others. The first point might be true – but then again who isn’t? – and the latter point is becoming more and more laughable as each day passes.

    Also, it also not enough to make the election just about the incumbent. There needs to be at least some enthusiasm for the challenger. Otherwise we might be wrapping up President Kerry’s second term.

  • The entirety of Romney the Very Canny Businessman’s contract with conservatives (of every stripe) reads thusly:

    “Vote for me, and I won’t be Obama.”

    Which he will adhere to to the last letter. Legally and ontologically, he will not be Barack Obama.

    Paid in full.

    Which means that after he gets elected, he will be able to indulge his three proven political principles: pursuit of elective office (in 2016), indulging his craving for bipartisanship, and flinching in the face of/pandering to the left (See Minimum Wage, Indexing of; cf. “Scheme, Perry”).

    Why, he can’t do anything about the fiscal/entitlements nightmare–at least not in an election year, or the year before an election year. He’d offend the volatile swing voters to whom he actually is beholden. So, sorry about that. Ditto social issues, too. But here’s his e-mail to March for Life-rs:

    “Dear You People:

    Abortion is rather less than ideal, as a majority of polled likely voters currently agree, the margin of error being plus-minus three point five percent….”

    But at least as the country careens toward Greece/Weimar, the conservatives who voted for him can accept the solace that he is indeed not Obama.

    If the only thing that keeps the country from careening to Hell is Mitt Romney, then the Republic is dead already.

  • Its always interesting when conservatives disagree. In principle and on most if not close to all of the issues I rather fancy most everything that is written on this here blog, by you gentlemen. Although however one might agree with such principles, in the end it is the application and the “getting there” which serves as the source of disputes.

    I like Santorum. I don’t like Romney except for his usefulness to ouster BO and will not be an apologist for him, per se. To that extent it is prudential judgment as to who is more electable in any given set of circumstances. Current political climate dictates the authentically conservative Catholic will not win. Its about the economy.

    In any event it would behoove conservatives to stand behind the eventual nominee come the general election if the goal is to preserve our nation from the existing attack from within.

  • To that extent it is prudential judgment as to who is more electable in any given set of circumstances. Current political climate dictates the authentically conservative Catholic will not win. Its about the economy.

    Again, though, actual results and polling do not bear this out. Santorum polls just a smidgen below Romney in head-to-head matchups with Obama. When you throw in Santorum’s track record of winning difficult elections in his House and Senate races in Pennsylvania, and the fact that he is staying close to Romney in elections despite being outspent by him by several orders of magnitude, the idea that Santorum is somehow certain to lose compared to Romney just holds absolutely no water.

  • It is too depressing to think about.

  • Paul, I respect people who come to a different calculation. If it helps you, prudentially speaking, I live in a State that hasn’t voted for the Republican candidate since 1988. So, my decision on Romney makes no difference.

  • FWIW, I live in a bluer state than Dale, so ditto for my decision. That said, I don’t know that my calculus would change if I lived ten miles to my west.

  • Blackadder,

    If Romney is truly pro-life and he chose to run as a pro-abort (I’ve seen his speeches and he was PASSIONATELY pro-abort) then doesn’t that reveal a certain flexibility with principle and a casual relationship with truth? Do we really want to place our trust in a guy like that?

  • I live in THE swing state, and that fact has absolutely no bearing on my decision. (In fact, in a sort of perverse way, I’m rather relishing the fact that Romney could really use my vote and that I’m going to withhold it from him.)

  • I too reside in a mainly blue state, to commiserate with Paul Z. & Dale, so this discussion is really for political banter with fellow conservatives. I’d much prefer hearing anyone’s argument here than elsewhere.

    I’m reticent to use polls this far ahead of the election but since you raised the issue Paul Z., Real Clear Politics has Romney beating Obama in at least a few polls whereas Santorum shows no such advantage. What polls are you referencing?

    Also for Paul Z, Dale, Jay or anyone else for that matter, when you watched the debates and see Rick out articulating conservatism how do you view him carrying the conservative banner? Do you think he advances his message convincingly?

  • If the only thing that keeps the country from careening to Hell is Mitt Romney, then the Republic is dead already.

    I appreciate your point. Just want to point out the following:

    1. He has experience with re-structurings.

    2. George Bush the Elder was quite adept at making himself appear opportunistic and silly. He performed satisfactorily in office, though not without error (e.g. David Souter). He may have been the most able chief executive we have had since Gen. Eisenhower retired to Gettysburg.

  • when you watched the debates and see Rick out articulating conservatism how do you view him carrying the conservative banner?

    He would have been the optimal choice among the five in 1992 or 1996 or 2000. Now, not so sure.

  • “He would have been the optimal choice among the five in 1992 or 1996 or 2000. Now, not so sure.”

    Art- hadn’t thought of it that way, but that rings true.

  • I have about 2 minutes, so can’t look up the source, but I believe it was Rasmussen that had Romney up 2 and Santorum minus 1 on Obama. May have been Gallup. Most of the polls I’ve seen have basically had the races fairly tight.

  • Here is a poll in Florida that has them both down by a couple to Obama. You’re right about polls being meaningless at this point, but they do suggest that that Santorum is not unelectable, at least no more so than Romney.

  • when you watched the debates and see Rick out articulating conservatism how do you view him carrying the conservative banner? Do you think he advances his message convincingly?

    1. On the whole, yes, he does. With the sad exception of the last debate, where he froze a bit in the headlights. He’s even better on the stump–for example, when my oldest son and I saw him in Michigan in February. A 45 minute speech about the economy as an organic whole, with references to the mediating institutions in civil society–it was a tour de force. Even my 9 year old son remembers the Keystone Pipeline and oil discussion to this day.

    But I will acknowledge he gets distracted and wounds himself needlessly with ricochets.

    2. He does on the stump, unfiltered. His discipline on the whole has gotten better, if still imperfect.

    I’m not going to pretend he was my first choice, or even my fourth. My first didn’t run, and the remaining three flamed out.

    He’s the best of a weak field, and under no delusions that the left can be made to like him, which saves time.

  • Art:

    The restructuring specialist is the best argument for him, and one I can instinctively buy.

    But then I go back to the fact this is Mitt Romney we’re talking about, a man who has never been a model of walking-the-tightrope political courage.

    In fact, when I keep hearing the Romney boosters’ attacks on Santorum, and to a lesser extent even Gingrich, my rebuttal is “That is a great argument–or rather, would be, if your candidate was Bobby Jindal. But he’s not–your guy is *Mitt Romney*.”

  • My observations of Santorum have been via the debates with occasional clips of him talking to the media. I either haven’t seen this tour de force side of him or just am looking for something else. Thanks for your observations Dale.

    He will be at my alma mater on Friday evening so maybe having the chance to see and hear him in person will provide another perspective.

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Something for Everyone Tuesday

Wednesday, March 7, AD 2012

Well, all of the remaining candidates in the Republican fight for the presidential nomination had something to brag about, and to worry about, after last night.

1.  Rick Santorum:

Brag About:  Major bragging rights go to Santorum.  He battled to almost a tie in Ohio, after being outspent four to one by Mitt Romney, in a truly remarkable demonstration that fervent volunteers can largely negate a money advantage.  His wins in Oklahoma, North Dakota and  Tennessee demonstrated that where the Republican party is strongest, unless there is a substantial Mormon population., Santorum also tends to be strongest, and that he has an appeal to the Republican base that is not limited to geography.  He came in a strong second in Alaska, and weak seconds in Idaho and Massachusetts.

Worry About:  He did not win in Ohio and thus any momentum from a near defeat in the Buckeye State will be much less.   Gingrich is giving no sign that he is leaving the race and his vote totals deprive Santorum of victory after victory.

2.  Mitt Romney, a/k/a the Weathervane:

Brag About:  He dodged a bullet by winning, barely, the big prize of Ohio last night.  He won overwhelmingly in Massachusetts.  Toss in victories in Virginia, Alaska, Vermont  and Idaho and it is impossible to argue, as much as I would like to, that Super Tuesday was not a very good night for the Weathervane.  He ran a strong second in Oklahoma, and weak seconds in Tennessee, Georgia and North Dakota.  He continues to amass the most delegates and to be the clear favorite to get the nomination.

Worry About:  Unless his money mud machine is fully deployed, the Weathervane has a great deal of difficulty in winning against a strong candidate, the prime example last night being Ohio where he eked out a one point victory with only a four to one spending advantage.  His victory in Virginia, where 40% of Republicans voted for Doctor Delusional since he was the only not Romney on the ballot, is also troubling for the Weathervane as it shows the depth of the anti-Romney sentiment among rank and file Republicans in a key state in the fall, and is mirrored throughout the nation.

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14 Responses to Something for Everyone Tuesday

  • If you count Super-PAC spending, Dullard Flip Rino’s advantage in Ohio was probably something more like 12-1. Every time you turned on the TV here, Santorum’s grainy photo was juxtaposed with ominous music paid for by Dullard’s Super-PAC.

    At any rate, Santorum’s loss in Ohio – even though a squeaker – coupled with Gingrich’s win in Georgia – which will be enough to keep Gingrich’s oversized ego in the race, means this thing is, for all practical purposes, over. And the allegedly “conservative” and “pro-life” party will have nominated someone who is neither.

    Which means I’ll be casting my vote elsewhere this fall. Time to replace my Santorum bumper stickers and yard signs with ones for Virgil Goode.

  • Probably a correct analysis Jay unless Gingrich does decide to drop out soon and put every drop of energy he has behind Santorum. Unlikely, yes, but this year I do not think it is ever safe to assume that the unlikely may not occur.

  • I’m not sure the Pauls are angling for Rand to get the VP spot. Yeah, I’ve heard chatter about it, but it doesn’t seem to make much sense to me given that Romney’s positions (as floppy as they may be) are far and away different than those of Pauls… at least the ones Paul supporters care most deeply about (foreign policy, ending the FED, etc…).

  • Rand Paul’s chances of accepting a VP slot are between none and square-root-of-negative-one. If the GOP loses, Sen. Paul is then cast into Elysium, never to be seen again. If they win, then he’s in that lovely position that was unsuccessful for all but Martin van Buren and GHW Bush.

    He’s aiming at 2016 or 2020, depending. Were there any chance of Paul the Younger being on a ticket, Paul the Elder would have dropped out months ago. Being in any oppositional situation would not serve the cause.

  • Pretty much nailed what I was gonna say. I would just add that the Virginia result is the most troubling for Romney, especially since Virginia is such a must-win state for the GOP. That’s a mighty loud protest vote. And for the “electable” crowd, please note that Romney is barely eking out victories while massively outspending his opponents. What is he going to do when he’s the one being outspent on the order of 2:1, if not more?

    Even though Gingrich dropping out would help Santorum – and Santorum certainly would have won Ohio without Newt in the race, and probably Georgia as well – there’s something to be said for the fact that Rick would be facing a 2-1 onslaught without Newt. Not having Newt in the race could help Romney and mini-Romney concentrate their fire. So I think the advantage to Santorum to Newt dropping out is not as significant as people might think.

    I had suggested on my blog that Santorum would drop out if he lost Ohio, but considering the closeness of the race and the otherwise decent showing last night, he’ll stick it out. He should do fairly well in the next round of states, which are concentrated in the south and midwest. But he faces an uphill climb to 1,044.

  • Something to keep an eye on:
    Every time Romney gets a big win, he lets down his guard and drops the conservative fascade. It always comes back to bite him, and his campaign is left scrambling to undo the damage and explain that the candidate didn’t really mean what he just said. (See, e.g., last week’s faux pas re: the Blunt Amendment.) EVERY time. So be on the watch.

    My guess, based on his speech last night in Massachusetts, is that Romney will not wait any longer before doing the general election pivot to the “middle” (i.e. left). It will happen this week, perhaps as early as today. Expect to be continually disappointed throughout this election as the REAL Mitt comes to the fore.

    I expect he’ll even pull a Murkowski and back off his already tepid “support” of the failed Blunt Amendment at some point in the near future. He’ll use the “I support religious freedom, but the Blunt Amendment was overbroad and went too far” line. He’ll even go on record as wanting to broker a “more effective accomodation” than the Obama “accomodation”. It will be somewhat more favorable to the Church’s position, but not satisfactory. Just watch.

    That’s my prediction.

  • I think that there are a few things people often forget about:
    1) We’ve had huge upswings in this race. To count *anyone* out right now seems crazy and indicates a lack of backwards vision.
    2) I don’t have numbers to back this up, but is it possible that some people who vote for Gingrich might vote for Romney instead of Santorum? I know I would choose Romney over Santorum any day, any week, if it was between those two!
    3) How many Republicans and conservatives are actually going to sit at home on election day if Romney wins the nomination? I think the hatred for President Obama is so high among that crowd that they’d show up to vote for a shoe. So any talk of Romney barely beating Santorum, and only when he outspends him, says nothing about the general election. The general election will simply be, for Romney, making sure he doesn’t offend the Republican and conservative base, and appealing to moderates. Santorum can *only* appeal to die-hard conservatives and Republicans.

    In the end, I can’t see how Santorum is a better general election candidate than Romney: and this comes from a Newt supporter!

  • I don’t have numbers to back this up, but is it possible that some people who vote for Gingrich might vote for Romney instead of Santorum? I know I would choose Romney over Santorum any day, any week, if it was between those two!

    Most polling suggests that you’d be in the minority among Gingrich supporters, though who knows what would really happen.

    How many Republicans and conservatives are actually going to sit at home on election day if Romney wins the nomination?

    Well, you’ve got two on this thread alone, and from what I’ve seen I would say that a not unsubstantial number of conservatives would do so. Again, we’ll see.

    Santorum can *only* appeal to die-hard conservatives and Republicans.

    And yet he twice won in a district that was more than 3:1 Democrat to Republican, and won twice state-wide in a leaning blue state (yes, yes, I know – he also lost there by 18). In a general election, Santorum’s populist appeal could very well attract more blue-collar Democrats and independents than Romney is likely going to draw.

  • Ohio, Ohio, Ohio.

    Both candidates allowed the press to build it up as the defining race of Super Tuesday, so they have to live with the results. This is the second Clash of the Titans since Santorum’s three-state sweep, and Romney has won both of them.

    Newt has a shiny new toy, and will go into the Convention with two state victories – cause it ain’t gonna happen a third time. Paul didn’t even get a shiny toy. At this point they’re just vying for a good slot in primetime at the Convention. I think they both want to hold their heads high, but really, why should they?

    I’ve been bothered by the constant calls for candidates to drop out, but if Romney can win the two Deep South races of Alabama and Mississippi next week, I don’t see why Santorum should stay in the race.

    How would Santorum be as a VP nominee? Typically, the pick has less significance than the press thinks it does. VP isn’t like being Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon; it’s more like being Michael Collins who stayed in orbit. You’re close enough to see what power looks like, but you don’t actually have any. And there’s always talk about putting all the other candidates in your cabinet to show party unity, which never amounts to anything. But I think that the personas that Romney and Santorum have crafted in this campaign would play off each other really well. The fact that they don’t seem to like each other would work to their advantage.

  • I got to hear the local vaguely-conservative station’s special coverage that was mostly scolding Gingrich and pouting that Santorum was doing so well. (the guy really likes Romney)

    I notice a trend: the folks who support Romney and Libertarians seem to think that SoCons are still going to do their “better than nothing” trick and support anybody that’s not Obama. I think the game is changing– you can’t take the base for granted, not when there’s so much access to information that “better than nothing” is more like eating the seed-corn.

  • After viewing the three speeches last night, I reached the conclusion that there is only one candidate who articulates the fight necessary to beat Obama and the vision to lead this country out of the rubble. I challenge all of you to objectively view the speeches and honestly evaluate the message conveyed.

    Newt= $2.50 gasoline.

  • Tess S. –
    why on earth would we base our choices on one speech from each person? Besides the fact that what I heard of Newt’s speech was not persuasive unless you already agreed, and the idea of Newt fighting the elite establishment still makes me giggle (imagine Pelosi talking about speaking truth to power), I don’t make choices strictly on how good someone is at talking. That may be a bias on my part, because I’m not so silver-tongued myself.

  • Foxfier,

    Then let’s vote for a candidate based on the fact that he has seven kids.

    The majority of his Super Tuesday speech consisted of bragging about the size of his family, his roots in the Ohio Valley, and a display of a few smooches with his wife. It was beautiful. Profound. A family like his will save the world.

    Yeah. I Pick Rick.

Gingrich and the Fourth Estate

Friday, February 24, AD 2012

No one is better than Gingrich in pointing out the wretched double standard of the Mainstream Media:


I want to make two quick points, John. The first is there is a legitimate question about the power of the government to impose on religion activities which any religion opposes. That’s legitimate. But I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide.

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15 Responses to Gingrich and the Fourth Estate

  • “If you don’t read the papers you are uninformed. If you read the papers you are misinformed.” Mark Twain


    I go into my “wife-listening” mode until the sports and weather come on.

  • The Academy Awards could add a few new categories for re-election candidates.

  • Unfortunately, there has been little evidence of non-partisan journalism ever in that mean estate. From the days when you knew which paper in your city supported which candidates, through the yellow journalism of a century ago all the way up until today, that concept is tough to conjure and tougher still to maintain.

    The culprit is the consumer, of course, who wants to be titillated and shocked. Straightforward, unbiased reporting has a favorable demographic that’s way too far at the high end of the bell curve to be profitable.

    I submit that the closest example we’ll see is CSPAN.

  • The thing is I have no problem with partisan journalism. All I ask is that you fly your flag. Please don’t tell me you (the media) are objective. I am not stupid.

  • I like the comment of flying your flag, but that just polarizes the nation. The pundit reporting is almost like hate/rumor-mongering. It serves little purpose, except to brainwash stupid people (the majority of the US). Instead, we need un-biased reporting and we’re simply not getting it. Everyone is biased….maybe CSPAN, maybe NPR (at least they provide two perspectives).

  • Don

    The incident that resulted in the “Born Alive” bill was not a botched abortion. The pregnancy was carried to normal term then the baby was shelved to die of lack of nourishment and care. .

    What I don’t understand is why needed the law, it seems to be homicide carried out with intent and malice, which I thought was already illegal with a hefty punishment. But I’m not a lawyer, what do I know.

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  • The MSM is mostly unaware of their bias.

  • Hey folks, could someone running this blog please email me? I wandered over to a progressive web site and found myself literally in a den of vipers. I was curious and I learned a few things. I thought things would go more or less like they do here but boy, was I mistaken. I wanted to share them in more detail through email and get your thoughts if you don’t mind.


    Big Gar, aka TemplarofTruth…

  • Progressive Web Site = Den Of Vipers. This is a fair and open blog, but please try to limit the redundancy.



  • It seems like many years ago that journalists were more objective in reporting the facts than they are today. They may have leaned either to the Left or Right but it wasn’t as so blatantly obvious as it is today with reporters playing partisan politics.

  • Prior to the Sixties Teresa reporters were often of blue collar origin, many without college degrees. As a group they tilted to the Dems, but they often had varied experiences, including military service and working at a variety of jobs that made them a fairly eclectic bunch. Today, most journalists come out of college with similar life experiences and a standard pattern of ideological beliefs.

  • Also, as I’m fond of pointing out, reporters at the LOCAL level (weekly or small daily newspapers) do not tend to skew to the left as much as the NATIONAL or large city media do. Covering the police or city council beat in a town of, say, 10,000 or fewer people — especially when you and your spouse and children (if any) live in the town you are covering — is a far different animal from covering Congress or the White House. Plus, most journalists at the local level make very little money, sometimes barely above minimum wage (that was my situation for several years). They are nothing like the pampered talking heads you see on TV.

  • True Elaine. I think that as more and more local reporters get into blogging they will begin to have a regional and national impact.

  • I have noticed that as well, Elaine. Even when the local reporter covers politics its for a brief minute or two so they don’t have time to spin the story like the national media reporters do.

Newt Fading

Tuesday, February 14, AD 2012

I wanted to followup on Don’s post from yesterday about National Review urging Gingrich to exit the race.  As I said in the comments, I owe NRO a slight mea culpa.  I thought that by including Santorum (and Huntsman) with Romney as the candidates they thought worthy of the nomination they were merely blowing smoke.  Yet they have given Santorum fairly favorable coverage, so much so that angry Romney fanboys like Old Fan think that NR is in the tank for Santorum.  I still think the hatchet piece on Gingrich was out of line, so I’m not totally ready to forgive them for that.

As for the actual meat of their suggestion, there is much merit to it.  There have been nine primaries and caucuses thus far.  Gingrich was the landslide winner in South Carolina, but has otherwise done terribly.  He’s finished a distant second twice, and has barely hovered around ten percent in the other contests.  Right now one poll has Gingrich in fourth place behind Ron Paul, and other polls show a clear trend towards Rick Santorum as the favorite among the anti-Romneys.  Now, polls have shifted mightily throughout the campaign season, so Gingrich shouldn’t head for the exits quite yet.  But poor showings in Arizona and Michigan should just about do it for Newt.  Considering the fact that the bulk of his supporters will likely flock to Santorum (where as Santorum supporters are evenly split between Romney and Newt as their backup choices), and that Newt is much more favorably disposed to Santorum than Romney, I would imagine that Newt will not stay in the race if he has another pair of fourth place finishes.

That being said, if National Review wants Gingrich out of the race the last thing it should have done is publish an editorial making this feeling public.  Republican primary voters in general, and Gingrich supporters in particular have, to a large extent, been driven by spite.  It’s practically impossible to read a screed written by a Gingrich supporter that doesn’t mention the “Establishment” once or a dozen times.  Throw in the fact that National Review is already reviled with a special kind of intensity in camp Gingrich – and with good reason – and I can envision Gingrich supporters doubling down.  Newt himself has shown that he is prone to fits of spite, so National Review may have just guaranteed that Newt will stay in the race longer than intended.  In fact I’d submit that if National Review wanted Newt out of the race the best thing it could do is endorse the man.

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5 Responses to Newt Fading

  • I don’t know how GOP can survive 11/12 unless RP loves the country enough to very soon allow RS & MR get to springtime.

    And – valuable Newt Gingrich who does love this country can best serve as leader of the Catholic Church’s struggle for freedom to exist. Essential and God-pleasing need. He needed someone for the struggle with the Philistines …

  • One can overstate it’s importance but the moon colony idea during one debate prior to Florida was a turning point…as in downward.

  • I don’t know if it was the moon colony thing specifically, but certainly that entire debate performance could be pinpointed as the night his candidacy died, which is fitting since his entire candidacy was based on debate performances (and the word performance is very apt with regard to Newt). It was amazing to watch a candidate, over about a 2 or 3 week stretch, do the complete opposite of all that he had done previously to shoot up in the polls.

    That said, I think the moon colony idea is actually not that crazy. The main negative about it is that this is not necessarily the best time to suggest new spending schemes. But of all the reasons not to support Newt, it doesn’t even crack the top ten.

  • That said, I think the moon colony idea is actually not that crazy.

    Oh, yes it is.

  • Yes, moon colony crazy like prohibiting the Keystone Oil Pipe for three years, shutting down refineries and coal plants, and priceless Obama whining about the price of gas soaring from $1.81, the day before he took over, to $3.51 today.

National Review Calls on Gingrich to Drop Out and Endorse Santorum

Monday, February 13, AD 2012


Interesting.  I had assumed that National Review was in the tank for Romney.  However, this morning the editors have called for Gingrich to drop out and endorse Santorum.  They follow this up with a blast at Romney:

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

We hope so. Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.

Santorum has been conducting himself rather impressively in his moments of triumph and avoiding characteristic temptations. He is doing his best to keep the press from dismissing him as merely a “social-issues candidate.” His recent remark that losing his Senate seat in 2006 taught him the importance of humility suggests an appealing self-awareness. And he has rightly identified the declining stability of middle-class families as a threat to the American experiment, even if his proposed solutions are poorly designed. But sensible policies, important as they are, are not the immediate challenge for his candidacy. Proving he can run a national campaign is.

Romney remains the undramatic figure at the center of the primaries’ drama. Lack of enthusiasm for him has set it all in motion. Romney is trying to win the nomination by pulverizing his rivals. His hope is that enthusiasm will follow when he takes on Obama in the summer and fall. But his attacks on Santorum have been lame, perhaps because they are patently insincere. (Does anyone believe that Romney truly thinks poorly of Santorum’s votes to raise the debt ceiling?)

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6 Responses to National Review Calls on Gingrich to Drop Out and Endorse Santorum

Santorum Rising

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2012


Last night in Missouri Rick Santorum finally got to go one on one against Romney, since Gingrich did not bother to get on the ballot, and the results were devastating to the Weathervane.  Santorum won two to one, garnering 55% of the vote to 25% for Romney, with Ron Paul bringing up the rear with 12%.  Santorum won every county in the state.  The Romney camp will claim that since this was a non-binding beauty contest and that Romney did little campaigning in the state, this is meaningless.  Rubbish!  What does it say about the Romney campaign and its appeal to Republican voters that they lost this badly in a state that has been a bellweather of the nation in most Presidential elections?

However, Missouri was not the end of the bad news for Romney last night.  In the Minnesota caucuses Santorum came in first with a stunning 45% and second was, wait for it, Ron Paul with 27%.  Romney, who won the caucuses by 20 points in 2008, came in third  at 17% with Gingrich being Tail-end-Newt with 11%

To complete the trifecta of woe for the Weathervane last night, we turn to Colorado, a state Romney was supposed to win according to the polls.  In the caucuses, Santorum came in first with 40%, Romney took second at 35%, Gingrich a very distant third at 13%, just edging out Paul at 12%.

So, the night couldn’t have been better for Santorum or worse for Romney, but what does it all mean?

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30 Responses to Santorum Rising

  • Thank God! Indeed, the liberals hate Santorum as much as thy hate unborn babies.

  • Now THIS is what I call sending a message. Even if Romney does end up winning the nomination he now knows he MUST turn more to the right if he is to generate enough momentum in the key swing states to win. At the very least, he has to pick a solidly conservative running mate… perhaps Santorum himself, or Marco Rubio.

    The most surprising outcome of the evening to me is Ron Paul doing as well as he did in Minnesota. Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised given that Minnesota has a history of electing some really odd pols like Jesse Ventura and Al Franken….

  • It is time to go “all in” for Rick.

  • Although it is the only strategy he has, Romney’s going negative on Santorum – especially if it’s done in the manner it happened to Newt in Florida – will NOT sit well with Republican primary voters.

    The “grassroots” were never altogether comfortable with Newt as the “not-Romney” candidate, so there was really no downside to going negative against him the way the Romney campaign did. But if they do the same thing to Santorum, there is a HUGE downside – they run the risk of further alienating those who are not sold on Romney, and perhaps getting a backlash from those who were supporting Romney only because they saw him as the only electable alternative to 4 more years of Obama.

    Watch how National Review handles this Santorum surge – if they go negative, that will be a clue that the Romney camp plans on holding nothing back in their attacks. If National Review takes the high road, that’s no guarantee that Romney won’t go negative, but it is an indication of how little tolerance some of his supporters will have for that tactic.

  • Jay – Very good point. Beating up on a guy like Newt is just karma (if you’ll forgive that word on a Catholic site). Beating up on a good family man – a Mormon beating up on a good family man – well, that’s gonna backfire. The biggest weaknesses of Santorum are his 2006 loss and his strong anti-gay stand (which I agree with, but by the time the press tells the story, it’s going to hurt him). So, what can Romney’s people do? Beat up on Santorum for being outside the religious mainstream?! Move to the left on gay rights?! It’s a nightmare for them. They’ll have to go clean, stressing Romney’s business experience, because there’s no other difference between the Romney package that they’re trying to sell and Santorum.

    Do I need to unpack the phrase “the Romney package that they’re trying to sell”? I hope it’s obvious. Romney is running as an experienced, likeable, electable conservative.

    OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

  • Yeah, between these victories and those polls showing Santorum doing just as well as Romney against Obama, this seems to me to make Santorum the only credible Romney alternative.

    I’ll admit, as perhaps the most Romney supporting writer here, I’m still kind of split. I’m worried that in the general election, Santorum would prove less slippery and teflon coated versus Obama and Romney — especially as the cultural left will go totally ape shit on him. They perhaps have Santorum even more than Sarah Palin. Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure. On the flip side, if Romney wins, in addition to some conservatives not rallying the Left will still paint him as a hard core extremist and they’ll work hard to activate every bit of anti-Mormon prejudice out there to their advantage. This will be a massively vicious campaign on the part of the Dems no matter what.

    Generally speaking, I like Romney more on economic/business policy and I’m a bit more inclined to trust him on foreign policy and perhaps immigration. I’m more inclined to trust Santorum on the environment (as in, not rolling over to greens) and I trust Santorum much, much more on the moral issues of the day, which in the end are the most important.

  • OK, there’s one other angle I just thought of, but it’s going to be a doozy to pull off. Paint Santorum as a moderate. Attack him for the Bush deficit and the expansion of Medicare. It’s really the only move.

    This is already in effect, as witnessed also at “conservative” sites like Red State where they have painted Santorum is basically a big government moderate. And as someone who served in Congress for well over a decade, he will have cast votes that now appear to be quasi-socialist. Never mind that most of them were wither procedural votes or were votes where he lined up 100% with the rest of the party, they will be spun to paint him as somehow being to the left of Romney. That’s why running for the presidency as sitting or former member of Congress is so difficult: lots of votes to explain away.

    But if Santorum clearly emerges as the main non-Romney, even that line of attack will likely backfire, especially if the attacks are seen as far-fetched. As I said on my post last night, Santorum’s effectiveness when he has gone negative is that he’s concentrated his fire on a few select substantive policy differences. If they try to throw the kitchen sink at Santorum, it could be viewed as desperation. And camp Romney is certainly desperate.

  • . Maybe that would turn off mainstream voters, or maybe it would succeed in painting him as an extremist. I’m not sure.

    As I said on Pat Archbold’s NCR blog, in point of fact Santorum isn’t much more socially conservative than Presidents Reagan and Bush policy-wise, and his views on issues like abortion and gay marriage actually aligns with majority sentiment. His two potential drawbacks are his personal social conservatism and the fact that he actually genuinely believes what he says. Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws. So the left will certainly try to spin that as much as they can.

    In the end, we have to keep in mind that the left will completely attack and smear whoever the nominee is. Santorum will be attacked for his social conservatism, Romney for being the rich aristocrat (who, we might as well just mention, paved the way for Obamacare), and Gingrich – well, where to begin? So trying to divine which candidate will be most affected by the negativism is somewhat futile, because voters are swayed by the most absurd things. It’s quite possible that attacks on Santorum’s social views might backfire, especially if they try to bring up some of the personal stuff related to their baby dying. Then again, it might work like a charm. We just don’t know. So as I’ve said before, you just have to vote for the guy that you personally believe is the best candidate, whoever that is for you.

  • Although not my first choice, I could certainly vote for Rick easier than I could for Romney.

  • The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.

  • Maybe this is a topic for a different blog post, but Paul Z. stated, “Even right-wingers are falling for the spin that Santorum wants to ban contraception or enact sodomy laws.”

    Why shouldn’t contraception be banned and why shouldn’t anti-sodomy laws be enacted? They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal? Is the reason, “Well, the non-Catholics don’t agree, nor do even a majority of Catholics.”? Since when is truth determined by opinion? Oh yes, I will be accused of wanting a theocracy. Well, one way or another, we’re going to get a theocracy. The theocracy of today’s society is atheism (yes, I realize that is a contradiction in terms and that’s why it’s called “liberalism”.) But Jesus Christ will return and establish His theocracy with a rod of iron. No voting allowed. And that’s bad because?????????

  • They are intrinsic evils. So why not make them illegal?

    Aside from the argument that it’s not practical to push an agenda too far outside the mainstream in a democracy, there would be the argument that actually enforcing certain kinds of laws would be more destructive than their absence.

    St. Thomas Aquinas actually made this argument in relation to not outlawing prostitution, even though it was clearly immoral: that the effects of trying to ban it would actually be more destructive than allowing it to continue. (So I guess we can at least feel like we’re better off that his time in one respect. Evil has a funny way of shifting around.)

    Back when we had laws against contraception and outlawing sodomy, I would have been in favor of keeping those laws — not only as a matter of morality but also because they served as a bulwark against other “logical” conclusions from their repeal. But at the point we are in right now (and at any point in the foreseeable future) I think it would be destructive to push for such laws.

  • Santorum is the doctor this country needs to make it better.
    1. $ is more a vehicle for Mitt Romney than a god, so, in a way (not- counting- the- neg.- ads- which- may- hurt- him- in the end), he is for the USA.

    2. Please don’t be quiet though, Newt Gingrich. People on both sides hear you and learn both manners and thinking with minds.

    3. He could save $, the O’s will have that covered.

    4. Santorum could do it on a shoestring in a better world, but he need to continue becoming known. Ads are forgotten rushes of images.

    5. … now if RPaul wants to defeat O., he could cooperate and support RSantorum.

    Romney/Santorum? a hope for GOP unity, one trait of Dems that works for them.

  • I expect no significant realignment of the federal government with the Constitution with any of the remaining viable candidates. Santorum will be a continuation of compassionate conservatism, i.e. big spender, big government. Newt is Mr. Toad’s wild ride, thrilling dips into conservatism and scary climbs into adventurous ideas. Romney is a weathervane.

  • “The other arrow they might try would be the Specter/Toomey affair. But that would be rather difficult for the Weathervane to pull off with any credibility. It could come from other quarters allied with the Weathervane.”

    I don’t see how that could work in the primaries. Who would be persuaded to back away from Santorum because of it? Party faithful respect party loyalty; newcomers would have no strong feelings about it. Moderates would admire him for his willingness to compromise; conservatives wouldn’t flock to Mitt or Newt because of it, since those two candidates have had to work with moderate Republicans plenty of times. The only portion of the party that could have a problem with it are the Ron Paul supporters, who already have their man in the primary. They’d be less likely to be loyal to Santorum in an Obama/Santorum general election. Otherwise, the only people who would take offense at it are consummate insiders who would distrust Santorum’s political instincts.

  • They will use Catholicism against him, in subverted ways.

  • Santorum ideas are linked with that “old” oppressive Church– out of date– needs to get with the time- modern and…liberal. People who don’t understand why Santorum appeals, don’t understand that the Church is really always young, and just right for the times.
    We are so over the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s…. Santorum is more with the times than Madonna– how long has she been doing that same schtick? black and silver, smoke and lights and bumping and grinding— Young people I know, when asked about her performance the other night said, “Meh.” That is what they are saying to Romney, Gingrich and Obama. Santorum is doing great because his old ideas are new again.

  • they are not saying “meh” to obama– they are saying “no”

  • LIke I said before, if Santorum can go from an 18 point drubbing as an incumbent senator in 2006, a long shot at the GOP nomination to winning the nomination and then the presidency, it would be one of the most miraculous of all political miracles in history. I’d love to see it because I don’t think much of Romney and rather detest Newt. But it’s still a long shot.

    Oh, and you can bet his endorsement of the hideous Arlen Specter in 2006 GOP senate primary over Pat Toomey is now gonna be an issue. That’s one thing I have passionately disliked about Santorum.

  • I think Don happened to be channeling Jim Morrison with the title of this post. Mr San–to–rum rising, Mr San–to–rum rising Got-ta keep on ri-sin etc.

  • I am pleased with Santorum’s victories. However we must remember that Santorum added little to his delegate total.

    Red State had a temper tantrum at Rick Perry’s failed Presidential run and they took it out on Santorum. What Erick Erickson et al have failed to realize is that Santorum is far more conservative than Romney and would go farther in reigning in the government than Romney would – given a Congress that would work with him.

    There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion. Be forewarned. Romney and the Obama attack Machine will attempt to shred Santorum over it. It matters not to me, as there is no force on earth that would cause me to vote for Obama or any Democrat.

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  • “There is some significant dirt on Mrs. Santorum and what her career was prior to her marriage and her personal conversion.”

    Yeah, as a young nurse she was shacked up for years to a much older abortionist, before she met Santorum, fell in love with him and returned to her Catholic faith. It is a beautiful story of love triumphing over sin and I pity Romney or Obama if they think that will be a successful avenue of attack. Most of the American people are sentimental softies at heart, and they will recognize a magnificent love story when they see one.

  • I think its awesome that Senator Santorum is finally getting the attention he deserves. I’ve been saying right along that Santorum knew how to stay alive, and he’s done so – all along proving that money and sparkle aren’t the only measures of a presidential candidate – or a president, for that matter.

    I worry that this support of earmarks is going to bite him in the rear, though. I mean, the truth is that he’s got a LOT less baggage than Gingrich generated in a good year, and the fact is that he resonates with the sort of voters who don’t necessarily watch TV or listen to what a slick city politician has to say. So I think that the Midwestern base which he’s developing is now all but permanently in the Santorum camp.

    The question is whether or not he can play in other parts of the country – he needs some strong showings in the South, like Texas or North Carolina, to solidify his candidacy. If that happens, he could very well be our nominee, which would be fantastic. It’s about time.

  • Mr. McClarey, I write this as I am holding my sleeping nine week old son – I pray a majority of voting Americans see this as you and I do.

    A man can often be judged by the words and deeds of his adversaries and enemies. I find most anti-Santorum types to be quite obnoxious.

  • Penguins Fan, may God bless you and your nine week old son!

  • Well. I think if Romney or his surrogates ever brought up Karen Santorum’s past (I don’t think Mitt is stupid enough to do that), he ought to be run out of the party.

    Somehow, I don’t think the underhanded attacks will work as well against Santorum as they did against Newt. Why? The character issue. Newt’s questionable character made the attacks, whether they had any real merit or not, appear more credible. Santorum’s character is pretty solid in the minds of republicans, especially the conservative base. The strongest trump card (other than the Donald) Romney has against Satorum would be his throwing Pat Toomey under the bus to save Specter’s job.,

  • We’re electing a president, not a savior, so absolute perfection is not required. The trick is separating weaknesses (for example, poor performance in debates) and past mistakes that will not be, or are not likely to be, repeated (e.g. a “wrong” endorsement of another candidate) from fundamental character flaws and bad policy ideas that could cause real harm to the country. Unfortunately, the MSM and excessively rabid partisans tend to put all of these flaws on the same level and hold them up as equally valid reasons why a candidate cannot win or should be disqualified from consideration.

  • Electorally, Santorum would seem to be best positioned to benefit from blue collar Catholics and Midwesterners who Obama has been thumbing his nose at with things like the Keystone Pipeline denial and the HHS mandate.

    Politically, the advantage of a Santorum presidency is that for once you wouldn’t have to worry about issues like judges. He would also bring a focus to the relation between economic and family issues that has been lacking in the public discourse.

    I personally think Romney is a decent candidate personally and politically, there seems to be something about him that turns people off. I don’t quite get it myself, but I’m coming to the conclusion that it isn’t something that will go away.

    We’ll have to see whether Santorum can sustain his current momentum. But for now he arguably meets the Buckley Test of being the most conservative viable candidate, and hence deserving of conservative support.

  • What’s wrong with Romney? Let me count the ways.

    1. Search YouTube for “Romney flip flops.”
    2. Minimum wage indexed to inflation.
    3. Supporter of socialized medicine, which is what put the U.S. Church in the place its in.
    4. Supporter of government bailouts.
    5. Milquetoast

Logic Fail

Thursday, February 2, AD 2012

You want to know why Republicans are possibly going to lose the White House this year, despite an environment in which the GOP nominee should be all but guaranteed victory?  Republican voters have become incapable of comprehending the larger picture, and have swallowed media narratives hook, line, and sinker.  The perfect distillation of this is evidenced on this thread on the blog Legal Insurrection.  Professor William Jacobson is a Gingrich supporter, so he has reason to take down Ann Coulter’s idiotic “Three Cheers for Romneycare” column.  Of course Jacobson un-ironically accuses Coulter of deflection, a curious charge for someone who himself has twisted logic in order to boost Gingrich.  But that’s neither here nor there.

What really struck me was this exchange in the comment section.

Here is a Santorum supporter speaking up:

I admit that Mitt is sub-standard. What I dont get is (aside from the several here with clearly anti-Mormon bigotry) why sub-standard Newt should be the overwhelming favorite.

When I caucus next Tuesday (Colorado) – unless the Paulbots are out in force – I will vote for Santorum… because both Romney and Gingrich have huge non-conservative faults. This site has seemingly become dedicated to taking down Romney for the sake of Gingrich. I’ve yet to hear a persuasive argument why I should overlook Gingrich’s equally glaring faults.

A very good question.  Here is the response he received:

Oh for God’s sake, Bain, I like Santorum too, but look at the numbers. He’s just NOT going to rise.
This is the weaning, and Santorum doesn’t cut it.
Love the guy, but move on.
It’s like picking players on a team: You WEAN.

Well that’s a really convincing argument.  Shockingly, bains ain’t buying it.

Let me see if I have this right…

You want me to not vote for a candidate that I like… in favor of a candidate that I don’t like, so that the candidate that you hate will fail (well aside from Ron Paul).

The only argument in favor of Romney is his electability. His supporters really have nothing else to fall back on.  Well, Gingrich supporters are really not much better.  Their only argument is that Gingrich is the only person that can take down Romney.  They seem willing to concede that Santorum is the superior candidate – he just can’t win.  Well, that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you deem that a candidate cannot win and refuse to vote for him, well guess what?  He can’t win.

It’s a strange game that GOP voters are playing.  They are basing their voting decisions not on who they deem to be the best candidate, but rather are voting for people who they think other people will be voting for.  So I actually have to take back a bit of my opening premise.  It’s not that Republican voters aren’t trying to look at the big picture, they’re just doing a terrible job of it.

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39 Responses to Logic Fail

  • Since I am a Pennsylvanian and my vote doesn’t actually matter (our primary isn’t until April. I suppose it makes sense to someone, somewhere that New York and Pennsylvania – pivotal to the existence of our nation – should be cut out of the primary system) I am resolved to vote for Santorum.

    I will not be bullied and I certainly feel like the GOP Establishment has been acting like a playground bully in this Primary. Why can’t they get it: I may vote for Romney over Obama but I don’t like him. Forcing me to choose between Obama and Romney is irritating and, if the stakes weren’t so damn high, I would probably vote for every position on the ballot except that of the presidency.

  • The only argument in favor of Romney is his electability. His supporters really have nothing else to fall back on.

    Except that he has actually run private companies and a state government. The other three have done nothing of the kind.

  • I will not be bullied and I certainly feel like the GOP Establishment has been acting like a playground bully in this Primary.

    Just out of curiousity, which individual is bullying you? Has the Governor of South Carolina or some editor at Commentary been sending you threatening letters?

  • I don’t know G-Veg, you might be right about it being all over by the time it gets to PA (April 24), but this one might last a bit longer. It really depends on what happens on Super Tuesday.

    That said, I certainly share your annoyance. The fact that states like Pennsylvania, Texas and others basically have little say in the process is astoundingly absurd.

  • As a wag on Ace put it, and I tweaked a bit:

    “Romney 2012: Because He Appeals To Everyone Else But You.”

  • “Except that he has actually run private companies and a state government.”

    Badly Art, at least in regard to state government. Experience as an executive can be helpful or not to a president. Abraham Lincoln had zip executive experience and Jimmy Carter had been governor of Georgia. Ulysses S. Grant commanded the Union Armies successfully in the Civil War, as Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the Allied armies in Western Europe, but one was a failure as president and one a success. Other things being equal, I think it is good for a president to have some executive experience, but I think its predictive value as to how someone will perform in the office is fairly low.

  • “Just out of curiosity, which individual is bullying you? Has the Governor of South Carolina or some editor at Commentary been sending you threatening letters?”

    Bullying comes in many forms.

    Pulling out all stops to support the establishment candidate and to marginalize all others qualifies in my book. Dole, McCain, and now Romney – all establishment candidates who’s “turn” it was to run for President.

    We’ll see if this round turns out differently.

  • If Romney gets the nomination (which seems likely at this point) I absolutely will not vote for him in the general election. Gingrich at least would be entertaining. Better to go down in flames with Gingrich or Santorum than “win” with Romney.

  • Obama has run the most powerful country in the world for 3 years. I suppose that makes him more “qualified” than Romney, who only ran a state for 4 years. Both did a crummy job in their respective positions, governing as big-government-health-care-mandating-religious-liberty-trampling-gun-grabbing-pro-abort liberals. But if the “executive experience” is all that matters, I suppose Obama wins on that account.

  • I think it is good for a president to have some executive experience, but I think its predictive value as to how someone will perform in the office is fairly low.

    Here are our recent non-executives: John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Barack Obama. With the sorting of time, I suspect their performance will be rated thus: easy heat, wretched, wretched with some qualifications, satisfactory, wretched. I would rather not go there if I can avoid it, most particularly with regard to the policy dilemmas and potential emergencies the country will likely face in the coming six years.

    Bullying comes in many forms.

    You mean you get to define it?

    Dole, McCain, and now Romney – all establishment candidates who’s “turn” it was to run for President.

    Mr. Dole’s principal competitors were a newspaper columnist and a magazine publisher. Mr. McCain’s were the Governor of Arkansas, the man you are condemning, and a crank obstetrician who has spent many years as an ineffectual member of Congress. Mr. Romney’s are that same OBGYN and two lapsed members of Congress one of whom is an ethical train wreck with a fondness for technological and management fads. I am agreeable about Messrs. Santorum and Huckabee but I cannot blame people for taking contrary views of their candidacies.

  • The fact that states like Pennsylvania, Texas and others basically have little say in the process is astoundingly absurd.

    The Republican National Committee could set aside two Saturdays in June for states to hold their caucuses and declare delegates selected at any other time and in any other manner to have no standing. Not holding my breath.

  • Also from PA, and also feel cheated out of the ‘weaning” process. I really like Santorum, but am perfectly happy to vote for a shoe, if that shoe is less leftist than Obama.
    I wish it were different, and honestly don’t know why we handle the primaries this way. Why not move more of the primaries up to Februrary so we can be a part of the decision making? It is infuriating that by the time I get to vote, the process has eliminated all but one, including in local elections I might add. Local GOP chooses local candidates through a “committee” leaving the voter with only one nominee. That makes me believe thatthe GOP is self destructive.

  • “Here are our recent non-executives”

    And here are our executives:

    Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43 from the same period. Carter I would rate as the worst President of the 20th century and third worst president overall. Reagan is a President worthy of Mount Rushmore if there were space. Clinton is probably the worst man who has sat in the Oval office. As President he was saved by the Republicans taking Congress in 94 and thus curbing the excesses in government demonstrated during his first two years. Bush 43 as a war president succeeded in so mishandling the war in Iraq, prior to the surge, that he set the stage for overwhelming Democrat victories in 2006 and 2008. His domestic compassionate conservatism was a disaster for the nation. He looks better now in comparison to Obama who is doing his best to wrest the title of worst president from James Buchanan, but that is small praise indeed.

  • “if that shoe is less leftist than Obama.”

    I agree with you on that Trish!

  • Leftist is leftist. You’re just negotiating how slowly you want to be strangled to death.

  • Maybe Trish is articulating my concerns better than I did.

    My dissatisfaction is with the Primary process more generally.

    Primaries are damned expensive and, if your state is anywhere other than at the beginning of the line for the presidential candidate primaries, damned near pointless. From a non-partisan viewpoint, one can reasonably question whether the State has any interest at all in who parties put forth as candidates.

    The results are as you demonstrated – piss pore.

    Dole, McCain, and Romney – all likely to get swept aside like so much chaff by their Democrat opponents while our best and brightest don’t even get placed before the very rank-and-file that are likely to vote for them.

    Intellectual exercise:

    Supposing that Iowa and Pennsylvania were first. We’d probably be talking about Santorum as the likely candidate. Same pool of candidates, completely different result by simply shifting the order.

    If the Primary system is supposed to “wean out” the candidates, it should approach something like a replicable process. Moving around the states though gives you different results so I think it fair to ask whether strength in the primaries demonstrate anything remotely like electability.

  • Agreed, but with the current choices, I see little difference.
    Sadly, my opinion is that Rick can’t do it- I watched the Dems KILL, completely demolish his senate re-election chances, and that was just for PA Senate. They are already accusing him in a column today in Phila of “using his 3 year old daughter” for sympathy votes. Trust me, they would become even more evil with time, if he were to get the nomination.
    Until we slowly-one candidate at a time, change the culture in DC, we will never have a true conservative in the White House.

  • Funny, that Rick supposedly can’t perform better than a stiff like Dullard Flip Rino, since Rasmussen just released a national poll showing Santorum performing just as well as Dullard (and far better than Gingrich) against Obama:


  • Trish,

    I don’t know how much more evil Democrats can be given that they openly support (even encourage) the murder of the unborn and the filth of homosexual sodomy.

  • I like the comment above about the self fulfilling prophecy the best– not voting for him because he can’t win and of course he can’t win if we don’t vote for him– or is that a catch 22 or
    more ridingbicycles down the Kaibab trail — DON’T LOOK AT THE EDGE! or we will all go over!

  • If we say “Oh, the person I’d REALLY like to vote for is conservative candidate X, but I think he could probably never get elected” and then at the same time say “I don’t like it, but I’d vote for moderate-to-liberal RINO stiff Y as long as he’s one tick to the right of the Democrat”, is it any wonder that every 4 years starts to look like the movie “Groundhog Day” with the same crappy scenario repeating itself over and over again?

    If we concede that we believe the conservatives we want can’t win, and admit right off the bat that we’ll support whoever gets the nomination as long as he’s marginally better than the Democrat alternative, aren’t we conditioning the GOP to give us just that? If that’s the signal we send to the party establishment, it’s no wonder that the establishment lines up in lockstep behind the squishiest, least objectionable candidate available (“least objectionable” in the sense that they stand for nothing and are thus, in theory but not in actual practice, less likely to draw enemy fire).

    Forget about complaining that the choice of candidates has already been winnowed down for us by the time our particular state’s primary rolls around – we’ve already narrowed the choices from the get-go just by buying into the assumptions and narrative of the party establishment. And then we tell them we’ll vote for their guy no matter what. We’ve been played for suckers time and again, and yet so many conservatives will line up on election day and pull the lever for yet another nominee who doesn’t represent their interests. Rinse. Repeat.

    See ya again in 4 years when we’re once more crying after a measly 3 primaries and 1 caucus that our choices have already been made for us, and act “shocked, shocked” that yet another RINO squish is being shoved down our throats.

  • Mr. Anderson,

    Your point is well made. What, then, do you suggest?

    One choice is, of course, to write in candidates but that never seems to do much more than give some journalist hack a follow-up story. Third-party candidates can move things but, at least this time around, it looks like that would be a Ron Paul vote and that isn’t something I’d broadcast after having done it.

    Are you suggesting then that we’d be better to vote for the positions on the ballot other than President, accepting that we are putting the President one vote closer to landslide?

    (I may actually be with you on that one. I’d have to think about it.)

  • Let me put this question out there: who would you have rather seen run / get the nomination? I know it’s easy to complain about the starting quarterback, but who’s the backup you’d rather see in the game?

  • Pinky: to whom is your question addressed? I’m sure most of us – including the author of this post (me) – have clearly stated our preference for Santorum.

  • Oh, yeah! Talk about unelectable!

    Ron Paul is polling but few points below drone-killer Obama (of OBL and Guvmint Motors notoriety), and Paul can’t pull 23 percent in a primary or caucus.

  • Paul – OK. I know that he’s popular on this site, but I didn’t think of him as “industry standard”. Do you think that he would get the nomination under a fairer primary system?

  • that yet another RINO squish is being shoved down our throats.

    ‘Another RINO squish’? I think it is a reasonable proposition that the succession of people who have won the Republican presidential nomination define the Republican type, not random combox denizens. You may not like what the dynamic of Republican politics serves you, but that is what it is. (And, much as you dislike it, the only people shoving things down your throat are Republican voters and campaign contributors).

    Dole, McCain, and Romney – all likely to get swept aside like so much chaff by their Democrat opponents while our best and brightest don’t even get placed before the very rank-and-file that are likely to vote for them.

    I am tired of repeating myself on the unreasonableness of this sort of handicapping, so won’t do that again. I might note that John McCain managed to garner 46% of the vote in a most challenging set of circumstances (the banking crisis, for one). Adlai Stevenson did not do this, Michael Dukakis managed it only with a much more agreeable milieux, and assessing Hubert Humphrey’s capacity to do this requires counterfactual speculation.

  • And here are our executives:

    Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43 from the same period. Carter I would rate as the worst President of the 20th century and third worst president overall. Reagan is a President worthy of Mount Rushmore if there were space. Clinton is probably the worst man who has sat in the Oval office. As President he was saved by the Republicans taking Congress in 94 and thus curbing the excesses in government demonstrated during his first two years. Bush 43 as a war president succeeded in so mishandling the war in Iraq, prior to the surge, that he set the stage for overwhelming Democrat victories in 2006 and 2008. His domestic compassionate conservatism was a disaster for the nation. He looks better now in comparison to Obama who is doing his best to wrest the title of worst president from James Buchanan, but that is small praise indeed.

    Why you neglect Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower, you do not say. All occupied the office during the era when general expectations of the services performed by the federal government were taking their current form. (And all were, on balance, accomplished in office above an beyond what we have seen since).

    The troublesome part of comparative assessment of our executives (aside from having very few data points) is that no two face the same challenges. Also, two assessors have the same notion of what ends it is desirable to achieve.

    I find your description of all of these people awfully florid. Mr. Carter followed bad monetary policy, taking advice from the wrong economists. Decisions he took during the period running from August 1978 to February 1979 vis-a-vis the political crisis in Iran turned out very badly, but it is conceivable that had we instigated a military coup in Iran in January of 1979 it might not have turned out better. One can certainly conceive of some alternatives to his response to the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran, though it would have been difficult to prevent ABC News turning an attempt at extortion by the Iranian government into a concatenation of human interest stories.

    With regard to B. Clinton, please note that he was willing and able to cut deals with the political opposition. The current incumbent is not (and had never had to do so before).

    Contriving an expansion of Medicare while arranging simultaneously for an income tax cut (the formal the principal manifestation of ‘compassionate conservatism’, the latter having nothing to do with it) was poor policy and created problems and unnecessary problems. There is a difference between ‘problems’ and ‘catastrophe’. The rest of what went under the heading of ‘compassionate conservatism’ was small beer.

    As for the war in Iraq, the military you have has a skill set and an institutional culture. Yes, the war was mishandled for four years. I cannot help but note that the change in strategy which was so successful was adopted over the objections of much of the top brass.

    Please note, I’ve not claimed that executives are protected from poor policy choices. Nor is an executive protected from being a scuzzy human being. They are partially protected from failures of governance which arrive from not having governed. Gerald Ford was the most able of our non-executive leaders; his admiring press secretary freely admitted after he left office that the man was on a learning curve as an administrator and that this did cause problems. John Roche, late of the Fletcher School at Tufts and an admiring aide to Lyndon Johnson, had similar tales to tell.

    As for Mr. Reagan, I am not much for the ‘civil religion’ business. Politicians should be appreciated, but not turned into icons. In Mr. Reagan’s case, when he was determined not to acknowledge something, he did not. If you put him on Mount Rushmore, you need to select an expression. I might suggest the look he had on his face when David Stockman was trying and failing to explain to him what the implications of his stated preferences were as regards public sector borrowing.

  • “I think it is a reasonable proposition that the succession of people who have won the Republican presidential nomination define the Republican type, not random combox denizens.”

    Since I am not a Republican and have absolute no desire to be one, Art, I really couldn’t say.

    All I know is that in November of even years I’m told I have to support candidates whose priorities quite often are not my own or risk being responsible for the whole world going to hell in a handbasket. And what I’m saying is that I’m not playing that game anymore, especially when the person being shoved down my throat … YES … shoved down my throat is the likes of frickin’ Dullard Flip Rino, the big-government, health-care-mandating, religious-liberty-trampling, Social-Security-demagoging, Mediscaring, gun-grabbing, Reagan/Bush-repudiating, pro-abortion liberal.

    If THAT, as you say, “defines the Republican type”, then I’m glad to know it once and for all so that I can say “To hell with ’em” and gladly cast my vote elsewhere.

  • (It should be noted, however that even as an independent I was out there for many years as a conservative and a pro-life activist working to elect Republicans when “Mr. Electable” was a self-described “progressive independent” distancing himself from “Reagan/Bush” and doing his damndest to undercut conservatives and Republicans and running to Ted Kennedy’s left. See, even as an independent, I was a better “Republican” than Mitt Romney. But now that I know he’s truer to the “type”, I’ll gladly cede the ground so many conservatives gave their sweat and tears fighting for to the “new breed” – actually, I suppose they’re more like the old WASPy breed – of Republican.)

  • Since I am not a Republican and have absolute no desire to be one, Art, I really couldn’t say.

    That’s fine. It is odd for a non-Republican to be complaining about “RINOs”.

    All I know is that in November of even years I’m told I have to support candidates whose priorities quite often are not my own or risk being responsible for the whole world going to hell in a handbasket. And what I’m saying is that I’m not playing that game anymore, especially when the person being shoved down my throat … YES … shoved down my throat is the likes of frickin’ Dullard Flip Rino, the big-government, health-care-mandating, religious-liberty-trampling, Social-Security-demagoging, Mediscaring, gun-grabbing, Reagan/Bush-repudiating, pro-abortion liberal.

    Something Phyllis Schlafly said a while back comparing our political parties to multi-party systems: our voters are less likely to have a satisfying option, but more of the winners’ program will be enacted. It is a trade-off.

    Living here in New York, I have seen what it looks like to have party barons in the state legislature and amongst the $2,000 a plate dinner crowd put the screws to local county chairmen and in turn to seen what it looks like when county chairmen disregard their electorate. The former happened in a special election for Congress in 2009 and the latter happened last year in an election in that same district. That is not what you are experiencing.

  • “It is odd for a non-Republican to be complaining about “RINOs”.

    Except when it’s not. Happens all the time among conservatives, and I have a feeling you know that. The term, inartful as it is, is shorthand for more liberal Republicans or for Republicans with records one might associate with Democrats. Again, you know that, but you’d like to pretend that it means something it doesn’t by giving it a literal interpretation. What is odd that certain folks would suddenly become sticklers for who may appropriately invoke the term “RINO”.

    But, again, as someone who, notwithstanding my political independence, has tended to vote for Republicans, probably with more frequency than your chosen candidate ever has, I feel perfectly unconstrained in my using the term “RINO”. Thank you very much.

  • Well, I am a conservative and a Republican, and very proud to claim both titles. I will vote for Romney if he is the nominee over Obama since I believe that is the only realistic option to get Obama out, but I will do so without any illusions as to the Weathervane. His only virtue is that he is not-Obama and for me that is enough. I love this country and I despair as to the damage that Obama has done to it in four years.

  • I’m not sure what the best solution is, Pinky. Some suggest – and I think with merit – that a consolidated schedule would hurt underfunded candidates even more. On the other hand, it’s clear that what we have now isn’t working.

  • Except when it’s not. Happens all the time among conservatives

    It still does not make any sense.

    The term, inartful as it is, is shorthand for more liberal Republicans or for Republicans with records one might associate with Democrats.

    You are referring to a political tendency that dissipated almost completely fifteen years ago. The National Journal a few years back published a rank-ordering of all members of the House of Representatives. Democratic and Republican Representatives were sorted into two neat piles, with a small interstitial zone in between with fewer than ten members. The Republican in the House coded the most liberal was a man from Connecticut named Christopher Shays who occupied a place almost precisely at the midpoint.

    Since I have seen the term used repeatedly to describe the Republican presidential nominee, I tend to think it is a nonsense term. It is also a decidedly idiosyncratic use of political terminology, and one that does not communicate well at all, to use the term ‘liberal’ to describe Messrs. McCain, Bush-fils, Dole, or Bush-pere. They have all suffered from inertia and lack of imagination in the pursuit of domestic initiatives. That is regrettable, but our institutional set-up being what it is, you cannot accomplish much anyway.

  • Some suggest – and I think with merit – that a consolidated schedule would hurt underfunded candidates even more.

    What if it breaks the back of the candidate-centered contest entirely? You might restore an element of deliberation and peer review to the process, with delegations largely composed of uncommitted local elected officials, wheelhorses, and grandees. Consider that in 1968 the place and show candidates entered between them one primary. The runner-up in 1964 entered no primaries and his candidacy lasted a matter of weeks.

  • Has a head-and-shoulders better candidate ever lost the nomination in the modern era? You could make an argument that none of the strongest Dems even ran in 1992. Some Republicans would say that the strongest candidate lost the nomination in 1976, and some Democrats would say the same thing for their party in 2008. But I don’t think you can make a Keanu Reeves winning an Oscar kind of argument that the system picks the worst candidates. That is to say, if only Keanu, Stallone, and Ashton Kutcher made movies last year, the Academy can’t be blamed for their choice.

  • OK. I’ll bite Pinky. What in tarnation is an “head-and-shoulder better candidate?”

    I’m hearing some folks say here that it is all about electability. Sure, we’d like a candidate who is actually a fiscal conservative. Sure, we’d like a bloke who is actually a social conservative. But, we’ll settle for a candidate who is one or the other, or even neither in a pinch, if she or he has a better chance at winning.

    I’m hearing others say (and I’m one of them) that it is all about consistency. We will only vote for someone who seems wishy-washy about our conservative ideals if left with no alternative. Then, we’ll begrudgingly vote for them.

    I’m hearing other voices (I’m in this camp too, I think) that it is all about our individual hot-button issues. We will vote for someone that hits the right notes on our issues even if they aren’t conservative in other ways.

    The problem with two and three, of course, is that it really is betraying the good because it isn’t perfect which doesn’t make a lot of sense. The first one seems to be more problematic though in that it assumes that we have any idea what “electable” is. It seems to me that we aren’t all that good at prognosticating. I, for example, didn’t see the Obama train coming until about two months before the 2008 convention. I was absolutely sure that Clinton would take the nomination. Palin blinded me to McCain’s can’t win attitude until about September so I didn’t see that coming either.

    I am honestly looking for an alternative approach here. I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing, I really do want a way out of this intellectual morass.

    Do I vote for Romney in November, a guy that doesn’t seem to care a wiff about the social cares that I care deeply about, who seems out of touch with my working class roots, whose business experience is limited to big finance and whose executive experience is limited to running Utah, whose electability mantle rests entirely on establishment decree?

    Do I “throw away” my vote by writing in Santorum because his social conservative creds are spotless and his family life admirable?

    What do you suggest?

  • write in Santorum– maybe others will too… wouldn’t that give the commentators something new to say– “won by a write in landslide”! He is the best choice.

Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

Coming out of his strong victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich had a golden opportunity in the Sunshine State to deal a deathblow to the Romney campaign.  Defeat Romney a/k/a the Weathervane in a large state like Florida, and the main rationale of the Romney campaign, electability, would be shattered.  If Gingrich had won the state he would  haven been the clear frontrunner and Romney would have been wondering whether he would be too old to try again in 2016.  Instead, Romney has won, and appears to have won strongly.  What happened?

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24 Responses to Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

  • accurately dubbing him the tax collector of the Welfare State.

    We have a welfare state. As long as you have it, you better pay for it.

  • “As long as you have it, you better pay for it.”

    As we are learning to our sorrow Art, welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

  • He should have been hammering away at Romneycare and Romney flipflops instead. In the second debate Santorum was devastating on Romneycare…”

    That line of attack wasn’t open to Gingrich. It had been closed off by Gingrich’s own flip flop on an individual national mandate, which is the part of the Obamacare that is easiest for most primary voters to understand. When Gingrich raised it in an earlier debate, Romney simply pointed out that the idea of the mandate came from the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich. If Romney has wrested the ‘weathervane’ title from Gingrich, it must have been by a hair.

    Plus, Gingrich hasn’t been good at attacking anyone other than debate moderators. I think you’re a trifle unfair to Wolf above; Wolf simply refused to be cowed when Gingrich tried to suggest that his own comments from earlier in the day were an inappropriate topic for the debate. Bluster only works as long as no one calls bs.

  • I disagree John Henry. There is a great deal of difference between Gingrich having made a statement about an individual mandate and Romney basically acting as a precursor for Obamacare. That is a gaping weakness in Romney and hacking at Romney through it would have been worth any jabs from Romney in return.

    In regard to Wolf Blitzer I think he clearly was gunning for Newt. Gingrich’s mistake was not to state the obvious: that Romney is an out of touch rich guy attempting to buy his way to the White House and that Blitzer is a shill for CNN, a network that has no love for conservative Republicans. Instead, Gingrich pulled his punches and lost the initiative.

    As to Romney’s weathervane title, Gingrich doesn’t come close to matching Romney’s flip flops on a whole series of issues. A debate between the various Mitt Romneys that have been in the public square since 1994 when he attempted to run to the left of Ted Kennedy on social issues would be amusing if not edifying.

  • Well call me idealistic but as a Star Trek fanatic I love the idea of a moon colony!

    I guess its “undisciplined” of Newt to say, but it is inspiring to think about that sort of accomplishment.

  • Newt Gingrich has much to commend him, including his blasts at Mr. Obama’s decision to mandate that health insurance plans at Catholic hospitals, colleges, and charities cover birth control, I think without co-payments and also, I believe, though usually unmentioned, abortifacients and sterilization. The president had compromise positions, but chose to ignore them as well as Catholic opposition to this decision. But unfortunately, Mr. Gingrich’s lack of discipline in speech and policy would make his presidency perilous. Recall what he said about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which managed to insult all the House Republicans who voted for it.

    He has also called Mitt Romney a “Massachusetts liberal.” I live in Massachusetts and know how difficult it can be for any conservative in the state, especially a Catholic conservative. I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

  • Too many voters have Romneycare fatigue. They’ve heard the complaints against so often that its offensiveness is wearing thin. So what are you left with? Flip flops and private sector experience. You can’t touch private sector experience because that’s the GOP third rail. The flip flops have been covered, and the average voter has heard it so many times applied to different politicians that they now think “They all flip flop.” So, Weathervane Romney becomes Teflon Mitt.

  • welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

    In the period running from 1969 to 2008, the ratio of public expenditure to domestic product fluctuated between 27.96% to 33.88%. The lower bound was during the fiscal year concluding in 1973 and the upper bound was in that concluding in 1992.

  • Greece reportedly will agree to pay .3 euro on each euro it owes. It’s better than zero. Next up is Portugal.

    We will soon see how that works.

    As Maine goes so goes the nation.

    Now, Maine has more peoples getting money from guvinamenent than paying taxes.

    I wead a weport that said CA guvmint may run out of money in March.

    I know!

    Let’s tax the rich!

    Let’s force the Catholic Church to pay for abortions and gender adjustment surgeries!!!

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout. This time not even the base will mobilize. Whether you like Gingrich or not, he has consistently shown that he has ideas and the willingness to take chances as a leader. I will not vote for Romney. To vote for Romney is to assent to all that he believes and legitimize his false faith and false ideals. If the Republican party wants to position itself as a liberal big Government – big Business party, fine. They will get what they want with Obama. Count me out.

  • I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

    Mitt Romney: not as bad Barney Frank and John Kerry.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to storm the beaches for the man now.

  • I think the moon colony proposal is the smartest thing since sliced bread – if we send all the politicians to live there.

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout.

    Once more with feeling.

    1. You have three salient economic metrics: the growth rate in domestic product per capita, the unemployment rate, and the rate of inflation.

    a. The last of these was consequential during the periods running from 1945 to 1952 and from 1966 to 1982, but not otherwise.

    b. The mean unemployment rate during this administration has been the highest of any since 1941. It was higher during Mr. Roosevelt’s first and second term, but during his Administration unemployment rates were on a downward trajectory and the social injuries associated with unemployment were treated with novel meliorist schemes.

    c. The growth rates experienced during the current Administration have been ever so slightly higher than was the case during the first Bush Administration, and lower than those in every other administration. The point at which economic dynamism reaches its peak varies from one business cycle to another, but it is usually within three or four quarters of the cycle’s commencement. Mr. Bush faced the electorate with a relatively fresh business cycle (ongoing for six quarters) which reached its peaks years after he left office. The current President will be facing the electorate with a stale business cycle (14 quarters in), and with a dismal future outlook due to massive public sector borrowing and the crisis in Europe.

    2. You have sixty years of public opinion polling to gauge the general assessment of the incumbent as compared with his predecessors. You have a great deal of interstitial flux in this metric, but the most common pattern is for the assessment of the President to take on a downward trajectory through the life of an administration. Some administrations have alternating biennial cycles of advance and retreat in public approval. Messrs. Eisenhower and Kennedy retained agreeable ratings with little temporal trend throughout their years in office. The current President appears to be one of the most common type, which is to say we can surmise that if it were getting better for him we’d have seen it over the last year. We have not.

    3. Mr. McCain was and is a Republican pol with a set of policy preferences that are common-and-garden within that set. He was facing (due to the ill regard for the incumbent administration and the banking crisis) a set of very challenging circumstances. Any deficiencies he had as a candidate were not an important consideration in the menu of reasons the Republicans lost the election.

    4. You think Mr. Romney’s opportunism renders him an unsalable candidate? A cursory examination of the political careers of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush the Elder would tend to discredit that thesis.

  • Experts say Gingrich moon base dreams not lunacy


    But then why think boldly? Besides, better things exists to spend our money on…. you will just be called a loon anyway. Can just imagine that attitude when when tried to put a man on the moon….. But no, Gingrich is just crazy….

  • 1. Obama GDP growth rates are suffuecuent to minimally reduce new unemployment claims. They are far below growth needed to return America to “full employment.”

    2. Over the recent nine (Obama) quarters, growth has been far below the four decade average. It took twice as long after the recession ended to recover to the pre-recession level GDP. The current (Obama) recovery real private sector GDP growth averaged 2.6% (2011 it was 1.7%) versus 1974-75 (Ford) 3.8% and 1981-82 (Reagan) 4.7%.

    3. The Keystone pipeline denial is the most striking example of the regime’s hostility to economic growth and job creation.

    4. A recent Gallup Poll sows Obama’s job approval in the third full year at 44%. That’s down from 47% in his second year. That’s down from 57% in his first year. That’s also down from the 69% approval he enjoyed on Inauguration Day.

    5. That 44% rating is worse than Gerald Ford’s and Bush the Elder’s going into their failed re-elections.

    6. Silver lining: Jummeh Carter’s approval rating was worse.

  • “Unless Romney loses a few of the primaries and caucuses in February, slowing his momentum, he will probably put this race away on Super Tuesday, March 6.”

    I’m not sure about either side of this. First of all, no one takes caucuses seriously, so I don’t think that a Romney loss would upset his flow. There are only three primaries in February: Missouri, Arizona, and the state of Romney’s birth. I think he’ll sweep those.

    But Super Tuesday is potentially the roughest day of his campaign. Virginia, Tennessee, and Newt’s home state. Romney hasn’t proven that he can win in the South (let’s face it, Florida isn’t a Southern state exactly). If Mitt can have a decisive victory on Super Tuesday, he’s set, but if he shows weakness on March 6th, the next month will be a gauntlet (Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, etc.).

  • Caucuses supply delegates Pinky, and that is the coin of any presidential nomination contest.

    In regard to Virginia, Newt and Santorum aren’t on the ballot. Georgia is a good state for Newt. Newt’s main concern is money drying up for his campaign. Unless he starts winning soon, goodby cash.

    The most interesting race this month is Missouri on the 7th. It is the best state for Santorum. The last poll I read showed him in first place with a stunning 45%. (Gingrich is not on the ballot.) If he can pull that off next Tuesday that could startle some voters who like neither Romney nor Gingrich into backing Santorum, and draw fallen away Gingrich backers. The primary is non-binding, but such a blow out victory would garner lots of attention anyway, and underline Romney’s weakness when the conservative vote is not divided.


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  • Regarding Gingrich’s longstanding support for a national individual mandate, I believe the old line about being entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts is applicable. If you go here, you can hear Newt in May of 2009 talking about how an individual mandate had to be the key to any health care reform bill.

  • He was calling for a catastrophic health insurance mandate for those making over 75,000 BA, a bad idea but hardly Romneycare. Additionally Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare. How Romney would be able to call for the repeal of Obamacare while defending Romneycare, would tax the political skills of a far better politician than the Weathervane.

  • Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare.

    The irony here is that, after criticizing Romney for being Mr. Weathervane, you turn around and criticize him for not changing his position on an unpopular issue. Romney has never favored a national mandate, nor has he repudiated what he did in Massachusetts. Gingrich, on the other hand, favored a national mandate for nearly 20 years, supported Romneycare, and continued to support mandates up until he started running for president, at which point he suddenly realized that the whole idea was unconstitutional and would never work.

  • BA the Weathervane has made a career out of flip flopping. He has been on both sides of abortion, gun control, embryonic stem cell research, prayers in school, abstinence based sex education, the minimum wage, the types of judges that should be appointed to the bench, the abolition of the Department of Education, and the list could go at considerable length. When it comes to flip flopping the Weathervane is the grand champion.

    In regard to Obamacare, the White House consulted with former Romney aides who crafted Romneycare when designing Obamacare:


    The idea that Romney’s continued embrace of Romneycare is not a disaster in regard to the election this fall when a majority of the voters are opposed to Obamacare is precisely the type of politically tone deaf nonsence I expect from camp Weathervane.

  • Gingrich did not completely support Romneycare. He praised parts of it, and indeed agreed with the principle of an individual mandate. But he did not fully endorse the legislation.

    Of course there is a candidate that never endorsed the individual mandate named Rick Santorum. Maybe we should be focusing on him instead of these two duds.

  • Newt once supported the idea of a mandate and has since renounced it.
    Romney implemented the mandate and has embraced it.

    An idea can be dangerous, but bad legislation is far more destructive.

    Newt also fought Hillarycare and became its brick wall when he and the GOP won the house in 1994.

Gingrich 48-Obama 50: Remember Grant

Wednesday, January 25, AD 2012


The most recent poll by Gallup matching Newt Gingrich against Obama has Obama up by a whopping two points:  48-50.   This, after a week when Gingrich has had a concerted attack by ABC to take him out as a candidate after the Marianne Gingrich non-revelation that Newt cheated on her, as she had cheated with Newt while he was married to his first wife.  Gingrich has gained 4 points in the trial heat.

Of course polls of the general election at this point in a presidential election year don’t mean spit, as President Carter could attest, as he led Ronald Reagan, often by vast margins, in the trial heat polls almost all of the year in 1980.  I bring up this poll now to counter-act some of the “woe is us” commentary too often seen in GOP circles currently.  Obama has presided over a disastrous first term, and will likely go down to defeat in the fall.  All the signs are there.  To listen to some of the Republican caterwauling at the present time, one would think that Obama was a shoo-in for a second term.  He isn’t and I am getting tired of the doom and pessimism brought on by a perfectly normal contested presidential nomination race.  This reminds me of an event in the Battle of the Wilderness in May of 1864:

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4 Responses to Gingrich 48-Obama 50: Remember Grant

  • U. S. Grant was short for “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.

    Newt is a fighter. The country needs him.

    Anyone remember November 2010?

    Latest 0 approval rating was 44: worse than Ford and Bush 41, a tad above Carter.

    Obama must go.

  • I bring up this poll now to counter-act some of the “woe is us” commentary too often seen in GOP circles currently.

    Yesterday Mark Steyn subbed for Rush. Not only is Steyn the best co-host, he is sometimes a more enjoyable listen than El Rushbo himself. After about forty minutes I had tot turn him off because it was non-stop “oh these guys are so terrible” navel gazing. He’s not entirely wrong, but the GOP electorate have been behaving like a bunch of ninnies lately.

  • To listen to some of the Republican caterwauling at the present time,

    I see you read Peter Lawler’s blog too.

  • Never have Art, although I will now!

Confessions of a Reluctant Romney Supporter

Tuesday, January 24, AD 2012

I haven’t written much of anything about the GOP primary contest, despite the fact I have been following it closely, in part because I found myself so incredibly dissatisfied with all the candidates. However, as the field narrows and appears to be actually competitive, and various people I respect line up behind candidates, it seemed like it was time to come out of the closet as something I’m not very enthusiastic about being: a Romney supporter.

This is not because I’m particularly fond of Romney. I don’t trust him a great deal, I’m not clear how solid any of his principles are other than his conviction that he should be president, and I don’t find him particularly inspiring. As various candidates have had their five minutes of popularity for the achievement of not being Romney, I kept hoping that one of them would manage to pull ahead and show some stature. I was particularly hopeful about Rick Perry, but he just didn’t seem able to run a campaign.

So why support Romney?

I’ll start with the positive. While I’m not enthusiastic about Romney, I think that most of what the GOP needs in order to oust Obama this year is simply a credible alternative who doesn’t scare people too much. Given how bad the economy is and how unpopular some elements of his policy have been, “not Obama” can be a solidly popular candidate by that virtue alone.

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30 Responses to Confessions of a Reluctant Romney Supporter

  • I think Romney has a glass jaw Darwin. Of all the Republican candidates, except for Ron Paul (R. Pluto), I think he stands the best chance of being beaten by Obama. He gives every sign of conducting the same lifeless, passive campaigns that Dole and McCain ran. Your support of Romney also typifies Romney’s problem: even his supporters are very tepid about him. I will vote for him if he is the nominee, but the only reason I can think for doing so is that he would be the Not Obama in the race. This year that may be enough, but that is a frail reed to base an election on.

  • Yeah, I guess my fear is that Gingrich will on alternate days have a nitroglycerine jaw and no jaw at all. Heck, if we were okay with a flaky philanderer for our nominee why couldn’t we stick with Herman Cain? At least he didn’t have the bad congressional history and we could have pizza at all the campaign events.

    If Santorum were the one polling equal to or above Romney, and if either Santorum or Gingrich weren’t doing a lot worse in the general election polling, I’d be moderately happy to support Santorum. But although I’d reluctantly support Gingrich if he wins the nomination (which is perhaps more than I could say for Ron Paul) I have to admit I’d prefer Romney at the top of the ticket to Gingrich. (Kind of the way I supported Dole over Buchanan.)

  • Gingrich’s personal life is despicable, at least it was during his first two marriages. However thus far in this campaign he has shown a talent for coming back from the political dead, twice, and going off the script. The script I am referring to is that Republican candidates are supposed to be deferential to a media that despises them and their supporters, and that they are supposed to adopt a defensive crouch towards their ideological adversaries. I fear that is a script that Romney will faithfully follow if he is the nominee. I would much prefer it if Santorum were the one with a chance of beating Romney, but I think that ship has not only sailed, but sunk.

  • Now I think about it, I think my preference is based on one other expectation: Obama is clearly going to run one of the most viciously negative campaigns in recent memory. There will be no more of the hopey changey drivel we got last time — even his own base doesn’t believe it any more. So instead we’ll get one of the lowest and nastiest campaigns ever.

    There are, I guess, two ways to go after that. One is to put in someone like Gingrich who will fight back tooth and nail. The other is to go for someone like Romney who will try to do the teflon routine and brush it off with a, “You’re saying that because you’re a failure. Now are we going to move on and get the economy together or are we going to focus on looking for scapegoats for the next four years?”

    My instinct is that the latter will work better — though my crystal ball is no more functional than any other, so we’ll see what happens.

  • I’ve been pleased by how much emotion I’ve seen in the past couple of weeks. The line on 2012 was that it was going to be uninspiring, but people have suddenly become passionate about the race. And it’s still nine months away.

  • We are in agreement on the type of campaign Obama will run. We disagree on the best response to it. If Romney goes with the “above it all” routine he will be lucky if all of his kids vote for him as he goes down in flames. Negative campaigning is effective, and being passive to it is normally a one way ticket to political oblivion.

  • As to the feeling that the choices were weak this time around, I think that both Clinton and W did a poor job of developing the farm team. Reagan did a great job in that area, making appointments and supporting candidates who went on to become leaders. It’s not just about the so-called “team of rivals”, which doesn’t necessarily work anyway (it didn’t even work particularly well for Lincoln). It’s also about giving the rookies a chance to shine. During the past year people have been talking about their list of candidates who didn’t run (Palin, Rubio, Christie, etc.). A lot of those names are newbies. The reason that newbies are getting so much attention is because there isn’t a strong group of established politicians, the people who would have been newbies 10-20 years ago.

  • Romney consistently polls best against Obama in head to head match-ups, he has better favorable/unfavorable ratings than Gingrich, his implied electability on Intrade is higher, and of course he doesn’t have Newt’s history of blow-ups. Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.

    If Jeb Bush or Mitch Daniels got in I would be thrilled. But I don’t see that happening.

  • “Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.”

    Because he knows how to attack BA rather than to simply stand there and be a punching bag which seems to be Romney’s chief political skill. That and attempting to run to the left of his Democrat adversaries on social issues, which is a tactic he employed in both 1994 and 2002. Of course, now he is a changed man. (At least until the next shift in the political wind.)

    If pre-election polls were the determinging factor in who should be the Republican candidate than George Bush should have been the nominee instead of Reagan in 1980, since he normally polled stronger against Carter. As a matter of fact, Carter polled 10 points ahead of Reagan in the poll taken just before the October 28 Reagan-Carter debate when Reagan aggressively mopped the floor with Carter. Reagan went on to win by nine points. The rejoinder is that Gingrich is no Reagan. True, although Reagan was no Reagan until he put away a President he had trailed in almost all the polls the entire year.

  • I could understand holding one’s nose and voting for Romney in the General Election because one sees him as the better of two bad alternatives. I disagree with it, and won’t do it myself, but I understand it.

    But I just cannot understand actually supporting him in the primary. Fortunately, Darwin, Sarah and I will be more than happy to cancel out your vote in the Ohio Primary.


  • Romney consistently polls best against Obama in head to head match-ups, he has better favorable/unfavorable ratings than Gingrich, his implied electability on Intrade is higher, and of course he doesn’t have Newt’s history of blow-ups. Why anyone would think Gingrich is more likely to beat Obama is beyond me.

    That’s basically my thinking. If there was a candidate out there who I thought people would love if only they could get a better look at him, I’d be happy to support someone on that basis who didn’t yet poll well. But other three who have made it this far I like even less than Romney. Which is what leaves me supporting him.

  • Drew over at Drew Musings explains why he is backing Gingrich:

    “In the end, I’ve settled on Newt Gingrich.

    It’s been a long journey and the final choice I’ve come to represents a compromise on my ideal choice to fight the battle against Barack Obama.

    Originally I wanted a bland conservative who was plausible to most voters as a reasonable option to be President. I wanted the election to be a referendum on Obama with the GOP offering a solid, if not spectacular alternative. A Sanford/Pawlenty/Daniels type would have kept the focus where it belonged…on Obama.

    Some will argue that Romney is in this mold. I don’t think so. His wealth and more importantly his lack of basic political skills makes him to easy for Democrats (Obama, pundits and “reporters’) to caricature. He simply hasn’t shown the ability to take a bunch and drive the narrative.

    Failing that I figured we’d have a battle of ideas. If we can’t make it about Obama, then we damn well needed a big time personality to make the most pro-conservative case possible. I saw Christie and Perry as the best options for this kind of fight. Sadly, Christie didn’t run and Perry was simply incapable of carrying the fight to anyone, let alone Obama.

    Again, some will say that Romney could do this. His lack of conservative accomplishments, his record of bashing long held conservative beliefs and his lousy political skills (he can’t sell capitalism to GOP primary voters!), make the idea of Romney The Ideological Warrior a joke.

    That leaves us with the fight we have…going toe-to-toe with Obama in a long, hard, slog. It’s going to be hard to unseat a sitting President under the best of conditions and this election isn’t going to be that. What Newt brings to the table is what a heavyweight fighter always brings to the ring…a puncher’s chance. No, Newt isn’t going to win the election with a big line at a debate but over the course of a 6-8 month fight, Newt will land plenty of big blows on Obama on policy, record and rhetorical grounds. That combination will generate something that was missing for the GOP last time… real excitement in the base. The question is will he be able to pick up enough swing voters along the way? I think (hope) there are enough that are fed up with the bill of goods Obama sold them last time that Newt can make Obama too unattractive to support again while seeming to be a reasonable option himself.

    Gingrich will take a lot of shots in return but unlike Romney, he’s shown over and over again an ability to get back up and start swinging again. Yes, Newt’s been knocked out before and fought some losing fights but if he’s going to go down to Obama, he’s going to bloody him on the way out. He just might be able to knock Obama out before he falls himself.

    I just don’t see on what grounds Romney has any policy or political advantage over Obama.

    It’s not an ideal way to fight this battle but I think Newt’s way is the best chance we have.”


  • I agree with Darwin. I do enjoy Newt’s combativeness, but his most recent debate response regarding Marianne’s interview was nothing more than an egotistical outburst that bordered on pathological. It is exceedingly difficult to listen to and unpack this statement and still believe that Newt has any true remorse for his callous behavior. I fear he is not only an egomaniac of the highest order, but he is horribly deficient when it comes to basic human empathy. And his ideas are half-baked. Some may be worth baking to completion, others plainly not, but he lacks the patience to drill down and finish the job. I’d still probably vote for him over Obama.

    Santorum’s principled social conservatism is admirable and attractive. I think he is also a genuinely decent man. Unfortunately, I think he is not only unelectable, he is also incapable of effectively governing a nation that sadly does not share his his passion on social issues. That would take a leader with with exceptional persuasive abilities, and I don’t see that in Santorum.

    Paul is just weird. Deep inside I do think he still worries about the Trilateral Commission and is only partially convinced that 9/11 wasn’t an inside job.

    Romney is more technician than idealogue, which is why he is so at sea when it comes to articulating abstract ideas and his own beliefs. I think he governed center-left in a hard left state, and I think he would govern center-right in a center-right nation. I do think he would appoint conservative judges, though perhaps not as reliably conservative as Santorum.. I also think that Romney is a decent man and an adult who is capable of self-restraint and self-discipline, something I don’t think applies to Gingrich. Like Darwin, I am comfortable supporting Romney, even if not enthusiastic.

  • And that’s why the GOP establishment will keep shoving guys like Romney down our throats … because we’ve proven time and again that we’ll throw over good, decent pro-life candidates like Santorum and, in the end, support whatever pro-abort RINO stiff gets the nomination.

    Please don’t take the foregoing as a harsher criticism than what it is meant to be. But it is frustrating for me to see a couple of gentlemen for whom I have the utmost respect and with whose poltical instincts I generally concur, take this line.

  • No worries, Jay. I appreciate your frustration and admit that my calculus could be incorrect. Basically, my number one issue is abortion specifically and life generally. That said, trying to advance that agenda involves more than simply identifying the candidate whose believes are most in accord with mine. More precisely it involves identifying the candidate who is most likely to actually make progress on this issue, and that is a function not only of my assessment of (i) his priorities and beliefs but also my assessment of (ii) his likely efficacy. While I think Santorum is considerably stronger on (i), I think Romney is much stronger on (ii), especially since I do not think Santorum can defeat Obama in November. I am very much a pragmatist. I have little interest in supporting a candidate who I believe would work hard to advance the pro-life cause if I think he will neither really get that opportunity nor would be able to be successful if he did. My gut tells me that a Romney administration would be much more pro-life than Obama’s, and that he would favor conservative jurists who are skeptical of Roe. That is not perfect, but it is good insomuch as it is better than Obama — and I am not prepared to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
    All that said, I realize that this calculus is almost entirely prudential, and I could just be flat out wrong.

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  • Here’s my present voting stance:

    1) Santorum
    2) Gingrich
    3) Romney (holding my nose)

    …Ron Paul NEVER!


  • If pre-election polls were the determinging factor in who should be the Republican candidate than George Bush should have been the nominee instead of Reagan in 1980

    I don’t say they are the determining factor in who should be the nominee, but they are an indication of who is more likely to win a general election. That Reagan ended up winning against Carter doesn’t change that fact.

  • A rather poor indicator at this time in a Presidential election cycle BA. After the conventions they have greater validity, although even then they need to be taken with a boulder of salt as demonstrated by the Reagan example. I believe the majority of polls in the first week of September of 2008 showed McCain ahead of Obama.

  • “…Ron Paul NEVER!”

    Agreed WCC!

  • It’s not conservative vs. moderate vs. liberal. It’s about the credentialed eiltes whose world views separate them from us. Seems they get upset when knuckle-draggers, such as myself, rise up on our hind legs and get in the way of their choices.

    Them there conservative elites didn’t excoriate Palin because she was liberal or moderate. They feared and loathed Sarah because she is not one of them.

    Newt will fight. He is from Mars.

    Santorum hasn’t shown any fight. He is from Venus.

    Romney is afraid or ashamed of himself. So, he can’t counter-punch. He is from Uranus.

    Paul and libertarians are worse than liberals. They are from Jupiter: could not be more stupider.

    Anyhow, Obama is at 44% approval rating. That’s down from 47% in second year; 57% first year; and 69% approval Inauguration.

    Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush had better polling numbers at similar dates in their failed re-election runs. Carter was slightly worse. I can’t understand that last one.

  • If Ron Paul (R. Pluto) gets the nominee, I’m going third party.

    As for Jay’s comments, I luv it! Romney is just another H.W.Bush/Dole/McCain clone that leaves me reaching for a swig of whiskey and a revolver.

    I want Santorum and he’s getting better in the debates.

    I could vote for Gingrich and hope he lands several debilitating punches to forever render Obama the worst president ever.

    I’d vote for Romney, if there were no one else and pray for a quick eight years to go by quickly.

  • Can anybody name a candidate for national office whose winning campaign strategy against an incumbent was to build a majority out of reluctant supporters?

  • Darwin:

    Santorum actually strikes me as a strongly principled social conservative, and in some ways I do like him, but I just don’t see him as having the executive presence to lead the nation or to succeed against Obama onstage.

    Mike Petrik:

    I think he is not only unelectable, he is also incapable of effectively governing a nation that sadly does not share his his passion on social issues. That would take a leader with with exceptional persuasive abilities, and I don’t see that in Santorum.

    You did not ask, but I tell anyway. I would not bother too much about handicapping candidates in this manner. The electorate can be highly tolerant of a considerable swath of characters if ambient conditions take a certain form. You will recall that in 1980 the country elected a man who had (eleven years earlier) been literally alone among the country’s governors on important policy questions. You will recall that three years ago the country elected a man who had been, just four years earlier, sitting in the Illinois legislature. Unlike Barry Goldwater or George McGovern, Mr. Santorum has been road-tested on a large and diverse electorate. His stance on the issues is pretty much what is modal among Republicans, just more emphatically stated. He will do as a candidate. His real deficiency is a deficit of preparation: no background as an executive and a truncated career in the private sector.

    Which brings us to what the problem is. The country needs to climb out of the hole it is in over the next four or five years. That will require instituting a combination of budget cuts and tax hikes. The latter is not admitted by Republican pols generally and quite a number may be perfectly sincere for all that. Mr. Romney’s utility (aside from an absence of distractions in his life like Marianne Ginther Gingrich) is that when he denies an intent to seek a tax increase, he is among the candidates the most likely to be lying. He also has experience presiding over restructurings. That will be useful.

    In effect, we are reduced to the hope that Mr. Romney will be much like the elder George Bush: a cheesy candidate but not a cheesy President. Wish things were different….

  • Art, you may be right. But I would note that I voted for Ronald Reagan. Twice. Rick Santorum is no Ronald Reagan.

  • Rick Santorum is no Ronald Reagan.

    Per David Stockman, Ronald Reagan was, a good deal of the time, daft. I have seen no indication that that is true of Mr. Santorum. (It is true of Michelle Bachmann, alas). So, yes, he is no Ronald Reagan.

  • David Stockman calling Ronald Reagan daft is like a turtle calling an eagle slow poke. Stockman should have been fired by Reagan after his Atlantic article in December 1981. One of Reagan’s faults is that he always was too kind hearted to mendacious mediocrities like Stockman, who was lucky to avoid a jail cell after his tenure as CEO of Collins & Aikman during 2003-2005.

  • 1. Stockman is not a mediocrity; he is anything but daft.

    2. He was known (and likely still is) for bouts of compuslive honesty. Some of them were in the presence of William Greider, which was not particularly prudent;

    3. One of Stockman’s accounts concerned a questionnaire he forwarded to the President ca. 1983. It was an attempt to flesh out just what were the Presidents priorities and preferences with regard to federal expenditure. The President was fascinated with the questionnaire and budgeted time over several days to complete it. Stockman examined the answers and discussed the implications with the President, which were as follows: you get everything you want and we have $800 bn in deficits over the next five fiscal years. Mightn’t we consider requesting a tax increase? Reagan’s reply, “Now, David, it is deficit spending that is the problem….”.

  • I have to echo Micha Elyi’s comment: “Can anybody name a candidate for national office whose winning campaign strategy against an incumbent was to build a majority out of reluctant supporters?” And let me add to it: Can anybody name the last time the candidate running against an unpopular incumbent won by being bland, moderate and uncontroversial?

    Whoever the GOP nominates, the Democrats are going to ask the swing voters, “Granted that BHO hasn’t done a very good job, do you really want to replace him with this guy?” And if it’s someone the core can’t get excited about, you can’t expect the swing to get excited about him, either. Just being “not Obama” in the most literal sense possible isn’t enough; the not-Obama has to be clearly not Obama in terms of policy and philosophy as well as identity. Romney simply hasn’t convinced anyone outside his own camp that he’s anything but “kinda-sorta-not-Obama”. That’s not a recipe for success — if we’re not careful, someone’s gonna think we’re afraid of Obama. He’s not an 800-pound gorilla! And neither Santorum nor Gingrich are that scary! (Ron Paul, on the other hand ….) I think either one of these two could get the core whipped up enough to pull the swing to the right. Mitt simply isn’t that attractive. Let’s not vote scared.

  • Voting the lesser of evils is why we have had evils in government for so long. We call ourselves Christians and even Catholics but we do not have the faith the size of a mustard seed. God is Almighty and can do all things even put Rick Santorum in the White House. Only Santorum can lead America back to God and to being, once again, a Christian nation.

Gingrich Assails Elites Over Anti-Religious Bigotry

Sunday, January 22, AD 2012

The South Carolina victory speech of Newt Gingrich last night.  Most such primary victory speeches are fairly forgettable efforts and the Gingrich speech was largely no exception except at one point in the speech.  Go to 12: 30 on the video, and watch Gingrich lambaste many elites in our society for their anti-religious bigotry.  Gingrich has raised the issue of anti-Catholic bigotry in particular, and anti-Christian bigotry  in general, before in this campaign, go here to read his earlier comments, and he may have hit on the sleeper issue of the year in this campaign.  With the words of Pope Benedict, go here to read them, warning last week about the lessening of religious freedom in this country, this is a message whose time is now upon us.

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9 Responses to Gingrich Assails Elites Over Anti-Religious Bigotry

  • Obama has graciously given the Church a year of grace before it must pay for abortions and then he pushes for gay rights and the end of ancient religious hatred.

    Could it be: Newt is the only one defending Holy Mother Church?

  • Better a flawed messenger than none at all.

  • The reporting in mainstream, such as the Sunday morning paper, manages to identify people of Christian religions in the broad stroke of “born-again” when they describe the voters in both Iowa and South Carolina as if being Christian is an anomaly.

    This talk of ‘ancient religious hatred’ being a problem for hedonists is a posturing stretch of him who, stepping on the Constitution and flag of the country he swore to serve, has already legalized ‘rights and benefits’. Must be moving on to building hatred and bigotry for religion and race into America’s psyche.

    Long months ahead. May God grant strength to handle this wake-up call sent during this week of prayer for Christian unity (18-25).

    Supernatural or what? – today’s first reading about prophet Jonah, first refusing, then suffering, then doing God’s will. In a day, all the people of Ninevah repented and were blessed with God’s mercy. Symbolism of God’s power and love. Jonah ch. 3. (South Carolina speech) (and on the eve of the March for Life right in DC.)

  • I apologize; “ancient religious hatred” is a quote from godless, serial rapist/sexual harasser Clinton’s Press Secretary Joe Lockhart slandering Christians for opposing gay privileges.

    I think it concisely reveals the enemies of God and man and their attitudes toward the little people.

  • Oh – i wasn’t complaining – just looking at the way the phrase is used in so many ways

  • Even if he doesn’t get the nomination, its been refreshing to see someone speak truth to power regarding religious bigotry in the gov’t and media in a way that finally gains national attention.

  • I went to Mass Sunday noon at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; sat near the front. A few minutes later as I was craning my neck to see the mosaics, I saw that Speaker Gingrich was directly behind me in the next pew.

    After pondering all through Mass on the Face of Christ beyond the altar, I turned to Mr. Gingrich after the recessional and said, ” If you sit here weekly and see this rendering of the Face of Christ, how could you not be headed on the right path? He agreed. He seems to be very comfortable in his own skin. I’m still wanting the morals and ideals of Santorum to win; perhaps God has him in this race to be a constant voice for the unborn and marriage. But having met the Speaker face to face, and hear him sing praise to God in the Mass setting, my allegiances are taking a turn towards Gingrich. My “sincerity” meter gave him good marks. May God protect him and keep him close to His heart.

54 Responses to Gingrich Wins South Carolina Open Thread

  • Excellent! I’d really prefer anyone but Romney on the Republican ticket. It doesn’t matter much though, because Obama round 2 is inevitable. At least with a Gingrich we’ll have some interesting debates.

  • 1) The inevitable oh-so-electable Romneybot is now 1 for 3 in his own party.

    2) Santorum got hosed by Newt’s ego starting on Monday night.

    3) Santorum needs to stay in the race, and every time he’s asked about that he needs to say, “Absolutely, it’s only a matter of time before Newt implodes and we all know it and I plan to be here to give people that solid conservative choice when he does.”

  • Santorum made a good show tonight. Having been denied the momentum of a first claim to victory in Iowa, he still beat Ron Paul. That’s bigger than most people think. I think it likely that Newt supporters will dwindle as they start to review his record rather than his rhetoric. The same is obviously true with Romney. Game on. Go Rick Santorum!

  • Just throwing this out there, but if Newt wins the election – the general – then that’s gonna go down as the biggest political comeback in American history. Not even Nixon comes close.

  • Indeed Paul. Absolutely nothing would surprise me this election year. The country is in such a mess that a candidate like Gingrich who would normally not even be in the running might just be able to get the nomination and go on to win. I suspect that the Obama campaign would much prefer to run against Romney, who I think they regard as McCain II. Gingrich is just too unpredictable to make an opposition strategy easy to map out. Additionally a candidate who can take a normally campaign destroying event like the resurfacing of an ex-wife who talks about adultery, and turn that stinkbomb to his advantage, is a candidate with formidable political skills. Note how Gingrich in his victory speech played up the religious bigotry of the Obama administration. He will not be an easy candidate to fight against due to just how unconventional and imaginative he is. Gingrich is usually his own worst enemy, but he is also his strongest asset.

  • Whatever happens, Obama has got to go. Seeing how Obama and Sebelius destroyed any pretense at conscience protection has infuriated me to no end. The days of my ever being nice to liberals are over (if indeed there were any such days). They have got to be shoved out of power for good. As to Gingrich, may God bless him. I prefer Santorum to be sure, but Gingrich isn’t a bad choice and even the Weather Vane as Donald calls him is far superior to that man of depravity and idolatry now sitting in the Oval Office. I just finished posting a nasty letter to http://www.whitehouse.gov (I wasn’t threatening, but did make the King Manasseh comparison) and then prayed the Rosary for God’s mercy on our nation and on his soul. Let’s see if I am arrested tomorrow morning! 😉 Nothing would surprise me at this point.

    Godless wicked Democrat! Arrrrrggggghhhhh! But hoorah and thank God for Newt!

  • I dunno. I don’t see Gingrich as having enough fuel in the tank to make it all the way through the primary contest. I’d still tend to bet heavily on Romney being the eventual winner, but I hope Santorum stays in for the long haul so we continue to have a viable alternative after Gingrich eventually implodes.

    Honestly, I can’t see Gingrich managing to win the general unless outside history manages to intervene (say, with the European economy collapsing like a house of cards in the fall), and if he did, I’m not sure he’d actually be any happier a political comeback kid than Nixon.

    It’s fun to hear him spout off but he just isn’t reliable at any level.

  • All good points Darwin, but I would note that Gingrich has been given up as political vulture meat not once, but twice in this campaign so far. I certainly thought he was politically dead the first go round when his entire New Hampshire campaign staff bailed on him. I am not going to make the mistake of underestimating him again this year, although I rather hope that Romney continues to do so. Santorum will doubtless stick around through Florida. If Gingrich wins Florida however, I think Santorum may decide that there is no way that he gets back to being the anti-Romney and drop out. If he does that and endorses Gingrich, I think that Romney has a difficult path ahead of him.

  • It doesn’t matter much though, because Obama round 2 is inevitable.

    I keep hearing people say this, and not one of them is able to elaborate upon an explanation of why they think this.

    What disconcerts about all this is what a gratuitous self-inflicted injury is incorporated within it. The man is a godawful spectacle who appears to be prospering on the basis of a certain sort of forensic talent. Serial adultery? No problem! A complete absence of administrative experience? No problem! An affection for management fads? No problem! Payola from Freddie Mac? No problem! And didn’t he do a job on that moderator?

  • A thought

    The Daley machine hack in the White House had his second machine provided Chief of Staff decide to go back to Chicago and his replacement did not come from the machine. With Ritchie Daley retired I wonder how many more of the President’s entourage will want to go back to Chicago.

    Will this put a crimp in his operation?

    Who Knows? But interesting

    Hank’s Eclectic Meanderings

  • John King of CNN actually inadvertently produced this result. Gingrich is a media slayer and South Carolina loved it. If the media stops the Gingrich attacks, does Gingrich then fade into normality and get beat by Romney’s money chest and it’s resultant ad and organizational power?

  • The gingrich performance in response to John King was an embarrassment, his win in SC is an embarrassment and if he would be president, he would be an embarrassment. Glib, manipulative, brilliant-but-phony, pugnacious, opportunist, cheater – not exactly words I would like to apply to our president.. He is not the best man in the race… may be the worst.

  • The major embarrassment thus far in this race Anzlyne is the attempt by Romney to pass himself as a conservative Republican. The average GOP voter understands that he is nothing of the sort. That fact is why they have been looking for an alternative since the start of this race, and that is why Gingrich is prospering now. Absent that fundamental antipathy to Romney, Gingrich would be ready to announce today that he is heading back into retirement, instead of leading an insurgency which may deprive Romney of his opportunity to see if he can blow the election against Obama in the Fall.

  • Ninety-seven percent of us are worried about the economy. Seventy-nine percent are very worried. There are significant numbers preparing for economic and societal collapse.

    It ain’t Newt that will implode.

  • One cultural note about “cheating” for those who think Gingrich did not really repent: country music, loved in many non urban oriented states, has an odd combination of a gospel aspect and a cheating or fornicative aspect. Patty Loveless sings gospel related songs and sang also ” I Know You’re Still Married”….and ” On Your Way Home” ( after leaving her house: “Where’d you get that alibi/ did it fall out of a midnight sky/ or did ya find it/ laying by the side of the road”).
    Loveless was twice married.
    Alison Krauss, divorced and a Grammy Winner…26 of them and twice winner of the Gospel Music Association Award… recently with Union Station sang “Let Me Touch You For Awhile” about a girl in a bar hitting on a cowboy on the rebound for at least a one night stand…..despite Krauss doing entire gospel albums.
    The country audience is neither the Knights of Columbus nor the Mennonites in the sexual or
    faithfulness area.

  • Gingrich? Newt Gingrich?


    The man has political skills, but I think the best case scenario is that he loses by McCain’s margin.

    Unless the economy significantly weakens, which, long term, is more likely than the current smooth patch indicates.

    I dunno. Nominating Newt seems like the ultimate own-goal.

    I recognize Santorum’s profound executive weaknesses and sometimes grating demeanor in the spotlight (though he’s a winning, genuine guy in person, as I can attest), and I think I’ve even acknowledged the same here. But unless one gets hives at the thought of a sincere social conservative with the nomination (e.g., the Reason [sic] fanbois), he has far less baggage to explain away than Gingrich or Romney.

    Thanks, Jindal, Christie, Jeb, etc.

  • Question: After three marriages and three affairs (2+1), how does this man stay in the good graces of the Catho
    lic Church. Or is he?


  • Thanks, Jindal, Christie, Jeb, etc.

    This is an oft-repeated lament. While most of these folks (not Christie) would be an improvement over the current field, I am sure that the circular firing squads would have taken them down. To borrow from my comment at Ace last night, if Paul Ryan had entered the race, for example, he would have been the front-runner. Then Michelle Malkin would have written some naggy article about how two or three votes of his that suggest he’s a RINO. Then he would have given some answer in his first debate that ticked a few people off, and his poll numbers would have gone. Then he goes on CNN to present his 30 point plan to improve the economy. Point 19 sounds vaguely similar to an Obama proposal, causing Red State to run three days worth of blog posts calling him a statist.

    And so on and so forth.

    To put it another way, if Rick Perry had not gotten in the contest, we’d all be lamenting how the sure-fire winner decided not to run.

    Conservatives: our own greatest enemy since 1995.

  • Rotifer:

    Here’s the “drill”: repentance, Confession, penance, amendment of life, good works . . .

    Do you think Newt converted to Catholicism in a cynical posturing to get elected prez? If so, what evidence do you have?

    Obviously, Obama wants to get in the good graces of the Catholic Church. He gave his USCCB a year to get used to the fact they will be required to pay for employees’ chemical abortions.

  • Rotifer
    The Church records are confidential but guessing despite that: Newt’s second marriage was probably annulled by the Catholic Church because the wife was married prior and did not annul her first marriage. His first marriage could well have been annulled because Newt himself at the time was morally incapable of really knowing what a Christian marriage is nor capable of vowing it til death. An annullment is a declaration by the Church that a real marriage in the past never took place before God even if Catholic Church authorities or separated Christian authorities authorized one at the time…..while not knowing the true hidden moral maturity or lack of it
    in one or both people….OR….a separated Christian authority permitted a second marriage despite a first (Newt’s second wife’s case).
    Does Church infallibility enter into this area? No. Just as the Church could have been incorrect marrying a couple, it could be incorrect permitting an annullment.

  • Perhaps someone could explain how Newt Gingrich is actually more conservative than Mitt Romney.

  • I wonder if any of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination will
    join, even for a short time, the March For Life tomorrow?

  • Sure BA:

    1. Flip flops on abortion. From 1994 when he was running for the Senate against Ted Kennedy: ‘But as a nation, we recognize the right of all people to believe as they want and not to impose our beliefs on other people. I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country. I have since the time that my mom took that position when she ran in 1970 as a US Senate candidate. I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it, and I sustain and support that law, and the right of a woman to make that choice, and my personal beliefs, like the personal beliefs of other people, should not be brought into a political campaign.”
    2. Romneycare.
    3. Judicial appointments while governor of Massachusetts.
    4. Tax increases he sponsored while governor of Massachusetts.
    5. Flip flop on abstinence based sex education.
    6. Flip flop on embryonic stem cell research.
    7. Flip flop on the minimum wage.
    8. Flip flop on gun control.
    9. This quote when he was running for the Senate against Ted Kennedy in 1994. “I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.”
    10. This quote: “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”
    11. Flip flopping on abolition of the Department of Education.
    12. Flip flopping on allowing prayer in school.

    Mitt Romney’s campaign slogan if truth were a requirement for such things: “If you do not like my views today, they are bound to change tomorrow!” Mitt is a conservative now because there is no way that anyone but a conservative can get the nomination. His record clearly indicates that he is a liberal Republican.

  • “I wonder if any of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination will
    join, even for a short time, the March For Life tomorrow?”

    Karl, Rick Santorum was there in 2011, as he has been in earlier years. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is there tomorrow.

  • Then Michelle Malkin would have written some naggy article about how two or three votes of his that suggest he’s a RINO. Then he would have given some answer in his first debate that ticked a few people off, and his poll numbers would have gone. Then he goes on CNN to present his 30 point plan to improve the economy. Point 19 sounds vaguely similar to an Obama proposal, causing Red State to run three days worth of blog posts calling him a statist.

    Game. Set. Match.

  • As a catholic, I am especially grateful for the redemption I have received from Jesus Christ through His Church. Examination of Newt should include a thoughtful examination of his character post conversion to the Catholic faith. The Lord seems to like to use those of us who have been the greatest sinners to serve Him–just look at His choice of King David, Mary Magdalen, Augustine, and Thomas Becket to name a few. To me, considering Newt as a serious contender in this Presidental race was cemented when he stated emphatically that marriage is a sacrament. He gets it! Additionally, his SC victory speech emphasized the extremely important issue of religious liberty his number 1 point of contention. Of all the contenders, Newt is the only candidate in my lifetime since Ronald Regan that actually speaks truth to power. We need to pray to the Lord that His choice for President be done. Perhaps its time for America to begin a fast of sack cloth and ashes.

  • Don,

    Thanks for the list. What interests me about your examples is that they are almost exclusively about positions Mitt Romney took many years ago, rather than anything he’s said or done during this campaign (or the last one). By that standard Ronald Reagan wasn’t particularly conservative, and neither is Newt Gingrich. Gingrich supported an individual mandate (and at the federal level) for more than a dozen years, supported embryonic stem cell research, supported cap and trade, etc.

    More significant, however, are the flip flops that Newt has made just during the course of this campaign. He attacked the Ryan Plan as “right-wing social engineering.” Then flipped and endorsed the plan (and said that anyone who quoted his prior statements on the issue was a liar). He defended Fannie and Freddie as necessary for the housing market (after getting paid millions to do so), then flipped and said they should be broken up. He attacked Romney for his private equity work at Bain Capital. Then said his prior criticisms were irrational. Then made the same criticisms again, only more forcefully. As far as I can tell, the idea that Gingrich is more conservative than Romney seems to depend almost entirely on the assumption that when Romney changes his position he doesn’t really mean it, whereas when Newt does so he is completely sincere.

  • You are incorrect in your assumption BA. Virtually all of my examples, except for the Senate race statements, come from Romney’s term as Governor of Massachusetts which was from 2002-2006 and which I do not think qualifies as “many years ago”. In regard to abortion Romney ran as a complete pro-abort in 2002.

    The McCain opposition research book on Romney is a very good mine of information on the Weathervane’s flip flops and is linked below:


    Be pro-Romney if you will BA, but Gingrich is a piker when it comes to flip flopping compared to the Weathervane. Romney could hold a very interesting debate all by himself himself considering that he has managed to be on both sides of so many issues over the years.

  • “Be pro-Romney if you will BA, but Gingrich is a piker when it comes to flip flopping compared to the Weathervane. Romney could hold a very interesting debate all by himself himself considering that he has managed to be on both sides of so many issues over the years.”

    Almost could not catch my breath from laughing so hard as the result of this statement!

    To be witty is a gift; to alloy it with intelligence is a blessing, not just to the one gifted with it but to whomever is blessed through observing it. Thank you.

  • Don,

    2002 was ten years ago. Perhaps it’s a sign of my relative youth, but that seems like a fairly long time. And in any event, Gingrich was still supporting a federal individual mandate, cap and trade, and embryonic stem cell research after all of the cases you cite against Romney.

    Can we agree at least that, going by what they’ve said in this campaign, Romney is clearly the more conservative candidate, and that the only way to say Gingrich is more conservative is if you believe what he says but not what Romney says about their own positions?

  • Thank you Karl!

    Ten years seems like a mere blip to me BA, either due to my study of history or my approaching 55th birthday.

    One could say that Romney is now a conservative if one were to have a bad case of amnesia as to the rest of his life. I can accept a politician having a Road to Damascus experience on one or two issues, but Romney’s conversions have been wholesale, and always very convenient for whatever office he is aiming at. I doubt the man’s honesty and for me in regard to a politician that is the kiss of death. If he is the eventual nominee I will vote for him for one reason and one reason only: he will be the Not-Obama in the race.

  • Tess. Pope Gregory in 590 or so made up the story about Mary Magdalene being a prostitute. There is nothing to support the assertion. Give the girl a break.

    Re Newt. He went thru 3 wedding ceremonies. He has bought his way out of one or (possibly) two thru annulments. He was of legal age, 19 yr old, at his first wedding and married his math teacher, 7 years his senior, after a 3 year ‘affair’. In all, he had affairs with his next two wives, while married to someone else. It’s called adultery. Another affair has been documented. All the time he was beating up on fellow legislators for doing the same. Is this the guy u think should be the leader of the free world; appoint moral judges; push the right kind of social legislation (or lack thereof)? This guy into repentence? He’s too arrogant. He has rationalized all this as part of working too hard. Have u read his reasoning? Seen the tape? **choke**

  • Politics is all about comparison Rotifer. Compared to Gingrich I prefer Santorum. Compared to Romney I prefer Gingrich. Compared to Obama, I prefer the Republican.

  • “19 yr old, at his first wedding and married his math teacher, 7 years his senior, after a 3 year ‘affair’.”

    If that is true, then his first wife was more at fault than the 16 year old Gingrich, and that got him off to a rather rocky start in regard to man-woman relationships.

  • Gingrich at least has a balanced budget and welfare reform to point to when making his claims to conservatism. What aspects of Romney’s record does he point to? He ran as a liberal. He governed as a liberal. And he is a liberal. His 2007 election-eve conversion of convenience is not convincing to me. And, apparently, it’s not convincing to most other people either.

    I will NOT vote for that fraud should he win the nomination.

  • Re Newt. … He has bought his way out of one or (possibly) two thru annulments.

    “Bought”, eh? Care to reveal what the bid-ask spread is on annulments these days?

    If the media stops the Gingrich attacks, does Gingrich then fade into normality…?
    -bill bannon

    If the past is any guide, the establishment media doesn’t stop attacking Speaker Gingrich until he’s long since stopped bringing himself to public attention. I doubt they can even help themselves anymore, they just can’t resist trying to attack him. Likely, the South Carolina results shocked them; bunches of media operatives are probably still shouting “inconceivable!” Come Monday, they’ll be back.

  • This:

    “Mitt Romney has no tangible record of conservative accomplishments but has occasionally made statements that sound conservative.
    “Newt Gingrich has a tangible record of conservative accomplishments but has occasionally made statements that don’t sound conservative.”


    Can anyone really argue that this statement is untrue? So, I’m struggling to ascertain on what conceivable basis one might posit that Romney is “conservative”, much less come to the conclusion that he is “clearly … more conservative” than Gingrich.

  • Dan McLaughlin has had some very insightful posts on the candidates. Here his take on Newt, and here’s a series of posts on Romney. Long story short, though there are some troubling things with Newt’s style of conservatism, it’s really not even close between the two.

    As the comment Jay links to points out, there is simply nothing in Romney’s actual record of governance that indicates any sort of conservatism. At all. And the Massachusetts excuse doesn’t fly. We here in Maryland were governed at the same time by Bob Ehrlich, a fairly conservative (though pro-choice) governor who governed much more conservatively than Romney. Yes, he was defeated in his re-election bid – as Romney would have had he run – but he actually left office fairly popular. He just had the misfortune of having an -R next to his name in 2006. But he managed to govern a state that is every bit as liberal as Massachusetts without imposing an individual mandate or other disasters.

  • We here in Maryland were governed at the same time by Bob Ehrlich, a fairly conservative (though pro-choice) governor who governed much more conservatively than Romney.

    Some things are a matter of honor, Paul, and when people breach that, you cannot forget.


  • Then Michelle Malkin would have written some naggy article about how two or three votes of his that suggest he’s a RINO. Then he would have given some answer in his first debate that ticked a few people off, and his poll numbers would have gone. Then he goes on CNN to present his 30 point plan to improve the economy. Point 19 sounds vaguely similar to an Obama proposal, causing Red State to run three days worth of blog posts calling him a statist.

    You’re 100% right on that, and the “own worst enemy” comment. And Redstate’s woodshedding of Santorum has been a gruesome wonder to behold–if not as laughable as Coulter’s weathervaning on Romney.


    Any of the others would have less baggage than Newtromney, and less fodder for credible flyspecking. I think even Christie (save on 2nd Amendment issues) would be less subject to it. Oh, the Axis of Redstate would still find something to fulminate about with each, but it wouldn’t have the same traction. It would be relegated to the eyerolling closet much, much faster.

    Perry’s fatal flaw was expectations combined with some of the most remarkable pratfalls this side of Chevy Chase. That, and running a socon campaign when he had the Texas economic record to tout.

  • Thomas Sowell on the Gingrich vs. Romney comparison:

    … While the televised debates are what gave Newt Gingrich’s candidacy a big boost, concrete accomplishments when in office are the real test. Gingrich engineered the first Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 40 years — followed by the first balanced budget in 40 years. The media called it “the Clinton surplus” but all spending bills start in the House of Representatives, and Gingrich was speaker of the House.

    Speaker Gingrich also produced some long-overdue welfare reforms, despite howls from liberals that the poor would be devastated. But nobody now claims that they were.

    Did Gingrich ruffle some feathers when he was speaker of the House? Yes, enough for it to cost him that position. But he also showed that he could produce results.

    In a world where we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available, the question is whether Newt Gingrich is better than Barack Obama — and better than Mitt Romney.

    Romney is a smooth talker, but what did he actually accomplish as governor of Massachusetts, compared with what Gingrich accomplished as speaker of the House? When you don’t accomplish much, you don’t ruffle many feathers. But is that what we want?

    Can you name one important positive thing that Romney accomplished as governor of Massachusetts? Can anyone? Does a candidate who represents the bland leading the bland increase the chances of victory in November 2012? A lot of candidates like that have lost, from Thomas E. Dewey to John McCain…


  • I doubt the man’s honesty and for me in regard to a politician that is the kiss of death.

    Do you consider Gingrich to be an honest person?

  • With his first two wives? Absolutely not. With the voters? Much more so than Romney.

  • Conservative, neocon, moderate, log cabin republican– “average republican voter’??
    personally I want someone whose policies and personal life are coherent and trust worthy I think we have an opportunity to vote for a candidate who is good.. which is such a relief from so many years of choosing the lesser of the evils–
    I want to vpte for a leader disciplined by faith in true Authority -higher than his own impulses and or value judgments (G, R and O).
    ” broken promises, glib demagoguery, and cynical political moves ” phrase used by Thomas Sowell to describe B Obama. could that also describe Newt-different particulars, but same idea about lack of respect for a promise and willingness to demagogue ( is there a better example of exploiting peoples emotion than Newt’s display last week? Ethics – is it ok that he does questionable things as long as he gets things done?
    Look at Townhall Rebecca Hagelin’s “Blinded by Hate” column and
    “Newt and Mitt: Two Sides of the Same Coin” .http://townhall.com/columnists/rebeccahagelin/2012/01/23/newt_and_mitt_two_sides_of_the_same_coin

  • Don,

    Leave aside the issue of his marriages. Gingrich claims that Freddie Mac paid him $1.6 million dollars for him to tell them “as a historian” that there business model was flawed. Do you really believe that?

  • I believe he has said a good deal more than that BA, although I understand that is the talking point of the Romney campaign.


    The contracts between Freddie Mac and the consulting firm of Gingrich will soon be released and we will all find out all about it. No doubt Romney in return will be itching to disclose literally tons of documents about his activities at Bain and other business ventures over the years.

    Really BA this Tu Quoque defense of Romney will not hunt. Romney is a pretend conservative, a liberal trying to masquerade as a conservative, and that, along with being a truly lousy politician, is why against an underfunded challenger like Gingrich, who has tons of baggage, he is floundering. Most politicians will be mendacious on occasion, but few politicians have ever been as mendacious as Romney as to just what he believes over such a wide spectrum of issues.

  • Really BA this Tu Quoque defense of Romney will not hunt.

    It is not a Tu Quoque defense, except for Democratic pols who also got a share of the swag from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (James Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, Barney Frank, &c.)

  • Disagree Art. The issue that BA and I have been discussing is honesty with BA claiming that Gingrich is as big a liar as Romney, which is simply not the case.

  • Don,

    Actually I only asked whether you thought Gingrich was an honest person in response to your claim that you couldn’t support a politician if you didn’t think they were honest. Would you like to modify your position to that you can support a dishonest politician so long as you think they are less dishonest than Mitt Romney?

  • No BA, my position is that Romney is a wretchedly dishonest politician that I will only vote for if the only alternative is Obama. However, considering the meltdown I think is happening with the Romney support in Florida and around the country, I am beginning to hope that I will not be forced to vote for President with my left thumb and forefinger clamped on my nose. Compared to Romney, Gingrich is Diogenes’ honest man found.

  • Don,

    You accused me of making a tu quoque, but that’s exactly what you are doing here. You said you couldn’t support a politician if you doubted whether they were honest. That naturally raises the question of whether you think Gingrich is honest. It is no answer to say that he is not as dishonest as Romney, since in your view Romney is incredibly dishonest.

    Again, I’m not the one who said they could only support honest politicians (from my perspective that would rule out most everybody). All I’ve done is ask whether you really believe that Gingrich is an honest guy.

  • “That naturally raises the question of whether you think Gingrich is honest. It is no answer to say that he is not as dishonest as Romney, since in your view Romney is incredibly dishonest.”

    Asked and answered BA. I have already said that Gingrich is being honest with the voters in my opinion as opposed to Romney’s cross dressing attempt to pass himself off as a conservative.

  • Out of curiosity, Don, who did you support back during the 2008 primary when it was Romney v. McCain v. Huckabee?

  • Actually BA I voted for Romney as a protest against McCain. In Illinois he got 28% to 44% for McCain, and I was hoping that a McCain loss might slow down his momentum, although I doubted that would be the case. I posted this on Darwin’s blog the day before the election:

    “Donald R. McClarey said…
    Although I will vote for Romney tommorrow in Illinois, he is toast and McCain will be the nominee. I will grit my teeth and vote for him in the Fall.

    Super Tuesday will not settle matters for the Dems, which will probably be good news for the Republicans. After a long and grueling contest I think Clinton will be the nominee, although I expect she will alienate a fair number of Obama supporters along the way.

    She will probably offer him the Veep spot. If he is smart he will decline it, pray that she is beaten in the Fall and begin preparing for 2012. This election has a strange feel of 1976 about it, with Clinton being Ford to Obama’s Reagan.”

    So much for my crystal ball in 2008!

Gingrich, Media Bias and the Mainstream Media as Morality Police

Friday, January 20, AD 2012

Gingrich turned the tables effectively on John King of CNN last night at the final debate prior to the South Carolina primary on Saturday.  Here is the transcript:

JOHN KING: And just as speaker Gingrich surged into contention here in South Carolina, a direct fresh character attack on the Speaker.

And Mr Speaker, I want to start with that this evening.

As you know, your ex-wife gave an interview to ABC News and another interview with The Washington Post. And this story has now gone viral on the internet.

In it, she says that you came to her in 1999, at a time when you were having an affair. She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open marriage.

Would you like to take some time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No, but I will.


GINGRICH: I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.


KING: Is that all you want to say, sir?

GINGRICH: Let me finish.

KING: Please.

GINGRICH: Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question for a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.


My – my two daughters – my two daughters wrote the head of ABC and made the point that it was wrong, that they should pull it, and I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate.


KING: As you noted, Mr Speaker, this story did not come from our network. As you also know, it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. I’m not – I get your point. I take your point.

GINGRICH: John, John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don’t try to blame somebody else. You and your staff chose to start this debate with it.


Let me be quite clear. Let me be quite clear. The story is false. Every personal friend I have who knew us in that period said the story was false. We offered several of them to ABC to prove it was false. They weren’t interested because they would like to attack any Republican. They’re attacking the governor. They’re attacking me. I’m sure they’ll presently get around to Senator Santorum and Congressman Paul.

I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.


Continue reading...

84 Responses to Gingrich, Media Bias and the Mainstream Media as Morality Police

  • I must be honest. I despise and loathe Barack Hussein Obama and the liberal elite media. They use Gingrich’s second wife to accuse Gingrich of something that they in their diabolical sexual perversion of adultery want legalized and sanctified themselves. Godless satanic hypocrites!

  • It surprises me that the people have not claimed back their aairwaves which are rented to the media to provide a public service. It has seemed to me and noted here that most are extremely biased leaning Left, anti- organised religion, particularly Catholicicism and conservative mainline Christians and anti the GOP. One is offered only the extremes of the self-proclaimed Left and Right while the so-called mainstream media are so off center in their coverage. My suggestion repeated now here is to work toward a system whereby the primetime hours are devoted in some sort of organised way to allow free, fair and unbiased chair-persons to handle debates. Not examples like Mr King who was forced to admit that the blame was not with ABC but his representing CNN to lob this hand-grenade at Mr Gingrich. He showed his presence and character under fire by lobbing it back, to provide a reasonable and thorough answer, including his daughters’ testimony to ABC. That kind of grace under fire is what leaders are made of. The audience reaction shows they were on the side of fairness. Good for the Republic and efforts to use the First Amendent to swing elections.

  • My understanding of the Catholic faith is that you do not enter heaven by being a “nice person”. You need to be sanctified and in the grace of our Lord. Even with this knowledge Our Lord can do what he pleases and His name is “Mercy”. Newt deserves mercy as Our Lord has given us. He deserves respect because he is very knowledgable, experienced and will have to take on Obama, Washington elites and our enemies here in the USA and in the world. He is not afraid to fight. If he were a coward like many politicians, he would never have entered this race. His sins of the past are not relevant anymore and certainly not our business because he has said he repented. We as
    Catholics need to remember that. If you do not agree with his policies, fine then don’t vote for him. But remember who We really are. Jesus told the people regarding stoning a woman, “You who are without sin cast the first stone.” St. Paul killed Christian women and children and Jesus chose him to bring the gentiles into the fold. Just a reminder as I have to do daily with my own sins. God Bless.

  • Some more thoughts on the PACs (ABC, NBC, CNN etc.) providing tens of millions of dollars of free attack ads on Republicans:


  • Whatever the media bias may be, I was far more concerned with his response than his “original” sin–Speaker Gingrich admitting his fault instead of blaming CNN and the Democrats and then moving on would have served his cause much better. We know his former wife was doing this to attempt to destroy him, and as you stated, Donald, it was a good story for ABC and CNN to push forward, but he knew it was coming in any case and “no excuses” would have been far more humble and easier to hear for many of us.

    The sheer amount of anger he showed caused me to wonder about his repentance, frankly. And character does count. And I say that simply as an opinion, I leave the judging to God of course. I hope he truly has repented and had embraced his Catholicism as he seems to have.

    What I believe he needed to do was look and sound sorry that he hurt her, clearly say so, which he has in the past at less “unhinged” moments, and then let the debate go on from there.

    So why do so many people think that was his “finest moment?” To me it was one of his weakest. I would contend that people think so because we have a whole generation raised on reality shows and Jerry Springer. Very sadly people love this stuff. Media, public, Democrats, and Republicans. We have always enjoyed scandal.

  • Stipulated:

    1. Bracketing out Fox News and some radio networks, about 85% of the national press corps favors the Democratic Party (and from that it is a reasonable wager that about 70% are strongly oriented thereto and 35% or so have a nexus of political views which resemble those of Victor Navasky).

    2. Some of these are unscrupulous and some have no talent whatsoever for impartial judgement.


    Now can we please get hold of the vaudvillian’s cane and get Dr. Gingrich off the stage? He is poisonous.

  • God….to head the Jewish people and lead them out of Egypt….picked an ex-murderer, Moses
    who you’ll remember killed an Egyptian for assaulting an Israelite. God punished that murderer, Moses, with 40 years of shepherding sheep. Then God made that murderer a leader. God did a similar thing with the new people of God. He chose the violent Peter of the Gethsemane ear incident and made him a leader after mortifying Peter much quicker than He did with Moses.
    I feel that Peter was trying to split the man’s head at Gethsemane, the man moved in the nick of time and only lost an ear. Within hours Peter would be mortified by his denying Christ despite his rash courage at Gethsemane. Moses was punished for 40 years….Peter in moments. We all wonder. Is Newt like Peter? Has he been mortified deeply but quickly by God….or did he go through the motions. His anger at John King last night helps us trust him a bit more that he might be Peter because Newt is angry at the mega theme of media timing embarassments prior
    to a republican debate
    Mitt gained points in how, unlike Santorum,.he did not make it easy for the moderator to continue to legitimize the question in a follow up moment…Mitt just said no….ask me aboutthe issues. Santorum got suckered immediately. Paul helped Ginrich’s point but then ended with saying how long he was married. Mitt and Ginrich won as being those who perfectly resisted John King who increased by his perseverance his negative image as huckster. CNN has become news-entertainment-celebrity culture. CBS, ABC etc. have become news entertainment-recipes-celebrity culture. CNN will stay out of recipes and cooking spots….to maintain faux gravitas.

  • I would agree with you Art if the alternative were not Romney. Although Santorum is my candidate he just has not caught fire yet, and I am beginning to doubt that he will unless Gingrich drops out, and after last night’s performance by Newt I do not see that happening soon.

  • We have a couple of generations of broken marriages. With the state of marriage in this country, do we really need a leader who has broken his vows 2 times? Gingrich is well spoken and knows his stuff, but his history says he doesn’t know much about commitment. We need someone who can lead by consistency and persistence; I know, our present leader does this to the detriment of the country, but how about having someone who plays by the Constitution and doesn’t play by Saul Alinsky? Having Newt fight for the solidity of marriage is like having the fox in the hen house.

  • “Having Newt fight for the solidity of marriage is like having the fox in the hen house.”

    I doubt if that would be one of his Presidential duties elm, and considering some of the prior occupants of the White House I can understand why.

  • Art, it’s not that 85% of the media favors Obama and the left-wing agitprop.

    It’s that eighty-five percent of the lap dog media swears to Obama’s lies.

    So exactly what do Gingrich’s private, decades old sins have to do with the sky-rocketing prices of gasoline and Big Macs, and no jobs?

  • Newt has acknowledged his wrong. He does not have to “grovel” before the public. Only before God. We do not know what transpired between him and his ex-wives.
    I question more Marianne’s motive after all these years. This was an opportunity for vengeance. That seems more apparent. I do sympathize with her, as that happened to me. But I learned a long time ago, I had to let the resentment go. This was not a show of her good sense and her “character” to tear him apart at this time. My opinion only.
    With the stupidity of many of our politicians we have had in office, plus President’s who openly committed adultery, I hardly think that Newt’s conduct 20 yrs ago, should be a problem. He has much to offer. Some people cannot forgive. We as Catholics better. I am just saying that if this is the only reason to not vote him in, a self-examination may be in order. I can’t see another candidate up there that has a “chance” of beating Obama. That is the real goal. The other candidates are “nice”, but not strong enough in my opinion. Not experienced enough. Remember, he was not Catholic at that time. When you convert to Catholicism, your past life is remembered no more. In God’s eyes this marriage is their first. Just saying…………….

  • By the way, if the measure of a man’s committment to marriage would make a better President…..Ron Paul stated he has been married 54 years. Would you want him to be President??? We would be speaking in middle east “tongues”. Just saying again…….

  • 430 – A person exits the confessional pure, not flawless. I forgive Newt, and rejoice at the prospect of his attaining Heaven, but that’s not the same thing as trusting him.

  • Pinky – What exactly do you think he did that was so detrimental to our country that you would not trust him? Just because his marriages? That does not make sense. He did many good things during his years as Speaker. If he made mistakes, so what. Remember, the country’s well being did not hinge on “Newt Gingrich” only. There has been corruption all through our politically history by many. Well, we have to trust somebody. If past mistakes of humans is the only measure for some, then I guess life is going to be very hard for many to trust anyone. You certainly are entitled to make your choice. Just my thoughts. I was told by a Priest that when I walk out of the confessional those sins are gone and remembered no more. I have to let them go too or else I would not be trusting the Lord. We get a new lease on life every time we go to confession. Everyone is flawed including the other candidates and neighbors and family. We do have to trust someone. I do understand sometimes caution is in order in life with people, but we are talking very difficult times and a very important election. To me perfect character with these candidates won’t go far with Obama. I could be wrong, but I would not trust Santorum or Romney to beat Obama. Newt knows about his marriages better than anyone else what he did. I don’t think many can handle his intelligence. Of course he will need a congress as every President can’t do it all alone. Well……Obama has at times. Oh well.

  • Pinky: What did Newt do to you?

    Media Bias: Adultery, fornication, infidelity, promiscuity were not newsworthy in 1992 and 2008. For those people, sodomy is a basic human right.

    Professor Jacobson: “On the two key inflammatory statements made against Newt, ABC News presented the statements without challenging his accuser based on readily available public information casting doubt on her version of events. We can debate the propriety of running an interview with a bitter ex-spouse at a critical juncture in a campaign. What is not open to debate is that ABC News used Marianne Gingrich for its own purpose of trying to damage one of the top contenders for the Republican nomination.” Instapundit: “It’s as if they’re just dutiful apparatchiks or something.”

    Work the curse of the drinking class!

  • 430 – Praise God, we are all cleansed by Jesus through the sacraments of Baptism and Confession. No argument there. And really, not much of an argument about the rest, either. We each can judge the candidates by our own prudential criteria. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t trust Gingrich. I’m saying only that we aren’t required to trust him.

  • Pinky – Well taken, but we all need to think about this election and who can beat Obama. With all the problems we face here and abroad, including the loss of family values and morals, we better pay real good attention and try to elect a candidate with our intelligence rather than emotions. I also believe Newt would fight to end Roe Vs. Wade, Gay Marriage, repeal Obamacare and stop the persecution of our Christian faith in USA and maybe abroad. Santorum and Romney (maybe) would too. But they can’t beat Obama as far as I see now. Again I may be wrong. Time will tell. God Bless.

  • Some seemon here (1) to forget that a condition for forgiveness as Matthew tells us “when you go to the altar and remember (a hurt done to you) go seek reconciliation with that person, then come back with your worhip offering. IF Mr Gingrich get an annulment as one would presume, there is a process for both parties to exchange views, and each may respond if each wishes. One cannot either way presume that he made some form of apology or offer to do so, especially since he was becoming Catholic. (2) I remind all on here again that Mr Gingrich continued to explain that – not only was the allegation against his conduct out publicly already but he said his daughters and others who knew the circumstances could have added balance or even repudiated his ex-wife’s ABC story so soon before the SC causus. Reminded me of the accuser of S Court Justice Clarence Thomas to ignore all his precious court appointments but came forward at the Supreme Court. The People for the “American” (?) Way spent a lot of money- I seem to recall four million dollars- to “Bork” Mr Bork whose too many opinions sank him along with the Leftists, lled by the TV producer Norman Lear founder of PFTAW who usedde sit-oms to promote the anti- moral sexula agenda of those simpler days. The abortion question seemed to be their fear. I listened until 2-3 AM the last night of the trestimony and was very impressed to hear the testimony of a professor who rode with them to the airport when he had delivered a lecture at the accuser’s university and they were very animated. Get them with cash or sex if you cannot assassinate them with a rifle. Thank God they lost second time around. i anxiously await the next POTUS to see if 44’s two “pro-abort choosers” get a third added to tip the scales 5-4 IF he wins.

  • Newt has acknowledged his wrong. He does not have to “grovel” before the public.

    Who the heck are you supposed to be quoting, here, CATHOLIC430? That goes past red herring and well into the Wookie defense….

  • (amusingly, on a post that is defending Newt from unequal targeting)

  • If the Republicans nominate Gingrich, there will be a “gender gap” of at least 25 points. As I said on someone else’s site today, I know otherwise impeccably conservative women who cannot stand the man, or at a minimum trust him as far as he can be spat.

    Though I enjoy seeing him rochambeau the media as much as the next person who despises the MSM, that’s not an argument for electability.

  • Dale, It didn’t matter in 1992 or 2008.

    You ain’t seen nothing. This vale of tears can be a lot worse.

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  • Foxfire -I don’t understand what you mean by my post. You sound insulting here. You may disagree with what I say, but you seem to have an edge to your tone. What is red herring and wookie defense? I am trying to give my opinion as everyone else. I do not think Newt Gingrich should have to “grovel” before the public debates on TV regarding his personal past (20 years?). This is an election that is important. He owned up to his past. That should be enough for Catholics to understand. But you don’t have to vote for him if you don’t want to. This is between him, his wife and God. They have been at him about this, which he knew they would. I am not defending his past life, but it’s not relevant now. I don’t know what you did not understand. There is no quote, it’s my own opinion.

  • You sound insulting here.

    And more good, red herring….

    What is red herring and wookie defense?

    It means that you are trying to distract attention and turn a discussion to a subject that you prefer. Donald mentioned one before, and the other is the internet cousin.

    The topic of the post is “Media bias and the morality police.” I’d imagine it took a while to write and format, not counting any time thinking about it and polishing some reasoning.

    You respond by implying that it is about how Newt needs to abase himself to overcome the weight of his past– quotes in that context imply that you are quoting someone, generally in the same stream of conversation that the statement is made– and imply that anyone caring about Newt cheating on multiple wives is defying Jesus.

    This is a topic that you should be able to jump right on board with– the topic of people actually singling out Newt for attacks on his personal history— and you can’t even keep close to it, or avoid the same accusation you’ve made several times already that taking Newt’s weaknesses into account is stepping into God’s area? (With a side implication that those who don’t agree might not “understand” the way they should as Catholics.)

    And you think that I sound insulting….

  • Foxfier – You are too smart for me. You got me!!! 😉 But I will say what I think and feel. Who made you the editor of how posts should be? I have no idea what you mean. I was putting in an opinion and maybe persuade others to look at it in a different way. So what? We are allowed to try to influence each other. This topic is about the Presidency. We as Catholics have to make judgements certainly, but not be judgemental. There have been a lot of judgement on Newt for his marriages. I am talking about using our Catholic Teachings as a guide if this is the only barrier to considering him. I don’t need to use red herrings as you put it. I say what I think and feel and try not to harm anyone or insult anyone. That does not mean that one cannot disagree with me. This is definitely in God’s area when we start using people’s mistakes in life after they have repented. Do we know he did? That’s not my call. He has very good ideas on how to change the way Washington is run. And he is strong enough. This is not written in stone. We don’t know, but it’s all we have. I want Obama out like many others. I think he would be able to do it. By the way, with all due respect, there are so many Catholics that don’t understand the teachings of the church and Christ. I only know what I know and can respond to it. I will always try to bring our faith into areas in a discussion if I feel it appropriate. God Bless.

  • It’s interesting that a lot of the people who are trusting in Newt’s conversion of heart are the same people who most vociferously distrust Romney’s conversion on abortion.

  • I was putting in an opinion and maybe persuade others to look at it in a different way.

    By hijacking posts to say the same thing you’ve said elsewhere on this blog, making the same accusations against those who disagree with you and follow it up with accusations? By arguing against things that aren’t said? (which would be strawman, from Donald’s lovely list.)

    We know what Churchill said about those who can’t change their minds and won’t change their subjects– what is there to say about someone who changes everything to the same subject just to say the same thing over and over?

    But I will say what I think and feel. Who made you the editor of how posts should be?

    I’m someone who is interested in the original topic of the post, rather than reading what you “think and feel” for the umpteenth time.

    Media bias is important and insidious, since it warps the way that reality is portrayed. Examining, evaluating and making arguments for and against aspects of how media bias touches on elections and “politics” (which, sadly, includes things like all humans are human) in general is a very important topic.

    Incidentally, one of the great strengths of the Church is that it is rational, not impulse/emotion based, and it teaches that we can reason out a great deal– one of my favorite gifts from God, really.

  • Paul Z.,

    “It’s interesting that a lot of the people who are trusting in Newt’s conversion of heart are the same people who most vociferously distrust Romney’s conversion on abortion.”

    Newt converted to Catholicism. Romney remains a pagan LDS adherent. That being said, I would not be surprised that the percentage of Mormons who lead moral lives might exceed the percentage of Catholics. Nevertheless, Romney has not converted, and Newt did. Romney simply changed his mind on a subject that he knows he must win in the hearts and minds of conservative Christians which he is demonstrably not.

  • “Pinky: What did Newt do to you?”

    T – I thought that was a well-delivered response and I took it as such, but I’ve been thinking about that question more and more, and I need to answer it seriously.

    He embarrassed me. As a conservative, as a Republican, and as an American, he embarrassed me. He walked out on his first wife, then walked out on his second wife. And that does offend me more than I ever realized. And then – and this may the worst part – he acts huffy when he gets called out on it. And that grates on me. I cheered when he criticized the press for their stupid, liberally-biased questions, and then he uses the same tone to criticize the press for talking about something he doesn’t wanna, just because he doesn’t wanna. And that discredits the entire conservative critique of the media. And that makes me feel like he still doesn’t recognize the difference between the message and himself.

    He reminds me of a problem drinker who’s fallen off the wagon a couple of times, and now gets upset when I check his breath before tossing him my car keys. That’s the same kind of self-importance that derailed a political movement that I believed in. So yes, I expect a little less Pharisee and a little more tax collector from him when the subject of infidelity comes up.

  • Well, well, well…
    If Jesus were here to read all of the hateful comments directed at The President of The USA, and at followers of the Mormon faith, and other, ….as a defense of this Newt Gingrich, he would be astonished to see how his Words have been interpreted.

    As a member of the Roman Catholic Church I have to say it’s really quite perverse, how people that claim to follow the teachings of Christ are so willing to foster hatred and refuse to see the hypocrisy of their actions.

  • Doctor,

    If you voted for that nothing, thank you for ruining my country.

    All that justice and peace stuff is cynical political posturing.

    The government is wrecking the people.

    Today, in St. Louis, your president bragged about forcing religious employers to pay for contraceptive and soon abortions.

  • Pinky,

    “Forgive all injuries.” For our MD obama worshiper: that is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

    I forgive those who harm me.

    Did Newt harm you or is it pride?

    Here’s the drill: repentance, Confession, penance, amendment of life and good works for the greater glory of God Almighty through Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. I Hope (this is one of the Theological virtues) that Newt is on that road, as I hope I am.

    PS: I know the devastation of alcoholism. My brother killed himself with drink, and ruined his family; that killed my father, too. Don’t equate what Newt did with that.

  • The President of the United States is a murderer of unborn babies and a sanctifier of the filth of homosexual sodomy.

    The former governor of Massachusetts is a pagan who believes that Jesus and Lucifer are brothers, God the Father had sexual intercourse with the Virgin Mary, and if he tithes enough to a Mormon Temple, then he himself will be elevated to godhead and put in charge of his own planet after death.

    In earlier times the Church dealt with apostates, heretics and pagans more forcefully than it does today. We’ve gotten better. But remember how St. Peter dealt with Ananias and Sapphira, how St. Paul dealt with the adulterer at the Church in Corinth, and how St. John dealt with Jezebel at Thyatira- what they did would each be classified as that unforgiveable crime of “not nice.”

    Was God “not nice” when He had Sennecharib drag evil King Manasseh by a ring through his nose to a dungeon in Assyria because he murdered babies the way that godless man of sin Obama does? You bet He wasn’t nice. And being God, God does not change one iota. If Obama doesn’t repent, then sadly the same is possible for him. Do we want that? NO! But might it become necessary? YES! So get on your knees and pray for repentance!

    But to today’s liberals who call themselves Catholic, telling such truth in public is hatred but love is giving assent to intrinsic evil. Do you want souls to go to hell? St. Paul handed that incestuous adulterer at Corinth over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his soul would be saved on the last day. 2nd Corinthians chapter 2 records that St. Paul’s efforts were successul – the pervert repented! Better that that happens to Romney and Obama than that they go to hell. How is that unloving? Or do you prefer we love them into hell?

    I despise and loathe liberalism and the doctrine of “be nice and tolerant.” The Saints were anything but nice and tolerant. And so was Jesus.

    PS, Gingrich repented. Period.

  • I will answer to any blog I want unless the owner of this website tells me different. I have not attacked anyone. I have responded to one post personally and that was Pinky. This is my first time on this website. If there is anyone that I have insulted I certainly did not intend to do so. I responded to the ideas in several posts. I can answer the same if I want to. If there are any rules that I am breaking I would appreciate someone else telling me this. It seems only one person is irate with me. If this continues I will call the site myself and complain. This is any open forum. I can repeat certain ideas if I want to. This is America and I have Free Speech. If I don’t like something I read, I will not attack them. I will ignore them. I appreciate feedback, but not condescending posts telling me off.
    God Bless.

  • OK, that is quite enough on this thread about Mormonism. There are any number of grounds to oppose Romney, but Mormonism is not going to be one of them on this blog. Any further comments attacking Romney for his inherited religion will be deleted.

  • Sorry, Donald – that was me. If Romney is the nominee, then I will definitely vote for him. I was trying to make a point with Leon and went too far.


    -10 pts for me.

  • … but not condescending posts telling me off.

    Can dish it out, but not take it?

    If you think I’m irate, I’m afraid you’re very sheltered.

    There are rules.
    They’re linked up top, under comments policy. If you can find a number to “call” the site at, I’d be surprised, but I have no fear of you contacting the editors of TAC “to complain” when– horrors!– someone else says what they “think and feel” about you constantly dragging the topic to how sinful it is for anyone to even considers serial adultery to be worthy of consideration.

  • This is typical of most the mainstream media. If a story can damage a Republican they will spare no effort to get it, even if it is essentially an old story from 14 years ago with little new news in it. A Democrat scandal however, will usually be greeted with indifference by most of the mainstream media until such time as it gets big enough that they have to cover it.

    It’s not just a R/D divide– last fall a little boy (IIRC he’s autistic) went missing, and after several days of searching, a guy came forward and asked the police if they’d looked in an area. They had, so he asked if he could do it again, and walked out with the child in no time– the little boy was fine. He checked out as not involved in the kid’s disappearance, but requested that his name be kept private because it wasn’t his doing, the Holy Spirit had come to him and told him where the boy was. I vaguely remember the story, but hadn’t heard anything about the Holy Spirit being involved; a friend from the area mentioned it, because she gets both the “local” paper and reads the national papers. It was mentioned locally, but gradually got dropped the further you got from the town.

    The worldview of the reporters is probably very important– there’s a theory about history that boils down to, well, history gets boiled down so it fits into stories. If stuff shows up already boiled down, you’d better at least know how the cook tends to be so you know how much salt to add!

  • HA!! Now I figured out what the problem is. I linked to this blog and read some posts and was putting in my opinions not realizing that Donald Mcclarey put a topic that we were supposed to reply to. Again this is my first day on this blog. I did not know there was a format to follow. No wonder some may be confused by my posts. I was replying to some posts regarding Newts candidacy and the attacks because of his past marriages and was trying to relate my Catholic faith to certain responses. DONALD MCCLARY I APOLOGIZE FOR NOT FOLLOWING THE FORMAT. Are you the person who leads the topics for people to respond? I am sorry if I caused any upset here.

  • If you’re that new to blogs, email me– foxfier “at” gmail “dot” com — and I’ll try to explain how it works. Think more like a news paper (this is the ‘front page’) where you can comment on the articles than, say, a bulletin board. (which sounds like what you’re talking about)

  • at 7:50pm
    “Well, well, well…
    If Jesus were here…”
    “As a member of the Roman Catholic Church I have to say it’s really quite perverse, how people that claim to follow the teachings of Christ are so willing to foster hatred and refuse to see the hypocrisy of their actions.”

    Is that comment an example of reverse psychology?
    Also, no “ifs” about the fact that Jesus is here, and not just for “members” only.

    When He commissioned His disciples, Jesus said “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, … , teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
    See also Mark Ch. 16
    Faith, Hope, and Love for God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  • Gingrich’s self-righteous indignation doesn’t play well with me. Let me count the ways . . .

    GINGRICH: I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.

    I know something more destructive, more vicious, and more appalling: serial adultery.

    GINGRICH: Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things.

    So that’s what his wife went through: personal pain. Like some kind of disease or accident. Just one of those things that happens, you know? Divorce happens. Adultery happens.And sometimes adultery happens three times.

    To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question for a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine.

    I know something more despicable: unrepentant adultery combined with self-righteous indignation. The pretense of penitence gave way to the only kind of response that could save Gingrich’s “open” minded libido: deny, deny, counter-accuse.

    Forgiveness is entirely applicable in this situation, whether or not Gingrich really has reformed. He is to be loved with compassion. But love doesn’t refuse to judge character. And Gingrich’s uber-narcissistic character revealed itself with all its grandiose glory last night.

    The only person Gingrich has the right to be appalled at is himself.

  • I know something more despicable: unrepentant adultery combined with self-righteous indignation.

    As has been pointed out, he did repent.

    As much as it may not bother you, I am greatly bothered by rules or standards being selectively applied. As much as Newt’s background makes me slow to trust him– a debt forgiven is made even, not made to have never existed– I wish that he could give the other candidates lessons in how to respond to these gotcha type questions.

  • Bah, “may not bother you relative to everything else,” gotta watch my implications.

  • PS, Gingrich repented. Period.

    I will say this: when I saw Gingrich at the end of mass at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., he was texting, not singing. But you know, here’s his idea of repentance:

    There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.

    Not appropriate? He loved his country too much to love his wives? He worked too hard not to commit adultery over and over again?

    But you know, there is this quote:

    I’ve spent many nights in agonizing tears, Bill, knowing how much my two girls have suffered because of my addiction to lust. I look back on those years, and the only thing that keeps me from giving into despair is my love for God, and my trust in his mercy.

    Now, this quote almost convinces me, except that I just made it up.

  • On the merits of King’s question: it deserved to be asked, and deserved to be asked up front. Why? Because the man is an unquestioned liar, hypocrite, and two-time vow-breaker. It is entirely with his puffed-up ego to request an “open” marriage: especially since it would be far more politically expedient to have a mistress rather than another public scandal. So what if liberals give liberals a pass on sexual ethics: the liberals don’t claim to have repented, and the liberal constituents don’t claim to care. Of course liberals are going to hold conservatives feet to the flames when it comes to perceived hypocrisy. Except in this case, it isn’t perceived.

  • Newt’s repentance is after the scandals, Nate.

    Also, if you listened to his ex-wife, it sounds more like he was complaining she was too clingy. (Probably with good reason, since she was “the other woman” at one point, but it still doesn’t sound like ‘I want to sleep with other people while still married to you’.)

    and the liberal constituents don’t claim to care

    Not true. Those constituents who are publicly catered to care when it’s useful– when it’s not, they don’t.
    Liberals don’t claim to be sexually pure, but they do claim respect for women.

    On the merits of King’s question: it deserved to be asked, and deserved to be asked up front.

    So, accusations– which cannot be proven one way or the other– about a topic that is widely known should be brought up at every excuse, but ONLY if the target is a conservative?

  • “Personally, I find Newt’s behavior in his first two marriages to be despicable, and I still find him preferable to Romney and light years better than Obama.”

    OK, no arguing about tastes, but how exactly do you find a serial adulterer better than Obama, character-wise?

    I mean, why confine yourself to Newt’s marriages while ignoring his affairs?

    And why on earth would you find a treacherous bastard like Gingrich to be more moral than Romney, who at least has stayed with the mother of his children?

    Not to mention Obama, who is also still happily married to the mother of his children?

  • “OK, no arguing about tastes, but how exactly do you find a serial adulterer better than Obama, character-wise?”

    I said that I found him preferable as President. The reasons for that would include:
    1. That Gingrich does not view unborn children as disposable property that can be slain at the whim of the mother, as does Obama.

    2. That Gingrich understands that government spending must be slashed if we are not going to end up in national bankruptcy, unlike Obama.

    3. Gingrich is pledged to repeal ObamaCare.

    4. Gingrich would appoint judges and justices that understand that the Constitution is not a license for them to act as Platonic Guardians and legislate from the bench, unlike Obama.

    The list could go at considerable length, but suffice it to say that I cannot think of any aspect of Obama as President where I would prefer him to Gingrich.

    As to Obama’s character, considering that he has had a lap dog media running interference for him every step of his career, I believe that there are quite a few lacunae in his life that the media has never been eager to fill in. However we do know a few things.

    He and his family for decades attended a Church run by Reverend Wright that seemed to specialize in racial hatred rather than Christianity.

    Obama has been a political associate of William Ayres, an unrepentant member of the Weather underground, and a domestic terrorist responsible for deaths in bombings in the early seventies, including the daughter of a late friend of mine, James Oughten.

    He won his US Senate seat by behind the scenes engineering of the release of damaging divorce information about two of his opponents: Blair Hull in the Democrat primary who was the odds on favorite to win, and Jack Ryan in the general election. Politics is a low business at best, but using information in sealed divorce cases, where none of the parties involved wanted the information released, struck me as bringing politics to an all time low.

    Obama throughout his career has been an outspoken ally of Planned Parenthood, an organization I lovingly refer to as Worse Than Murder, Inc, and I think that is a sign of very bad character indeed.


    Obama’s administration has shown, through its policies, a complete disdain for Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. I would direct you to these posts on this blog:



    If Obama is a man of good character, it is a trait very well concealed.

  • I wonder how many of us have been addicted or still are. The conventional wisdom is Freduian and attributes the root evil to being hurt emtionally in the first five years of life. From that alienation comes addictions to cover for it, medicate for it, and we get Power, which is rooted in the first deadly sin of hubris, excessive pride which is from the dark side of insecurity- then one or two more manifetations such as alcohol, gambling, and various sexual activities. Seeing the various attempts to dismiss, denouce, criticise Newt’s past on here reminds me that not all have dealt with our own demons. IF we have faced, named and dealt with our own demon(s) acknowledged that my sin has been forgiven and Jesus is merciful, we could never say your sin is worse or i cannot forgive you for doing that. Jesus was rather blunt about it, the public sinners of His day would make it to the Kingdom before the tu-tut tut -ers who were sick but did not humbly go to the Hospital where He is the physician. Sexual sins are not in and of themselves the worst kind.

  • In my post the other day I said that Newt has used people in his life as if he viewed them as nothing more than pawns. I would submit that though there is no evidence of adultery in Obama’s life, he has a similar vice, and it is a vice that continues to manifest to this very day. Those unfortunate sad sacks that he trots out at press conferences and State of the Union addresses are nothing more to him than pieces he can use to advance a political agenda.

    An ability keep one’s pants zipped is not the only marker of one’s character.

  • At this point even before the SC caucus, my view of this very long thread is we have said everthing , and repeated it, about all the candidates, repeated all their faults and continued to compare “Evils.” Tennis anyone?

  • Fair enough, Paul. I don’t think anyone is saying that Newt’s errors make Obama virtuous, or even preferable. I think that 430 and especially the MD are getting beaten up not for what they said, but for what a lot of people who say the same things also say. Or, to put that a little more coherently, for sounding like people we might disagree with.

    We all agree on the facts. We all share the same faith (as far as I know). We agree that abortion in America is a great evil, and that three wives doesn’t make you a Mormon.

  • I think that 430 and especially the MD are getting beaten up not for what they said, but for what a lot of people who say the same things also say.

    Where did this happen, specifically? There has been a lot of replying to what people haven’t said, but mostly 430 (accidentally) did it, while Leon dropped one post that was specifically responded to then ignored.

  • Also– cowalker implied that O both more virtuous and preferable to Newt.

  • Foxfier, cowalker didn’t say anything about Obama being preferable to Newt, if you mean preferable as a potential president. T. Shaw called the MD an Obama-worshipper. And I probably said a few obnoxious things, myself. And as to Paul Primavera’s comment about the saints, they weren’t “nice and tolerant”, but they were nice. Nicer than we tend to be on the internet, once a debate gets heated.

  • Pinky- yes, he did imply that O was clearly morally better than Newt, and as he was replying to the statement: Personally, I find Newt’s behavior in his first two marriages to be despicable, and I still find him preferable to Romney and light years better than Obama, that means that he was implying that he was also better president material.

    Yes, Shaw called the MD an Obama-worshiper, probably on the basis of his one comment being a rather out-of-the-blue defense that seemed more like a scan-and-respond than a read-and-respond; perhaps T. Shaw googled Leon’s name and found that he’s got a cottage industry of denouncing conservatives.
    Foonman is a rather unusual name, but he’s on facebook. Doesn’t show up as a doctor anywhere, though, isn’t in the AT&T phone number database, etc, but if you can get google to work for you you’ll get LOTS of “I denounce you” type statements. (Amusing: search for ‘foonman “As a lifelong Republican”‘. Less than a week since he left the party, though there’s years of attacks….)

    And as to Paul Primavera’s comment about the saints, they weren’t “nice and tolerant”, but they were nice.

    Punching people is nice?! (old Saint Nick) Jerome was, as I remember, a really cranky old man, and I seem to remember a lot of saints just wanted to be left the heck alone. St. de Paul, by his own description? I seem to remember that some groups of monks came about because the head holy man wanted to be left alone, and the more harsh hurdles they put in place, the more men came to follow them.

    The saints are to be loving— and frequently, that is ANYTHING but nice!

  • Professor Joseph Campbell on Media Bias: “ABC News offered yesterday a risible lineup of two-timing politicians that omitted Bill Clinton, the philandering 42nd president, but included Thomas Jefferson, about whom the evidence of sexual dalliance is thin at best.”

    Sorry, I just learned Obama gave the Church a year of grace before it must pay for abortions and contraception.

    I now realize it is forbidden to say bad things about President Obama or his virtuous acolytes. I keep forgetting all this is punishment for 400 years of racism.

    I will forthwith STFU.

    There is no evident of Obama being or doing anything. We don’t know the name of his dope dealer. We don’t know the name of the blond he slept with for 18 months. That’s adultery, too.

    Somewhere some Birther found evidence our scourge received college student loans in connection with a program intended for foreign students.

    The whip won’t air his birth certificate because “what the eff does that have to do with punishing you for being racists?”

  • “And as to Paul Primavera’s comment about the saints, they weren’t ‘nice and tolerant’, but they were nice.”

    Saint Paul wrote that he hope that the Judaizers at the Church in Galatia would cut it all off – Galatians 5:12. St. John the Baptist called the Pharisees a brood of vipers – “who warned you to flee the wrath to come?” – Matthew 3:7-12. Say comments like that here at TAC and you could get banned!

  • Buyers’ Remorse Department?: “Almost every employer and insurer in the country forced to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans… Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.” designate-Cardinal Tim Dolan, NYC.

    Not altogether true: Obamacare forces US citizens to buy health insurance.

    The Scourge must think we’re stupid: He says he’ll prohibit the Canada oil pipeline; impose life/death-crisis-solving Obamacare; and force the Church to pay for abortion drugs, etc. after they re-elect punishment for 400 years of racism. Four more years!

  • See, I used to think this way too. You can always find selected quotes that make the saints look combative. But I recently read a biography of St. Joan of Arc – I was expecting her to be an angry, violent anti-Brit. It turns out that she was a compassionate person who prayed for her opponents and begged them to leave the field of battle and go to Confession. Then I read a biography of St. Dominic – surely, he’s got to be a tough one, right? A crusader, the proto-Inquisitor? He won people over by his preaching and simplicity of life. The trait that struck people most about him was his kindness. St. Frances de Sales, a leader of the Counter-Reformation who converted the French Calvinists, of all people, did so by being the warmest guy you’d ever want to meet and never giving up on anyone. And the more I’m reading, the more I find that these great figures of the Church were not heavy-handed.

    We live in a screwed-up time, when polite people won’t stand up for anything. In response to the wishy-washiness of our age, we’ve become convinced that we have to be hard. We (I) want our saints to be tough guys who are right but not good, because that’s something that I know I can be. Well, guess what – we’re supposed to be both. I don’t have the right to be nasty to people online simply because what I’m saying is true. We’re supposed to be right and good, have truth and love. And sometimes love *is* saying the difficult thing, but that doesn’t mean that being a difficult person is a sign of charity.

    And this is something I’ve really been struggling with. I want Father Kolbe to be shooting Nazis with a high-powered rifle. I prefer the ornery Latin Mass crowd to the feel-good Novus Ordo gang. But truth be told, I know that we’re supposed to be as nice as the dippiest liberal and as correct as the most bitter orthodox person. That path is so narrow that I don’t think I can make it sometimes, but it’s the right path.

  • Pinky, for what it’s worth, I found that in teaching inner city high school seniors that a happy intolerance always worked wonders in dealing with misbehavior. If I gave them an inch, they’d take a mile. If I showed the the slightest negativity, they’d escalate.

    A ruthless intolerance of evil, combined with a joyfulness of spirit, is about the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Especially when I didn’t feel very joyful, or I didn’t feel like confronting some small infraction. But it kind of sounds a lot like what you’re describing in the saints.

  • We are called to love God with our whole beings and with all our might. Second, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves.

    That love does not always mean we should be nice.

    One translation of the Old Testament saying is, “Spare the rod, hate the child.”

    The humanists with their blinders on human dignity seem too often to discard the concept of evil and that evil must with charity be resisted.

    Our ardor/zeal must be for the glory of God and for the salvation of souls, our’s and our sisters’ and brothers’. “What has a man gained if he wins the entire World, but has lost his immortal soul.” St. Paul, I think.

    From the Spiritual Works of mercy:

    Admonish the sinner.

    Counsel the doubtful.

    Instruct the ignorant.

    These may require us to be other than “nice.”

    Then, more Spiritual Works:

    Forgive all injuries.

    Pray for the living and the dead.

    Did I miss any?

  • You can always find selected quotes that make the saints look combative.

    When did we go from “nice” to “not combative”?

    And how does being able to find a few saints who don’t strike you as “combative” show that none of them are, in the face of the testimony of the saints themselves?

    Congratulations, you proved that some saints aren’t combative in your view, even when they are famous for leading soldiers into battle— taken with the other evidence offered, there are a wide range of saints. I’ll take saint Maximilian Kolbe and raise you St. Gabriel Possenti, Michael the Archangel and Jesus himself in the Temple.

    Possibly, the root of this entire issue is one of definition– what on earth do you mean when you say “nice”? Generally, it’s used to mean pleasant or agreeable— neither of which describe a saint when faced with the wrong situation; on the other hand, from the way you’re using it, you’re using “nice” to mean “not a total donkey,” part of the time, and the rest of the time it’s not clear what on earth you mean.

    Paul P. clearly used it in the “non-confrontational” sense.

  • These days just plainly call for a return to objective reality.
    The media and Oval Office people are serving. The baffled by b.s. voting public is: either being good so no one shuts them up with insults and name tags or worse; or on to the rules of acquiring public funds for support and care. Hear no, see no, speak no (don’t even say the word…). The rest of the voting public has 75% of 2012 left to not stfu about good and evil, truth and hypocrisy, oaths of office and accountability, budgets and accounting, bailouts and accounting, debt and accounting, money trails and accounting, humor and aspersion, virtues and values, or propaganda and facts.

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  • Foxfier – I guess I’m thinking mostly of the virtue of gentleness. And yes, I know that there are times when anger is appropriate.

  • Pinky-
    so, you scolded Paul P. for saying the saints weren’t nice when you meant they sometimes express gentleness?

    You then defend your claim that the saints were (implied, all) nice by pointing out, basically, that they were not the idiot bulls in a china shop that you had imagined them to be? Rather than caricatures, they were… well… holy people? Perhaps ones that express the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity? What made you think that Paul P. did not know that?

    Incidentally, gentleness isn’t a virtue. It’s one of the fruits of the Spirit.

    Here’s from a bit below the one mention of gentleness, the “in brief” explanation of the cardinal virtues:
    1833 Virtue is a habitual and firm disposition to do good.
    1834 The human virtues are stable dispositions of the intellect and the will that govern our acts, order our passions, and guide our conduct in accordance with reason and faith. They can be grouped around the four cardinal virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
    1835 Prudence disposes the practical reason to discern, in every circumstance, our true good and to choose the right means for achieving it.
    1836 Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give God and neighbor their due.
    1837 Fortitude ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.
    1838 Temperance moderates the attraction of the pleasures of the senses and provides balance in the use of created goods.

    (Whole big huge quote because I couldn’t find a good spot to make it any more brief. It’s like it was written by experts or something. /joke)

  • I wish to thank and concur with Dr LF. I have quoted St Aaugustine often, we love the sinner but hate the sin. And we have absolutely no business judging the sinner, EXTERNALLY, without knowing the facts or circumstances of the sin- we certainly cannot rely on the media for “truth” and “facts” As to judging the person’s heart – that is always off limits, Jesus has that brief. Now as to saints having faults. Being a saint does not mean the person was faultless. Some had bad tempers, St Jerome who translated the Bible had a notorious temper. Augustine was a sex addict in today’s terms before his conversion, then lived a chaste life and became a bishop. As long as each of us is in this flawed world of sin and grace, we can move forward- Newt can be a faithful husband and it is possible that the very young Mr Obama could eventually become a pro-life citizen. No one of us can guess, Ask St Paul about his striking conversion on the road to Damascus; or the woman in the Roe v Wade case in 1973 who is now for unborn life and a Catholic.

  • Foxfier – Gentleness is a virtue, but not a cardinal virtue.

  • HT-
    We’re not judging the state of the sinner’s soul, we’re trying to figure out if someone is up to a difficult job when he’s got a huge, known weakness that he publicly has admitted to
    . And nobody was talking about if the saints were perfect– Pinky just claimed they were always nice, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of what he(?) means.

    Again, you’re not being very clear. Are you speaking of “virtue” in the secular sense of “a trait showing good morals,” or in the Catholic sense of “a habitual and firm disposition to do the good”? In the former way, you’re right, in the latter, you’re mistaken, since gentleness is a possible result rather than a cause. (Which is rather cool, when you think of it– our language has been so influenced by the Church that the natural drift of common use is theologically important! That’s even bigger than when I first realized as a little kid that holidays were “holy-days” and that it’s “Christ’s Mass”– not just Christian, but Catholic.)
    Either way, the problem stands– there is a long list of examples of saints not being gentle in the least, following in the footsteps of Jesus in the Temple.

  • The Theological virtues: Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest is Love

    The human virtues: fortitude, justice, prudence, and temperance. Sometimes patience listed as a virtue.

    Moral courage (fortitude) is generally missing but is the most vital human virtue. I think General Patton said that.

  • I was referring to earlier comments about the saints’ foibles and faults.
    AS FOR YOU: What accurate knowledge does any of us have about Newt’s marriages, his former wives’ personaliities, their dynamic together, how emotionally mature he was when married to them- much younger and had a tough role in Congress.
    I am not making excuses but pointing out possible factors one considers when we have not “Walked a mile in the other person’s mocassins.”

  • Get the theology and biblical data straight. there are three theological vrtues; four cardinal virtues, produence justice temperance and forrtitude- cardinal from the Latin for hinge; patience is one of the several fruits of the Holy Spirit listed by St Paul; the gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in Isaiah, applied to Christ in prophecy and to the confirmed person.

  • HT: Does this mean I don’t get a gold star?

    My little Rosary booklet says for the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, The Carrying of the Cross, we should desire the Virtue of Patience. That’s where I got that.

  • TShaw, I’ll add this copied from the back page of the St. Gregory Society calendar, with which I was gifted:

    Three Theological Virtues:
    Faith, Hope, Charity (Like you said, Love for God and neighbor)

    Four Cardinal Virtues:
    Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance

    Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:
    Wisdom, Counsel, Knowledge, Understanding, Fortitude, Piety, Fear of the Lord

    Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit:
    Charity, Understanding, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness
    Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continence, Chastity

    Three Evangelical Counsels:
    Poverty, Chastity, Obedience

    Four Last Things:
    Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell

    Seven Capital Sins:
    Pride, Lust, Gluttony, Covetousness, Anger, Envy, Sloth

    Four Marks of The Church:
    One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic

    Four Truths Necessary to believe for Salvation:
    1. That God exists.
    2. That there are three Persons in One God.
    3. That the Son of God became man and died for our salvation.
    4. That God rewards the good and punishes the wicked.

    The Spiritual Works of Mercy:
    1. To admonish the sinner
    2. To instruct the ignorant
    3. To counsel the doubtful
    4. To comfort the sorrowful
    5. To bear wrongs patiently
    6. To forgive all injuries
    7. To pray for the living and the dead

    The Corporal Works of Mercy:
    1. To feed the hungry
    2. To give drink to the thirsty
    3. To clothe the naked
    4. To visit the imprisoned
    5. To shelter the homeless
    6. To visit the sick
    7. To bury the dead

    There’s also the Ten Commandments, Eight Beatitudes, Mysteries of the Rosary, and the Precepts of the Church….
    It’s like a syllabus and I wish everyone had this one page reference for the coming 2012 discourse.

  • Patience=Fortitude=Moral Courage=virtuous ways
    Tomayto, tomahto

  • Thanks for putting them all in one convenient list. The Beatutudes from Mt 5 and Luke 4 would fill it out. Commandments for those who are stuck back there without working on the more demanding Beatitudes !

  • Of course you get a gold star for praying the rosary and an added bonus for associating patience with the Crowning with Thorns. Offer the next rosary for the post-ers on several topics who cannot make a point on many blogs without attacking and judging matters of which they do not have all the facts.

  • AS FOR YOU: What accurate knowledge does any of us have about Newt’s marriages, his former wives’ personaliities, their dynamic together, how emotionally mature he was when married to them- much younger and had a tough role in Congress.
    I am not making excuses but pointing out possible factors one considers when we have not “Walked a mile in the other person’s mocassins.”

    Aaaaannndd…. your point is….?
    That has nothing to do with either the conversation up to now, nor with what I actually said.
    Incidentally, while 38 might be considered “much younger” than sixty something, he was only a newbie rep the first time; 50-something isn’t that much younger than sixty-something, though he was a big man in the party for the second breakdown a decade back.

    Kind of ironic that you talk about folks judging without knowing all the facts when you can’t get the known facts right– even as simple as what was said right here!

  • CMR has a good post on the topic of “forgiveness.”

  • Chronological age has little to do with emotional and moral maturity for men ( more SO than women) as I review the world to date. Male menopause can be very devastating to men and their wives and families; human sexuality ” only dies in men three hours after men die ” as the old saw has it. judgment applies to deciding with all the facts available, if we only heard it, read it or saw it on TV from someone else it is hearsay as the Civil Courts rule.

Newt Is (or at Least Was) Kind of a Jerk

Thursday, January 19, AD 2012

Marianne Gingrich’s claim that Newt wanted an open marriage is the news story of the day.  In all honesty, this doesn’t tell us that much more about Newt than we didn’t know already.  Some have already said that this is no worse than simply cheating on your spouse, and, politically speaking, this might not have any impact at all on the race.

That being the case, it does serve as a forceful reminder that Newt Gingrich is kind of a jerk.  In fact, I think that if his ex-wife’s claims are true (and admittedly, we don’t know for certain), then it is even a bit creepier than just having an affair.  It indicates that Newt is not that concerned about the feelings of other people.  Based on what we know of the man, he gives off a vibe that he views other people as simply pawns.  While he would hardly be the first such personality to become president, it doesn’t mean we should be so flippant about allowing such a man to obtain the highest office in the land.

Now, we know that Newt has had a conversion, and that people change over the course of their lives.  Perhaps the Newt from the mid 1990s is not the same man that he is today.  We can’t really judge the state of a man’s soul, and I don’t propose to do that now.  But we have to consider a couple of things.  First of all, as we are all too well aware, simply becoming a Catholic does not make one a saint.  We are abundantly aware that we are all sinners, and though we all hope that a closer relationship to Jesus fostered through the Church makes us better people, it’s still a struggle.

More importantly, this didn’t happen when Newt was a young man.  Newt was nearly two decades older than I am right now when this all happened.  Yes, men older than Newt have had conversions of the heart.  But a conversion is not necessarily a transformation into a completely new man.

I don’t know what kind of person Newt is right now.  But I know what he has been, and I’m not going to turn a blind eye to an individual’s character simply because people on the other side of the aisle are all too willing to do so.

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29 Responses to Newt Is (or at Least Was) Kind of a Jerk

  • She has said this before. This is her first on TV but the story has been around. He has apologised for it all. I miss you point, age has nothing to do with whether a man or woman are satisfied in a marriage. He could have carried on secret liaisons, but was open with her about it all. Not ideal but this side of heaven few people are.

  • The point about age is that he was not some young cad who had not yet fully matured. He was a past middle-aged man whose moral character had fully developed. As I said, it doesn’t mean that he couldn’t have changed, but let’s be honest about who he was.

    Not ideal but this side of heaven few people are.

    Not all of us habitually break marriage vows or treat others as disposable playthings. Yes, we are all sinners. But, well, some sin more than others. While we’re not electing saints, can we at least have a little bit higher of a bar than this?

  • Yeah, honestly, given how I felt about Clinton in the same time period this was going on, this makes me pretty damn reluctant to give Newt any support.

    We already know the guy is a policy loose cannon. Now we have further evidence (not like we didn’t have evidence before) that he’s personally unreliable. There’s just not much to like about the guy. (Other than not being Obama, of which the US currently has over 300 million.)

    Santorum or Romney.

  • Imagine the polling disparity between male and female voters if Newt gets nominated. Won’t be pretty. The only way he could win is if the economy tanks more than it has now. Too much baggage, too little discipline, too much of a risk of Bad Newt returning. He’s a better debater than Obama–by far–but that won’t move enough voters, all other things being equal.

    I’ve tried to talk myself into supporting Gingrich, but I find my arguments less than compelling. The only one left who doesn’t give me the willies is Santorum. And I don’t see him winning either.

  • *in with the obvious joke*

    Maybe she’s trying to help him with the hard-line Ayn Rand crowd….

  • Yeah, our choices for president this Fall have been whittled down to: the scrub already occupying the Office, the milquetoast moderate flip-flopper, the libertarian loon, the egotistical sociopath, and Rick Santorum. Such a tough call for me, but I’m gonna go with Santorum.

    Oh, but he endorsed Specter.

    Again, look at the alternatives.

  • In reply to Newt is a Jerk…the whole purpose of the Catholic Church is to save souls. What good is it if we repent before God and then our own community condemns our past when Christ has blotted out our sin? Don’t you think this is very judgmental? I would remind the brethren that we are all sinners and it may take a longer time for transformation, but that is between us and the Lord. If our lives have changed then we need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Jesus told us, “The man who says he does not sin is a liar.” The church is for “sinners”. Duh?! Newt Gingrich is the only candidate I believe that can beat Barack Obama, a support of abortions and gay marriage among other things I am sure we know God would not want. This is a fact. Not judging. Barack Obama is “not a christian”. He can’t be with these ideals. Remember the type of men Jesus chose to establish his church. They were far worse in some areas. Please think. I like Rick Santorum and maybe in another election he would win, but I believe Newt can beat him and we have a better chance to save our country and our church. God Bless.

  • Wait a second, Paul! What do you mean, you don’t become a saint automatically? No one told me I was going to have to *work* on being good. That does it, I’m becoming an evangelical. They don’t have to do anything.

    In the spirit of ecumenism, I would like to denounce my last paragraph.

    More seriously, this interview doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. Did Newt use the phrase “open marriage”? Or did he just say that he didn’t want to break off his affair? There may not be much of a practical difference between the two, but the creepiness factor of an open marriage is way worse.

    430, I don’t think it’s a gimme that Newt could win the general, or that Santorum or Romney couldn’t.

  • I also think our country needs to wake up. Newt tells it like it is. Our people don’t seem to hear or see anymore. It’s like we’ve been in a fog for so many years, including our church. My personal opinion only, I think God has allowed us to be kicked in the pants and many don’t know what to do with “reality”. We are in trouble in our country and in our church. The idea of offending anyone or hurting someone’s feelings has left us with a group of whining liberals and cowards as politicians. Newt knew he would take the pain and decided to do it anyway. Most would never dare with the baggage that Newt has had in his life. Oh how God does confound the wise! Think, pray and ask for wisdom. If Newt can’t beat Obama, than nobody can unless we have another candidate. When are we going to see a democrat rise up and fight for these values we have held in our country. We are a free nation and if we want to stay this way, we better get tough and stop attacking Catholics that have repented.

  • Pinky, you may be right. But I speak as a Catholic and I can only vote as a Catholic. Romney made it clear last week that “contraception is working just fine and we should leave it alone”. So….we still have two Catholics available to us. Santorum and Gingrich. Gingrich is pro-life and for marriage between man and woman. So does Santorum. Ok. We do have a choice on morals this election. And we have a Catholic that could beat Obama. I do not believe that Santorum can beat Obama. I believe Newt can. I also believe that Romney is just not tough enough. Romney is very wishy washy and always sounds like he is stuttering and nervous in his answers. Not very sure at times how to answer. This is just the primary. How would he do in the general election. We would be taking a chance we cannot afford this time. Newt is experienced, knowledgeable and not afraid to speak his mind. We need to wake up and listen. Hear what Newt is saying. He speaks clearly and explains what he means. I can’t believe the sharpest minds on many websites distort what he says all the time. They don’t seem to “hear” or understand what he says and means. He will beat Obama if he wins. We need tough. Look at the Presidents we have had in the White House and people judge Newt? Really??

  • And we have a Catholic that could beat Obama. I do not believe that Santorum can beat Obama.

    How do you know that? If anything, the morally clean gentleman who twice won statewide election in a moderately blue state is more likely to win a general election than one of the most nationally reviled political figures of the past 20 years. Honestly, Obama is so unpopular that almost any conservative who retains the support of the base is very likely to win. Finally, considering the ins and outs of this primary season, I don’t know how anybody can predict the mood of the electorate 10 days out, let alone 10 months.

  • Paul, that’s a valid point, and one that was really driven home during the last election. Everyone assumed that the election was going to be “about” foreign policy, and that’s how McCain and Obama positioned themselves. That was before the stock market lost a billion points in September. We don’t know yet what this election is going to be about. BTW, that’s one of the problems with such early primaries. Ideally, each party would choose a candidate who is qualified and has a vision for all fronts, but in truth each party makes decisions about a candidate’s marketability on the issues that they think will be important in November. And that’s a long way away. As I’ve said before, I hope the election isn’t about US/Pakistan relations and government meat inspection, because that would mean that something horrible had happened on those fronts. We can somewhat safely predict that the economy and the budget are going to be major issues – but there’s a full 1/4 of a presidential term between now and the election.

  • Paul, Good question. South Carolina has to determine who wins this Saturday. Based on the polls, Santorum so far, is not doing good. Maybe I should have said that if Newt wins the nomination, then I do think he can beat Obama. You might be right with Santorum, but I just dont’ see him tough enough. I could be wrong. I do hope one of them beats Obama. I certainly do not want Romney. I can’t anyway. He approves contraception which is a no no to Catholics. I know some don’t count that, but I do. I have to as a Catholic. BUT…to assume “anyone” is better than Obama and would win it, I beg to differ. All would BE a better President than Obama, but NOT all can beat Obama. I do hope you are right. Thanks for your post.

  • That was then. This is now.

    Big thing: Newt is (and always will be) not Obama.

    Seems talking about someone’s divorce is how Obiemessiah got to be a senator.

  • Mr Gingrich has already done yeoman service by breaking the mould of political discourse. He has taken on all comers; Wall Street predators, race greviance mongers and the Muslim crybabies. By doing so he has made easier for genuinely republican values to prevail.

  • Newt Gingrich is and was a statesman who can think on his feet without the need for “advisors”. Elections are not the same as opportunities for speculation and judgment about personal aspects of a life being lived. He is and was able and willing to address the state of the nation.

    I object to the term ‘jerk’ here. There are and have been others elected to govern that earned the term, however.

  • Instapundit: Seen on Face Book, “I don’t care if Gingrich was a swinger at this point. If he gets the nod, he gets my vote, because at least he was screwing a woman and NOT AMERICA.”

  • Bet he’d get some work for the USA done at the desk, too.

  • Harsh crowd here, last I heard him say he has sought reconciliation and forgiveness. If God can forgive him so can we.

    Let’s move on from it and see it for what it is, an attack by a liberal media network one day before the primaries with the sole purpose of derailing Newt. Like him or not, ABC was out to get him. They dug up dirt from a long time ago and threw it all over the internet.

  • No doubt about it, what Gingrich did to his ex-wife was the act of an unmitigated cad. There is no excusing it nor is there any way around it…but there is Christ’s offer of forgiveness, along with the warning that those who don’t forgive will not be forgiven. Leave it to the people on the left to say that if you ever once sinned, you are forever condemned…leave it to them to assert that if you’ve done wrong, you’re only way to “redemption” is to claim that doing the wrong thing is virtuous (this is how “gay rights” got its foothold). It is for us to ask – what has Gingrich done, lately? If, as I understand, God in some way forgets our sins once we ask forgiveness, then surely we can do as much. A man who cheated on his wife last month is someone who needs to go in to the spiritual dog house for a while in order to find redemption…someone who cheated on his wife more than a decade ago and has since converted to the one, true Church is someone who long ago left the dog house.

  • Are we done with the red herrings yet?

  • “We can’t really judge the state of a man’s soul, and I don’t propose to do that now. ”

    …and a few minutes later:

    “our choices for president this Fall have been whittled down to: the scrub already occupying the Office, the milquetoast moderate flip-flopper, the libertarian loon, the egotistical sociopath, and Rick Santorum.”

    what a swell guy you are Paul….getting tips from Mark Shea?

  • You are correct Jasper, and I should have been more temperate in my remark there regarding Gingrich. But I do stand by the fact that we cannot be naive with regards to the man’s character.

  • Did anyone on here see or hear or read today the full Mr Gingrich interview by Mr King.? He said his two daughters made themselves available to ABC regarding his second marriage, as well as friends who knew the facts. Not allowed! Character is not just about fidelity in marriage. It is about one’s whole life, past to present. Take away the spin-doctors, the advisers, the speech writers and the teleprompter and what is the real character of any POTUS? The candidate is much more “transparent” to use the much-quoted word today. As a US citizen looking back at the scene from Europe, Newt was a real human being last night.

  • As I read history only one perfect human was without sin and He was crucified and accused of being a traitor and worked His miracles with Old Nick himself. I add King David to the list of sinners who kept their jobs, a miurderer-adulterer who wrote Psalm 51 in repentance. Mr Gingrich as I noted said that ABC refused to allow his daughters and some in-the-know people tell what happened with his ex-wife. He said the reports were not true. To me that puts his reply to Mr. King, in contrext, using ABC as an excuse to nail Newt. IF I were back there he would have my vote as the most qualified, less burdened by baggage candidate who has any chance at beating the incumbent in debate and on the issues. He is not running to replace Jesus or the Pope but to unseat a man who has not met his own goals and broken too many promises. And came from Chicago’s School of Democratic Public Service and was a community organiser which are not really qualifications for the POTUS.

  • HT, I think we can set the bar for our candidates somewhere between Christ and Lucifer.

    And no, I am not comparing Newt or anyone else to Satan. I just think that it’s a little bit extreme to say that no one is perfect, therefore we should have absolutely no concern about a candidate’s character. To me that is moral relativism run amok.

  • If my Irish humour may be excused, I do not consider Mr Obama “Lucifer,” the Light-bearer. He is not that ” bright” without the teleprompter!

  • If my Irish humour may be excused, I do not consider Mr Obama “Lucifer,” the Light-bearer. He is not that ” bright” without the teleprompter!