Saturday, January 21, 2012
South Carolina...And Beyond
I'm not encouraged by the results last night.
There's absolutely nothing more President Obama and the Democrats want than a prolonged, drawn out primary campaign that spews bad blood and wastes resources..while the president continues to consolidate his re-election campaign unopposed on all fronts.
Obviously a part of Saturday's result had to do with the despicable way the dinosaur media besmirched itself and Newt Gingrich's spirited response. The press launched outrageous attacks on both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney and it was refreshing to see them slapped around for it. So the voters of South Carolina apparently surged at the last minute for Newt Gingrich, giving him a lopsided victory over Mitt Romney.
This is all very well, but is 'sending a message' what's wanted or needed? Especially if it means re-electing President Obama, or even worse, putting another unfit individual in the Oval Office?
I want emphasize again that there is no true Reagan-type conservative in this race as of yet. Newt Gingrich in his own words is a Teddy Roosevelt-style progressive , Rick Santorum leans towards 'compassionate conservatism ' ala' George W. Bush and Ron Paul is an isolationist conspiracy theorist fruitcake, while Mitt Romney as I've pointed out before is a pragmatist rather than an ideological conservative, who bends according to what he feels he can get accomplished.
None of them is going to change the climate in Washington significantly, so competence and character take on an increased significance.At present, we have neither embodied in our current president, and it's essential he be defeated.
The simple fact is that in my opinion, Newt Gingrich lacks the basic character and demeanor to be president.
Intelligent and articulate? Definitely so, but much of his career has been a series of questionable and self-serving events. In that, he resembles both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who also saw government as a path to personal entitlement and wealth.The incident of his throwing a tantrum during his tenure as Speaker over being seated in the rear of Air Force One en route to the Rabin funeral and being asked to deplane via the rear exit upon returning is a revealing one.
If you look at the Republican members of Congress he led, not only did they ask him to resign as Speaker but few of them if any have anything good to say about him or his leadership. That says something to me ...as does his personal history.
The thing that bothers me most about Newt's Gingrich's story with both his ex-wives is not the adultery per se - stuff happens, after all - or the 'he said she said' stuff, but a simple, easily proven fact - in both cases, he started sniffing around, found someone willing to cheat with him and dumped wife # 1 and wife #2 once he found out they had become ill, #1 with cancer and #2 with MS.
To my mind, that's simply not how a decent man acts.And again, it says a great deal about how he would conduct himself as president.We had a number of similar danger signs about both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Admittedly, Newt Gingrich would likely squash President Obama in a debate, but only if there's actually a debate. President Obama is not obligated to hold one, and if the president is significantly ahead in the polls,he might use the excuse that he's simply 'too busy' running the country to do so. Meanwhile President Obama's shills in the dinosaur media would be broadcasting every nuance of Newt Gingrich's foibles - and there's quite a bit to get into.
In short, even if he were to win, there's a good chance we might come to regret a President Gingrich for the reasons I outline here. Character is destiny, as a very wise man once said centuries ago.
My preferred candidate chose to sit things out in Wasilla, and I did a great deal of thinking about the GOP field, based more on what I consider character and fitness for office rather than ideology or a chimera like 'electability'. All the stuff about the GOP establishment aside, there are a lot of reasons I consider Mitt Romney to be the most qualified and the best choice based on the field as it exists today.
If Newt Gingrich runs against Barack Obama, I will vote for him, but with my nose held and with a deep sense of foreboding. I simply don't think he's what the country needs at this juncture. People change, but we had better think very carefully before we anoint him.
My good friend Hube also weighs in on this subject here.