Yes, I Still Support Newt Gingrich

Still with Newt...

Periodically, I get a number of emails from people from various camps asking me why I don’t abandon Newt Gingrich and go along with one of the others, and surprisingly, it’s not usually the Rick Santorum supporters who do this, as I suspect they get much of that from others themselves.  What makes it interesting to me is that it always takes the form of a question usually along the lines of “Are you still sticking with Newt?” This is followed by a string of talking points that broadcast the Romney narrative of the day.  I love the people who take the time to e-mail me, but the copy-and-paste pollution in my inbox really needs to cease, so I’m going to explain to you in detail why it is that I support Newt Gingrich, and why I’ve remained unconvinced by any of the arguments lodged with me against him.  As I’ve noted many times, my preferred candidate announced she would stay out of the nomination chase in October, and that left me with a difficult chore in looking through the many candidates who were still in this race at that time.  I began to take on the process of measuring twice, or thrice, in the hope of cutting just once, so I patiently waited to see what would happen as I weighed their records in detail.

If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time, you will know that I don’t think much of the Republican establishment, because too often, their reflexes are to big government, and this makes me cringe as a conservative.  I started going back and looking at speeches that various candidates had made throughout their careers, and I noticed that one of them had said some things at times that seemed to clash with the conventional wisdom at the time, but later turned out to be almost precisely correct.  One of these was Newt Gingrich’s claim as early as 1993(that I found) that the Democrats were going to be in real trouble, and that he saw the very real possibility that Congress could turn over to Republican control.  The media scoffed.  The establishment chortled endlessly.  In 1994, following the lead of his “Contract with America,” the Republicans indeed took control of both houses of Congress for the first time in my lifetime, and the lifetimes of many who were more than a decade my senior.  The Republican party in Congress had moved from what seemed the permanent back bench to the front row, and I was ecstatic to see it.  The vision to attack the problem and see it through was the product of the work of many people, but none more than Newt Gingrich.

The “Contract with America” by itself was a unique prospect in American politics.  This bill of particulars offered real and dramatic reforms in the way Congress would function.  Gingrich couldn’t promise passage on all of the items, because some would require the signature of the President, and others would require super majorities, but he promised to bring them all up for a vote, and at least give us a chance to see these items debated, and voted on the record.  Not everything passed, but that was fine with most voters who recognized the effort entailed in getting all of this even into consideration.  There’s a reason it’s called the “Republican Revolution of 1994,” and that revolution’s general had been none other than Newt Gingrich.  While Mitt Romney was running away from the legacy of Ronald Reagan in his losing Senate fight with Ted Kennedy, Newt was busy leading his party to the largest victory and swing in party control in history, reaching all the way down into State and local elections, with whole legions of lower-level politicians abandoning the Democrat party to join the Republicans.

I also remember that in 1993, when Bill Clinton had made his first lady the lead on pushing his health-reform plans, it was Newt Gingrich who rallied what was still a dismally weak minority party to stop the advance of socialism in the form of what was then known widely as “Hillary-care.”  He coined several phrases, and radio talk-show hosts ran with them, and the people became angry and burned up the phone lines to Washington DC in protest, and the whole sorry affair terminated with a stunning rebuke of an ambitious health-care overhaul that may have been in many ways even more obnoxious than Obama-care.  Without the tireless efforts in opposition laid down by Gingrich, there might have been a pretty good chance that we’d have been shafted nearly two decades earlier by the socialistic ambitions of the Democrat party.

I also remember that when the government shut-down occurred in 1995, Bill Clinton began running against Congress for his upcoming re-election campaign, but that until Bob Dole wavered, then a candidate for the GOP nomination, there might have been a good chance that the “Gingrich who Stole Christmas” might well have prevailed.  Instead, the Senate Republicans began to waver, and it fell apart, and Clinton rode that opening.  What few people note, but I have not forgotten, is who had been left bleeding (politically) on the field of battle that day, and it was Newt Gingrich.  He took the hits, and he took the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but still he managed to push a welfare reform bill through that at least began the process of rolling back big government.

People like too point out that Mitt Romney had balanced budgets as governor of Massachusetts, but like any reasonable person will notice, under the laws of that state, there’s no choice but to do so.  That’s not the case with the Federal Government, as they have such deficit spending authority as they can enact.  Still, Gingrich pushed the United States to a condition approximating a balance budget for the first time since I was a toddler, not because he had a legal requirement to do so, but because he thought that the ethics involved in restraining the debt we pass to our children demands it.  As you have seen with subsequent Congresses, that’s hardly been any real restraint upon their big-spending ways.  For the terms Gingrich led the House, it had been a matter critical to the notion of responsible governance, and while they failed to pass a balanced budget amendment, they made the determination that they needed no law commanding them to do what is right by the American people.

There are those who have been critical of some of the positions taken by Speaker Gingrich in the interim, and admittedly, at times I have been among their number.  As he’s admitted, the episode with Nancy Pelosi talking up Global Warming was one of those instances in which he had it wrong, but he’s since recanted and amended his position, and he’s accepted that it was a mistake for which he will rightly take a bit of a black eye.  While this is politics, and such bruises seem to live forever, I remember that while he may have made an advocacy commercial, when he was in power he never imposed policies in pursuit of such thinking, unlike Governor Romney, who actually implemented his own regulatory scheme as Governor that were for all intents and purposes the forerunner of a rudimentary cap-and-trade system.

One of the other things that’s been a matter of focus of the negative attacks against Gingrich has been the complaint that at one time, he advocated what sounded like a health insurance mandate.  Since I’ve been paying attention to politics for a long while, I know that when Speaker Gingrich says now that it had been a mistaken position then, born of a desire to reduce free riders in the system but something from which he and others moved away, I know he’s telling the truth because I remember those discussions.  (And I was one of those people loudly yelling to ditch the idea.)  That notion had been the growing conventional wisdom through the mid 1990s, and Gingrich explored it before ultimately rejecting it.  That differs from Mitt Romney, for instance, who actually imposed a health insurance mandate on the people of Massachusetts, and who now makes the sorry claim that it’s different because it’s the state acting despotically rather than the Federal government.

Of course, these days one of the big reasons to support Newt Gingrich is that he’s the one candidate who is putting the focus on the cost of fuels, and energy generally, and how the lack of new development is killing our economy.  This should be evident to any first year college student who has taken the most rudimentary course in macroeconomics, but for some reason, neither Obama nor the other Republican challengers seem quite able to grasp how important this is to families, and to the economy at large.  Romney seemed unconcerned about it recently, and Obama’s movement on the issue in symbolism on the matter, though not in substance, indicates that Obama may actually get it as well as Romney, which is to say: Not much.   Newt’s $2.50 pledge is likely to be realized if he gets into the White House, because he’s pledged to remove regulatory burdens and obstacles to enable our energy industry to tap our own vast resources.  Many people, Obama included, don’t seem to realize how even small movement at the margins of supply can have a dramatic effect on prices, but Gingrich understands that even tiny surpluses or shortages can change the underlying dynamic in a market.

Gingrich is also much more realistic about the scope of the task before us.  Others seem to concentrate on “finding efficiencies” and “tapping into synergies among departments,” and all of the other buzzword-bingo terminology that translates into only one thing:  Taking the current bloated government, stripping it of no authorities or responsibilities, and simply stream-lining it to make it more cost-effective.   While I am sure Speaker Gingrich would be the first to tell you that’s an important part of the reforms we need, still it fails to address the underlying trouble of having a government that is in all things and at all times, to the extent that it’s choking off the life of our economy.   There is no possibility that the economy can grow and flourish so long as the Federal government is spending 25% of our nation’s gross domestic product, so that reducing government’s reach and scope becomes even more critical to the nation’s economic health than all the tinkering, adjusting, and “perfecting” of the machine could ever hope to create.  Romney starts from the position that the government is doing what it should, whereas Gingrich starts from a different point of reference, first asking whether the government should do a thing at all.  It is this distinction among the mindsets of the candidates that led me to my conclusion.

I recognize that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a few warts.  In politics, there are none who escape without a few of some note, but when I look at the totality of their respective records, I can’t help but notice that the one candidate who has ever led any substantial movement of change is the same person who took an unfairly bad rap in the 1990s for leading such change.  I still remain committed to this principle, while others hop from one campaign to another, and yes, it true that Gingrich has a hard road to the nomination, but he’s not only the first to admit it, but also to point out that this is a reason we conservatives mustn’t fear an open(or “brokered”) convention: Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

I remember watching Gingrich’s “Renewing American Civilization” lecture series in the 1990s, on Paul Weyrich’s satellite network, then dubbed “National Empowerment Television.”  In one of the lectures in the series, he talked about the history of our country, particularly our founders, and how those people came to terms with doing what is “hard.”  His matter-of-fact expression of this difficulty so many face when confronted with large and abiding problems sticks with me because it was inspiring.  At some point, you must simply confront the matter at hand and ask yourself: “Okay, it’s hard… Now what?”  The question lays out the choice, and the very first choice is one we all face in ways large and small each day:  Do I stay immobilized for fear of the difficulties, or do I begin the process of pursuing this goal?   Do I wait for somebody else to act?  Do I hope things will somehow come out my way?   I am inclined now to ask  the same question, albeit in a different context: If getting to a brokered convention is the only way we can begin to restore our country, and we acknowledge the fact that such a road is difficult, my question to conservatives is: “Okay, it’s hard.  Now what?”

The question lingers in empty space, waiting for you to answer.

 

 

 

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27 Responses to Yes, I Still Support Newt Gingrich

  1. Leroy Whitby says:

    Great essay. Thank you.

  2. RogueRose says:

    One of your best.  Thank you Mark.

  3. phillipser says:

    Mark,

    That is a great article reminding us all of Newts record and experience.  I for one have always been behind him and think he is the only one with the same Reagan moxie and experience to stop the Dems, the Libs and the nut jobs.  I can’t wait to watch the debates between he and Nobama.  That is to say if Nobama has the nerve to debate Newt.

  4. Marilyn Oakley says:

    Excellent article, shared. I’m with Newt all the way to the WH. Newt 2012!

  5. Elena says:

    So am I. I stay by Newt Gingrich, and now more than ever. Time for the establishment to be challenged; we Americans have to make a change and do not just do with what we are told. I am intelligent enough to make my own decision on who to support and it is not Romney.   

  6. Barbara Haney says:

    Excellent article, Mark America. Indeed, the big work will be after getting the White House back!
    I do have your answer, but it is going to take a lot of people. :-)

  7. Kathy Blake says:

    I’m for Newt.

  8. JohnInFlorida says:

    Mark,
    Back on 10/09/2011 I had this exchange in the comments section of a C4P posting (link below)

    http://conservatives4palin.com/2011/10/tea-party-group-launches-affort-to-stop-romney-from-winning-gop-nomination.html

    I thought I’d repost it here as I think it fits, here and now, just as well as it fit there and then:

    ———————————————————————————————————————————–
    JohnInFlorida 10/09/2011 12:30 PM

    If we were able to put the social baggage aside, would a Gingrich/Palin ticket be a possibility for Conservatives to get behind?

    Just askin’

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Hyman Roth 10/09/2011 12:44 PM in reply to JohnInFlorida

    He’s too liberal on energy, and the press would eat him alive.  He’d be the “Big mean white man conservative” from the 1990s all over again.

    Plus, Sarah isn’t going to play second fiddle for anyone ever again.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    JohnInFlorida 10/09/2011 03:35 PM in reply to Hyman Roth

    Hyman, the press is going to “eat him alive” no matter WHO the Rep nominee is.
    Does Gingrich have baggage? … of course he does, but, if the Republican field “is set”, is there anyone better? I believe he is, at heart, a constitutionalist (have you looked at the “new” contract with America? there’s some good stuff there)  … and he’s experienced in the BS that is required to deal with/control the Congress … and he’s 68 years old (1 term and move aside?) …

    Then in 2016 (or 2020), after the Senatorial and House gains made in the ’12 & ’14 elections, the exceptionally well qualified VP steps up and we go after the 17th Amendment and the over-reaching of the Judicial …

    I know, I know, dream on! … but “what’s a heaven for?”
    ————————————————————————————————————————————

    Well … here it is, 29 March, 2012 and … I’m still dreaming!

  9. tjomac says:

    Thank you for your continued support…I have been and will be with the Speaker. Onward to Tampa!

  10. Betty says:

    Me too!

  11. Shawn S says:

    Tossing A Match Onto $2.50 Gasoline

    MERIDEN, Connecticut (March 31, 2012) – Connecticut Grassroots supporters of former-Speaker Newt Gingrich will fire-up customers at Danby’s Gulf station this coming Saturday, March 31st from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Conducting on camera interviews with patrons, volunteers-turn-gas-station-attendants will pump gasoline, clean windshields and talk-up a $2.50/gallon gasoline plan under a Gingrich presidency. A bullhorn will sound-off the potential cost savings for each gas fill-up under Gingrich’s $2.50 gallon price.
    Gasoline prices effect the cost of all consumer goods and impact buying power as well as lifestyles. According to grassroots volunteers, the way to fueling a better future is lowering gasoline prices.
    State Grass Roots Director for Newt 2012, Karen Post said, “Customers today should be getting gasoline at $2.50 and would be if not for the strict Federal Election Commission laws prohibiting Newt’s volunteers from giving-a-gift-of-gas”.
    Steering Committee Chair Chadwick Ciocci said, “Every day the media reports about increasing gas prices, but while others complain, we’re drawing attention to Newt’s energy plan, which includes building the Keystone XL Pipeline, replacing the EPA with an Environmental Solutions Agency and ending the ban on oil shale development in the American west.”
    “Candidates talk Keystone pipeline, but only one candidate offers a bold solution: Speaker Gingrich,” said,Mark Minch a Gingrich campaign leader.
    This event is part of a statewide grassroots gasoline initiative is underway to pump-up support for Speaker Gingrich in Connecticut’s primary on April 24.

  12. Barb says:

    Mark, I’ve been coming here for weeks and its amazing that I think like you about Newt! I became politically aware in the 90’s because of Rush and Newt. I have supported Newt since Cain dropped out. I voted for him here in Florida, which I am still so angry about since “bloody Thursday”. I think Rubio was why Newt was so deflated at the last Florida debate. Newt and he were friends for a long time and Rubio has a picture of him in his office when he first became Senator. I really think what happened to him here is what hurt Newt more than anyone knows. The commercials and ads against Newt were brutal despicable and downright lies and distortions.. I don’t think he has ever recovered. Remember they say he has a big “ego”. I don’t think anyone with an ego or not can withstand what he did. Many of these people were supposed to be friends. I still believe he would make the best president and Sarah, Todd, Gov. Perry, Herman Cain and Chuck Norris (and many more) can”t all be wrong! Thank you for letting me vent.

  13. Shawn S says:

    Gingrich has baggage my a– Santorum has way more baggage that Newt. Ever hear of the K-Street Club. He also went on a spending spree when Newt Gingrich left Congress with the other liberal Republicans. It was like dad left the Liquor Cabinet open.
    Romney is a tax and spend Liberal. Conservative, thats a joke. At CPAC he spent half is time trying to explain how he is a conservative. Real Conservatives don’t have to explain how they are one, They just are. Plus he paid for people to be at CPAC to vote in poll for him. CPAC was started for Conservatives. I for one was offened that he was even there and allowed to speak. It was started for Conservatives to voice their ideas against the Moderates. Moderates weren’t allowed there. I can go on all day about these two, baggage what a joke. Why because he was married a few Times. How does that compare to what Clinton did in the oval office with Monica. That name ring a bell anywhere.
    Newt is the best conservative running at this time in History. I have watched him since 1979 and he was the only one yelling from the roof tops about how to change America and he had a plan. That plan still exists today. He is the only one that I know that can as of day one change this Country we love on a dime because he has the experence to do it.
    He has the best plan for this Country that I have read and as a business owner This is who I want running this Country.
    It will be the First Time I will be Proud to be an American since Obama has been sitting in the White House when he is flying Home.
    Baggage HUH!! Obama has more baggage then any of them.
     

  14. Kaks says:

    Truthful and exacting assessment, Mark. Thank you.  As a Newt supporter, I can only say that Newt needs grassroots efforts to attain the momentum to reach Tampa/Convention, or the “Big Choice,” as it is being called. In my research to find information from various internet Newt sites, there  appears to be a gathering wave of supporters for him, but in order to keep the waters flowing, Newt needs that support to be expressed in a number of ways, whether it be through this blog site or others that have Newt groups.  One site that is attempting to affiliate with other groups is http://newtgingrich360.com/  This site has quite a bit of information concerning all of Newt’s plans to get our country back on track as well as other specific groups (and chat) for Newt  Newt 2012 has a very good strategy with the following event.  If we are to have any effect, these contacts must be made and put out there for others to participate in and see.
    Tossing A Match Onto $2.50 Gasoline

    MERIDEN,
    Connecticut (March 31, 2012) – Connecticut Grassroots supporters of
    former-Speaker Newt Gingrich will fire-up customers at Danby’s Gulf
    station this coming Saturday, March 31st from
    11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Conducting on camera interviews with patrons,
    volunteers-turn-gas-station-attendants will pump gasoline, clean
    windshields and talk-up a $2.50/gallon gasoline plan under a Gingrich
    presidency. A bullhorn will sound-off the potential cost savings for
    each gas fill-up under Gingrich’s $2.50 gallon price.
    Karen Post

    CT. State Grassroots Director

    860-209-2189

    vote4newt@gmail.com

     *Get involved if you are not already:DONATE to MAKE $2.50 HAPPEN: GIVE 1 NEWT GALLON of $2.50 | 10 NEWT gallons of $25 | 100 NEWT gallons of $250 

    JOIN the GRASSROOTS movement to inform voters at the PUMP: Newt 2012 Label Campaign (Facebook Group) 

    SPREAD THE WORD on TWITTER: #250gas

  15. All of the candidates are more of the same.  Spend more, preach limited government then expand it, repeat. 

  16. bdwatcher says:

    I voted for Newt here in Fl, and will do so if I have the opportunity again. Of the candidates we have to select here, he is the best and most likely to beat O, also. Fire all the Czars first day, yeah…

  17. wodiej says:

    excellent article Mark. I will be voting for Speaker Gingrich in May in Indiana. 

  18. Shawn S says:

    LET THE GAMES BEGIN PEOPLE.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Oh NO! Gingrich Unleashes Vince Haley As New
    Campaign Chair

    Vince
    Haley
    As
    usual, the main
    stream media spends its time parroting presidential aspirant, Speaker Newt
    Gingrich’s, recent announcement to reduce his campaign staff by one-third and
    narrow his focus on those goals which he hopes will carry him on to
    the GOP
    Convention in Tampa in
    August. But because many of today’s journalists are so lazy and don’t know how
    to go a step further … they’ve missed the huge
    story.
    So,
    here is the big news in this whole transition: who Newt
    tapped as the new man in charge of the
    Gingrich 2012 election ship, Vince Haley––who replaces Michael
    Krull. Now believe me,
    Haley, is a piece of work!

    Best known for
    his keen ability to “think outside the Washington, D.C. beltway box”
    and… for not being afraid to verbalize and implement his
    unconventional–– often radical ideas––Haley, without a doubt was the
    quiet boots-on-the-ground, mastermind of Gingrich’s South Carolina primary
    win.

    No one in
    America (including former community organizer, Barack H. Obama, nor Karl Rove of
    the Bush administration) does grassroots strategising as effectively as Vince
    Haley. Don’t let the youth of Haley fool you… he is a prolific
    writer and one of the best opposition researchers in politics
    today.

    His uncanny
    ability to draft strategic plans that include layers-upon-layers of variables
    and options, and also his nonchalant style of incorporating matrixes of plans
    A’s and B’s within any given strategic plan… makes him a force to be
    reckoned with.

    Haley has
    long been considered one of Newt’s coveted secret weapons. Cloaked in an
    unassuming, boy-next-door persona,
    Vince Haley’s
    behind-the-scenes hardball tactics have disarmed many in the political
    field… often catching off-guard those who have discounted his abilities.
    Consequently, by the time it has been realized that
    he has seized control of the political debate and has forever altered the
    trajectory of the moment … it’s too late!

    So… for
    Gingrich to unleash Haley at this stage of the political process
    indicates Newt has only just begun to fight.

    Indeed, young
    Haley is one to watch… as he is sure to bring his signature “David &
    Goliath, hit-’em-and-kill-’em” political game plan that presents
    meaningful, thought-provoking issues which are sure to have Americans’
    tongues wagging. He has the
    skills to take Gingrich’s flailing campaign to a whole new
    level, and finally,
    he will offer
    hard-hitting push backs, unlike Senator John McCain’s wimpy responses back in
    2008, to assure the American public that the truth gets
    out.

    Nope… Haley
    will research President Obama’s talking points and policies to the
    ’empth’ degree for accuracy and take it straight to the President in a
    way that won’t be pretty!

    *Pop the
    popcorn. Game.ON!*

    • the unit says:

      Sounds like “Little Toot.”  Do you think he can huff and puff enough and think he can? 

      Then do it. I got plenty corn including orville redenbacher to do the watching. Certainly will enjoy.  Yeah, game on.

      No try…do or not do.

    • the unit says:

      Did a bit of googling on fellow.  Has Masters of European Law from Univ. of Europe.  I think Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated we need to incorporated global laws in the SCOTUS decisions.  Glad his masters isn’t in Sharia Law.

      And as for me ever claiming to think and believe like someone else,  my grannie cautioned me in the ’60s…”Be careful who you claim kin to.”  I think her caution applies to my mind and thoughts as well.

      I’m not disapproving of fellow or American Solutions, or Gingrich, but skeptical of following the example of what we see in Europe and rest of world.  And lots of what we see here.

  19. the unit says:

    “What now.”  It should always be an open convention. Like now SCOTUS votes today on Ocare…over several months can change their minds by debate, arm twisting, consideration, contemplation, written opinion, and whatever.  Decision finally decided and announced down the road.  All 9 voters there give each other written opinion during this consideration after  first vote.  

    No we can’t have that with all voters here,  but why have decision before end of the road, the convention after all arm twisting, debate, and contemplation.  Then we come to Yogi’s fork in the road and can take it.

  20. Elena says:

    I stay by Newt no matter what. I admire Newt’s knowledge on about any subject; he is like walking encyclopedia, and he is the best speaker ever that is a gift! I love Newt’s wisdom and his big ideas for the country.  

    • Gail says:

       Elena, How true, simply put but so true about Newt..I am with Newt until the last vote

  21. TeaPartyBarbie says:

    As all the Not Romney’s should “play possum” but vote and quietly recruit for their person. Let’s let the DNC vet Mitt Romney. Let’s see if he can defend capitalism. Let’s see how he handles matters of race. Will he articulate the position of a conservative and defend capitalism?  Will he continue on his “Repeal Obamacare?”  Or will he capitulate, appease, and apologize??? Will he remain “severely conservative, ” or will the Liberal Rino Romney finally stand up?  Will he show up and debate in Texas? HUM… inquiring minds want to know….

    Barack Obama has done nothing for our nation. I can’t imagine Mitt Romney will either. They are both of the cloth of the Pigou Club, Green energy agenda

  22. ChevalierdeJohnstone says:

    Good answer.  I think Gingrich is an evil scumbag, and Romney is a liar.  Were I forced to vote, I would vote for Obama, simply because I know our country is doomed, and I hope the S.O.B. Republican candidate in this election loses by such an overwhelming margin that the Republican party ceases to exist in its entirety.  We may as well be honest about the fact that we live in a single-party, totalitarian socialist state.  Then when 2016 rolls around and First Citizen Obama’s hand-picked SCOTUS judges approve him to run for a 3rd term against a cardboard opposition candidate, we can at least be honest about the socialist hell we all live in.

    But, good justification for voting for Gingrich: at least you’re honest about it.