Posts Tagged ‘Jonathan Karl’

Why Newt Won’t (and Shouldn’t) Get Out

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The 'Cheerful One'

Jonathan Karl has an enlightening piece up on ABCNews.com covering Newt Gingrich and his reasoning for staying in this Republican nomination fight.  It’s a reason that makes a great deal of sense once you understand the former House Speaker’s rationale:  He wants to prevent a Romney coronation, with the GOP establishment riding herd over the rank-and-file.  There’s good reason for conservatives to want this too, because if there is an brokered convention, we’re far more likely to have a more thoroughly prepared candidate once the general election season begins.  The GOP convention is our last chance as conservatives to hold any candidate’s feet to the fire, and if we’re smart, we’ll make full use of the opportunity it presents.   It is not only true that Newt Gingrich won’t get out, but also true that he shouldn’t.

The establishment line has been that “a brokered convention will hurt the party,” or that “Mitt Romney will win anyway,” or that “conservatives should shut up and get in line.”  None of these are true, and for now, Newt Gingrich is carrying that banner.  Also, as I observed last week, there is no guarantee that if Newt gets out, that it won’t bolster Romney rather than Santorum, as some have contended, notably GOP establishment operatives who would love to see Gingrich out so they can focus all of their venom and negative campaigning on a single target.  Gingrich seemed to confirm this, according to Karl:

1) His vote gets divided between Santorum and Romney. A larger percentage would go to Santorum, but at least some goes to Romney, allowing him to accumulate more delegates; and,

2) Romney is then able to aim all of his considerable firepower at Santorum, destroying him with negative ads the way he twice destroyed Gingrich (in Iowa and Florida).

This may sound familiar to my regular readers, although we should note that Gingrich has done the math too, and while his road to the nomination is formidable, the way to defeat Mitt Romney for either Gingrich or Santorum is in a floor fight at the convention.  Some establishment Republicans fear the spectacle, but they shouldn’t unless they’re selling a pig in a poke to conservative Republicans. On the anxiety in the party, carried forth and broadcast by the press, Gingrich told Karl:

“This thing is going to go on. You guys need to relax and cover the most interesting nominating process in your lifetime,” Gingrich told me. “Be not anxiety-ridden, this is going to be good for America. This is a good conversation to have.”

He’s absolutely right.  Nothing is supposed to be smooth or easy about this process.  This is where we’re supposed to settle the differences in the party.  This is the time for conservatives to find their voices in the battle with the party establishment.  The establishment would rather the grass-roots and conservative base of the GOP simply shut up and play along, but that’s not we’ll defeat Barack Obama. We’re conservatives, and we shouldn’t expect it to be easy, or even bloodless in a political sense. If we have the strength of our convictions, we must fight this battle too, and unflinchingly.  Newt Gingrich is right: It’s a battle worth fighting. As the Daily Caller further details, while messy, a brokered convention is an important part of the process.  We came within a whisker of getting Reagan in 1976, as the Daily Caller details, and it’s something to consider when we look at what’s going on in this primary season, and how the GOP establishment is pulling out all the stops to prevent a similar scene.

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