Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

Flash: Romney’s Florida Spokesman Sabotaging Allen West?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Payback?

LegalInsurrection.com is reporting that Congresman Allen West’s seat will come under severe challenge because of the way it will likely be redistricted by this the Florida legislature, and the person leading that effort is a Romney spokesperson Representative Will Weatherford. Legal Insurrection‘s conclusion is that while they’re using the excuse of complying with law, what they’ve done is draw a district in which Allen West will no longer be able to win because they’ve given some of his areas of greatest support to other districts in redrawing the boundaries of his.  Indeed, the district could have been drawn differently, and what LI is inferring from all of this is that West’s failure to endorse Romney is going to have significant consequences: Allen West will likely lose his next race there, and it’s being seen by some as punishment by the GOP Establishment for his failure to support Romney.

Is this possible?  It is the kind of political garbage that frequently occurs, and it is the preferred methodology for the establishment to rid the party of somebody who doesn’t toe the line.  That the politician responsible for leading the effort in Florida to draw the boundaries for the redistricting in Florida happens to be a Romney spokesperson certainly does raise eyebrows.  As LegalInsurrection reports, there was a website set up, SaveAllenWest, but as they point out, it may be too late. The point to be understood in all this is important, and it is that this is the dirty methodology by which people are punished by the establishment, and you can bet if Romney gets the nomination, such tactics may yet visit a redistricting near you.

Congressman Allen West, freshman superstar, and retired Army Lt. Col, gave a speech on Saturday night at an event that culminated with Herman Cain endorsing Newt Gingrich, who then made some remarks.  Newt Gingrich is in an all-out battle with Mitt Romney for the Florida Primary on Tuesday.

For me, the question is: Why would the Florida legislature sabotage the district of a popular freshman conservative republican in Congress?  Ordinarily, they would seek to tweak the lines in other ways, but the fact that they’ve settled on this approach suggests to me that there could well be a political vendetta at work here.

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The Curious Approach of Newt Gingrich

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Newt's Got a Plan

Few things have been clearer than what this past week has made apparent:  The GOP establishment doesn’t want to win an honest fight, and those who comprise it don’t believe we should have any say whatsoever.  Whether you’re a staunch conservative, or a Tea Party patriot, there can be no way to miss the point demonstrated by a week-long attack-fest aimed at Newt Gingrich.  We’re not part of their party, and they will choose the nominee, and if we don’t like it, we can just shut up and go away.  Well, we’re not going away, and we won’t be shut up, and we’re going to call them on their twisted, half-truth ridden distortions in media, and we’re going to turn off their networks, and avoid their favorite in-the-tank websites, and we’re going to forge ahead without them if necessary.  The simple truth is that the GOP establishment needs our support much more than we need theirs, and with the direction this is going, I can’t see a single reason to support them or their chosen candidate.  Meanwhile, something else is brewing, and I take note, because watching Gingrich speak, I realized there was a change, and it manifested Saturday night.

Watching Herman Cain endorse Newt Gingrich on Saturday night, I think I glimpsed a bit of the future, because I think what Gingrich has been saying from the outset of this race is correct:  We must all set aside our petty differences and find a way to engineer victory as a team.  So far, among the candidates who entered the race, and have subsequently departed it, Cain and Perry, each once a front-runner, have endorsed Newt Gingrich. Now while it’s the undisputed truth that conservatives are a generally independent-minded lot, I don’t think we should fail to notice this.  I’ve told you before that a candidate who was an aggregate of the best parts of all of these would be great for the country, but alas, no such candidate stepped forward.  What we’re watching now, as Gingrich integrates these former competitors into his team is the result of having treated both of these men with due respect to their positions and experiences and accomplishments over their lives.  Gingrich has a big idea, all right, but it’s not about some mission to the moon.  Instead, I believe he’s focusing on building a team that can win in November and take the country back from Barack Obama.

This represents a serious departure from previous campaigns, as when the vanquished left the scene, frequently never to be seen again.   Think about what this will mean to the strength of the GOP team come November if Gingrich is the nominee.  He’s building a governing majority now, with the party as his first target.  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is tooling around trying to further divisions in the party.  Are we now witnessing what is effectively the updated version of the Reagan coalition?  That would be a stunning achievement, and while he’s a long way from having accomplished it, that he’s seeing that far down the road is a hopeful sign.  Nothing is more prone to failure than an ad hoc campaign without direct and vision guiding it forward.  Whatever else you may think of Gingrich, it’s now clear to me that he has a plan, and if just a little luck breaks his way, he might not only capture the nomination, but also the presidency.

It’s always been true that the most effective presidents were those who could put together a governing coalition that permitted the best people to lead with their strengths and their passions.  If Gingrich is figuring out the way to do this effectively, then we as conservatives should be thankful, whether we intend to support him in the primaries or not.  We need somebody at the head of this movement who can focus and direct its energies not only to electoral victory, but to a concrete plan of restoring our nation.  Could Gingrich be that leader, after all?  I’ve certainly had my misgivings, and as Sarah Palin reminds us, he is a “flawed vessel,” but as she also points out, nobody is perfect and without troubles.  Can Gingrich be a true reformer?  He’s done it before, certainly, because his accomplishments in leading the Republicans to sweeping victory in 1994 was a marvel  in modern American history.   Could he do it again?

Time will tell, but for now at least, we know with certainty one thing:  Newt has a plan.

Sarah Palin: “Annoy a Liberal, Vote Newt!”

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Sarah Palin with Judge Pirro

In an appearance on Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Saturday show on FNC, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin explained her rationale for who would be the candidate best able to handle Obama in the debates, who would be most likely to prevail over Obama, and how she draws those distinctions.  It was a telling interview, inasmuch as she did not endorse Newt Gingrich, but instead suggested that she wants to see the honest vetting of these candidates go on, and she made it plain that she didn’t think Mitt Romney had been entirely honest with some of his attacks.

This interview began only a few minutes after Herman Cain announced he was endorsing Newt Gingrich at an event in Florida. Here’s the video:

Sarah Palin pointed out that Romney’s negative ads were not merely normal rough-and-tumble campaigning in Florida and reflected the politics of personal destruction.  Palin pointed out that Romney drew first blood with negative attack ads in Iowa, but that Gingrich had tried to run a positive campaign. She mentioned how the tone of the campaign worsened when those in the DC establishment.  She described Gingrich as an “agent of change.”  The former Alaska governor spoke of her dislike of pundits, on Fox and elsewhere, who are “gleefully proclaiming” Romney as the “inevitable nominee.” Among other things, she also defended Gingrich, and describe him as the best candidate to “clobber Obama in the debates.” She said “Rage against the machine? Vote Newt! Annoy a liberal? Vote Newt!”  In addition, Palin went to some lengths to explain that she would like to hear more about how Romney’s Massachusetts Healthcare plan was the model for Obamacare.

Again, while Governor Palin clearly isn’t endorsing a candidate as yet, she seems to be very supportive of Gingrich at this time.  She also seems of the mind that there’s still some honest vetting to do, and while she was clearly disappointed with the dishonest smear tactics that had been used against Gingrich, she did stress that issues are issues, and we ought to welcome that fight.  Lastly, I don’t know if it was just Pirro rushing to make the hard break, but near the end of the segment, Pirro talked over Palin several times, and the segment ended with an abrupt cut-off just as Palin was explaining her view of the establishment.  I don’t know that this means anything, but then again, we’ve learned a good deal about media outlets recently.

Endorsement or not, Palin’s message was pretty clear: In Florida, vote Newt! Rage against the machine? Vote Newt!  Annoy a liberal?  Vote Newt!  (I must admit the last one particularly appeals to me.)

 

Flash: Cain Endorses Newt Gingrich in Florida on C-SPAN Live

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Cain Endorses Gingrich

Saturday night’s headlines will erupt, and this should lead the headlines on Sunday morning, but since the media is too busy clubbing Gingrich over the head to notice, you never know. I can’t think of a more impressive situation for Gingrich.  This comes at an event in which none other than Congressman Allen West had spoken just moments before, and in an environment of incredibly good cheer. Herman Cain was on hand to both introduce and endorse Newt Gingrich!

NBC Demands Romney Campaign Take Down Ad

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Brokaw Unhappy

HotAir is reporting that NBC’s legal division has demanded that the Romney Campaign suspend use of some video of Tom Brokaw in another twisted, out-of-context campaign ad that attempts to paint Gingrich as some kind of monster.  Of course, as HotAir points out, this may be a tactic on the part of the Romney Campaign to bring more attention and more free plays of their anti-Gingrich ad all over media.  NBC’s demand will make the ad a big story, thus giving other media outlets an excuse to run it for free in order to “show our audience the root of the controversy,” no doubt.  Sure. As the HotAir article reminds us, this isn’t the first time the Romney campaign used such a tactic to get greater coverage of one of their ads.  Simply place somebody in it you know will object strenuously, and you have a blockbuster – free.

Nevertheless, it is another scathing denunciation of the sort of campaign Mitt Romney has been running, with its distortions and fact-twisting multi-million dollar campaign of television and radio advertisements. Brokaw commented:

“I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad. I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign…”

I’m sure his indignation is heartfelt. Either way, I’m not falling for it.

Flash: Florida Tea Party Coalition Goes Newt

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Meeting Tea Party Patriots in Florida

In another setback in relations between Mitt Romney and Tea Party folk, news now comes from Florida that a coalition of Tea Partiers has endorsed Newt Gingrich, first to beat Mitt Romney, and then to beat Barack Obama in November.  This is another repudiation of Mitt Romney among Tea Party patriots, and it’s important to note that Mitt has largely brought this on himself.  A candidate seeking the GOP nomination simply cannot afford to belittle, disparage, or ignore the Tea  Party.  They are a bold and refreshing, rejuvenating segment of the conservative electorate, and it’s been clear all along that Romney has been ignoring them at his own electoral peril.  On Tuesday, we’ll get some indication of their relative electoral strength in Florida, but indications are that Tea Party folk are tending to break in Gingrich’s favor, much as was the case in South Carolina one week ago.  It’s tight, but we’ll know for sure Tuesday evening.

Gallup: Gingrich Leading Nationally

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

New Poll: Gingrich Leading Nationally

Despite millions and millions spent on attack ads against him in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and now Florida, Gingrich is holding onto a lead in national polling. Of course, the problem at present is in Florida, where millions of dollars in negative ads are hammering him relentlessly with many out-of-context quotes, and again seeking to attack him personally.  I realize the advertising game goes both ways to some extent, but let’s be honest enough with ourselves to admit that when you look at the amount of cash being heaped into media buys in this race, only one candidate has the sort of resources necessary to flood the airwaves. Gingrich leads 32%-24% over Romney.

Of course, at present, no place polled is quite as important as Florida, with the impending primary about to kick off in that state, but the truth is that due to early voting, it’s been underway right along. If conservatives in that state don’t band together to defeat Romney, the media will paint this as more momentum for Mitt, and the talk of “inevitable” will begin anew.  I don’t think that should happen, but will happen may be another matter. One thing this poll point out is that Gingrich may be doing well nationally, but the influence of such overwhelming establishment manipulations as have been ongoing in Florida may make it insurmountable.

What Will Our Surrender Mean?

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Ready to Join Them?

I wonder about some of my fellow conservatives, who at the first sign of trouble, abandon the candidate who they supported only a week ago, particularly since the charges against him were largely out-of-context fabrications drummed up by supporters of the candidate he defeated last Saturday.   In abandoning Gingrich so easily, for those who have openly supported him, what does it say about the state of conservatism that when smeared, rather than fighting the smears, we tuck tails and run away?  Thankfully, those rare leaders such as Governor Sarah Palin won’t take that approach, and while she and the few others willing to stand against the establishment try to rally conservatives and Tea Party folk to understand the true nature of the assault launched against them, we shouldn’t run away from this fight.  We, who say it is our party, and not the party of the establishment, should for once and all times deliver an unrelenting statement of who exactly runs this party.

By heading off for the tall grass in search of a place to hide, since “when elephants fight, only the grass suffers,” we ought for once to realize this is our fight, and this is our time. While Newt was not my first choice, he’s better by far than the apparent leading alternative, and if we don’t rally behind him at this point, that alternative is likely to prevail.  We like to point out that the GOP establishment consists of “RINOs,” but my question for you is this:  If we bow out of this struggle because it has become a little messy, or because dis-entangling the truth from all the lies is too tedious, are we not in fact surrendering the party to them?  Who then are the RINOs?

We conservatives who value our independence of judgment, and our devotion to principle first before party ought not abandon so easily when it becomes clear our conservative candidates are being torpedoed.  I hung in there with Cain until the bitter end, not because I was a big Cain proponent(I had my issues with him on several things,) but because I was unwilling to let the obvious take-down win the argument. On substance, by all means, take on Herman Cain, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the mudslingers acting on behalf of others carry out such a demonic hit.  I’ll not support that, whatever I may think of Cain’s policy ideas.

I remember when the pictures of Bachmann and others were used to bring her down, with a magazine cover portraying her as a wide-eyed, unblinking loon.  That wasn’t fair, but that was the way in which she was butchered.  What about Sarah Palin, and the non-stop three years-long smears of her person, and as I’ve reported, not all of it going back to leftist sources?   I would still walk over Alaskan glaciers barefoot to vote for her, but I’ll be denied that opportunity because even before the McCain defeat of 2008, she was being set up and smeared, but not only by Democrats.

Some have asked me why I am so opposed to Romney, and while some may not have known, and others may have forgotten, I haven’t let loose of the betrayals that began even before there had been a single ballot marked on election day in November of 2008.   You should remember too, since “elephants never forget.”  Those who don’t follow party inside-baseball politics can be forgiven, but the truth is that the Romney machine was angry about not getting the nomination in ’08, and they decided to make sure from the earliest moment that there would be no serious opposition to him in 2012.  In truth, there were some in the Romney camp who would have been happy for McCain to lose in ’08, because had he won, we wouldn’t be talking about a Romney nomination in 2012.  Get it?  Got it?

Clearly then, Newt Gingrich is not my favorite politician, and you, my friends know well who is, but she’s not in the race, and in lieu of that, I am willing to look at who is out there.  Ron Paul remains unacceptable to me, if only because I worry about our nation’s security, coming from a military background as I do.  Rick Santorum has gone home, not officially suspending his campaign, but now completely underfunded and effectively unable to continue irrespective of the official status of his campaign.  This leaves Romney and Gingrich, and while there are a few who suggest there’s little difference, I cannot but decline to agree with that sentiment.

People forget that if not for Newt Gingrich’s Herculean efforts through the late eighties and nineties, we might have had “health-care reform” in the shape of Hillary-care in 1994.  Instead, he used the issue to make the difference that led to the first overturn to Republican control since more than a decade before my birth.  Whatever else you might say about him, this remains an unchallenged fact, and what it implies is that Gingrich has the intellectual wherewithal to create or build upon a movement, rather than simply a candidacy.

In contrast, Romney enacted a health-care fiasco upon which much of Obama-care is modeled, and in fact, which was written in large measure by the same people.  Do you really want to take one of the few issues off the table that has substantial bi-partisan support on your side of the argument for a change?

Ladies and gentlemen, there is one more matter in all of this, and it really gets to the core of why I cannot support Romney, along with the more obvious issues:  Do we really wish to reward a man with victory who has employed the dishonest tactics of every left-wing Alinskyite, in undermining his competitors through smear, distortion, and outright lies, but worst of all through various surrogates who are carrying his water?  I don’t know what you think about this, but in my book, he has become Obama.  If you wonder what has happened to your party, or more importantly, your country, you have no farther to look than this, and there is every reason to state not only in words, but also with your votes and your open advocacy that this is not the kind of candidate who represents us.  If we wish to take back the Republican party, we must do it.  When we run into these sorts of characters, we must be smart enough and wise enough to discern among them, but most of all, we must have the courage to fight them, openly.  I’ve talked about my prospective willingness to walk away, but for now, I have resolved to fight.  Will you?

I hope so, most earnestly. We may not have four more years to reform our party. We must do it now.

Mama Grizzly Roars!

Friday, January 27th, 2012

In a scathing admonishment aimed at the GOP establishment, moments ago, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took the Party’s elite to task for their dishonest, and leftist-like attacks on Gingrich.  Her concern for the future of the party dominated by an establishment that is willing to destroy anybody and everybody who might get in their way is the focus of her remarks.  She’s right: If the GOP establishment and all its little shills will do this to us, then we have some serious questions to answer.

Among other things, she wrote:

“But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 that didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.”

I encourage all of you to read Governor Palin’s excellent remarks, because her concluding question needs to be answered before we go any farther down this primary path.

Jeffrey Lord: Elliott Abrams Lied About Newt Gingrich

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Jeffrey Lord

In what can only be called a stunning, face-slapping rebuttal, Jeffrey Lord has discovered that Elliott Abrams’ story about Gingrich’s alleged criticism of President Reagan were not only erroneously characterized, but almost certainly indicates it was an intentional hit-piece by Abrams, that Abrams must have known was dishonest.  It points out the problem going on with much of Romney’s campaign of destruction aimed at Gingrich, and it points out how thoroughly damaging such a thing can be when amplified almost infinitely by the roaring link-fest of the Drudge Report.  Abrams’ hit-piece stayed up on Drudge for more than twenty-four hours, and there will be no rebuttal.  The only way the truth will be distributed at this point is for you, the public, to undertake this chore.

Lord used the more charitable word “misleading” to describe Abrams’ piece, but to me, once one has read Lord’s piece, there can be no way to conclude that Abrams had been anything but intentionally dishonest.  At that point, the question of motive is brought sharply into focus, and it is clear that Abrams is part of the establishment wing of the GOP out to destroy Gingrich in order to shove Mitt Romney down our throats.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is no longer an issue of electability. This is an issue of integrity, and whether you like Gingrich or hate him, if you claim to be a conservative Republican, you must not tolerate this from the party.  If the party machine  is permitted this scandalous behavior, there is no point to the party, and you must come to recognize that this has been the root of the smears of all the other conservative candidates too.

What this demonstrates all too clearly is what many conservatives have long suspected: The establishment is intent upon shoving Romney down our throats, and any foolish enough to fall for that deserve the just results.

Drudge Distort: What Will Be the Reaction to the War on Gingrich?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The State of Dis-Union

Matt Drudge is making a lot of hay over Gingrich’s alleged anti-Reagan speech, that we know know wasn’t, and he’s clearly sympathetic to Mitt Romney, but why is it that conservatives are reacting badly against this?  The answer is simpler than most will admit, and it comes down to just two things.  First, the conservative base and Tea Party folk in the GOP are beginning to doubt media altogether, and they’re seeing through the obvious anti-Gingrich bias, but more importantly, I believe it comes down to this more than any other thing:  They are sick to death of the media and the GOP establishment selecting the Republican nominee.  I think this explains everything you need to know why conservatives and Tea Party folk look at these exaggerated, out-of-context headlines and stories, and just say “No.”

If you wish to know how dishonest Matt Drudge has been on this story, up in the top-left of his site all morning Thursday were three stories agitating against Gingrich’s alleged anti-Reagan sentiments, but the third of these, from 1988, has already been debunked. Why didn’t Drudge take this down?  No, he waited until it was thoroughly debunked, but the damage of the lie was done. He left it up in exactly the same way he allowed his anti-Newt stories of last Wednesday and Thursday to remain up most of the day, despite the fact that it had been revealed most were over-hyped re-hashings of old stories.  Drudge has relocated this a bit, but this is how it appeared just more than an hour ago:

NEWT FLASHBACK 1983: REAGAN RESPONSIBLE FOR NATIONAL ‘DECAY’…
NEWT 1986: ‘The Reagan administration has failed, is failing…
NEWT 1988: ‘If Bush runs as continuation of Reaganism he will lose’…
VIDEO…

How do I know this is dishonest?  The link to the video is a Youtube link to a highly edited clip, taken out of context, and therefore made to look as though Gingrich was anti-Reagan.  When you watch the whole video selection, in its complete context, the lie becomes obvious.  Drudge is doing this purposefully, and if he will lie to you in this instance, there is no doubt he will lie to you in others.  I don’t really care what his motive is, or why he’s doing it.  This moved his recent activities from “suspicious” in my view, to reprehensible.  Thanks to Dan Riehl for exposing the truth, and providing a link to the original, full-length C-SPAN video, with the interesting portion beginning around 2:30.

Limbaugh talked about this extensively on his show today, saying the following, among other things:

“It was everything you wish was happening today, is all I can tell you. It was everything you wish the entire Republican Party was doing today. It was led by Newt Gingrich, and what was he doing? He was defending Reagan. Now, all of this stuff that hit Drudge and everywhere else last night about Newt telling everybody the country goes to hell if they continue Reaganism and that Newt insulted Reagan and that the Reagan administration failed and Iran-Contra… I never heard any of that. I started doing this particular program in Sacramento in 1984, and I was just as immersed in national politics then as I am now, and I could honestly tell you this.”

There’s a reason Rush can’t remember it the way Drudge is broadcasting it:  It didn’t happen the way Drudge’s site would lead you to believe, and this is simply a desperately disgusting attempt to do to Gingrich what has been done to others with the distortions.  A year ago, if you had told me Drudge did things this way, I would have scoffed at it, but now…

I’m clearly coming to see Drudge in a different light.

I realize that many people have many reasons to be unhappy with Gingrich on one issue or another, and I’m inclined to be annoyed with him too, but this has gone too far, in my view, and I’m not inclined to suffer it any longer.  If Drudge is going to be a media participant in this smear-fest, let him, but I won’t be adding much to his page-view statistics any longer.

The simple truth is that American conservatives and Tea Party folk are tired of the media and the GOP establishment leading them around by the noses.  It’s not that people are so infatuated with Gingrich so much as it is that they are disgusted by these tactics, and they’re simply disenchanted with the GOP establishment controlling the outcome of our primary system.

Dan Riehl Exposes Out of Context Gingrich Clip

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Blogger Dan Riehl

Exposing another lie, Dan Riehl exposes how Gingrich’s remarks are being taken out of context to create a false impression. The forces of Romney are desperate, aren’t they?

See the full story here, at Dan Riehl’s site. He also has a link and embed of the original C-SPAN video in question.

 

Drudge “Off The Hook” in War on Gingrich:

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

FLASH: Drudge

There’s really not a great deal more to say about this ridiculous war on Newt Gingrich by Matt Drudge. To call his coverage “lopsided” is an understatement, at the very least.  I consider it pure media sabotage. He is now making all-out war on Gingrich.

Take a look at all the Anti-Gingrich stories now on Drudge.  Count ’em up. What? 13?

You decide:

The Drudge War on Newt

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Spin Meister?

I’d like you to take a look at DrudgeReport.  There is an all-out war on Newt Gingrich, not merely by the left-wing media, but particularly on the right side of the political divide.  Drudge has run as many as nine negative articles about Gingrich simultaneously, but he is running few negative articles about Romney, and those he does run are only half-negative, so it’s becoming clear that Drudge is trying to manipulate the outcome in the direction of a result he prefers.  I surely hope conservatives realize that nobody in media is pure, because everybody has biases.  In the case of Drudge, his “developing” take-down story in the middle of last week over the ABC News Marianne Gingrich interview story was his first attempt to ruin Gingrich’s momentum.  When within hours, that attempt failed, making it clear nobody would buy the “big smear” story. Instead, Drudge backed off and began his “death by one-thousand cuts” strategy, and this is what you are now witnessing.

Drudge has learned the lesson well over his years as the prime link aggregation site on the Internet, and indeed, it could be said the term was invented to describe his page.  The problem with Drudge, and it has always been his problem, is that he editorializes in the way he places links to stories in order to manipulate his audience.  His all-out war on Gingrich is a perfect example.  He doesn’t need to write one negative word himself.  He merely decides which stories, where they are placed, and how long they will endure in that position on his page.  A week ago, on Thursday morning, you should have noticed if you visited his site that he was still pushing the Marianne Gingrich story despite the fact that it had already been debunked, and that story persisted as the lead on his page until Thursday night’s debate.  Ordinarily, top stories are not that long-lived on Drudge, but in the case of Gingrich, they go on and on and on.

It’s also the urgency he conveys to his audience.  As I pointed out during last week’s disgraceful episode, when the Gingrich daughters responded to the trash flooding the Drudge site in red letters accompanied by his flashing light symbol, I asked whether he would now treat the antithesis involving the Newt daughters with similar urgency.  Predictably, as was my point, he did not.  This unwillingness to give equal coverage of the debunking of a story indicates a bias, and while I’m accustomed to that coming from most media sources, to see it so openly on Drudge is a bit of a gut-punch.

It’s clear that this is a strategy to take down Newt, and whether he’s coordinating with others, or simply acting out his own political preferences is impossible to determine.  Thursday morning, he continues to run a story by Elliot Abrams from back in the 1980s when Newt was critical of Reagan’s State Department, primarily, but what Drudge fails to mention is that Abrams was the assistant Secretary of State who was under criticism by Gingrich at the time.  On the article itself, you need to flip to page two to learn this by reading the biographical note about Abrams if you didn’t already know it. Most people don’t, and most people don’t make it to page two.  Abrams is also a Council on Foreign Relations player, in case you didn’t know.

What all of this makes clear to me is what I’ve long suspected:  Drudge is part of the GOP’s establishment now.  I’ve had questions about some of the stories he’s placed on his site for years, but he’s the eight-hundred pound Internet gorilla, and there’s little a small voice can say about it.  Some of you will rightly note that he couldn’t run stories that don’t exist, but I will respond that he already has.  That was the meaning of the entire sad episode of last week with the ABC NEws/Marianne Gingrich story: There was no news there, but his placement and pushing of the theme made it a story.  Whether you prefer Gingrich, or any of the others, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Drudge is definitely displaying his bias, whatever the motive.  This is why I have a fundamental distrust of big media, left or right, and it’s also why you shouldn’t be a headlines surfer.  Headlines are frequently misleading, and until you know the guts of a story, it’s best not to form conclusions, because it is too easy to be misled.  We’re all news consumers, but as with any other outlet, be it the “mainstream media” or Drudge, or even this site, you are best always to bear in mind that well-worn but too frequently unobserved phrase: Caveat emptor.

Rubio Neutral or ‘Stealth’ Romney?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Neutral?

Senator Marco Rubio, (R-FL,) may have given a clue to his true attachments.  Rubio ripped Newt Gingrich over an ad being aired on Spanish-language in Florida that accuses Romney of being anti-immigrant.  Said Rubio: “This kind of language is more than just unfortunate. It’s inaccurate, inflammatory, and doesn’t belong in this campaign,” according to the Miami Herald.  Rubio has behaved as though he’s been on Team Romney all along, since Romney endorsed him in 2010, and he also doesn’t mention that it had been one of his top staffers who was behind the scenes pushing Florida to move its primaries forward, thus driving Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to move their contests forward.  The Rubio camp denied it, but it was assumed moving the early states up would give Romney an opportunity to wrap up the nomination race early.

It’s not surprising to see Rubio pick sides in a fight like this, since in truth, he chose sides long ago, but to see him continue to fly under the radar with his leanings toward Romney, it’s pathetic to see this otherwise promising young Senator, himself the son of immigrants, make of himself a shill for the most liberal Republican remaining in the race.  I think he should openly endorse Romney to unmask himself fully, but since he depends upon Tea Party support, you shouldn’t assume Rubio would be forthcoming.  According to the Miami Herald:

“Rubio plans to stay neutral in the race. He’s a potential running mate whom both candidates would love to have on the ballot. And he’s gaining iconic status among many national Republicans who see him as a face of the future in a nation that’s growing more Latino.”

I don’t see how Rubio can claim to remain neutral.   I don’t remember hearing from him when Romney was spending millions on ads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina(never mind Florida,) that had been fraught with inaccuracies and downright untruths.  Where was “Senator Neutral” then?  He’s out there attacking Gingrich, and defending Romney, as in this Tampa Bay Times story:

“Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative. and he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race.”

This statement by Rubio makes me question his integrity.  To pretend that Romney is a conservative is simply dishonest, and one would ordinarily assume the Florida Senator would know better, but at least he did mention here the obvious reason for his bias, despite the ludicrous claims to “neutrality.”  Rubio has also denied he is angling for the bottom of a Romney ticket, but it’s clear that at least with respect to the 2010 endorsement by Romney, for his Senate campaign, Rubio is on the hook for 2012.  I wonder how much “help” Rubio might have gotten, but I do note that according to OpenSecrets.org,  among both Romney’s and Rubio’s top 25 contributors, there’s some interesting overlap, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase. Now of course, this doesn’t prove any conclusive connections, but it clearly shows there is a some funding similarities, although it’s true to say that these same contributors show high up on the list of many politicians’ contributors, and in both parties.

Don’t misunderstand my criticism of Rubio. I’m not suggesting he has some obligation not to take sides, but he’s taking sides to a degree that challenges his alleged “neutrality.”  While he may not endorse for the Florida primary, he ought to simply say which direction he’s leaning in some form.  Otherwise, it looks like he’s being a stealth advocate for Romney, but doing a rather poor job of being stealthy.  His reason for supporting Romney is likely no more than Romney’s endorsement of his candidacy in 2010, but then say it.  I think it’s important that particularly in his home state’s primary, he should play straight with voters who are interested to know his opinion, or at least how he will vote when the time comes.

Scathing New Ad Reveals Romney

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

There’s been a new ad campaign started in Florida by the SuperPAC, Winning Our Future, that is backing Newt Gingrich.  It takes a close look at Mitt Romney’s record on Romney-care while Governor of Massachusetts.  The PAC has reportedly spent $6 million on pushing this ad all over the state of Florida, in a bid to show voters this side of Romney’s record.

Here is their latest ad:

Gingrich Doesn’t Want Debates With Gagged Audiences

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Newt explained to Fox and Friends why he may not attend debates in which audiences are stifled and gagged by the media. The Debate in Tampa on Monday night included a strictly-enforced prohibition on applause and general audience feedback.  Like Speaker Gingrich, I wonder why the media wishes to silence audiences, but I think the answer is clear:  The media gains, and liberals do well when they don’t have immediate feedback from crowds, and it gives the television audience an impression of sterility that makes the events boring.

Watch Newt’s interview with Fox and Friends below:

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The Expectation Game

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

With almost perfect precision, what I had warned in a post early Monday came to pass: The expectations for Gingrich to dominate the debate was so unreasonably high that some were disappointed, but what’s more important to notice is how the media couldn’t wait to push this new theme. “Gingrich off his game,” they lament, and “No standing ovations,” they scream, but what made Gingrich’s performances last week so remarkable was precisely the fact that standing ovations in such events are a rarity, and far from the rule.

In fact, in Monday night’s debate, the moderator, Brian Williams, instructed the crowd to hold applause.  This took away the dynamic interplay between Gingrich and the crowd, but what it largely accomplished was to make it a boring affair in which the crowd itself was no longer any factor, and for the TV audience, it seemed Gingrich had faded some.

I cannot report to you anything specific about the Monday night debate except what I have gathered from other sources, because I was not able to view it.  My apologies to those of you who wanted to read my take.  I will leave it to those of you who watched it to form your own opinions, of course, but in the after-coverage, the developing theme is that Gingrich “underperformed” but only in comparison to last week’s events.  From those with whom I’ve subsequently spoken, he did as well as anybody on the stage, but he didn’t have that “magic moment” as in the two previous debates.  As I pointed out early Monday, nobody can be atop their game every time, and nobody can score the big play in in every game.  Based on what I’ve read, Romney was apparently somewhat defensive, and seemed edgy and desperate, but I’ve also read that Gingrich had a few pregnant pauses.  I will endeavor to watch the video when I find it posted on-line, but it’s really not so shocking that Gingrich might not have lived up to the unreasonably high expectation the media and his most recent performances have created.

Meanwhile, Romney could have managed to stammer out a few sentences and be pronounced a success, because the expectations for his performance were so low following last week’s debacle.  I don’t really consider those sort of false expectations on either side, and neither should the electorate, but unfortunately, the TV audience tuned in to see the guy who created a stir last week in South Carolina, but with a different set of ground-rules, and a different kind of crowd, one could hardly expect similar results.

You can expect the media to use these expectations, or more correctly, the fact that Gingrich didn’t live up to them one night in three as evidence he’s “off his game” or other such nonsense, but you should understand by now that the media builds people up with the notion of later knocking them down again, particularly when it comes to this expectations game. In this case, Gingrich’s prior performances became the standard against which he would be measured, and this resulted in his more average performance being seen as less than spectacular.

Fred Thompson Endorses Newt Gingrich – Video

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Fred Thompson

Appearing on Hannity on Monday night, former Senator Fred Thompson endorsed Newt Gingrich for President.  This certainly won’t make any friends for Thompson in Hollywood, but he explained why he supports Gingrich, and he focused specifically on the condition of the country, saying “we’re at a tipping point,” but he also took on the notion of Gingrich as an “insider,” and he also took on Mitt Romney’s tendency to use surrogates to press a negative attack on Gingrich.  Thompson won his first term as Senator from Tennessee in 1994, the same year that Gingrich engineered the first Republican takeover of Congress in decades.  Here’s what Thompson had to say:

The Truth About Newt Gingrich and His Ethics “Fines”(Updated)

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...On Tax-Payers' Dime

Governor Chris “Krispy Kreme” Christie repeated the dishonest line about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich being chased out of office due to ethics violations, and that he had been forced to pay a fine, in his Meet The Press interview Sunday.  Let me state this unambiguously to any who may have been fooled by this line:  Chris Christie is lying.  Period.  The truth of the matter that Chris Christie won’t tell you is that David Bonior, once the Democrat Whip in the House, filed charge after charge as a matter of creating a nuisance.  The Democrats knew that Gingrich was not particularly wealthy compared to many members, and that they could bankrupt him in legal expenses.  This was their way of hounding him from the Speakership, but it was ultimately his own party that did him dirty out of fears they couldn’t explain this to voters. As Christie sits there gulping air and spewing garbage, you might want to consider his ethical lapses, flitting around as he does at tax-payers’ expense to attend his son’s ballgames.

I’m not going to suggest to you that Newt Gingrich is a perfect human being, or anything approaching it, but just as when I defended Governor Romney on the matter of capitalism and Bain Capital, I am going to tell you the truth.  The facts are clear: Bonior and the Democrats conducted a campaign of phony ethics claims against Gingrich in order to tie him up legislatively, undermine his moral authority as Speaker, and to drive him deeply into debt.  The ‘settlement’ reached was essentially aimed at putting it to bed so he could get on with his life.  This should sound particularly familiar to those of you who have followed the attacks on Sarah Palin near the end of her term as Governor.  Gingrich was almost a prototype for what was later done to Palin.

Chris Christie sits there pompously talking about this information as if there is more to the story he’s suppressing by way of doing you a favor, and there is more, but his concealing it wasn’t intended to do you any favors.  The fact is that the sole charge that wasn’t tossed by the ethics committee was investigated by the IRS and in 1999, they concluded there had been no wrong-doing on Gingrich’s part. Of course, that story got little or no play in most media outlets, and the humpty-dumpty donut-horker in New Jersey wouldn’t want to “regale” you with that.

Of course, there are a number of things ‘Krispy Kreme’ hasn’t told you, including what Palin revealed on Monday night’s Hannity show, where she mentioned an episode in which the New Jersey governor used a state helicopter to attend his son’s ballgame.  The point is that while this man goes on about Gingrich, but omits all the important facts, he’s out there doing things that I consider entirely unethical.  I suppose he simply forgot those things.  This line of attack by Romney’s New Jersey surrogate is dishonest, and they know it, but then again, they’re now desperate. Nobody should be surprised.

Mark Levin covered this story on his show Monday evening, and you should hear his take on it.  He gets it exactly right:

(Note: You can check out more of Levin’s show archives at MarkLevinShow.com)

Update: Byron York carried the same facts about Gingrich on Wednesday.

The GOP Establishment’s Willingness to Lose

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

How They see Us

Watching the post-South Carolina reaction of the GOP establishment and all of its various and sundry shills in media, I’ve come to the inescapable conclusion that there is a disease greater than Obama’s radical leftism that makes us vulnerable to him.  The Republican establishment is committed to destroying Gingrich because he’s not one of them, but I also think because they may not want to win.  If you listen to what they say, and compare it to what they do, it’s clear to me that staving off a candidate who Tea Party folk would prefer is more important to them than the possibility of losing the election. You shouldn’t be shocked that the establishment would prefer to lose to Obama, because in truth, they’re more interested in keeping their gravy train running than fixing the country, and there are at least three reasons this is true.

Culturally, the elite is more amenable to the ideas for which Obama stands.  Obama is a big government statist, and so are most of the people in the GOP establishment.  Their first response to any issue, much like Obama’s, is to imagine a government solution that will involve kickbacks and patronage jobs to their well-connected friends.  These people are all friends, left or right, and they tend to prefer the company of their establishment opposites to the “barbarians” and “riffraff” who constitute the base of their respective parties.  These are the people who descend from on high to participate with you in more humble fare when it suits their political ends. Otherwise, you’re the residents of flyover country, and your job is to shut up and do what you’re told.  They will not be hurt in the least by Obama-care, or any of the other plots and programs and government schemes concocted in Washington DC.  New health-care plan with death panels?  Not for them.  New regulations that make it impossible to start a small business?  Not with their friends.  An economic crisis that would make Herbert Hoover shudder?  It might make a small dent in their accounts, but the difference will generally be negligible.  The simple point is that Barack Obama offers no real threat to them, and besides, they’d prefer to drink cocktails with him than oppose him.  To this jet-set, you and I are unimportant, and our individual goals in life are so pedestrian.  They view us as they view the gardeners and mechanics and all the others they hire:  Important, but interchangeable cogs in support of their lifestyles.  Understand that I’m not talking about “class envy” here, because I surely do not begrudge them their relative wealth.  It’s their attitude that strikes me as fundamentally bankrupt, and it’s encapsulated in the sentiment: “I’ve got mine,” as they ignore the fact that you would like a similar opportunity to pursue your own.

The party insiders wants a safe nominee, who will neither cause them the loss of the House, nor even risk it.  They need to maintain control of at least one house of Congress in order to have the bargaining power necessary to shove provisions into legislation that will allow them to personally profit from the resulting market blow-back, and from insider information.  It’s what they do, and if the control of Congress is at least split, they will maintain that bargaining position. A “safe” candidate like Romney probably wouldn’t risk costing them the House, but such a candidacy might well not gain the Senate, or much of anything at all.  That’s fine with the establishment, so long as there are no losses.  The point is that Congress frequently functions as an extortionist’s protection racket, or plays favorites, and those who control the leadership are able to work out their own deals.  Worst of all, Gingrich is a guy who knows where some of the bodies are buried, and he’s exposed a few of them before.  Whether Gingrich would use that knowledge for reform is another question, but the establishment doesn’t wish to take any chances.

The party elite would just as soon lose because they hope the Tea Party will go away, and they see the re-election of Obama as a political repudiation of the Tea Party.  This is because the Tea Party has come awfully close to discovering how deeply the establishment’s profiteering runs, and the legislation the Tea Party-inclined Americans would like to see would upset too many profitable apple-carts.  More, the Tea Party is not under their control, and what they dislike even more than the party followers of their opponents is the somewhat less predictable nature of the Tea Party.  Tea Party folks don’t necessarily toe the party line, and it was mainly a number of their forerunners who in 2006 sat out the elections giving the House back to Democrats because of Republican over-spending.  These are Americans who don’t care so much about party, but instead are concerned with the general direction of the country, and the implications of gigantic deficits and debt.  These are the people whose wrath will be known in November 2012, and it is their energy that propelled Gingrich to victory in South Carolina.  One thing the party insiders hate is a segment of the electorate that can so easily overturn their plans, which is why when the Tea Party has come under attack from the left, they have generally sat by in silence,  saying little or nothing in defense of the Tea Party.  They are hopeful that the left will make some hay and beat down the Tea Party, because it’s a threat to the GOP establishment every bit as much as the left.  Re-electing Obama increases the chances that Tea Party will fizzle and go away.

These are the three most important reasons that the GOP establishment does not want a candidate with real Tea Party connections, and may be willing to lose in order to stave one off.  I’m not suggesting to you that Gingrich is necessarily a strong Tea Party candidate, but the fact that he is in search of a constituency while the Tea Party seeks a candidate may have made for a marriage of convenience, as South Carolina demonstrated.  What you ought to know and recognize is that the GOP’s elite are not very happy with the state of things, with Gingrich as the apparent front-runner at the moment, but they’re not done just yet, and if they can’t swing a candidate they want, many of them would just as soon lose as permit anything to bring their gravy train to a screeching halt.  It’s not merely direct and thorough reformers who they fear, but anybody who is not under establishment control.  The question for you may not be Romney vs. a purported non-Romney, but instead establishment vs. non-establishment, although for the moment, it seems the two are the same.

New Poll: Gingrich Leads in Florida

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In a confirmation of the South Carolina results, at least for the moment, Gingrich is leading in Florida.  It remains to be seen if this will hold through the Florida primary next week, but at present, it seems Newt Gingrich is leading, and the Rasmussen Poll released this morning points to a surge on Newt’s behalf.

From the Rasmussen poll results:

“The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Florida Republican Primary Voters, taken Sunday evening, finds Gingrich earning 41% of the vote with Romney in second at 32%. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum runs third with 11%, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul attracts support from eight percent (8%). Nine percent (9%) remain undecided.”

This is good news for Gingrich, because it suggests that if he can maintain this lead, and capture even a portion of the undecideds, he can defeat Romney irrespective of any edge Romney may find among undecideds.  Of course, there are two debates between now and the primary, the first Monday night, but if Gingrich can pull off a win in either, he will tend to confirm what voters think.  Expectations are part of the debate game, however, and Gingrich’s excellent performances last week have set what may be an unreasonably high bar.  Nobody can be on the top of their game every time out.

Romney Bashes Gingrich as “Disgrace”

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Bashing Newt

As expected, the battle for Florida has turned particularly nasty as Mitt Romney and his numerous surrogates escalate their war on Newt Gingrich. Politico is reporting that Mitt Romney is mudslinging all over the campaign trail, heaping harsh words on Newt Gingrich.  The word that Romney and his surrogates seem to like most is “disgrace” or “embarrassment.”  I don’t know what is more disgraceful or embarrassing than a desperate candidate running around making such attacks.  Romney’s shift into ultra-negative territory is a clear attempt to try to move undecided voters away from Gingrich, but I think it’s clear that the net effect will tend to hurt Romney in the broader audience.  On Sunday, the country watched Romney’s shills run out into the media to deliver scathing attacks on Gingrich, but I doubt it’s very effective. Traveling in Florida, in Ormond Beach, Romney said of Gingrich:

“Speaker Gingrich has also been a leader,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “He was a leader for four years as speaker of the House. And at the end of four years, it was proven that he was a failed leader and he had to resign in disgrace. I don’t know whether you knew that, he actually resigned after four years, in disgrace.”

That’s a scathing attack, but the trouble is it’s not reflective of what really happened.  As a matter of fact, Gingrich was ousted by his own party, who feared that he had been the source of some losses in the 1998 election cycle. Romney went on:

“He was investigated over an ethics panel and had to make a payment associated with that and then his fellow Republicans, 88 percent of his Republicans voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich. He has not had a record of successful leadership.”

Let it be said that Romney is skating on thin ice on a factual basis here.  He was “investigated.” Yes, he was.  Was he found guilty?  No, he was not.  The “payment associated” was to defray legal expenses but notice that Romney was at least smart enough not to use the word “fines” as is the template elsewhere in the media, and from his own surrogates.  Romney knows that narrative is false, but he still wants to make mileage from it.

As you may remember, on Sunday, Romney surrogates Ann Coulter and Chris Christie took their respective on-camera shots at Gingrich, with Coulter actually suggesting the people of South Carolina were emotionally-drive and stupid.  Meanwhile, the Governor of New Jersey appeared on another network to say Gingrich had embarrassed the party.  In a state with a strong Tea Party contingent, I don’t think Coulter’s approach will make many friends for Romney, and insofar as Christie is concerned, well, you can be the judge of the term “embarrassment” and to whom it is rightly applied.

This run-up to the Florida primary is going to be a barn-burner. You can expect Romney and his surrogates, as well as the SuperPACs who support him to continue their scorched-earth campaign against Gingrich, but it’s beginning to look desperate. Rather than explaining why voters should support Mitt, they’re doing their best to say why voters shouldn’t support Gingrich, but that’s far from a positive campaign of the sort Romney once promised.  It also doesn’t motivate voters to support him. Romney is in real trouble, and he knows it.  The media is only too willing to help him, but whether they can effectively sling mud after last week’s obvious last-minute smear is another matter. Voters may have had quite enough of that, this season.

The Grizzly Bear in the Room

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Will The Roar Grow?

I want to take a moment to address in more detail that which I have watched from afar, and only commented on briefly as what had been more or less a bullet point in a larger story, but if you really want to know what elevated Newt Gingrich to a runaway victory in South Carolina, it goes back to one moment. Although she appears on Fox News regularly, particularly now that the primary season has begun, Governor Sarah Palin’s hat-tip to Gingrich on Sean Hannity’s television show was the key moment.  Looking at the polling data, it was clear that Gingrich’s big night in the Fox News debate on Monday cracked the door open, but when Palin declared to Hannity that she would vote for Gingrich were she a voter in South Carolina, that little mention, surely not a full endorsement, shoved open the door and sent many thousands of the Mama Grizzly’s most ardent supporters and friends out in the pursuit of that end. If you had wondered what a Palin campaign might have resembled, you have witnessed now only a sample.

In an effort made of devoted pursuit, across South Carolina, Tea Party members heard Palin’s words as the signal, and to the polls they went and beat back Mitt Romney, by lifting up Gingrich.  The breaking of the news of an ongoing struggle inside ABC’s executive suites over the Marianne Gingrich story was launched with the intent of arresting this movement, the idea being to head it off quickly.  A story that had been intended to destroy Gingrich in the last moments of the week(despite the official story at ABC,) was instead brought into the light and exposed for the slimy bit of manipulation it had been.

Across the Internet, people dug through old stories, and dug up old information, and before the story had festered six hours, it was already being put directly to bed.  ABC moved it up, first to Friday night, and then to Thursday, but the obvious nature of the ploy was something that the Tea Party, and particularly those known as “Palinistas,” had seen and witnessed many times before.  Repeatedly, over the last three and one-half years, supporters of Palin have watched as similar attacks were launched in Palin’s direction, but with much less scandal behind it.  Part of the scheme they had learned to notice had been the way timing was always employed to maximum effect. None who saw the flashing light on Drudge Wednesday evening had any illusion about the nature of the attack.

On Thursday morning, when  Rick Perry announced the suspension of his campaign, he made a powerful statement about the fallibility of all mankind and the redemption possible to any who seek it.  He stepped forward boldly, in the midst of the continuing theme of attack against Gingrich, and endorsed the former Speaker of the House in spite of the media.  This small moment of confirmation made it clear to many who followed his speech that he was clearly rejecting the media narrative and timing.  A little while later, Governor Palin tweeted her respect and admiration for Rick Perry’s patriotic message, and this served as confirmation to many that the Newt train would leave the station on schedule.  After that, almost nothing else mattered except for Gingrich’s own rebuke of the media on Thursday night, so that when the interview aired of Marianne Gingrich, the few who sat through it were Romney supporters looking for a new source of dirt.

While all of this went on, through the night and into the morning, Tea Party folks in South Carolina rose to make a stand.  They began to volunteer for Gingrich, and they got out the vote for him in epic fashion.  One could hear the faint echos of the roar drifting down from Wasilla, Alaska, but more importantly, one could see it in the frenzy of activity around Gingrich’s campaign operation.  There was only one source of this momentous surge, and Gingrich acknowledged it thankfully, and well he should have, because while he might have managed a victory without Palin’s shout-out, the truth is that he would never have accomplished it under such a withering and well-timed assault without all of the Palinistas and Tea Party folk who responded to her call.  Seven in ten people who voted for Gingrich said they were Tea Party, or Tea Party-aligned.  As Romney campaigned, mostly ignoring the Tea Party, Palin’s small hat-tip in Newt’s direction sealed the fate of the Mittster.

The injection of this sort of impetus into a race is almost unprecedented, but for her own previous engagements.  Her ability to guide and shape the outcome is a phenomenon of which every other politician in the country is now unhappily aware.  They saw the effectiveness of her campaigning and endorsements in 2010, and they noticed that she carries elections at least twice as often as she doesn’t, even in tough regions.  They also know now the terrible force of her slimmest positive mention in favor of their rivals.  What this points out most of all, however, is how quickly the Palin-inclined Tea Party can muster when they see a clear choice.  Palin simply provides the clarity, and since they know her record of earnest reform, they tend to give greater weight to her judgments.

There is one more thing about all of this that I haven’t seen mentioned, but it’s noteworthy, and I offer it to you as evidence of my thesis:  I believe that even at this late date, if the Mama Grizzly decided to do her own roaring, she would quickly dominate the field. I know that’s wishful thinking, and I realize the likelihood is something less than the discovery of a warm personality in Mitt Romney’s suit, but it bears repeating outside the confines of my narrow skull. The effective nature of Palin’s influence in South Carolina should offer you a hint of what she could bring to bear on this or any campaign, and I look forward to seeing her in full support of the growth of the House majority, and the overturning of the Senate, but most of all her committed and forceful leadership in the matter of “sudden and relentless reform.”  Our country desperately needs it, and even if she will not have seek an office, her leadership will be needed more than ever.  In Washington, they’re fearful, and the GOP and media elite are listening intently for the sound they dread, should the Mama Grizzly begin again to roar.