Though it is way too early to endorse a candidate for the presidential campaign in 2011, it is not too early to weed some of the choices out. As great as Newt Gingrich has been for the Republican Party and for conservatives, he is one that appears to be heading for an early weeding out. While I have the utmost respect for what he did for conservatives in the mid ’90s, I do not like his leftward lean since he left office after an affair was made public. The left likes to compare Newt’s dalliance with that of Bill Clinton, as both had affairs with interns. The big difference is that one was soiling the blue dress of a 19 year old in the oval office and then lied to a grand jury, which is a felony.
As far as sin goes the two are equal; both were cases of infidelity and were a breaking of wedding vows. Mr. Gingrich says that he is past this now and that he lives up to his marriage vows with his current wife. Due to this past of infadelity in marriage, Newt brings a lot of baggage to the table as a candidate for the GOP. GOP voters tend to be values voters, as well as fiscal, and being strong on the defense of the country.
I don’t know about Newt’s private life and that is going to be difficult for those voters that are looking at him as their favorite candidate. He says that he is a penitant sinner and the indiscretions are behind him. For me, I really don’t need to know or guess about Newt’s private life because Newt has shown a willingness to throw conservatives, and conservatism in general, under the bus. On George Stephanopoulos’ show on January 13th 2008, Gingrich said that the era of Reagan is over. His exact quote was, “We are at the end of the Reagan era. We’re at a point in time when we’re about to start redefining — as a number of people started talking about, starting to redefine — the nature of the Republican Party, in response to what the country needs”.
So, what Gingrich was saying is that the party needs to distance itself from Reaganism, which is the same thing as conservatism. The party needs to wet a finger, stick it up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, and to be what the country wants. That is NOT conservatism; that is NOT what conservatives do or will ever do. It is liberals who are blown by the drifting winds just as it is conservatives who believe that right and wrong never change no matter what direction the wind blows. Even in swirling winds, the true North of a compass is constant. For conservatives, Reagan is that compass always pointing us to our true North. His era isn’t over unless this country’s era is over, as our country was founded by men who shared Reagan’s love of liberty and hatred for fascism and statism.
Newt’s campaign began with him having to defend a couple of positions he had taken in the past. The first was his position on a mandate for health insurance. In 1993, this is what Newt said concerning single payer healthcare:
I am for people, individuals–exactly like automobile insurance–individuals having health insurance and being required to have health insurance, and I am prepared to vote for a voucher system which will give individuals, on a sliding scale, a government subsidy so we insure that everyone as individuals have health insurance.
In Newt’s defense in this matter, even the Heritage Foundation came out in favor of this single payer idea, before finding it to be a socialistic program once it was discussed further when the Democrats tried to pass it as HilaryCare. A problem with it though, is that Newt will not admit that he was wrong, but now says,
I agree that all of us have a responsibility to pay- — help pay for health care. I’ve said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond.
So Newt has no problem with the unconstitutional notion of the Feds forcing all citizens to purchase something.
The second position that Newt has been forced to defend is his view on man-made climate change and the belief that government needs to get involved through cap and trade. He made a commercial with Nancy Pelosi where it was stated that the government needs to force people to use clean, alternative power. He also said to Frontline in 2007,
I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.
Of course mandatory carbon caps and a trading system are Cap and Trade, which is a way the statists have decided to choose what consumers can buy instead of leaving that up to the consumer.
Exit Observation: Newt’s main baggage is his departure from conservative principles, not the dalliances in his personal life. This is not spoken lightly as Newt is a past hero of the conservative movement who articulated these values brilliantly. Sadly, he seems to have left his conservative roots in an attempt to get along with the leftists in our government. Maybe he feels they will be more forgiving of shortcomings in his personal life.
It is sad to see the once great Newt be reduced to defending bad, leftist ideas.