It’s official: National Review Online has decided it’s time to toss Newt Gingrich overboard and pin whatever conservative hopes and dreams it still holds on Rick Santorum.
Gingrich’s verbal and intellectual talents should make him a resource for any future Republican president. But it would be a grave mistake for the party to make someone with such poor judgment and persistent unpopularity its presidential nominee. It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader. When he led Santorum in the polls, he urged the Pennsylvanian to leave the race. On his own arguments the proper course for him now is to endorse Santorum and exit.
Ouch. Ordinarily, I would have commenced writing a lengthy response. Fortunately, I happened to peruse the comment section of an article posted by Michael Barone where I found this gem from a commenter named “Freedom” that pretty much captures what I’m thinking:
Santorum may be a good guy and sincere; he may offer our best hope. If he is the nominee I will vote for him. But do all of our readers believe Santorum can beat Obama? I am not so sure.
If NR had not put that banner headline against Gingrich, who knows how things might have turned out? Yes, Gingrich is arrogant and full of himself. Yes, he has an unpleasant past. Yes, he offers too many ideas instead of being Reaganesque and concentrating on the few big ones that matter. Yes, he can’t seem to run a good organization. But he is the only one who tells it like it is. He is the only one to call Obama a Saul Alinsky radical. The others are too polite. He is the only one with the exact right tax policies and specific spending cuts. I believe he is the one we need at this moment. And NR is determined to undermine his ability to get traction. We may get stuck with someone else. And I surely hope it will be the one that will get our country out of the dangerous mess Obama and company have put us in. But conservative media has not been a help in the process of the selection.
I hope we don’t all rue the day once we get our candidate. I hope the best man wins and we take it all in November.
And I am adding here that too many on our side discuss polls and tactics. So few deal with the ideas. If our pundits dealt only in ideas, Gingrich wins hands down. If our pundits dealt only with proposed solutions, how to talk to liberals, and what a candidate says he will do, Gingrich wins it all. Imagine a world where our pundits did not show their genuine hostility to Gingrich all the time. Imagine if they pretended an objectivity. We need a strong conservative to undo damage. Santorum and Romney make their appeals by using groups – Romney with his talk of the very, very wealthy, middle class and poor and Santorum with tax cuts to manufacturers. We are not a country of groups with special interests. Conservatives should not use group think. The only candidate who remembers that we are Americans and we are all in this together is Gingrich. He may offer suggestions about helping the poor move up. Bur they are conservative solutions. We will win with ideas and unapologetic conservatism, not with hoping for good demographics.
Let voters decide who should win. Our pundits should be discussing ideas, not polls.
Newt Gingrich is a spiteful, vindictive, arrogant, egotistical prick who personifies the pejorative term “loose cannon.” He is also courageous, steady under fire and will not turn to stone if he happens to gaze at the Medusa’s head of political correctness. Call Romney a racist and he will run from the room shrieking with his hands over his ears; call Newt a racist and he will chuckle condescendingly before responding, “I know you are, but what am I?”
These are perilous times for our republic: we face a growing threat from Mohammedans abroad and from an oligarchic-socialist fifth column within our borders. As far as I’m concerned, the right man for the job is…a spiteful, vindictive, arrogant, egotistical prick who personifies the pejorative term “loose cannon.”
Forgive me for descending into the Jesse Jackson rhyme game, but here’s my synthesis:
Gingrich is the one who Obama fears the most;
If he’s the nominee, then Obama is burnt toast.