Journal 01/24/2012 (a.m.)

    • That brings me back to  Newt’s first wife, Jackie. She was his former high school geometry teacher, and  he married her when he was 19 and she was 26. Some find that another sign Newt  has some sort of deep-seated psychological problem with women.
    • There is a much larger  issue here than Newt’s character, and that is the character of the Republican  base. The standing ovation he received for his vicious and duplicitous attack on  the media is stark testimony to the hypocritical nature of the aptly named base.  After all, these are the people for whom “family values” supposedly trumps all  else.


      The failure of the other  candidates to bring up the character issue is stark testimony to their hypocrisy  and cowardice as well. Hypocrisy in politics is hardly news, but the level to  which these and other “family values” politicians have sunk boggles the mind.  Mark Foley, John Ensign, Larry Craig, David Vitter and Mark Sanford come  immediately to mind, but they are many more.

    • According to a study  cited here, “Republicans  were involved in 61% of sex scandals in the past 10 years, whereas Democrats  were involved in just 39%. Moreover, 34% of the total number of scandals were  gay scandals (i.e, involving an ostensibly straight politician and a same-sex  partner), with Republicans accounting for 78.5%  of all gay scandals. Republicans were also  involved in 66% of the underage scandals.”

    • They’ve embraced  characters like  Trump, Cain and Gingrich,  who have no character and no apparent family values. Many of them were willing  to settle for dullards like Bachmann and Perry or loonies like Santorum and  Paul. And when it’s all said and done, despite their supposed high principles,  they will vote for Romney, a man many of them deem a spineless,  unprincipled waffler and a member of a heretical cult.


      I’d add that he is also  arrogant, condescending and  oblivious to the needs of others. But none of that will matter to the Republican  base come November.

    • Romney is a former governor and businessman who has never held national  office, never been a congressman and never worked in Washington, and he’s the  establishment guy.  
      Gingrich worked in Washington since 1979,  was speaker of the house, was a lobbyist connecting Washington organizations to  his friends on Capitol Hill, and runs a number of think-tanks, PACs and  political organizations, and he’s the insurgent outsider.  
      I  knew the Tea Party was backwards,
    • The grass roots yearn for a fighter who is prepared to take on Obama in the most  strident and confrontational way possible — to call him out as a socialist or  worse. The applause Gingrich generates at debates with his defiant and indignant  performances gives voice to this visceral urge among many conservatives.
    • The damage to Romney’s campaign could extend beyond South Carolina for this  reason: The central premise of Romney’s candidacy is that he is the best man to  beat Obama. But in South Carolina, Gingrich borrowed directly from Obama’s  playbook, launching the exact same attack Obama will use against Romney this  fall if he is the nominee. Romney responded with all the agility of a deer  caught in headlights. He had a chance to show just how he would take the fight  to Obama in November — and he failed miserably.


      This should raise a question in the minds of GOP voters: If Romney can’t  defend free-market capitalism against Gingrich, how will he be able to defend it  in the fall against Obama?

  • tags: politics

    • The disguise part is clear, too. Gingrich has used his debate skills — and his instinct to hit the raw nerves of conservatives — to camouflage considerable weaknesses as a candidate. The three wives, and cheating on and leaving the first two while they were ill; inconsistency on the most consequential conservative causes of the past decade; episodic bouts of self-importance severe even by politicians’ standards; and countless tales of erratic leadership in crisis.
  • You have to ask?

    tags: politics

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