I stood in a Washington, DC hotel ballroom, shortly after the great GOP takeover of 1994. On the stage was Newt Gingrich, author of the Contract With America, along with other notables such as Dick Armey, soon to be the Majority Leader, and Lee Greenwood was blasting “Proud to be an American” while laser lights danced across the walls and over our heads. Surrounding me was a standing room only crowd of College Republicans. It was a moment of triumph, for all of us. It was the pinnacle of Newt Gingrich’s long insurgency against the 40 year reign of the Democrats. He was to be the new Speaker of the House – and his downfall was about to begin.
You would think, after such a scene, that I would be a raving fan of Newt’s. I was, but I am not now. He has proven himself to be of low character, with enormous ethical lapses and a tendency to big government progressive policies that many of us missed, due to his engaging professorial speaking style. Eventually, substance shows, and style fades. The bloom is off this rose.
Character is one of those things that we are all uncomfortable addressing, since we all fall short of perfection. If you’ve been divorced, you hate to judge others who have been divorced. If you have ever cheated on a spouse or girlfriend, who are you to judge that behavior as well? Pick any “sin”, or behavior that goes against our society’s loosely defined standard of acceptable lifestyle, and you’ll have plenty of people that are guilty of transgressing. This does not excuse the behavior, however. It is a fact that Newt cheated on his first wife with his first mistress, who became his second wife, who he cheated on with his second mistress, who became his third wife, who never leaves his side – gosh, I wonder why that is?
Part of the process of primaries and caucuses involves vetting the candidates – exposing their weaknesses before you pick your nominee, since you know the other side is sure to attack when you’ve picked. We are all sick of corruption. We are all sick of a lack of ethics. Any candidate who has a history of both is doomed from the outset. Newt Gingrich has both flaws, and they are public, and they are provable. From Wikipedia:
“Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Gingrich during his term as speaker. After extensive investigation and negotiation by the House Ethics Committee, Gingrich was sanctioned $300,000 by a 395–28 House vote. It was the first time in history a speaker was disciplined for ethical wrongdoing.”
Second, there is the whole lobbyist/historian thing with Freddie Mac. You know, one of the companies at the center of the collapse of the housing market, and responsible for massive taxpayer bailouts as well as insanity in the financial sector? From Bloomberg:
“Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.”
Finally, his progressive big government past is catching up to him. Many conservatives such as myself, and most libertarians, will not vote for a progressive – we’ll vote third party, or we won’t vote at all. We see no difference in the parties any more, if they stand for the same things. So, lets go to Newt for confirmation of his idiocy:
Newt loving FDR: (Video link formerly/http://nation.foxnews.com/newt-gingrich/2011/12/13/newt-fdr-greatest-president-20th-century)
This video is a compilation of Newt praising FDR multiple times over many years.
“…the greatest Democratic President of the 20th century and in my judgment the greatest President of the 20th century…”
Newt loving Nancy Pelosi: (Video link, click here)
That should be enough, but here’s an article about Glen Beck’s criticism of Gingrich from Yahoo (link).
To sum things up, Newt Gingrich (and all progressives) believes government is the solution to many of societies problems. Conservatives believe government is the cause of many (or most) of those problems.
I rest my case.