Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Newt: Candidate as Movement

Here’s a sympathetic account of Gingrich’s unusual approach to pursuing the nomination. One good thing: He’s been studying his Lincoln. I have to admit I’ve never been impressed with his character. He’s too much about inventing and reinventing, and we in Georgia may just know too much to think of Newt as Oval Office material. But the pool is shallow enough that we have to accord his effort serious consideration.

Discussions - 16 Comments

Newt as Lincoln. . . Hummmmmm. Can you think of anybody less equipped for the role than Newt or his Democratic twin Bill Clinton? Is the pool really that shallow?

Holzer did write an interesting book, but you’d think Prof Gingrich would have already known the story. Moreover, his summary of what he read is odd somehow.

Newt from Georgia likes Lincoln? Wouldn’t that make him a scalawag? Oh, that’s right, he’s from Pennsylvania originally. They can have him.


If you told me he had been studying his Davis, there might be some hope.

Well, I agree with Steve that Newt is more like Clinton than Lincoln and with Rad that he ain’t a real southern man. Scalawag seems harsh, though. Those who move South now aren’t really out to get us. They usually open to becoming us. Studying Davis’ writing is a torture I wouldn’t impose on anyone. As a undeniable man of honor, he should have remained silent.

Everyone says that Mr. Davis’s postwar writings are terrible but then when you prod a bit you find that no one has actually read them. I certainly have not. But _Jefferson Davis: The Essential Writings_ from the Modern Library should not be missed. It covers his whole life: planter, war with Mexico, the Senate, Secretary of War, Civil War, and the aftermath of the War.

And Newt is definately a Carpetbagger. It looks like Southerners might be getting a little bit better at recognizing Radical Republicans of the Carpetbagger stripe and removing them from office: think New Gingrich (born in Pennsylvania), Dick Armey (North Dakota), Bob Barr (Iowa), Mark Foley (Massachusetts), George Allen (California).

Let’s get back on track and discuss Newt as a presidential possibility -- or not.

Can he capture the nomination based on his ideas? Can he be elected on that basis? Are his ideas good? And, if Newt isn’t nominated, is it realistic to expect that he might decisively influence someone else’s more viable candidate, or is that a pipe dream?

Thanks Brutus, I misspoke. If he is from PN that would make him a Carpetbagger instead of a Scalawag, wouldn’t it?


Anyway, anyone who likes Tofler has to be a progressive instead of a conservative.


I suggest Jefferson Davis Was Right by the Kennedy Brothers. Speaking of 2008, I hear Donnie Kennedy may run as a favorite son in the South. He is certainly better than Newt or Romney.

You are welcome Red. As for Newt’s ideas, the only one I saw expressed in that article was the idea that Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech offers the "definitive statement on the Founders, the Constitution and slavery." How any statement that fails to examine Jefferson’s perspective on the Missouri Compromise can claim to be definitive in that regard is beyond me.

Basically Newt is putting out the usual Republican Lincoln hagiography. It’s bad history and I don’t see how it will win any votes. The Republicans should come up with something better quick before we get stuck with a different Carpetbagger: Hillary.

Brutus -- I realize that you’d probably rather be back in ancient Rome or the antebellum South, but you’re not. Like it or not, you’re living in the USA in 2006. Rather than trash Gingrich for allegedly turning off voters by identifying with Lincoln, why don’t you offer us some constructive comments about the wisdom or unwisdom of Gingrich’s actual political positions, not his historical asides?

Well put up an article that has something besides Lincoln hagiography and I will read it.

And I like USA 2006 just fine thanks.

Well, I can’t help but agree with David F. But I’m still fascinated by the unexpected direction the thread went. Bruts’ list of the prominent Republican "Carpetbaggers" is fairly damning. But it’s also fairly selective. Again, those who are Southern by choice today are to be especially admired. If the nomination were decided by IQ test, New would probably get it.

Maybe Peter should run. He seems like a gentleman and a scholar to me. And someone with some sense of the terrible ironies in southern history.

Brutus,
My secret plan is to expose the other candidates--one by one--to withering scrutiny and ridicule. Then the way will be cleared for me. I appreciate your support, but it’s too early...
Peter

While Newt is a bit too libertarian for me, I’d vote for him anyway. David’s right...this is 2006. Newt’s one of the few mainstream GOP’ers to have some vision and a willingness to roll the dice. We need men like him, and I was disgusted that they booted him out in ’98. See what we got after he left the helm?

As with Romney, you good folks are fishing hard with Newt. He worked very hard behind the scenes to pass the Prescription Drug Giveaway/Entitlement/income redistribution scheme. With a "conservative" like this, who needs liberals?? Whatever you think of Newt (idea man, etc.), he is no conservative...

"If the nomination were decided by IQ test, Newt would probably get it."


Newt is obviously brilliant. One benefit of that is that he is quick on his feet. I saw him on C-SPAN the other day, and he was asked by an audience member something about global warming. He handled the question very well. Discussed the various views of the science. Not bad I thought for a history Professor. But I think he has trouble bringing it down a notch to the level of the common man. He has a ton of baggage, high negatives, and can be abrasive as hell. Exit polls in Georgia showed a very large percentage of Georgians don’t think he would be a good President.


I grew up south of Atlanta, and Newt was my congressman for several terms before he was gerrymandered out of his district and moved to the north side. He had several closer than you would expect races, when he represented the south side. Mostly because he was completely tone death on the takeover of Eastern Airlines, and the area was heavily populated by airport employees. I really don’t know what he could have done other than mount the bully pulpit and denounce hostile takeovers. Something he could have done without sacrificing his free-market bona fides since there were safety issues and shady financial shenanigans that were obvious to all and the unions were screaming about. But instead he came off more like he was of the Gordon Gecko "greed is good" creative destruction school of thought. (The movie Wall Street was based on the Eastern Airlines takeover by Lorenzo.)


I was a College Republican in my wayward youth, before I radicalized, and the CRs couldn’t stand Newt. Thought he was arrogant and didn’t have time for us peons. We loved Pat Swindle by comparison, who later got in trouble.


Being real smart can work both ways. But look at Pat Buchanan by comparison. He is obviously brilliant because he spouts off fund of knowledge stuff like some kind of walking encyclopedia, but he was able to be a candidate of the common man.


I think a Newt nomination would be a disaster, but he really needs to work on his persona.


I have already nominated Tancredo for a Dale Carnegie course for different reasons. Newt could use one too.

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