Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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CPAC Postscript

I should have mentioned that Newt’s entourage were all wearing "Winning the Future" t-shirts which had on the back the following slogan:

"Countdown to September 27."

I’m going to go out on a limb here and make the prediction that Newt is going to make some kind of announcement on September 27. I wonder what it could possibly be?

Discussions - 16 Comments

I just can’t picture Newt winning the primaries, let alone the general. He’s a smart guy and all, but he’s carrying way too much baggage.

He would serve "the cause" better by being its conscience from the sidelines. Newt’s problem is he too often lets his pride interfere. If he can check that, then he can be quite effective as a spokesman for the essential conservative message.

Newt is holding fire right now. But if he decides to wholeheartedly enter the race, if he decides to come out as THE articulate voice of American conservatism in the race, he could unload on McCain/Giuliani and Romney.

Gingrich could EASILY dominate those debates in a way we’ve never seen before.

So I think the question has to be IS GINGRICH ENTERING just to advance certain policies, OR is he entering TO WIN.

Pride?

I think we need that. We’ve had too many Presidents of late trying to slink back behind the veil, {GHWB, who often when asked of his policies would answer "it’s about THE TEAM..." or his son, with his refusal to fully take up the bully pulpit}. It’s good to recall, Gingrich isn’t just proud of what he’s done, he’s ALSO PROUD OF AMERIA. In a distinct manner, in an articulate manner, in a historically grounded manner.

Gingrich is a proponent and defender of American Exceptionalism. It’s not fake, it’s not fraudulent and it’s not something conjured up during the campaign season, but then put aside in the cupboard while governing.

Dan wrote: I think we need that.

When I wrote of Newt’s pride, I was speaking of pride in himself. That is his weakness. That is what allowed Clinton to clean his clock over the government shutdown fiasco. That is what drove him from his Speaker position. That is what can cause him to cross the line between powerful spokesperson for a cause, and become a puffed up cartoon.

I’ve always admired Gingrich’s ability to draw the listener over to his point of view. But I’ve always been aware that he walks a fine line, and it takes very little for him to repel people.

Don, I knew. I knew you were referring to Newt’s personal swagger. So when I said we need that, I MEANT PRECISELY THAT, that the country needs Newt’s swagger, needs his ego, needs his pride.

I think we need some old school attitude. Enough of the fuzziness and softness of the Bush men and family.

From NRO

Newt Gingirch right now is getting a slightly ridiculous reception (I like the guy too, but...). He opted for a dramatic walk in from back of the ballroom to the stage, as America the Beautiful played majestically, and the entire ballroom (from best I could see) was standing, some on chairs. (emphasis added)

That plays for the die hards at CPAC. It doesn’t for the middle 10% that decide our elections. I assure you it does not.

Reagan never appeared to swagger or be arrogant. His was a quiet, strong humility. That’s what I’m talking about.

Reagan DID HAVE a swagger. "Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY." When he dismissed Communism as some bizarre chapter whose last pages were even now being written..... Those types of statements weren’t simply read in some lame, Andy Cardesque style.

His eyes flashed, his jaw clenched, Reagan LOOKED the part. Reagan could occasionally use his vast reservoirs of strength. He didn’t do it often mind you. I’m not saying that. But there was no doubt what Reagan would do. Ronald Reagan was a gift of God, an answer to the prayers of a nation. Today, we’ve a party of wimps.

Take a look at the comments triggered by Coulter’s crossing of a line drawn by Democrats. Republicans are out there seeing who can out denounce Howard Dean, the man who said at Fire Island that he would be "the first gay President."

Americans are lost in a rip tide of cultural relativism. Or as the Panzer Kardinal so aptly described it, "a DICTATORSHIP of relativism." And that’s what Coulter ran afoul of, and now, the "DICTATORSHIP" is trying to dictate what she can say, what she can feel, what she can think. In other places, the dictatorship is declaring prohibited statements in Christian Churches that homosexual behavior is sinful. EVEN THAT, is now declared in many places, verboten, prohibited, out of bounds, beyond the pale. Complete loss of perspective. That’s what it is, a complete loss of perspective. Gay pride parades go down major thoroughfares, and are so raunchy and depraved that even the newspapers and the media don’t run photographs of them. THAT’S OK for our elites and punditocracy.

Coulter DELIBERATELY, {she had this thing planned all along, she was just waiting for the right moment to spring it...} crosses a line, a line drawn by Democrats, for the purpose of accentuating their political and cultural strength, for marginalizing conservatives, and for further stressing the Judeo-Christian foundations of this nation, and she gets hammered.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to do the calculus on this one, and conclude that "something’s wrong here."

Fine ... think what you will. Call for a Gingrich or a Coulter to swagger onto the stage. Just start practicing saying "Democrat control of the House, Senate and White House." It will come to pass.

Reagan’s swagger -- if indeed it can be called that -- was never arrogant. It was always tinged with self-deprecation. That’s something neither Gingrich or, particularly, Coulter, can pull off.

I recall the conservative over-confidence right after the 2004 election. I recall thinking, "What? You just barely won! It should have been a blow-out over that pompous fool Kerry, but you just barely won!

Sure enough, come 2006, the kind of overconfident and prideful arrogance you seem to call for bit them ... hard.

America is not trending conservative. It’s trending moderately selfish, which is an attribute best served by liberal candidates.

But think what you will.

As for Coulter -- read the various conservative website and gauge their reaction. Several at NRO have loudly decried Coulter. Hugh Hewitt is calling for her to be banned from representing the conservative cause. If you think Coulter is the kind of face needed to win the next election, you are sadly mistaken.

"America is not trending conservative. It’s trending moderately selfish, which is an attribute best served by liberal candidates."

This is mostly true, I think. But the question is what to do about it. Do we indulge it and go along with it, or do we try to stand for something? If all that is on the horizon is a GOP which looks like the Democrats, then a lot of people will opt out completely.

"read the various conservative website"

Hugh Hewitt never struck me as being much of a conservative. In general, the bloggers given spots at CPAC seem to have been picked because they would not rock the boat. None of those people will ask any tough questions of the candidates.

The reaction to Coulter is that of the herd, running in the direction they’ve been conditioned to run in, they’ve been taught to run in, they’re FRIGHTENED NOT to run in.

Her comment isn’t something I would’ve done, for a variety of reasons, and it wasn’t even funny, but the reaction thereto, is a rather squalid spectacle. Watching articulate, intelligent Conservatives run for their political slit trenches because of that comment, inane to be sure, but entirely irrelevant, just tells us all how little nerve exists amongst the leadership of the GOP.

Yea, I’ve seen some of the reaction, perused a few blogs, observed all the posturing, all the preening, all the strutting down the political catwalks. Saw all the faux outrage, the studied shock, the calculated horror, the deliberative denunciations. And for what, to garner what, to gain what, to placate who, to appease which particular constituency, to demonstrate what AND TO WHOM. Sound and fury, tis nothing but sound and fury.

Of all the things to be outraged about, this Coulter drama is last on the list.

And DON, when I say swagger, when I say that the GOP needs more of what Gingrich has, it isn’t a posturing that I’m suggesting. I think you misunderstood my point.

But that’s OK. There will be time to fully spell it out over the long campaign.

If what you mean is a strong, confident assertion of principles ... then I agree. The question is then how best to display that. My point is that it is best done well seasoned with humility. Not weakness, not false sincerity, but the kind of humility a true man has when he knows in his heart he’s serving a larger, more noble purpose.

Now, that’s a difficult thing. Most men’s "noble purpose" is themselves. John Kerry was the classic example of someone who’s entire purpose was himself. Gingrich, at his best, has the ability to display a true commitment to a higher purpose. But -- and this is my point -- only at his best. And for him to run in the teeth of what would be an incredibly hostile press, he’d have to be on his top game 100% of the time.

John, in comment #10, asked what could be done about the increasing trend of America towards selfishness. I honestly have no idea. I doubt any political campaign is going to change that. We had a time after 9/11 where people got a taste of the value of selflessness. But that lapsed. I fear it will take nothing less than something like that to waken America from its slumber.

John, in comment #11, says that Hugh Hewitt isn’t much of a conservative. Perhaps. I’m curious who would be an example of a conservative in your eyes.

As for Coulter and her comment ... I watched the video. Frankly, I’m at a complete loss as to see the connection between John Edwards and her use of the word "faggot." But worse, what she has done is serve up a big fat helping of anti-GOP and anti-Conservative soundbite for the next election cycle. You and I may say she doesn’t speak for the conservative movement, but the half asleep electorate out there that thought Al Gore’s fake passionate kiss of Tipper in 2000 was the stuff on which to base one’s vote does. The damage she does t the conservative movement is akin to the damage Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker and Pat Robertson do to the cause of Christ every time they open their mouths.

Yes, this election cycle will prove interesting. I’ll make this prediction ... and I’m not really going out on a limb here: America will not elect a "true conservative" president in 2008. It just won’t happen. We can only hope whoever is elected does have a D next to their name.

Rats ... no ability to edit a post. I meant to say "does not have a D next to their name.

Yea, that first sentence got it. A "strong" and "confident" assertion of what we’ve got to offer. Yup. That’s it.

And your loss about her comment and Edwards is EXACTLY what I thought. The ONE thing that she can be said to have accomplished, is to have caused a furrow across the brow of many a listener.

I find fascinating the many mischaracterizations, all by people whose expression of horror evokes that poor announcer who witnessed the Hindenburg going down.

IF what she said was so dreadful, so horrible, so inhuman and cruel, than all that’s necessary is to truthfully render it. Exaggeration, augmentation, amplification and additions only betray the fact that the comment was more of an inanity, than anything else.

But really, the fracas and ensuing drama isn’t about Edwards, or what she said when asked a question about Edwards. It’s all about that word, and it’s all about that certain community that emerged from the closet. THAT’S what it’s all about. AND SHE KNEW IT. Which is why she dropped it. But that wasn’t immediately apparent to me, though some were far more quick on the uptake.

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