Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Today's the big day here in Florida.  While I am not a registered republican and cannot vote in the closed primary, I'm happy today is primary day because that means that hopefully tomorrow the attack ads will stop.  The Romney campaign has decided to run a scorched earth campaign against Newt Gingrich, and it ain't pretty.  For every Gingrich ad there are three Romney attack ads.  I have to say, I'm liking candidate Romney less and less as the campaign drags on.  I have no problem with attack ads, but I do require that they at least be truthful.  Romney's are not. 

Let's start with the claim that Gingrich "resigned in shame".  That is absolute malarkey.  It is implied that he resigned because he was censured by the House and had ethics violations brought against him.  In reality, he resigned two years later.

And how about those ethics violations, anyway?  What was that all about?  Here's the beef in a nutshell (via The Wall Street Journal):

On the merits, the claim was that Mr. Gingrich diverted funds from a tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization for political activity. The Progress and Freedom Foundation sponsored his seminar "Renewing American Civilization," and Democrats charged its real purpose was advancing Professor Gingrich's career.

In 1997, the speaker basically copped a plea and accepted the House rebuke to avoid further political damage. Yet a formal IRS investigation in 1999 exonerated Mr. Gingrich and found that the course was intended to educate students about American government and society.

Basically, it was an attempt by the opposition to hamstring a promising young politician.  Please note Nancy Pelosi's glee in alluding that she was privy to information that didn't make the public record in an effort to conflate the issue into something serious (sounds like a little old fashioned liberal panic and bluster to me).  Something similar happened to John McCain with the notorious "Keating 5" scandal.  Much like Gingrich, McCain was eventually found to be innocent of all charges - but dems still tried to use it to discredit him in 2008.  The Romney camp seems perfectly happy to take a page out of that playbook.
Romney's demand that Gingrich release the ethics report is disingenuous and is a blatant attempt to make hay.  He knows full well that that report has been public record for well over a decade now and is easily accessible online. How can Gingrich 'release' something that's public property?   It's typical that Romney was lamenting Gingrich's supposed "Alinsky tactics", but has no problem using lies, innuendo, posturing and the politics of personal destruction to suit his own ends. 

Then there are the attacks on Gingrich's Reagan creds and the attempt to paint him as anti-Reagan.  Not only is this line of attack ridiculous, it's also flat-out wrong.  Nancy Reagan herself said that "Ronnie" passed the torch to Newt.   His son Michael has endorsed and is campaigning for Gingrich.  While there are a few Reagan insiders who have refuted Gingrich's claims to the mantle of Reaganism or whatever it is exactly that they are squabbling over, there are also several insiders who claim the opposite.   In order to view Gingrich's comments as anti-Reagan, a real effort has to be made to take them out of context.  Romney's lame attack that Gingrich was only mentioned once in Reagan's diary sounds more like sour grapes than anything else.  Besides, at least Gingrich was in the inner circle - as opposed to Romney, who found it more expedient to distance himself from Reagan policies - until it suited him to embrace them, of course.

Quite frankly, the more I see of Romney and his resume, the more I see Obama Lite. 

We need someone in office who will shake things up.  Romney has shown over and over that he is yet another 'go-along-to-get-along' progressive republican.  In order to make the big changes needed to get our house in order, we need a reformer.  That is NOT Mitt Romney.  The only candidate out there right now with a real reformer resume is Newt Gingrich. 

The fact that the republican establishment has come out in force for Romney and against Gingrich really says it all, doesn't it?  Who would they want in office, the one who will continue the policies that are good for them but bad for the country, or the one who will shake things up, clean things out and reprioritize for the good of the nation, not the party?

A vote for Romney is a vote for the status quo.  All he will do is slow down the rate of decline.  He has no interest in fixing our broken system, because it works for him.  If you don't mind deficits as far as the eye can see, Romney's your guy.  His record in Massachusetts was every bit as big-government as Obama's, right down to being the blueprint for Obamacare. 

Let's pretend for a minute that the US is a train.  Before we left the station, Engineer Obama and his regulators piled on to the already overloaded train and hooked up a few dozen extra cars for good measure.  Then he put the pedal to the metal in an attempt at getting a running start on his section of track.  Unfortunately, this leg of the American Journey happens to be through the Rockies, and we are stuck on a mighty steep incline.  Engineer Obama's answer to our inertia is to add a few more cars to the train, perhaps in an attempt at crushing the mountain under it's sheer weight.  No one is really sure, including, it seems, Engineer Obama.  The result is a train stuck halfway up a mountain with it's boiler, fueled by inflated, flaming greenbacks supplied by an ever-printing Fed, fruitlessly pumping out geysers of useless steam as it's wheels spin frantically forward even as the train slips irrevocably backwards.

Obviously we need a new engineer, and the country has been desperately looking for one for over a year now.  Enter Engineer Romney.  While he might uncouple the last car in the train - Obamacare - to lighten the load a bit, he will focus more on just applying the brakes and trying to keep the decline from being too sharp, as opposed to trying to get over the mountain. 

Engineer Gingrich would stop the train, decouple the cars added under Obama, upgrade the engine, streamline the train, ditch the regulatory dead weight (and hopefully the luxury cars that have latched on under Obama) and focus on getting us roaring up the mountain again.  Those much vaunted Clinton Surpluses?  Thanks to Gingrich.  The Welfare reform the Clinton administration proudly takes credit for?  Wouldn't have happened had Newt not dragged Mr. Bill kicking and screaming to the table.

Is Newt a personable guy?  Not particularly - especially if you listen to the Establishment.  But I'm not looking for someone likeable.  Barack Obama, by all accounts, is quite personable.  But I'd rather swallow live scorpions than have him at the wheel for another four years.  I want a leader.  A reformer.  Someone who will really shake up Washington.  Is Gingrich a Washington insider as Romney claims?  Well, if he was, he'd probably be better liked, because he'd be playing the game.  But he is loathed in Washington. 

And you know what?  That's endorsement enough for me.

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