16 thoughts on “The Rise Of Newt”

  1. I worry a lot about Gingrich’s professed antipathy to atheists (of which I’m one), and in general he seems to suck up to the Christian Right a lot more than I think is healthy. But I also get the feeling that some of this is politics-as-usual in the Republican party. We will see how it plays out…

    Jerry Pournelle, a long-time associate of Gingrich, famously says that Newt is generally the smartest man in the room (any room), but does not necessarily think that he would make a good President (see Pournelle’s always-entertaining blog for more details). But Jerry is in full agreement with Rand that Newt “gets” space in a way that no other candidate, past or present, does.

    I’ve also read the unflattering profile of Newt in Esquire several months ago, based on the recollections of one of his ex-wives, and I thought it was overblown; supposedly she was saying that she could take Newt down, and I just didn’t see it.

    I would have zero hesitation voting for Newt over the Obamanation in the general election. I would also have no issue voting for Newt over Romney, Cain, or Perry in the primary (in particular I can’t stand Perry, and I’m a former Texan!). I’m libertarian enough to be supportive of Johnson, but not hard-core enough to support Paul. We’ll see what the field looks like when the California primary hits…

  2. I have serious concerns about what Gingrich would do. As I see it, when he became Speaker of the House, he did a lot of stuff that frankly wasn’t in the scope of the job (particularly, setting up a patronage scheme in the K Street lobbyists). Then later in the 90s he was an advocate of using military force to flip Middle East countries to pro-Israel democracies.

    Before I’d vote for the man, I’d want to see concrete assurances that he’s not going to run riot with the power he’s given. Sure, it applies to every Republican that’s running, but he’s demonstrated that he both has already done so in the past and has the legislative savvy to pass significant law, something Obama mostly lacked.

  3. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68244.html

    A conservative source forwards an anti-Newt Gingrich email making the rounds this weekend, drawing Republicans’ attention to the former House speaker’s history of off-message and ideologically erratic comments.

    You can read the email at the link. I found it interesting – I didn’t know Newt was in favor of Cap and Trade, for example.

      1. 1) I live in an open primary state, so strategic voting in the Republican Primary is always an option. But I probably won’t because this woud preclude voting for Democrats in local races. Still, Jim made a good case for voting for Democrats voting for Romney as the least worst electable candidate and if Gingrich is electable, he should be reconsidered in that light.

        2) I love my country. And I enjoy politics. So of course I’m going to have various opinions and interests regarding Republicans. I see no reason not to share them here. You keep acting surprised by this, and I find that surprising.

        (Rand can always ask me to stop commenting, and I will at once, but my original comment was completely on-topic, and more appropriate than the meta-conversation your comment started.)

    1. “Was” being the operative word in “was in favor of cap and trade.”

      At first, it struck some as a market-based solution to reducing emissions of CO2. Upon further consideration, it was likened to creating a trading market in dog poop, whereby the government sets a fixed limit on the amount of poop dogs generate, and people with big dogs have to buy poop coupons from people with small dogs.

      There’s still just as much shit on the sidewalk, it still smells just as bad, but under the new system, simply walking a dog involves tons of paperwork and a staggering amount of fraud.

      1. Your analogy is great in that we should talk about how to stop a commons from growing increasingly undesirable without worrying about the specifics of CO2 & climate change.

        So, the analogy shows some of the problems with “trade” but what about the “cap” part? What do you recommend to limit (and eventually decrease) the pollution of the commons?

        1. I can understand why you’d want to put aside the “specifics of CO2 & climate change.” The idea of Newt and Obama debating them honestly is probably “worrying” enough to increase your PepcidAC intake.

          1. I can imagine Obama (a reasonable and cautious man) nodding his head in agreement with:

            “It may well be that it is dramatically less expensive to adjust to a change in climate than it is to stop the entire planet from changing.”

            For most people, “imagining” that would require pharmaceuticals. One could certainly characterize Obama’s approach to KeystoneXL as “cautious”, but “reasonable” would also require medication. A Newt Gingrich State Department that needed two years to decide whether or not to block it would be “reshuffled”. Rapidly. And in a debate, that would be made unequivocal.

          2. Gingrich’s message in the quote I provided was “we need more study”, so why wouldn’t he say “we need more study” on Keystone? (You might be right about what he’d do as President, but I’m talking about what he would say in a debate.)

            Oh, wait, you said “debating honestly”. Sadly, that’s probably not going to happen in a presidential campaign.

        2. With subways, it is sometimes sufficient to put in nice carpets and cheerful lighting to get people to stop peeing where they shouldn’t. But the atmosphere and waterways don’t work this way.

          The usual solution found on this blog is to increase a sense of ownership. We could put up tall impermeable walls around everyone’s property and tell them they own the air and water inside, it is theirs to do with as they wish, and they can always buy more from other air and water owners. They just need to keep their stuff on their own property.

          1. But the atmosphere and waterways don’t work this way.

            Of course not. Government regulation is required. Without it, companies will dump toxic chemicals in them. Why would they do that? For the same reason people pee in subways. Because they can, silly. And that is also why we need MORE reg’s. Because just as people’s pee is more toxic now than 20 years ago, companies are more likely to dump toxic waste into the air and water now than twenty years ago. AND DON’T FORGET: Our air and water are more toxic and dirty now than they’ve ever been. The latest Sierra Club pamphlet/fund-drive-letter proves it. Polar bears are going extinct, forests are disappearing, we’re running out of landfill space, and don’t forget about the plastic bags.

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