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5/22/2009
CAN GINGRICH RIDE AN ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT WAVE TO THE OVAL OFFICE?

I’m absolutely convinced Newt Gingrich would love to be president. But every time he starts making noises like a candidate, he seems to back off as if remembering his sky high negatives and problematic personal life.

This is a shame because if ever we needed an idea man in the White House - someone who could grasp the essentials of a problem and offer a solution (some more viable than others), it is the former speaker, public intellectual, and I believe, the primary carrier of the Reagan legacy today.

Listening to Gingrich speak is a treat for the mind and his columns are equally thought provoking. His latest points up something that many in the MSM and pundit class are ignoring; that the vote in California rejecting tax increases was, at bottom, a vote against the political establishment and a victory for the grass roots:

This vote is the second great signal that the American people are getting fed up with corrupt politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, greedy interests and incompetent, destructive government.

The elites ridiculed or ignored the first harbinger of rebellion, the recent tea parties. While it will be harder to ignore this massive anti-tax, anti-spending vote, they will attempt to do just that.

Voters in our largest state spoke unambiguously, but politicians and lobbyists in Sacramento are ignoring or rejecting the voters’ will, just as they are in Albany and Trenton. The states with huge government machines have basically moved beyond the control of the people. They have become castles of corruption, favoritism and wastefulness. These state governments are run by lobbyists for the various unions through bureaucracies seeking to impose the values of a militant left. Elections have become so rigged by big money and clever incumbents that the process of self-government is threatened.

Sacramento politicians will now reject the voters’ call for lower taxes and less spending and embrace the union-lobbyist-bureaucrat machine that is running California into the ground, crippling its economy and cheating residents. This model of high-tax, big-spending inefficiency has already driven thousands of successful Californians out of the state (taking with them an estimated $11 billion in annual tax revenue). The exodus will continue.

Gingrich points out that this anti-establishment mood is exactly what powered Ronald Reagan into office as his victory followed closely on the heels of the 1978 anti-property tax revolt in California that then swept the country.

And Newt has some choice words for the Democratic party and their bevy of unions, interest groups, and bureaucrats who are pushing states like California and New York into bankruptcy:

This system of ruining communities on behalf of interest groups first appeared in Detroit. Bad government, bad politicians and bad policies drove a city that had, in 1950, the highest per capita income of any large American city to No. 62 in per capita income as of 2007. The population has declined from 1.8 million to fewer than 950,000. Recently, 1,800 homes were sold for under $10,000 each. The human cost of bad politics and bad government in Detroit is staggering.

Now President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid want to impose on the nation this style of politics in which interest groups, politicians and bureaucracies dominate. Look at their record: a $787 billion stimulus no elected official had read, 8,000 earmarks, an Environmental Protection Agency plan to control the economy through carbon regulations, the government threatening retaliation against those who would protect their property rights against theft in the Chrysler bailout — again and again, this team is moving toward a government that owns the country rather than a government that is owned by the people.

Watch Sacramento politicians and interest groups work to overrule the people of California. Watch Albany politicians and interest groups continue to undermine the economy of New York. Watch the arrogance of the elites in Washington as they impose their costs and special deals on the American people.

Then look again at the 62 percent-plus majority in California in favor of smaller government and lower taxes.

In the great tradition of political movements rising against arrogant, corrupt elites, there will soon be a party of people rooting out the party of government. This party may be Republican; it may be Democratic; in some states it may be a third party. The politicians have been warned.

I find it interesting that Gingrich doesn’t play any favorites when it comes to bashing the establishment. Clearly, a GOP governor in California, not to mention Pataki’s terms in New York (which differs from Paterson’s reign only in the fact that George had an “R” after his name) matters little in his broad criticism that the political elites from both parties are dragging this nation down.

On my radio show the other night, Stacey McCain talked about  shifting the debate in the Republican party from moderate vs. conservative to elites vs. the grass roots. There, he said, is the real divide. The elites are ignoring the very people who elect them by promulgating policies that go against the principles and beliefs held by the base. In this, I somewhat agreed, pointing out that most politicians are forced to show at least some pragmatism or they would be voted out of office. Stacey countered that this doesn’t excuse their abandonment of small government, fiscally responsible policies that would mirror the desires of their constituents.

And that may be the key to bringing factions together. Washington and statehouse elites must find a way to compromise on issues without abandoning what should be their core beliefs. I have said many times that this would require give on the part of the base in that “small government,” while a desirable goal, is quantified in different ways, in different areas of the country. At the same time, elites have to recognize this populist feeling for what it is; a true demonstration of how the base feels about the direction that the elites are leading the country.

Gingrich strongly supports the tea party movement and ties it in with the California vote, citing these twin protests as evidence there may be a groundswell of anti-government sentiment waiting to be tapped.

Is he the politician to do it and by doing so, ride that wave all the way to the Oval Office? As for the former, I have no doubt. But if he runs, he will reopen old wounds as well as bare his private life which at times has been pretty sordid. Moreso than Clinton’s? No, but what does that matter when he will have the MSM gunning for him in ways they never went after Clinton.

All of this I’m sure he is taking into account as he ponders his future while directing his intellect and energies toward fighting Obama and his ruinous policies. In the end, he may find that he can be more effective outside the political arena than in it.

By: Rick Moran at 9:29 am
53 Responses to “CAN GINGRICH RIDE AN ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT WAVE TO THE OVAL OFFICE?”
  1. 1
    c3 Said:
    9:55 am 

    My recollection of his time as minority and then majority leader in the HOuse leads me to believe Newt is much better at putting intellectual force behind grass-roots anger than he is in leading and putting together policy and then implementing. I believe he was “beaten” by Clinton after he’d won the battle over control of the house. His ideas didn’t match Clinton’s political skills.

    And Rick you point a key problem with a Gingrich candidacy: His personal past. Moreover, Newt has a way of becoming radioactive, not good for a national campaign. It generates heat but… (That radioactivity happened with Sarah Palin, though for very different reasons)

  2. 2
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:07 am 

    Gingrich is a twat. (So is Harry Reid, just to provide some partisan balance.) Gingrich rambles on about nano-technology then launches off into some idiot partisan diatribe demanding Pelosi quit as Speaker, totally oblivious to his own personal history in that job.

    He is perhaps the single most unlikable politician in the country. Fingernails on chalkboard. He makes the flesh creep. He’s that awful. A shrill, bloated gasbag pumped full of self-importance and spewing hypocrisy.

    So I do hope you guys run him 2012. If so I vow to contribute $100 to a charity of your choice for every electoral vote he gets outside of the old Confederacy, Utah and Alaska.

  3. 3
    mike farmer Said:
    11:10 am 

    Gingrich needs to run, not to win, because he would lose, but to throw a bomb in the political debate and clarify issues. McCain didn’t have the spirit to describe what’s going in government — unchecked statism which is a form of soft fascism — because he’s a part of it. Gingrich at least has the intellectual weight, the guts and the vocabulary to describe the extremes of the Democrat agenda, which might call enough attention to create resistance to their over-reaching and cause them to pull back. If the Democrats continued over-reaching for the next four years, they would destroy themselves. As a libertarian, there’s a lot about Gingrich I don’t like, but he has always been one to get a debate going. Gingrich and Palin would create one helluva brouhaha. I’m waiting for Penn Jillette to run.

  4. 4
    busboy33 Said:
    11:37 am 

    I’m not hearing any ideas from those exerpts you quoted. Rising groundswell of the common man against the fortifications of the entrenched elite, turning control of the reigns of power over to the commoner, redirecting the focus of the system to the common good, Liberte Egalite Fraternite ou la Mort! (Thank God the Reds exist to offer a counterpoint to all that Leftie hippie socialism).
    So what’s the plan, idea man?
    LOWER TAXES!!! Will of the People! Do the right thing!
    *facepalm*
    Lower taxes aren’t a plan . . . they are a means to effect a plan. Everything else is effective rhetoric in the sense that it pushes the right buttons and inflames the right desires in the audience . . . but its totally devoid of any plan. If anything, its so crasly manipulative that it tends to indicate a total contempt for the will of the common man (the audience) by the elite (Gingrich) who thinks some stirring music, jaunty berets and fluttering Red flags are all it takes to drive the sheep.
    I know you’re a G-man fan, and I’ve tried to see what you admire in him, but I’m not finding any ideas in the few things I’ve seen and heard. I’ve tried to find more, but as other people have commented he’s . . . slimy. Personally distasteful. I’m sure he wants to run in 2012, but he’s extremely damaged goods.

    p.s.: Agreeing with Mike Reynolds that Reid is a sniveling piece of excrement as well. For all you Reds that were screaming about the Elites Revolution once the Blues got 60 votes in the Senate — look to the Gitmo funding fiasco. The only thing that organizes Blues is that they’re not Red. But the “Party Leadership” (ha ha) is an impotent joke. They could hold 99 Senate votes and still wouldn’t be able to pass anything except “Be Nice To Kittens Day” Resolutions.

  5. 5
    SShiell Said:
    1:11 pm 

    Cheney and Gingrich prove there are counters to the personal magnetism of Obama and that is intellect and adherence to principle. Obama looks sharp but if his last two speeches are any indication, he has hit his zenith and is quickly falling by the wayside. He can only carry the “Let’s all hate Bush” mantra only so far and he has stretched that dogma all out of shape by now. Bush did not make him sign the executive order closing Gitmo without a plan in hand to do so. Bush did not offer consultation with Iran with no preconditions. These were all Obama’s doing - along with bailing out the Automakers, the Stimulus Bill, and assorted other financial and foreign policy blunders that now force him to stay in perpetual compaign mode in order to keep his positives as high as possible in order to manage the massive agenda he has set for himself.

  6. 6
    Mark J. Goluskin Said:
    1:18 pm 

    R.S. McCain has it right! It is the elites vs. grassroots. Look at what is happening. Here in California, the elites gave us Gov. Benedict Arnold, by the way of a recall. Now, they are telling us that Gov. Christ is the ONLY one that can win the Florida senate seat. And I do not need to write about backing Sens. Jeffords, Lincoln Chaffee and now Arlen Specter. I like to remind people that the elites were totally against one Ronald Reagan.

  7. 7
    gregdn Said:
    2:36 pm 

    I think Gingrich and others are dead wrong about the meaning of the recent vote in my State of California. These same voters just last November voted for a multibillion dollar down payment on a high speed rail system that we clearly couldn’t afford. George Will wrote a really good article about it in which he pointed out that the electorate here is at least as responsible for our financial mess as the Governor and Legislators.
    That said, I generally agree with Gingrich and wish he didn’t have all that negative baggage.

  8. 8
    c3 Said:
    3:17 pm 

    Michael Reynolds;
    “Gingrich is a twat.” Offensive on several levels… and enlightening too!

    You know every once in a while you manage to say something that suggests thought and careful consideration. Unfortunately too often you spout predictable volleys from the left. Why do you visit this site? I ask that sincerely. Is it to “defend the righteous”? Is is to confirm fixed, unchangeable convictions? I just don’t get it.

    PS And please don’t assume that I only like comments from the right of center. Thoughtful and “energetic” back and forth is enjoyable and enlightening. I guess I’m naive.

  9. 9
    michael reynolds Said:
    4:03 pm 

    C3:

    I come here because Rick is an interesting writer. And because the reactions he elicits give me a pretty good picture of the state of the GOP. Rightwing Nuthouse is a sort of canary in the mine.

    As for “twat” it’s the equivalent of calling someone a “dick.” I don’t find either word offensive. Contrary to what your parents or teachers may have taught you, so-called curse words are very useful and legitimate parts of the English language. Why some people find references to various body parts offensive has always been a mystery to me.

    Mr. Gingrich is a public figure, if he doesn’t want to be on the receiving end of some mildly crude language he should probably find another line of work.

  10. 10
    Freedoms Truth Said:
    4:31 pm 

    “CAN GINGRICH RIDE AN ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT WAVE TO THE OVAL OFFICE?”

    Um … no.

    It was noted … “R.S. McCain has it right! It is the elites vs. grassroots.”

    Correct. The fact is that the brilliant Gingrich has issues that will make the grassroots be distrustful, perhaps moreso than they should be. Its not just what some call ‘personal baggage’, but his sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi, and standing next to Hillary Clinton. Such bipartisan actions are anathema to the right-roots of the GOP, for they have seen 100% of bipartisan bills end up being bad for our freedom. (Just think of every bill that goes McCain-some-liberal-Senator). For a man who want to channel populist energy (which he has done well via American solutions), Gingrich has his own elitist tics and professorial manner.

    He cant help it, he ends up being ‘too smart by half’ as the saying goes. A fox not a hedgehog. That plus the baggage equals a guy who doesnt rate high on likeability/electability. He comes across as the smart policy wonk but is discounted as not empathetic/’real’/personable enough.

    But that’s not to say he’s not a great asset, since the GOP definitely needs a man like him, as we needed Jack Kemp back in the day, or Taft way back when, to leaven our party with some good ideas and put some intellectual rigor in a party adrift.

    As with the 2008 field, we may end up with a 2012 of candidates with a variety of attributes which if you put them together might make a great candidate. Gingrich adds a key element of forward-thinking and openness to ideas, but his perceived flaws and likeability weaknesses are such that it won’t carry him into the White House.

  11. 11
    Freedoms Truth Said:
    4:33 pm 

    mike farmer - #3: “Gingrich needs to run, not to win, because he would lose, but to throw a bomb in the political debate and clarify issues. ”

    I agree. I dont think Gingrich could win, but even if not he could very much help make the GOP race a better one.

  12. 12
    michael reynolds Said:
    4:45 pm 

    I love the elitists vs. grassroots meme. Why not just call it “smart vs. stupid?” Or “successful vs. loser?” On top of it being the Party of the South? Brilliant!

    This is totally the path to success for you guys. You should absolutely push the last few winners out of your party and toward independents.

  13. 13
    Mike Farmer Said:
    8:04 pm 

    Are you calling the south “stupid losers”?

    Hmm…I don’t think so.

  14. 14
    Mike Farmer Said:
    8:27 pm 

    According to the latest polls, the percentage of reduction in the Democrat Party is as large as the Republican Party — the independents have passed both at 39%.

  15. 15
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:13 pm 

    Mike:

    It depends on where you start the graph. In recent years Dems have not lost nearly what the GOP has. But yes, independents rule.

    Good. My interest is not in party loyalty but solving problems.

  16. 16
    Mike Farmer Said:
    10:28 pm 

    So is my interest in solutions — I have no partisanship in me, even though I’m a stupid losr from the south.

  17. 17
    Mike Farmer Said:
    10:29 pm 

    loser — see, I can spell.

  18. 18
    Mike Farmer Said:
    10:33 pm 

    “It depends on where you start the graph.”

    Yes, I know, which is very telling regarding Obama’s presidency and the Democrat rule of congress.

  19. 19
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:54 pm 

    Mike:

    It’s about image. “Anti-elitist” and “Southern” adds up to the hillbillies from Deliverance. I don’t make the rules.

  20. 20
    Mike Farmer Said:
    11:30 pm 

    No, you just make disparaging comments toward a whole region and create stereotypes out of ignorance. The “elites” described by Gingrich, the “corrupt elites”, are those who aren’t actually intellectually superior, merely politically connected and self-designated. “Elite” is something earned and usually designated by others to honor excellence, and excellence is not geographically limited.

  21. 21
    Joe Said:
    7:55 am 

    Whats with the pudgyness of gop speakers? Newt, Rush, Bill Benett, Dick Moriss. Just seems like overpaid, overfed guys that wouldn’t know what an honest days work would look like.Why should I listen to guys that can’t keep their own bodies in check?Appearances tell a lot about people’s motivation and their drive. Newt needs to show me he can push himself away from the dinner table before I take his words seriously.

  22. 22
    Mike Farmer Said:
    9:31 am 

    “Whats with the pudgyness of gop speakers? Newt, Rush, Bill Benett, Dick Moriss. Just seems like overpaid, overfed guys that wouldn’t know what an honest days work would look like.Why should I listen to guys that can’t keep their own bodies in check?Appearances tell a lot about people’s motivation and their drive. Newt needs to show me he can push himself away from the dinner table before I take his words seriously.”

    Yes, unlike the svelte and atheletic Kennedy, Nadler, Krugman, pudgy boy Clinton and Rosy O’Donnel. Geez, this is getting silly.

  23. 23
    funny man Said:
    1:50 pm 

    Mike,
    you have a point with your definition of elite. However, I’d like to point out that often (not by you) that this grassroots versus elite plays out with a hefty dose of anti-intellectual populism that I really dislike. For example, I don’t think David Brooks should be dismissed because he is from East Coast, writes for the NYT, is ‘elitist’. Stupid comments just as you didn’t like about Southerners that nevertheless play well with certain people. If you want to know what I’m talking about just try to tell certain folks that maybe Palin doesn’t have the intellect to be president. Now they have the right to their opinion and I have to mine but one of the charges immediately filed would be ‘elitist’.

  24. 24
    Mike Farmer Said:
    2:35 pm 

    yes, I also abhor false populism that deifies the common person just for being common and denigrates someone who’s achieved an education and done the hard work of learning at a high level, and I think this sort of populism is a political ploy by some politicians, both on the left and right, Biden as an example, trying to get votes by manipulating ignorance and envy — but I don’t think Gingrich is trying to cultivate the common vote, he’s talking about an “elitism”, which as an intellectual himself, he sees as also abhorable because it’s mostly used by the politically connected to create a self-serving distinction and superiority and reveals prejudice and a bias against anyone from the wrong schools (or autodidacts), the wrong religion or the wrong part of the country.

    There are different kinds of intelligence, and those who truly admire the common achievement of many to produce and build things, or to simply raise a family conducive to human flourishing, aren’t saying that intellectuals are useless, they are merely saying some attitudes of superiority are undeserved. Going to Harvard and being politically connected doesn’t automatically equate to being qualified as elite — however, achievement of excellence in any productive endeavor does.

  25. 25
    funny man Said:
    5:22 pm 

    Mike,
    difficult to not agree with you here. Well spoken! However, the flipside to your Harvard story would be that you dismiss someone just because he went to Harvard or works there etc. I didn’t but in my field I’d be lying if I told you if offered a job there I wouldn’t take it.
    I also agree with you that every profession has its dignity and deserves respect. However, that includes politicians and I just don’t buy into the storyline that everyone in DC is any more degenerate and corrupt than anywhere else.
    Enough of that, back to the GOP and how to get back to a credible message.

  26. 26
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:59 pm 

    I meant JUST because someone has a Harvard degree — a Harvard degree is a great achievement but it doesn’t garauntee the person will use it productively or that they are superior in any way. I don’t dismiss people because they went to Harvard — it actually makes little difference to me where anyone gained their knowledge, it’s what they learn and what they do with the knowledge.

    As for the Republicans, they may be unsalvageable — what bothers me is what the democrats are doing.

  27. 27
    funny man Said:
    6:35 pm 

    Mike,
    again I agree with you.
    Let’s turn to politics. I don’t think the Republicans are unsalvageable it’ll just take time. That is why you see all the vicious infighting. I also don’t think Obama is the end of the world he just pushes through a liberal agenda. He also is very good at that. Again that is what I don’t get with my fellow conservatives. At least give him credit for pushing his agenda through (although you might not like the results) and don’t sit and wait for every little mishap that might put him on the “Carter journey’. You might wait pretty long and it’s a waste of time. The credit card bill was pretty smart politics, don’t you think. It is also good that the county (already under Bush) moved away from neocon nationbuilding.
    So where can we generate some enthusiasm? Perhaps by showing that small government can be more creative more able to solve ‘intractable’ problems. I believe that could excite paleos like me, libertarians and folks from the ‘Nader crowd’. I don’t have to tell you that this would also get opposition not only from the left but also from the right.

  28. 28
    funny man Said:
    6:47 pm 

    Mike,
    however, if this:
    http://anncoulter.com/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=312

    is the way the ‘Right’ try to get back to having something to say I’d have to agree with you that all hope is lost.

  29. 29
    mannning Said:
    8:41 pm 

    OK, one more time! Who are the “elites”? How would you recognize one if you saw one? This term is bandied about as if we all know the membership of the class called elite, but no one, ever, sets forth a real identification of them, by name, or even by recognizable attributes.
    So, who are they?

  30. 30
    Mike Farmer Said:
    9:06 pm 

    I think Obama has political skills, but that’s not important to me, and it’s not that I assign evil to him — it’s just I think his ideology leads to statism and a stagnant economy, not to mention loss of freedom, Plus, it’s not just Obama, but the Democrat Party and Republican Party going to a more interventionist government. Yes, I think the salvation of the Republican Party is in a push for limited government and privatization — allowing the private sector to innovatively develop solutions to some of our most pressing problems — especially education.

    Manning,

    It depends on what realm you are talking about — the media elites are the Walters, Brokaws, etc — the political/economic/philosophy realm has people like Podhoretz, Krugman, Wills — politicians like Kennedy and Kerry

    Some are accomplished — some are connected pretenders.

  31. 31
    michael reynolds Said:
    9:12 pm 

    Mike:

    This started as a discussion of elites in the GOP didn’t it? As opposed to the grassroots in the party? Or did I miss something?

    Manning asks a good question: what exactly –other than some dinosaurs in the MSM — the elites?

  32. 32
    kreiz Said:
    9:17 pm 

    Reynolds, you rabble-rouser, you. I assumed it was a typo- that you meant “twit”. Equally apt.

  33. 33
    mannning Said:
    10:15 pm 

    Not to champion a conspiracy theory, but I believe many of the most influential political”elites” do not seek the limelight, do not go around giving speeches or interviews (not often, anyway), and try very hard to work behind the scenes as far as possible. This implies, of course, that they are sufficiently wealthy to be able to stay behind the scenes, and to hire people to help. They do not seek public office, but act as “kingmakers”, and they attempt to ensure that the office holders are beholden to them, one way or another.

  34. 34
    mannning Said:
    10:34 pm 

    Mike, I have a list of the most visible, so-called elites in a number of categories: political, social, administrative, religious, legal, military, entertainment, financial, industrial, education (professors), and international. I feel sure that there are more groups of importance, but I am lazy tonight.

    As I contended above, it may not be these visible characters that call the tune, they just parrot it.

  35. 35
    Mike Farmer Said:
    11:04 pm 

    In the Republican Party, I’d say the attitude of “elite” applies to people like Bush Sr, Baker, Podhoretz, Wills, Krauthammer, Kristol, Buckley before he died — I’m sure the list is long, but it’s an attitude more a club.

  36. 36
    Mike Farmer Said:
    5:58 am 

    than a club

  37. 37
    mannning Said:
    10:45 am 

    So the conflict in the party is between the Elite Attitudes and worldview of some few, versus the Grassroots Attitudes and worldview of the many. What an anti-democratic situation! That obviously makes knowing just who it is that is dictating to the many an important factor.

  38. 38
    Mike Farmer Said:
    10:53 am 

    Manning,

    I believe it’s a modern hierarchical structure, which is a remant pre-Locke, that’s the problem, not a group of indivduals plotting and scheming. See my blog for my take.

  39. 39
    Sirius Said:
    11:32 am 

    …not to mention Pataki’s terms in New York (which differs from Paterson’s reign only in the fact that George had an “R” after his name)…

    NY is a one-party state, Rick, not unlike the former Eastern Bloc nations. But I doubt I’m pointing out something you don’t already know.

  40. 40
    serfer62 Said:
    11:55 am 

    If brains were the requirement for political office then Einstein would have ruled the earth…foretunately that isn’t so.
    .
    The Lizard lost it as Speaker when he brushed off failure to complete The Contract With America as “…we did a lot”. The Great Green One then became a Greenie
    .
    Now he’s a Weenie. Keep him out of office…

  41. 41
    mannning Said:
    1:23 pm 

    A quote from Mike Farmer:

    – however, the structure of the priests, the warriors and the laiety is still seen in our interventionist state which promotes the idea of esoteric knowledge at the top passed down to the plebians. The common folk are expected to have faith in the wisdom of the liberal priests. This esoteric knowledge which guides our moral direction is deemed necessary because the common people of the market and public sphere are driven by base desires and limiting self-interest, so moral guidance must be enforced from above to sustain orderly direction and fairness.

    My statement of “the few” amd Mike’s statement of the “priests” are really referring to the same thing; he merely points out that there is a hierarchy involved, which is obviously true.

    But, so far, we have not named names or cited CVs in this Priesthood to any large extent, with one possible exception: David Horowitz in The Professors. They are the source of much progressive poison, and they do profess elitism. I should add that the exact or even approximate (i.e. hazy) hierarchy definition and positions would be necessary also, but I have no handy reference that shows this!

  42. 42
    mannning Said:
    1:33 pm 

    Newt has an insightful mind and a vast store of knowledge and experience. My take on his strategy is to step up to be the voice for conservative government, and hence the Republican Party, in the minds of the voters. His every move puts him in the spotlight with sound ammunition that impresses most thinking people in the audience. He may then be looking for a “draft Newt” movement come 2012 that quells his past problems, much as many notable politicians have done.

  43. 43
    Mike Farmer Said:
    2:14 pm 

    If Obama can slide past his associations with Rev. Wright and Ayers, and Clinton can still be popular after Lewinsky and his impresive list of dalliances, I don’t know why Gingrich can’t overcome his past — except that the media will make hay with Gingrich, whereas with the other two they looked the other way — but the MSM will be completely obsolete by 2012. Don’t get me wrong, Gingrich is too much the politician for me to be an avid supporter, but the Republicans could do much worse. Sanford is about the only Republican I’d support, if he leaves his religion at home and church. There’s a good possibility a Democrat will arise who is anti-statist and surprise everyone by capturing the independent vote.

  44. 44
    mannning Said:
    5:10 pm 

    In my view, the American public wants a man for President who evidences a strong religious belief and commitment. The public is not quite sure of a man that espouses agnosticism or atheism in the role of President.

    This is a degree-to-which question, I suppose, and it is very possible for the candidate to show his faith in a definite, dignified but quiet way, and not try to foster his religion onto the public, or to quote biblical passages all the time to make his points. Thus, he cannot leave his religion at home and church entirely–it is too important a test.

    Speaking of litmus tests for the Presidency, this is one!

  45. 45
    Mike Farmer Said:
    8:38 am 

    Yes, Manning, I agree that the public is not ready for an atheist or an agnostic.

  46. 46
    copithorne Said:
    9:42 am 

    ‘Elites’ are people who eat brown mustard. I thought everyone knew that.

    I will pipe up that I voted against the California propositions because I did not want to ratify what is essentially a Republican compromise that locked in spending freezes and relied on phony accounting gimmicks.

  47. 47
    mannning Said:
    3:31 pm 

    Yes, it is we who eat yellow mustard, we plebians, that make up the other 98% of the population. Elites are never seen at MacDonald’s or Windy’s, either, except for a show of their common touch with great fanfare— once an election season. Neither do they stay at a Holiday Inn or Marroit hotel. It is the Four Seasons, or the Ritz. In fact, plebians almost never see a true elite in the flesh!

  48. 48
    mannning Said:
    3:45 pm 

    The measure, Mike, is the percentage of the population that claim Christianity—about 85%—versus the percentage that claim to be agnostic or atheist—about 8%. The remaining 7% or so are simply not committed to anything, except perhaps hedonism or one of a hundred exotic sects too small to track.

    America will most probably never be “ready” for agnosticism or atheism. Being ready for those systems of (non)belief means rejection of Christ, which is a life-changing step for most believers, and they try hard to ensure that their children have the same religious upbringing.

    I do hope that the implication of being “ready” does not indicate a superiority syndrome…

  49. 49
    funny man Said:
    4:08 pm 

    Manning,
    elites point out that it is the Marriot hotel. Is German mustard allowed or is it Dijon?

  50. 50
    mannning Said:
    3:14 pm 

    Why so it is Marriot. Never was a good typist. So, funnyman, you are claiming elitism with your nit?
    Not being an elite myself, I stick to the plebian yellow stuff, so I can’t answer your question. I must admit that Dijon tasted good once at a friend’s house, and it is hard to get good ole yellow in Germany.

  51. 51
    funny man Said:
    11:17 pm 

    Manning,
    gotta have some fun with this ‘elitist’ debate. I make a lot of typos too. Happens!

  52. 52
    mannning Said:
    12:51 pm 

    Good idea, funnyman! But, on a more serious note, have you noticed that no one cares to step forward and name lots of names here, including me, and I have a list. I believe it is reluctance to expose one-self to lawsuits and the glare of the media eye.

  53. 53
    Mike Williams Said:
    8:49 am 

    How about this, in the next electiond (state and fed) we vote against ALL incumbents, every damn one of them?
    Then in following electiond vote out any who didn’t get the message the first time.

    Cheney/Palin 2012!!!!!

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