Tea Party, Thy Name is Ichabod (or Soon Will Be)

I don’t think I have ever been as disappointed in an election result as I was in the GOP primary result in South Carolina Saturday night.  If you’ve seen any of my previous posts you know I’m a Ron Paul supporter, but it wasn’t his finish that disgusted me about the race.  It was the fact that South Carolina Republicans chose Newt Gingrich as their prime choice for President.

Frankly, I didn’t expect Paul to do very well in South Carolina (or in the South as a whole).  Conservatives here in the Bible Belt don’t really seem to care much about the economy or civil liberties or freedom in general, for that matter.  Bible Belt Conservatives (BBC’s) like war.  No doubt this is a carryover from when the South was dominated by Democrats being that for almost 100 years (from McKinley to Bush [41])  they were the warmongering party.  BBC’s like Jesus but they don’t like freedom of religion.  Apparently too much Puritanism made it’s way South over the years.  I’m pretty sure most BBC’s would feel pretty good about burning unrepentant Muslims or Hindus or atheists at the stake, but not Jews.  They need the Jews around because they’re the key to the entire unfolding of the apocalypse.  Well, Jewish Democrats can burn…others are ok.  BBC’s would also rather focus on issues like abortion and drugs, both issues about which they simply can’t comprehend the straightforward position Paul has that these are state issues…not federal issues.  Oh, and marriage.  That one’s pretty important, too.  Well, not so much marriage as an institution but just keeping marriage between a man and a woman (I guess I should add burning homosexuals to the list above).  On this issue, BBC’s are obviously quite tortured, because the man who won the South Carolina primary has no respect for the institution of marriage, having divorced two wives after they were diagnosed with debilitating conditions–cancer and MS (so much for sickness and health, huh?)–and marrying his third wife after he had cheated on his second wife with her.  So, no, the fact that Ron Paul was fourth didn’t really surprise me and I was pleased that he drew several times more votes this year than in ’08.  At least some South Carolinians are paying attention.

No, my disappointment stems from the fact that BBC’s (and perhaps other “conservatives”) are so blatantly inconsistent that it means they’re either ignorant (not stupid, ignorant in that they don’t know much), gullible (and fall for Newt’s manipulation of the media, the debates and the issues), or are patently not conservative and should give up the moniker.

Gingrich supported bailouts (TARP).  Newt supported an individual mandate in healthcare.  Newt “earned” almost $2,000,000 from Freddie Mac, the eye of the real estate bubble hurricane, as a “consultant.” On top of these issues, the ignorance of BBC’s is compounded by the fact that Newt has said that FDR was “probably the greatest president of the twentieth century.”  That’s right…this self-proclaimed “Reagan Republican” credits FDR as being the greatest president of the twentieth century.  (Not to mention that Gingrich also sees himself as a Wilsonian, which would be bad enough.)  And this is the man that self-proclaimed Tea Party supporters (64% of the SC voters) chose by a wide margin (45% for Gingrich).  On top of this, Newt used revelations of his sordid past in wanting an “open marriage” to his advantage.  John King (stupidly) opened the debate Thursday night with a question to Gingrich about it and Gingrich (rightly or wrongly) used the opportunity to pitch a fit.  Gullible voters would easily interpret the scene as a left-wing media attack on Gingrich, making him a hero in their eyes and possibly winning their votes if they hadn’t already been duped by him.  It would be laughable if it weren’t so shameful.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Tea Party, Thy Name is Ichabod (or Soon Will Be)

  1. Thanks for the link. And I happen to agree with your analysis. Gingrich was for most everything we protested against in recent years.

  2. Pingback: Blocked… | Nailing Jello to the Wall

  3. Don

    I have to agree with Mark Levin. He is supporting Santorum, but he is also tired of the vicious character assassination attempts on Newt.

    As Levin pointed out, Newt has done more for the Conservative movement than any of the so-called conservatives that are bashing him as of late.

    Everyone points to Santorum, but his ACU rating is lower than Newt’s. As far as the Wilsonian quotes and the FDR quotes, they are explained at this link.

    conservativehideout.com/2012/01/20/newt-gingrich-a-fan-of-theodore-roosevelt-fdr-and-woodrow-wilson/

    In the comments section of the above link, I said this:

    The “realpolitik Wilsonian” comment WITH context:

    “I’m frankly a realpolitik Wilsonian. I think that you can talk about realism, but to be an American, realism is idealistic. If you’re not idealistic, how do you explain America? Why did we conquer Japan and promptly liberate it? Why did we conquer Germany and promptly liberate it? Because we really do believe that everyone’s endowed by God. And to ask us to be realistic in a way which repudiates that belief, is to ask us not to be Americans.” – Newt Gingrich on CSPAN.

    What in the blue hell is wrong with THAT statement? He stood up for American values and combined it with a Wilsonian desire to reach out to other nations.

    Yeah, THAT is awful. /sarcasm off

    So let’s just go ahead and shred Newt, ignore Santorum and pin our hopes on a guy who thinks it is understandable for Iran to want nukes and who also thinks that all we need for a Navy is a “few nuclear submarines.”

    As for Romney, well Obama will have a field day with him for two reasons.

    1. Romney care

    2. His wealth – that is why Obama has been spewing the class warfare lately, in anticipation of Romney getting the nomination.

    It amazes me that Conservatives completely ignore the accomplishments that Newt had in his tenure as the first GOP Speaker of the House in, what was it, 60 years?

    Nah, it’s much easier to just bash him and make it easier for Romney to get the nomination.

    I mean no disrespect to the author of this blog, but we as Conservatives ought to be mindful that the circular firing squad mentality is playing right into the progressives’ hands.

    • Josephus

      Thank you for your comment. You’d mentioned you meant no disrespect and I certainly didn’t take any from your post. I agree with you about “circular firing squad mentality” but I think there is value in a rough and tumble primary season to help vet the eventual nominee come general election time. I don’t like the superficial attacks, though. There are real, substantive differences among the final four candidates and yet the Republican electorate is more concerned with simply beating Obama rather than sticking to conservative principles (especially the idea of limited government). Given the growing divide between big government Republicans like George W. Bush, John McCain and the GOP establishment and small government conservatives like what the Tea Party was originally advocating, the GOP needs to have a serious discussion about the direction of the party (without the extraneous personal issues that dominate elections).

      Having said that, I do think Gingrich has a “conservative” problem. He’s helped the Republican party (and himself) but that does not mean he has helped conservatism. More specifically, regarding his statements about being a “realpolitick Wilsonian (which I’ve heard in context before), I don’t know if he is accidentally mixing disjointed examples or if he’s trying to throw his listeners off but in either case, Wilson didn’t defeat Japan nor did he liberate Germany. In any case, Wilson was a globalist who advocated a congress of nations, not just reaching out to other nations (as evidenced by his League of Nations, precursor of the United Nations). This is no conservative position, not to mention that it was Republicans who led the opposition to the League of Nations. Also, Wilson like all Progressives, was a technocrat (FDR, another hero of Gingrich’s, was also a big-time technocrat) wanting not a smaller government but a government run by supposed experts (as determined by…whom?). This is not self-government and it is certainly not the way to a smaller government…two things that should be particularly important to the Tea Party.

      Gingrich has grandiose ideas (whether he wants to admit his grandiosity or not) and the Tea Party would do well to ask him specifically how he plans to do all the things he wants to do (a base on the moon, for example) without breaking the budget before they throw so much support behind him, especially since he called Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan “right-wing social engineering.”

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      jr

      • Don

        JR,
        Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I agree with nearly all of what you said, but even though FDR had echoes of technocracy in his New Deal platforms, he wasn’t in the purest sense of the word, a technocrat. In fact, the New Deal really brought about the demise of the technocracy movement in the US in the early thirties.

        Wilson and FDR did want to control the economy and were Statist Utopians more than technocrats.

        I think that Newt looks to FDR for the reasons that he says. He admires the political power FDR wielded, if not the programs of the New Deal.

        His realpolitik Wilsonian comment is nothing more than saying American ideals are realistic. He didn’t call for a global government.

        As for his comments directed at Paul Ryan, they seem to have been able to get past it and both are saying that Newt misspoke.

        You are right when you say that we need to vet our candidates thoroughly and the more that comes out insofar as substantive issues, the better before heading into the general election.

        I just think we on the right need to be accurate when leveling charges against any GOP candidate.

      • Josephus

        I think you may be onto what is the greatest divide in the GOP and is an issue that is getting virtually no coverage in the media (at least none I’ve seen). With all the talk about “Obamacare” v. “Romneycare”, immigration issues, the (failed) war on drugs, foreign policy and other equally superficial issues, the underlying foundational issue is obscured, if not completely ignored. Gingrich has said he admires FDR’s political power as well as his New Deal initiatives and I don’t think he is alone in the GOP. However, conservatism as a whole and the traditional GOP for the majority of the twentieth century would take issue with that assessment of FDR. For those of us who are adherents to Austrian economics and proponents of a greatly (Constitutionally) limited federal government, Gingrich’s approval of FDR in general and the New Deal in particular is problematic and makes it as unconscionable to support him as it is to support Obama’s own statist agenda. Gingrich himself said he would not support Ron Paul if he were to win the nomination (long shot though that may be) and that feeling is reciprocated, not because of Gingrich’s misconduct (which the media will try to play up throughout the election cycle) but because of the economic and political philosophy underlying his assessment of the presidents of the first half of the twentieth century.

        Social conservatism was enough of a patch to hold the GOP together for some time while Republicans were the opposition party in Congress and not in the majority. There’s not a lot of divergence from socially conservative ideals among most Republicans. The divisive issue facing the party now is ideological opposition to Nixon’s statement that “we are all Keynesians now.” Unfortunately, I don’t think the media knows enough about Keynes v. Hayek, for example, to even ask an intelligent question on the subject so it’s not likely to come up in a debate and I’m sure the candidates presume that most voters are not going to be well versed enough in the issue to bring it up on the campaign trail (except for Dr. Paul…apparently reading Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is a prerequisite for being a Ron Paul supporter). I think this is to the detriment of the GOP because the longer the division is there and untended the larger it will become, potentially shattering the party (which in itself I don’t have a problem with, but I do have a problem with the fact that the Democrats would be left virtually unopposed nationally). In some ways (but obviously not exactly), there is a similar divide in the GOP today as there was in the years leading up to Woodrow Wilson’s election as POTUS in 1912. Come September we’ll have a much better grasp on either how deep the divide is and whether it has been/can be worked over.

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