I did something this week that I never thought possible. I was booted and blocked from Newt Gingrich’s Facebook page. Seriously. Now, if you’re familiar with political figures’ Facebook pages, you know that all of them have proponents and opponents posting and commenting on them. People are always debating the candidates and the issues on those pages. It’s just the way it is. But today, a friend on Facebook had commented on something on Gingrich’s page and I had never seen it come up in my news feed. I went to the page and, sure enough, I couldn’t comment on any posts. I tried to “re-like” it and when I did I could only read the posts, not comment on them.
Now there are still tons of people who oppose Gingrich still posting on on his wall. Sure, a lot of people talk about his affairs and divorces and the timing of the second divorce/third wife, but that’s not really of concern to me. (Nor is is apparently a concern to tons of Republican “values voters” who hated Bill Clinton. Some values.) Gingrich’s positions on the issues should be enough to disqualify him from consideration from conservatives, especially the “Tea Party” types. Instead, in South Carolina, Gingrich scored about 45% of the vote of people who support the “Tea Party” movement. Issues like the health care mandate, TARP, foreign policy, and the drug war are debated, discussed and cussed ad nauseam, mostly because we like to harp on them all. So what on earth would get me kicked off of Gingrich’s page?
My most recent activity included linking this video (or at least one of the various other videos like it), which is apparently nearly kryptonite for Gingrich in his quest to dupe conservatives into thinking he is one of them:
Off all of the issues on the table and of all the history there is to observe with Gingrich’s time in various offices and as an influence peddler, it’s a video that points out Gingrich’s Progressivism that gets me booted and blocked. I’m not the biggest Glenn Beck fan–oftentimes he’s been looking way too much for black helicopters–but as far as “conservatives” and “tea party” supporters go, this video should be reason enough for any true conservative to seek elsewhere for a nominee. It’s obviously a sore spot for the Gingrich campaign.
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 ) 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.
I’ve already written on the “unelectability” of the GOP field here. What hit me recently is how patent a double standard it is for GOP rank and file to say they just want Obama out of office and yet they have such a visceral aversion to a Ron Paul running for president.
In an op-ed from this week, commentator Charles Krauthammer unilaterally narrowed the Iowa caucus race down to Mitt and Newt, both of which are “significantly flawed.” But for Krauthammer and others like him these flaws are outweighed by the need for someone, anyone, to beat Barack Obama in 2012. Krauthammer concludes, “If Obama wins, he will take the country to a place from which it will not be able to return (which is precisely his own objective for a second term). Every conservative has thus to ask himself two questions: Who is more likely to prevent that second term? And who, if elected, is less likely to unpleasantly surprise?” Given Newt’s and Mitt’s flaws, I’m not convinced that either of them won’t “take the country to a place from which it will not be able to return”!
This singular goal of unseating the incumbent president is not new. Ever since he took office (if not before), the Republican Party has been trying to devise a means of getting Obama out of office. With this mindset presumably most if not all card-toting Republicans would vote for a pond scum (an improvement over most politicians to begin with) so long as it has and (R) by its name. If the goal is simply to unseat Obama, why does it matter who the candidate is? If, as I’ve argued before, the GOP field is unelectable without the votes of Ron Paul’s supporters, why won’t all the GOP rank and file get behind Ron Paul?
With the loyal grassroots base Paul has built up, the organization is in place to rival Obama’s ubiquity in all types of media. Paul has broader support among independents and could even draw some votes from clear-thinking Democrats. With even the nominal support of the Republican Party, hordes of Republicans would vote for him just because he has the (R) next to his name. Add all of this together – Ron Paul’s loyal base, rank and file Republicans who simply want to fire Obama, independents and Democrats who would vote for Ron Paul – and you get the best chance the GOP has of winning the presidency in 2012, not to mention this country’s best chance to get back into shape economically and diplomatically.
This won’t happen though because the GOP doesn’t want to change anything. Newt and Mitt are both big government Republicans who, like the party leadership, don’t like to be the ones not in control. They don’t care about reducing the deficit or debt. They don’t care to bring home thousands of troops that are needlessly scattered around the globe while our border sits largely unprotected. They don’t care to tackle one of the main sources of our economic problems, the Fed. Ron Paul wants to reduce the bureaucracy. The GOP establishment just wants to be the ones in control of it, still financing the present on the backs of future generations.