Republicans over the cliff

According to Gallup’s latest tracking poll, 37 percent of Republicans nationwide support Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination, with the very distant runner-up being Mitt Romney at 22 percent.

I thought the Republicans had gotten over their habit of backing discredited liberal-leaning losers after they went for the broken-down hopeless McCain in ‘08. But nope, they are as out of it as ever. As reader David B. keeps pointing out, this year’s GOP voters probably think Gingich is against amnesty, which is what they thought in ‘08 about McCain, the most pro-amnesty, pro the-Hispanicization-of-America figure in the Republican Party.

Meanwhile, Michele Bachman is fifth in the same poll at six percent. She is a good conservative candidate notwithstanding her flaws which I’ve been frank about. I saw her interviewed by Chris Wallace on Sunday and she was solid as a rock. Why don’t anti-Romney Republicans go for her, instead of the wildly unstable thrice-married whackjob Gingrich? Ok, she’s a woman, and she has a monotone Midwestern “honk,” and she’s not extremely smart, and she lacks significant leadership experience, and many feel she lacks gravitas. But compared to Gingrich with his stunning faults,—compared to all the candidates with all their faults—she is, on balance, clearly the best in the field. Yet Republican voters don’t even have her on their radar screen. They would rather leap over a cliff with the out-of-control Gingrich (having previously been willing to leap over a cliff with the self-esteem orator Cain) than support a steady, reliable conservative who has a good character and a good personality—and who, moreover, looks like the first female U.S. president. I’m not saying that I would expect her to be the front-runner at this point. But six percent? When Republicans are supposedly desperate for a conservative alternative to Romney? I don’t get it.

- end of initial entry -

Mark Jaws writes:

Geronimo! That is right, Don Lorenzo. I too am throwing myself off the cliff for Newt. Why? Because he is the most articulate of the pack, and, in my opinion, he can vector his MOSTLY conservative ideas more effectively than any of the other candidates. I also happen to agree with him on illegal immigration. Deport the crooks and the welfare mongerers (about 75 percent of the cohort), and allow the long-time illegal residents to stay. It is a compromise and it will not hurt the right politically, because it is the Hispanic welfare class which heavily leans left, not the hard working Marco Rubio types. And as I have said before with regard to Bachmann, she lacks significant gravitas and leadership experience and has never been tested in a big fight before. Gingrich has been in the arena with Bill Clinton on the national stage, with every liberal hit man aiming for him. Yes, he was significantly bloodied and partially discredited, but under his leadership the budget (at least on paper) was balanced and welfare was reformed. I am supporting Gingrich in the hope that he has emerged the wiser and stronger for it. I believe that Gingrich is the one who can shake up the political establishment the most and more importantly put the omnipotent liberal media complex on the defensive.

LA writes:

Maybe the answer to my question is simply that voters don’t see Bachmann as someone who can beat Obama. But do they believe that the extremely distasteful Gingrich, can? Did they believe that the amiable but ignorant Herman Cain, could? What did these one-month wonders have, that Bachmann lacks?

LA writes:

The answer to my last question is obviously: Cain and Gingrich have speaking abilities that created excitement in voters. Bachmann has not created excitement. She has not sounded notes that move and excite people. She has not inspired.

JC in Houston writes:

I heard Gingrich being interviewed by Glenn Beck this morning. Beck asked him about a lot of his liberal positions in the past, such as support for the Medicare prescription drug benefit, individual health care mandates and global warming. Gingrich responded with a lot of doubletalk trying to justify his positions. It makes me sick to think that this paragon of “family values” will probably be the Republican nominee. Looks like the Repubs really are the “Stupid Party”.

LA replies:

I have to disagree on one point. Gingrich has never been a social conservative or a promoter of family values. That just hasn’t been a part of his profile, for his entire political career.

James N. writes:

It should come as no surprise that I am now 0 for 3 in the VFR candidate sweepstakes. [LA replies: If Palin was number one, who was two and three?]

Unless something changes, I am planning to vote for Gingrich in the NH primary next month.

It concerns me that we do not see eye to eye on candidates, since my views are often quite close to yours.

Perhaps someday we can have a thread to discuss the whole subject of elections (are they good, are they useful, how should traditionalists approach them, etc).

Mark Jaws’ position (assuming he is not kidding) makes me feel a little better, as he is one of the wisest VFR posters.

James N. replies:

Giuliani was #1, Palin was #2, and now Newt the horrible.

LA replies:

You wrote:

“It concerns me that we do not see eye to eye on candidates, since my views are often quite close to yours.”

Well, I don’t know what to say, James. You keep supporting deeply flawed, obviously unsuitable candidates who are not conservatives, and then you wonder why your candidates don’t win and why I don’t agree with your choices.

Timothy A. writes:

RealClearPolitics poll averages show a Generic Republican running better against Obama than any of the current candidates. Maybe Mr. Generic could be convinced to throw his hat in the ring. Though, if he really is a Generic Republican, he probably has a mistress problem and is weak on immigration and global warming.

Bill Carpenter writes:

Subject: Rebutting Don Marco’s pass for Gingrich on immigration

NumbersUSA gives him a D minus!

Brandon F. writes:

Subject: Gingrich as Walt Whitman

You have to give Huffington credit on this line.

This task is complicated by the fact that there isn’t just one Gingrich. He’s a very Walt Whitmanesque candidate—he celebrates himself, he sings of himself, he is large, and he contains multitudes.

JC in Houston writes:

My reference to Gingrich as a paragon of family values was meant sarcastically. He is anything but. The sad thing is that I hear callers to conservative talk shows say it doesn’t matter to them.

LA replies:

Right, I misread you, I was thinking you were saying that he was a champion of family values but was hypocritical about it, which is a view many have of him. But he’s not hypocritical about it, because he’s never been a champion of family values.

David B. writes:

Are Republicans the Stupid Party because they are unserious, or are they unserious because they are stupid? I would bet the typical GOP voter has no idea of the respective policy positions of Gingrich and Bachmann.

LA replies:

Let’s face it—democracy is grounded in stupidity and is stupid.

December 7

David H. from Oregon writes:

I can’t understand what you mean when you say that Michele Bachmann has a midwestern “honk.” I have never heard you speak, but you must be aware that some Noo Yawkers are regarded as having an accent. In contrast, call centers are sometimes located in the midwest precisely because to many their speech appears to lack a regional accent.

LA replies:

“Honk” is not the best word, but I don’t know how else to describe her sound. It’s nasal, and droning, and not pleasing. It’s true what you say about call centers and Midwesterners’ lack of a regional accent, but many Midwesterners have dreadful accents. Did you ever hear former House Speaker Dennis Hastert from Illinois?

Robert B. writes:

The problem for most Republicans is a lack of convictions. They simply want to win rather than change anything. Thus, they poll and vote for whoever the media claims can win the election. They do not have convictions, let alone The Courage Of Their Convictions. We cannot, as Traditionalists, elect a man such as Gingrich, who doesn’t even believe in a nation-state, let alone re-establishing the America that our ancestors would have recognized. A man without convictions, without substance and character is nothing. This is why Western Man is doomed in the current socio-political context—he stands for nothing and all the blogging to the contrary is not going to change that.

December 8

James N. writes:

Robert B. says, “we cannot, as traditionalists, elect a man like Gingrich … ”

This is quite true, but it is also true that we cannot, as traditionalists, elect ANYBODY. There are those among our number who cannot speak of their convictions to co-workers. There are those among us who cannot speak of their convictions to their FAMILIES.

This is a long, long way from electing a dogcatcher, much less a President.

SO …

We should try to solve our problems, one at a time, and create a space where the truth can survive.

My preferred candidates are those who will take, or who have taken, the fight to Obama. The odds against us in 2012 are long. Obama will be reelected unless his image is changed by a combative, argumentative candidate who shines a light bright enough for the idiots who elected him in the first place to see him as he is.

If our numbers were such that Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum stood a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected President, we would not be pilgrims in a barren land.

But we are. I liked the argument that four years of Obama would swell our ranks, while four years of McCain would put us to sleep. But eight years of Obama? Eight years will finish us.

I am displeased with the field, a feeling that many like-minded people share. I do not agree that Obama’s reelection is preferable, this time, to any of them, possibly excepting Romney. Right now, Gingrich has articulated a criticism of Obama from first principles, and he states the argument well—well in the sense that average voters can, I think comprehend.

December 12

Mark Jaws writes:

Mega Mark Jaws dittos to James N. for correctly scoping the GOP campaign situation. We all know that Gingrich is not the savior, as you kiddingly referred to him. However, those of us who make up the anti-Obama coalition can easily envision Gingrich in a debate throwing the black empty suit currently occupying the White House off track. Gingrich has a credible killer instinct, something Bachmann lacks. Obama is not accustomed to such a white man. That is why Newt is up. And while he may not be the one to rebuild our decaying house, at least he will prevent the termites from doing further damage. Furthermore, he is likely to call termites for what they are—destructive and ungrateful parasites devouring something—in this case, a Republic—which others have built.

To those in this thread who have mentioned Newt’s D minus rating by NumbersUSA, I ask them to look at the grades of the other candidates. Ron Paul gets an F. Newt is big on E-verify and he claims border security and the fence will be a high priority. That is good enough for me. We have to make progress one step at a time. We have to rebuild or at least preserve what we can of our culture incrementally, in the exact manner the Left has gone about destroying it.

It makes no sense for Ron Paul to say he will abolish this and that department, because unless he has 60 votes in the Senate (a pickup of 13 seats in 2012) and a federal judiciary in his pocket, that ain’t going to happen. I cannot say it often enough—politics is the art of the possible. We need someone who can incrementally implement the possible, and not propose pie-in-the-sky “solutions.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 06, 2011 02:02 PM | Send

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