Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal joins the growing list of those setting their sights on Newt Gingrich. It is a well thought out and well written piece, but it raises some interesting questions. by all means follow the link and read the entire article.
Gingrich Is Inspiring—and Disturbing
I had a friend once who amused herself thinking up bumper stickers for states. The one she made up for California was brilliant. "California: It's All True." It is so vast and sprawling a place, so rich and various, that whatever you've heard about its wildness, weirdness and wonders, it's true.
That's the problem with Newt Gingrich: It's all true. It's part of the reason so many of those who know him are anxious about the thought of his becoming president. It's also why people are looking at him, thinking about him, considering him as president.
Ethically dubious? True. Intelligent and accomplished? True. Has he known breathtaking success and contributed to real reforms in government? Yes. Presided over disasters? Absolutely. Can he lead? Yes. Is he erratic and unreliable as a leader? Yes. Egomaniacal? True. Original and focused, harebrained and impulsive—all true.
Having read Noonan's article, the first thought that comes to my mind is: "what is is about Newt Gingrich that scares people?" As it concerns liberals, that is a relatively easy question to answer. Gingrich represents the antithesis of everything a liberal holds sacred. But what is it about Gingrich that scares conservatives?
We know that the liberals and by default the liberal media don't like him, but when it comes to those in his own party now joining the band wagon of political and personal attack, one has to stop and reflect on why. The simple answer is that he is a non conformist to party boiler room tactics. His policies, politics and commentaries aren't first vetted through the approved filters of the party elite; therefore, they don't like it. Newt says things that they don't like a lot apparently. In other words, when the GOP machine is trying to court the supposed 'moderates' (which they have been attempting and failing at for decades now), it bothers them when a staunch hard line conservative spoils their effort by being shown as one of their party and not in step with their own moderate and progressive party line.
Newt may be a lot of things but he isn't stupid. The man is a genius when it comes to politics and history and what it takes to motivate people. those are qualities the party could have tapped into in the last decade or more since Newt has been out of office. But they chose not to. The party would rather listen to the likes of a Karl Rove than listen to an astute and well read observer and participant of both history and politics.
Newt Gingrich has a hard road ahead. Now that he is the bona fide front runner and the media and the GOP cannot deny it, they are both turning their most savvy operators loose to move in and begin slinging the mud. The pundits have already begun the assault and the media have been at it for weeks now, but the true assault on the Gingrich beach head has not begun yet. I say it begins now and follows him into the primaries like hyenas circling a hopefully soon to be wounded animal.
Will it work? That remains to be seen. I am reminded of that closing scene in The Green Mile when Paul Edgecomb asks: "But one thought more than any other......keeps me awake most nights: if he could make a mouse live so long......how much longer do I have?"
If America could elect a Jimmy Carter.....and then a generation later elect a Barack Obama? Then how much longer before this nation will finally rise and elect someone based upon something other than the media hype and the faux popularity generated by these campaigns. I guess we will have to wait and see.