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Gingrich. Really?

I am at a loss for words.

I know it’s hard to believe, but I am.

Newt Gingrich is surging in the polls and I am stunned. It is possible that people have simply forgotten who is the real Newt Gingrich  and are just impressed with his debate performances.  I have tried to adhere to Reagan’s 11th commandment: “thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican,”  although there are times when it is unavoidable. When I have had an intense dislike for a candidate, such as Rick Perry, I admitted the fact straight up. A dislike, I must add, which has waned quite a bit since his “brain freeze.” Since then, he has shown a strength of character one can only find admirable.

A strength of character those of us who have been paying attention to politics over the years knows Newt Gingrich does not possess.

I understand the Mitt v the not Mitt battle and while I think Mitt is the only candidate who can defeat Obama in 2012, I always maintained I would support the Republican candidate. Not If its Gingrich. My principles will not allow it. I will not reward Gingrich’s past with my support. For me, his past numerous tax issues alone are enough to disqualify him.

When the Republican primary began I stated I wanted Gingrich on the stage for his ideas. I had hoped his ideas would influence the direction of the campaign. I never imagined the Republican party would forget the man he is. Yes, he is the same man he was 15 years ago despite his performances. Every now and then you get a flash of the arrogance the man possesses.  Newt Gingrich embodies the phrase ” a leopard never changes its spots, it just hides in the bushes for a while”

It would appear I was not at a loss of words, like I thought.

I’m going to end this with a quote from Rammesh Ponnuru recent piece:

Gingrich’s fans say that he isn’t the same man he was then; he has “matured” in his 60s. Maybe so. But he’s still erratic: This year he flip-flopped three times on the top issue of the day, the House Republican plan to reform Medicare. He’s still undisciplined: He went on a vacation cruise at the start of his campaign. He still has the same old grandiosity: In recent weeks he has compared himself to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and said confidently that the nomination was his.

He still has the same need to justify his every petty move by reference to some grand theory. Plenty of politicians competing in Iowa come out for ethanol subsidies; only Gingrich would proclaim that in doing so he was standing up to city slickers in a culture war invented in his own mind. He still has a casual relationship with the truth. In recent weeks he has said that Freddie Mac (FMCC) paid him to condemn its business model, only for reporters and bloggers to find out that he had in fact shilled for the organization in return for about $1.6 million.

He still has the same penchant for sharing whatever revelation has just struck him, as with his recent musings about getting rid of child-labor laws. “He goes off the deep end and throws things out there,” says Joe McQuaid, the publisher of the Manchester Union Leader, which has endorsed Gingrich. He means it as a compliment, but it doesn’t strike me as one of the top traits to seek in a president. Many voters may have the same reaction.

The race for the Republican nomination appears to have come down to two intelligent, knowledgeable men in Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Neither of them has a history of down-the-line conservatism. Gingrich can match Romney flip-flop for flip-flop and heresy for heresy. He has supported cap-and-trade legislation, federal funding for embryonic stem- cell research, the expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs and a federal requirement for everyone to buy health insurance. He has been neither more consistent nor more conservative than Romney.

I’m glad it’s December, because if this trend for Newt continues, I’m going to need lots of eggnog.

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