Michael Gaynor
Mr. Lowry, Gingrich is shameless
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By Michael Gaynor
November 21, 2011

It's a shame that when it comes to realizing the importance of viability Lowry is no Bill Buckley.

National Review's first editor, the late William F. Buckley, Jr., famously advocated supporting the best viable conservative.

He was right.

Now National Review's current editor, Rich Lowry, is promoting former Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential aspirations while dismissing businessman Herman's Cain as shameless.

He is wrong.

Gingrich is shamelessly running for President and not viable as Republican presidential nominee.

Each should be disqualifying.

No Cain critic has proven Cain to be shameless, including Lowry, who has taken up Gingrich's cause.

On November 11, 2011, in "The Newt Moment? The former speaker gets a second look" (www.nationalreview.com/articles/282927/newt-moment-rich-lowry), Lowry reported that "[t]he chattering class that left Gingrich for dead months ago is now talking of a revival" and asserted that "Gingrich deserves the proverbial second look" because, "[f]or all his vast and well-established flaws, he's a figure whose strengths match the moment."

"The moment" demands a candidate of high moral character as well as high intelligence and broad knowledge.

Gingrich is not fit to be President, and he has himself to blame for bad choices in his personal, political and business lives.

Not all Presidents have been moral exemplars, but all Presidents should be and Gingrich has not been one.

Gingrich did not magically make himself presidential material by acknowledging that he is penitent about some of his sinful life choices.

Neither did he do so after his business relationship with Freddie Mac was publicized by defending his choice to become a highly paid Freddie Mac consultant by claiming that he had told Freddie's executives that Freddie's policies were "insane."

He didn't tell the American people that, because he was on Freddie Mac's payroll and he had accepted a confidentiality clause in order to get on that payroll.

America needs a President who is much better than that.

Lowry is not blind to Gingrich's flaws, but he seems to think that, notwithstanding them, Gingrich's "brilliance" suffices to put him in the White House.

Lowry: "In many ways, Gingrich would be better suited as an intellectual ombudsman of the GOP race than as a candidate himself; he has more baggage than Queen Elizabeth II on a road trip. But the hour is late and the pickings are slim. He ran when others didn't, and his outsider-populism is tinged with brilliance. Republican voters not sold on Mitt Romney might have to decide that you go to political war with the alternative you have."

Romney IS a moral exemplar of high intelligent and broad knowledge. He simultaneously earned law and business degrees in 1975 and then become a very successful businessman, the savior of the Salt Lake City Olympics and a Republican governor in liberal Massachusetts. Like Ronald Reagan, he would not enter the White House as a Washington insider. Gingrich would.

As to Cain, Lowry opined: "...even if he remains unharmed by sexual harassment allegations, he will probably be worn down over time by his touch-and-go command of substance and his lack of experience."

Lowry appears to be trying hard to make that prediction come true, and even willing to dismiss Cain as a shameless self-promoter to do it.

A week later, in a post titled "Cain's Knowledge-Deficit Disorder: He is running for president knowing little about major matters of public import" (www.nationalreview.com/articles/283454/cain-s-knowledge-deficit-disorder-rich-lowry), Lowry lamented "the ever-lowering bar for running for president" and dismissed the former presidential aspirations of "media figure" Buchanan and the current ones of supposedly would-be "media figure" Cain as sheer presumption.

Specifically, Lowry wrote: "Cain's candidacy reflects the ever-lowering bar for running for president. Pat Buchanan was a media figure who ran for president; now some people run for president to become media figures."

That's unfair to Buchanan, a former presidential speech writer and prolific author, and Cain, who was a "media figure" before he ran for President whose motive should not be impugned so cavalierly, especially by a conservative. That kind of trash talk is to be expected from the Far Left loathe to see a black conservative taken seriously as a contender for the Republican presidential nomination.

Presidential aspirants should be judged on their individual merits and not dismissed out of hand as "media figures" or would be "media figures."

That is NOT to say that Cain is best qualified to be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

Lowry asserted that Cain lacks sufficient "familiarity with the affairs of the nation he wants to lead" and referred to Cain's "cringe-inducing meanderings on Libya."

That was fair criticism.

"Libya" was not Cain's only significant faux pas. In a debate, when asked about "the right of return," he tried to answer the question without knowing what it was. That was disturbing. As to "Libya," he took too much time trying to understand the question that he seemed unfamiliar with the subject. (Actually, that demonstrated that he learns from mistakes.)

Lowry proceeded to argue that Cain has been shamelessly running for President.

That was unfair.

Lowry: "As the inspiring outsider-businessman, Cain needn't sound like he's auditioning for the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. But is it too much to ask that he sound like he reads the newspaper every day?"

That's reminiscent of the liberal media establishment's campaign to convince voters that 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin did not read newspapers and magazines.

Lowry also seemed to depict Cain as less fit to run for President than Texas Governor Rick Perry: "In the hierarchy of gaffes, Rick Perry's was more forgivable than Cain's. Everyone has lost his train of thought; few of us have run for president knowing little about major matters of public import."

Based on the debates in which both of them participated, Cain appeared far more impressive than Perry.

Nevertheless, Lowry damned Cain with faint praise by charging that Cain is a shameless self-promoter whose "personality" lets him get away with it.

Lowry: "Cain is such a winsome personality that he gets away with shameless excesses of self-promotion. He refers to himself in the third person more than the notoriously self-referential Bob Dole ever did. The title of his campaign book is This Is Herman Cain! . It's impossible to imagine the great conservative insurgent of 1964 writing a book titled This Is Barry Goldwater!.

Let's be frank: ALL of the Republican presidential hopefuls are promoting themselves. It's not shameless unless a hopeful is not fit to be President.

To be sure, Lowry IS right that a Republican presidential candidate should not be shameless.

On "The Mclaughlin Group" show broadcast on November 20, "media figure" Buchanan opined that the $1,600,000 paid by Freddie Mac to a Gingrich company signified that Freddie Mac had "bought Newt" instead of his business advice and "it wasn't a crime...it was corruption."

The Republican presidential needs to be much better than Gingrich to run successfully against what Michelle Malkin wrote about in Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies.

It's a shame that when it comes to realizing the importance of viability Lowry is no Bill Buckley.

© Michael Gaynor

 

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)

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