Michael Gaynor
Learn about Gingrich before it's too late!
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By Michael Gaynor
December 8, 2011

GOP primary voters who are considering plighting their troth to Gingrich didn't live and breathe every moment of his time in the sun the way we did.

George Santayana famously stated: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

If Republicans fail to remember or learn about Newt Gingrich's past before the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is made and look to him to lead, Team Obama will not fail to tell the voters about it, in excruciating detail, and re-elect its candidate.

In "Newt's Second Act" (www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/newt_second_act_8znmYY1AV5vb PIJYogHpbO)John Podhoretz asked the critical question facing Republicans who will nominate a presidential candidate to put an end to the Age of Obama by winning or allowing Obama to continue his insidious campaign to fundamentally transform America: "Will Mitt Romney be able to get Republican primary voters to see [Newt Gingrich's history]? Or will the task fall in the general election to President Obama — who will use the $750 million-plus he's sure to raise and aim like thousands of heat-guided precision missiles at an undeniably easy target?"

Podhoretz, 50, explained the basis of the recent Gingrich surge: "For those of us who live and breathe politics and make our livings in and around it, the words 'Newt Gingrich' mean something entirely different than they do to the Republican primary voters who are now shifting over to him in droves."

Podhoretz thinks that "the United States is either an uncommonly forgiving or uncommonly forgetful place," remembers Gingrich "[t]oo well" and acknowledges that he "failed to take into account that most people who vote aren't paid to [remember Gingrich well] and have other things to think about."

That seems true.

But the biggest boon boosting the Gingrich boom may be that so many people don't know the whole story of the Gingrich history, not that they have forgiven or forgotten.

You can't forgive or forget what you didn't know, and Gingrich resigned in disgrace as both Speaker of the House and House member long ago — in 1998.

Podhoretz noted that (1) Gingrich experienced "one of the great political flameouts of our time"; (2) "little" of the Contract with America became law; and (3) Gingrich's pattern is "to think in grand terms but...tend[] toward not grandeur...but grandiosity, instead."

Podhoretz focused on Gingrich's political sins, including (1) "tarnish[ing] his own 'Republican revolution' even before it started between the 1994 election and the swearing-in of the new Congress by getting himself a $4.5 million book deal (that would be $6.5 million today) — a PR blunder and possible ethics violation that backfired so badly that he had to forswear his advance"; (2) acting on "the wildly wrongheaded conviction...that he was powerful enough to go mano a mano with Bill Clinton in 1995" and committing "perhaps the greatest political blunder of our time — the showdown over the budget in October 1995 that led to the three-week government shutdown and the subsequent GOP cave-in that brought the 'Republican revolution' to an end only nine months after it began"; (3) causing "Republican members of Congress who had once believed they owed him everything [to] actively plot[] a coup to remove him from the speakership"; (4) leading "the moralistic charge against Clinton in 1998 — notwithstanding the fact that he himself was having an extramarital affair at the time"; and (5) "oppos[ing] the 2006 'surge' that turned around the Iraq war."

Podhoretz summarized Gingrich's current good fortune:

"Truth to tell, there are so many things to remember that it's hard to remember them all. But the GOP primary voters who are considering plighting their troth to Gingrich didn't live and breathe every moment of his time in the sun the way we did.

"They know him mainly from Fox News. They know he got a Republican Congress elected, which they like the sound of. And they've watched him playing the debates like a piano and enjoyed themselves enormously in the process."

BUT, as Podhoretz wisely warned, "there are still all those things to remember and that when you use glue and tape and paste all those things together to form an overall portrait of Gingrich, you're looking at someone who is probably unelectable as president."

Delete "probably."

PS UNlike the opportunistic Gingrich, who took Freddie Mac money and joined with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore on global warning after resigning, Mitt Romney braved public opinion and supported the surge in Iraq.

© 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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