A.J. DiCintio
Conservatives shouldn't demonize Newt or Mitt
By A.J. DiCintio
December 17, 2011

With the Republican presidential primary currently a contest between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, many conservatives are voicing concerns about both candidates.

Regarding Newt, few will deny his knowledge of issues, his ability to articulate that knowledge, and his proclivity for seeking out thoughtful solutions to difficult problems.

That said, some conservatives argue behaviors associated with his personal life, behaviors that unarguably have made Thoughtful, Creative Newt act like Newt, Child of the Sixties, make it likely he will do things that will negatively affect his electability or performance as president if he manages to win.

In response to these critics, Gingrich asserts he is a changed man since his current marriage, his religious conversion, and his becoming a grandfather. But critics worry about the egoism and irresponsibility that at times have kept the former Speaker from fulfilling a leader's most important duty, keeping a trusty, goal oriented eye on the ball.

Excepting neo-cons, many conservatives consider Gingrich's ego problem especially troubling; for they fear a President Newt might succumb to the kind of delusive thinking that ought to be termed Messianic Disorder and therefore neglect crucially important problems at home to fulfill his duties as the nation building leader of a New World Order.

Turning to Mitt Romney, also a particularly effective speaker and debater, we find a man who by reason of his life experiences, personality, and successes appears to be the kind of technocrat whom the voting public will choose to put America on the right track.

However, many conservatives doubt his conviction to important conservative principles, despite his avowals to the contrary and acts that support his conservative bona fides, for instance, his appointment of Robert Bork to head up his judicial advisory committee.

As in Newt's case, others on the right, especially Tea Party conservatives, are concerned that although Reformer Mitt makes an excellent case when he condemns Washington's corrupt political culture, Establishment Mitt may not have the right stuff to take down the unholy alliance that has been formed between big shot politicians of big government and big business.

Now, reasonable scrutiny of presidential candidates is certainly necessary as Republican primary voters attempt to select not the perfect candidate, but, to borrow from William F. Buckley, Jr., the best conservative candidate capable of winning.

But those who engage in self-defeating internecine warfare as if a perfect candidate does exits ignore two truths, one about politicians and one about a Jeffersonian vision of the power wielded by the people.

Before getting to those truths, it is necessary to report the following about the vote by which Senators approved the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg for a seat on the Supreme Court 97-3.

First, that the following names appear under the "Yeas."

Bob Bennett (R-UT), Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Paul Coverdell (R-GA), Larry Craig (R-ID), Bob Dole (R-KS), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Phil Gramm (R-TX), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Trent Lott (R-MS), John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Alan Simpson (R-WY).

Second, that just about every Senator on the list was admired by the nation's fiscal, social, religious, national defense, or libertarian conservatives.

Yet those Senators voted in favor of approving Ginsburg.

. . . Despite decades of labor expended by ordinary citizens and scholars alike in favor of promoting the Jeffersonian vision of the judiciary against the theory of judicial activism.

. . . Despite the reality that either Ginsburg's record as a radical liberal or her work as an executive of the ACLU provided sufficient reason for rejecting her nomination.

. . . Despite the many perversions conducted by liberal activists since the fifties, when justices of the Warren Court began their work as a "subtle corps of sappers and miners" (Jefferson) devoted to perverting the Constitution and Common Sense.

. . . Despite the fact that just six years earlier Democrats rejected the eminently qualified Judge Robert Bork for a seat on the Court after they and their liberal allies slimed him in one the filthiest, most reprehensible smear campaigns ever conducted in American politics.

. . . And despite the reality that those conservative Senators failed to grasp an opportunity to oppose Ginsburg's nomination in a morally sound, intellectually honest manner that would have powerfully educated the American public about the dangers of judicial activism.

Yet all is not lost if that sad day for America causes us to focus on these truths:

. . . The notion of the perfect politician is a monster of a myth.

. . . (Again invoking Jefferson) It is not just the right but the duty of citizens to create a national uproar when they have the opportunity to prevent a mistake by their leaders, even those they trust the most.

If citizens vigorously embrace that duty, they will not fear the reality that even the best politicians are capable of embarrassingly wrong-headed decisions.

With respect to next year's election, therefore, there is no justification for a conservative to attack candidates Gingrich or Romney in a manner that substantially diminishes the chances for a Republican victory next November unless, perhaps, the conservative will admit to believing the candidate he attacks is hopelessly unelectable or absolutely indistinguishable from Barack Obama.

Problem is, claiming the first defies common sense as well as the results of every respected poll while asserting the latter is nothing short of, to say it in Very Plain English, mind-blowing.

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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