Videos: Newt’s latest greatest hits

posted at 3:05 pm on November 21, 2011 by Tina Korbe

At our sister site Townhall.com, Greg Hengler has curated a series of stand-out responses from newfound frontrunner Newt Gingrich at this weekend’s Thanksgiving Family Forum, a non-debate discussion that elicited refreshingly thoughtful and unexpectedly revealing answers from all the candidates in attendance (i.e. the field minus Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman).

Of Gingrich’s answers replayed in Hengler’s videos, this is my favorite, an elegant differentiation of the general ideas of the Enlightenment and the specific (and damaging) ideas of the French Revolution:

I knew it was about to be a brilliant answer as soon as Gingrich mentioned Arthur Brooks, whose book The Battle profoundly confirms capitalism and conservatism as the optimal means to human flourishing. But when he addressed Ron Paul by his first name and proceeded to say, “I don’t think liberty means ‘libertine,’” I sat up a little straighter in my seat. This answer is full of the fruit of Gingrich’s meticulous study of history — but also of his personal conversion.

To that topic, Newt also spoke eloquently when moderator Frank Luntz asked the candidates to expound on their greatest failures:

“I had to recognize how limited I was and how much I had to depend on Him,” Gingrich said before he admitted that he would be uncomfortable with a president who didn’t believe in God. “If you said to me we were electing somebody who believed that they by themselves were strong enough to be president of the United States, I would tell you that person terrifies me because they completely misunderstand how weak and how limited any human being is.”

Gingrich clearly and keenly grasps that the presidency is a repository of resplendent power and authority, but not the source of it. At the very least, the source is “the people,” those who give their consent to be governed. At the very most, the source is Thomas Aquinas’ First Cause. That helps Gingrich to understand that anyone who seeks the power of the presidency for himself in some way disqualifies himself from possessing it. So, he seeks to just be a vessel for it.

All of this should be reassuring to anyone who wonders why the GOP field is “so weak.” It’s weak because it’s made up of imperfect and flawed human beings. Our only choices are human: What we seek in a president, then, is not a savior, but a servant. Humility has to be among our criteria — and that, at least, many of our candidates — Gingrich among them — seem to possess.


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Tina,

I know I have given you a hard time because I have found some of your posts very naive, but this is a very well-thought out line of reasoning. Kudos.

di butler on November 21, 2011 at 3:17 PM

white walnut

hanzblinx on November 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Excellent vids, and another excellent blog. Thanks for this, Tina.

DannoJyd on November 21, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Stop being racist Mr. Hanz. We refer to it as 0 0 0 walnut.

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Given Newt’s and Ron Paul’s respective records with regards to marital fidelity, I gotta question the wisdom of presuming to lecture Dr. Paul on libertinism.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Or is it 255 255 255 walnut? I always get them mixed up.

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Given Newt’s and Ron Paul’s respective records with regards to marital fidelity, I gotta question the wisdom of presuming to lecture Dr. Paul on libertinism.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Obama also has a home life that looks better than Newt’s, but that does not preclude him from pushing a leftist philosophy that is both libertine and destructive.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Didn’t Ron Paul encourage the ready availability of hard drugs like heroin?

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

I wonder why Bubba Huntsman missed this forum…

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Obama also has a home life that looks better than Newt’s, but that does not preclude him from pushing a leftist philosophy that is both libertine and destructive.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Destructive, yes.

Libertine? An individual mandate to purchase health-insurance really doesn’t sound libertine or libertarian to me.

And if Newt is the nominee, do you him campaigning by broaching the subject of libertinism with Barack Obama?

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Newt’s answers in the forum validated my support for him.

nickj116 on November 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Nice work, Tina.

Thank you.

hillbillyjim on November 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Stop being racist Mr. Hanz. We refer to it as 0 0 0 walnut.

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

The level of computer geekdom in this thread is now exceeding recommended levels.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Great clips! Thanks, Tina, for bringing them to us. About a month ago, my wife and I were deciding that Newt has to be our candidate. We are well aware of his flaws (as he himself seems to be) but no one in the room with him can speak so authoritatively on our history or come up with more ideas than he does. And of course we look forward to seeing Obama either flee from him in debates or get crushed. Obama only knows revisionist history and only knows black liberation theology. Newt knows the real thing and it seems to be a real part of his life.

Christian Conservative on November 21, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Ooh, he made a statement about libertinism. That must mean it will be the cornerstone of his campaign. Please. Also, the individual mandate is libertine in that it shows Congress acting wildly beyond the bounds of the Constitution and convention. Look up the word before you criticize.

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Or is it 255 255 255 walnut? I always get them mixed up.

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Or #FFFFFF walnut.

powerpro on November 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Given Newt’s and Ron Paul’s respective records with regards to marital fidelity, I gotta question the wisdom of presuming to lecture Dr. Paul on libertinism.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Do you tell your kids not to have premarital sex?

fossten on November 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

“What we seek in a president, then, is not a savior, but a servant…”

Tina…

… You realize that your name has just been added to the list of inquisitions, don’t you?

/

In all seriousness, thank you for a very well written and informative post…

Seven Percent Solution on November 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Destructive, yes.

Libertine? An individual mandate to purchase health-insurance really doesn’t sound libertine or libertarian to me.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Libertine behavior usually has someone else footing the bill. Its destructive and you need someone else’s cash to make it work, or a lot of your own. The OWS folks are a case in point. They are the trust fund kids and welfare dregs in a strange mix. Those who have steady jobs, like the merchants being harmed by their antics can’t behave that way. Libertine does not mean freedom.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Newt was cheating on his wife and banging his congressional secretary while trying to impeach Clinton for infidelity. Lecturing Paul was the height of hypocrisy.

Spathi on November 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Libertinism – Freethinking with other people’s money.

andy85719 on November 21, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Now if the mainstream parties only understood what has been known for centuries, and by our founding fathers. We are but dependent fallen creatures. Character, thus, not only matters, but is the first ingredient of any candidate who hopes to restore America to its proper balance and bring it back from the precipice of Godless socialism or pure Godless secular capitalism.

Morality is the yeast -the leavening and it is built into each of us by our Creator. It is natural law- the ability to know simple right from simple wrong.

Don L on November 21, 2011 at 3:43 PM

And yet the man denies being a lobbyist for Fannie Mae (a historian? Pleease!) bought into the global warming thing when it was ‘fashionable’ and was there while the GOP in Congress became part of the problem. The man is great with words; it is some of his actual DEEDS I have problems with. And we’ve got a gut good with words now.

michaelo on November 21, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Ron Paul is Tea Party ground zero. Newt is another moral majority in a tricorned hat.

Spathi on November 21, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Libertine behavior usually has someone else footing the bill. Its destructive and you need someone else’s cash to make it work, or a lot of your own. The OWS folks are a case in point. They are the trust fund kids and welfare dregs in a strange mix. Those who have steady jobs, like the merchants being harmed by their antics can’t behave that way. Libertine does not mean freedom.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

When I wonder what a word might mean, I usually go the dictionary.

Merriam Webster on “Libertine”

usually disparaging : 1a freethinker especially in religious matters

2: a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality; specifically : one leading a dissolute life

Not much there on who foots the bill. A whole lot on talk of religious and moral matters.

Matters I would think Newt would be eager to avoid.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Do you tell your kids not to have premarital sex?

fossten on November 21, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Don’t have any, that I know of…

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

An individual mandate to purchase health-insurance really doesn’t sound libertine or libertarian to me.
JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM

Libertine behavior usually has someone else footing the bill. Its destructive and you need someone else’s cash to make it work, or a lot of your own.
sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

A lot of people get confused about this. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing selfless about Socialism. It’s the ultimate expression of narcissistic self-indulgence.

The last thing in the world any liberal wants is to personally sacrifice anything for anyone. What they want is to be seen as someone who wants to save the world, not to actually do anything that’s in any way helpful to their fellow man.

logis on November 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Given Newt’s and Ron Paul’s respective records with regards to marital fidelity, I gotta question the wisdom of presuming to lecture Dr. Paul on libertinism.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Sometimes the sinner has the best understanding of sin. I was a firm Perry supporter but these videos have shown me a side of Newt I hadn’t known. He seems to have learned some profound lessons and I think he will make an outstanding candidate and president.

Bill C on November 21, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Sometimes the sinner has the best understanding of sin.

Bill C on November 21, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Fine talk for a preacher.

A candidate for POTUS?… I just think it’s a topic that doesn’t play to Newt’s strengths.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 4:05 PM

AllahPundit hardest hit.

John the Libertarian on November 21, 2011 at 4:05 PM

2: a person who is unrestrained by convention or morality; specifically : one leading a dissolute life

Not much there on who foots the bill. A whole lot on talk of religious and moral matters.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Not much there on who foots the bill. No there isn’t but someone has to. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Someone has to pay the rent and if you are drunk or stoned half the time that turns out to be mom’s basement, or Uncle Sam.

If you get four girl’s pregnant someone has to raise those kids. Uncle Sam is the usual go to guy for that these days, but grandma is also a popular option.

That woman who bailed on her husband and kids is an example of libertine behavior that harms others and forces them to pay a price for a dissolute life. For the very wealthy we can just read the tabloids to see the train wrecks that the Hollywood narcissists make of their lives.

Someone always pays. You can force that payment plan onto others, or if you have the cash you can cushion your life like the Hollywood folks do, but someone always pays.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM

A lot of people get confused about this. There is ABSOLUTELY nothing selfless about Socialism. It’s the ultimate expression of narcissistic self-indulgence.

The last thing in the world any liberal wants is to personally sacrifice anything for anyone. What they want is to be seen as someone who wants to save the world, not to actually do anything that’s in any way helpful to their fellow man.

logis on November 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM

Exactly. They want cheap moral points and power to force others to live as they want them to live.

Power doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and if the morality of the people is such that they cannot, or will not restrain themselves, then big government will step in to make society function. The black community has been badly damaged by this and they are backers of intrusive government. The Amish, not so much.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Someone has to pay the rent and if you are drunk or stoned half the time that turns out to be mom’s basement, or Uncle Sam.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Clearly you need to spend more time with unionized auto workers.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Clearly you need to spend more time with unionized auto workers.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 4:15 PM

Well Uncle Sam clearly acts as an enabler for those guys.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 4:19 PM

For the very wealthy we can just read the tabloids to see the train wrecks that the Hollywood narcissists make of their lives.

Someone always pays. You can force that payment plan onto others, or if you have the cash you can cushion your life like the Hollywood folks do, but someone always pays.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 4:09 PM

But you have just contradicted your idea of libertinism as leechery (as opposed to lechery).

Robert Downey Jr., I think we can all safely agree, lived a libertine lifestyle. But nobody ever asserted that anyone but him paid his bills.

Does that fact make his lifestyle any less libertine? I would argue not.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Go Newt!

tinkerthinker on November 21, 2011 at 4:25 PM

But you have just contradicted your idea of libertinism as leechery (as opposed to lechery).

Robert Downey Jr., I think we can all safely agree, lived a libertine lifestyle. But nobody ever asserted that anyone but him paid his bills.

Does that fact make his lifestyle any less libertine? I would argue not.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Its destructive and like socialism, it works as long as you have money to burn. That can be your own money, or someone else’s. Socialism is popular with the rich as well and they can afford it. They can weather the destructive effects of socialism and of libertinism without any undue repercussions. Those less wealthy are harmed to a much greater degree by socialism or libertinism, but that can be ameliorated by public funds to artificially cushion the effects. We see this with single mothers who choose Uncle Sam as their husbands, and 30 year old boys playing World Of Warcraft in mom’s basement.

Robert Downey Jr and his Hollywood pals are also supportive of socialism but their lifestyles don’t reflect that anymore than the old Soviet Politburo did. Socialism is no more viable than libertinism is. Socialism is paternalism writ large in society, and libertinism is childish rebellion writ large. They are both infantile philosophies that refuse to embrace responsibility or adulthood.

sharrukin on November 21, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Fine talk for a preacher.

A candidate for POTUS?… I just think it’s a topic that doesn’t play to Newt’s strengths.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 4:05 PM

His weakness is his poor life choices. To clear the air about matters of morality and redemption greatly helps among us who worry about Newt’s arrogance problem.

Bill C on November 21, 2011 at 5:05 PM

“And yet the man denies being a lobbyist for Fannie Mae…”
michaelo on November 21, 2011 at 3:47 PM

A “lobbyist” is one who advocates to elected officials and their representatives on behalf of another, such as meeting with Congress Members, their staff, and bureaucrats;
An “advisor” gives his considered opinion to his client.

Do you have any proof that Gingrich acted as a “lobbyist” and not as an “advisor”?

Another Drew on November 21, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Given Newt’s and Ron Paul’s respective records with regards to marital fidelity, I gotta question the wisdom of presuming to lecture Dr. Paul on libertinism.

JohnGalt23 on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I did not see Newt lecturing Ron Paul on libertinism (?is that a word?). What I heard embodied an attempt to philosophically reinforce the argument that the First Amendment does not mean the separation of morality from the construct of our laws.

Saltysam on November 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

The Libertine, non-Founding Father-like:

“In a free society,…. all voluntary and consensual agreements would be recognized. ….But look at where we are today, constantly fighting over the definition and legality of marriage……..I’d like to settle the debate by turning it into a First Amendment issue: the right of free speech. Everyone can have his or her own definition of what marriage means, and if an agreement or contract is reached by the participants, it will qualify as a civil contract if desired.

- Ron Paul, Marriage – “Liberty Defined” Chapter on Marriage

“Its time to treat all drugs the way we treat Alcohol and Cigarettes.” – Ron Paul – “Liberty Defined”

jp on November 21, 2011 at 5:38 PM

What I heard embodied an attempt to philosophically reinforce the argument that the First Amendment does not mean the separation of morality from the construct of our laws.

Saltysam on November 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Ron Paul spends a big part of his book, “Liberty Defined”, doing exactly what Newt was refuting. See quote I linked above on Marriage….’anything goes in a free society based on First Amendment’

jp on November 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM

jp on November 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Well, to be fair to Paul, I have not read his book. So, my fist reaction to your claim is to suspect a bit of hyperbole in your assessment “anything goes”.

Saltysam on November 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Saltysam on November 21, 2011 at 5:48 PM

I quoted excerpt above, he wants zero laws in relation to marriage and says ‘all arrangements’ would be recognized. Argues this based on First Amendment.

More from the Marriage Chapter of Liberty Defined:

“The definition of marriage is what divides so many. Why not tolerate everybody’s definition as long as neither side uses force to impose its views on the other? Problem solved! It doesn’t happen because of the lack of tolerance on both sides.”

- Ron Paul, Marriage – ‘Liberty Defined’

“If others who choose a different defintion do not impose their standards on anyone else, they have a First Amendment right to their own definition and access to the courts to arbitrate any civil disputes” – R.P, Liberty Defined – Marriage

This is pure Libertine applied to the institution of Marriage

jp on November 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

http://sarahnet.net/sarahnet-radio.html

As a Palinista, Newt is the obvious choice to me. Gingrich/Jindal? And Palin at Energy. Hell yes.

mike_NC9 on November 21, 2011 at 6:14 PM

I quoted excerpt above, he wants zero laws in relation to marriage and says ‘all arrangements’ would be recognized. Argues this based on First Amendment.

jp on November 21, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Well, from the few things you’ve provided, I can’t say that I necessarily disagree with Paul.

Two people can call an agreement anything they want. That actually stands right now as it has for the entire history of civilization. The question is what a court of law will call it.

According to your quote of Paul, I believe he is saying that a court should recognize the bindings of a contractual agreement, but whether or not a court is forced to erase from the entire history of jurisprudence the clearly understood definition of marriage is another matter. I’m not sure Paul is actually saying that marriage is to be an un-recognized legal term.

Or, is he?

Saltysam on November 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Or, is he?

Saltysam on November 21, 2011 at 6:18 PM

He’s arguing for no-govt. involvement in public Covenant of Marriage(without answering whose going to handle divorce, child custody, estates, etc) and other practical points.

He clearly says, like a raging Libertine, that all Humans can each have their own Definition of Marriage and Society must “Recognize all arrangements”, and does so citing the First Amendment.

Which means we get rid of Polygamy laws(as he argued in One debate) and favors Homosexual Marriage and basically anything.

Ron Paul is an Anarcho-Capitalist, his clique REJECTED Classical Liberalism in favor of their Capitalist brand of Anarchism. They have nothing in common with the Founders who were Classical Liberals.

jp on November 21, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Newt was cheating on his wife and banging his congressional secretary while trying to impeach Clinton for infidelity. Lecturing Paul was the height of hypocrisy.

Spathi on November 21, 2011 at 3:41 PM

FAIL.

Clinton was not impeached by the House for infidelity. He was impeached for perjuring himself.

powerpro on November 21, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Libertinism, taken to its logical conclusion, always equates to piracy. If you believe differently, check your premises.

Liberty does not promise no consequences for actions, as libertinism supposes. Liberty puts the burden of policing on the individual first, and when they fail, the burden of policing devolves to those placed in proper authority for that purpose. Libertinism wishes for no authority but one’s own appetites.

As for comparison of Newt’s infidelity with Clinton’s, I submit that Newt is genuinely remorseful of his errors. Can anybody in the whole wide world make such a claim for Billy Jeff? Being human includes making mistakes. Cheating is a horrendous mistake. Repenting and begging forgiveness offers a very small portion of mitigation, but that small part is gigantic alongside one who isn’t sorry, and would do (or is doing) the same again. Character matters. Character, unfortunately, isn’t equal to being perfect. But it is displayed by how one deals with their own failures. Any attempt to put Newt on the same moral rung as Clinton fails right there.

If the only thing in the way of someone voting for Newt Gingrich is based on moral outrage, I suggest that you actually listen to the things he has said in the last year, read the things he has written. He would never have been my first choice, but at the moment, he is by far the most presidential option from the GOP.

Freelancer on November 22, 2011 at 1:53 AM