Salvo from South Carolina: Darn voters thinking for themselves again

posted at 7:40 pm on January 22, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

There are several explanations we’re likely to hear about the outcome in South Carolina on Saturday.  Most of them will involve the voters being silly and not knowing what’s good for them.  (I especially like the variant that says South Carolina voters went for Newt Gingrich – Newt Gingrich! – because they’re right next to Georgia.  Yeah, right.  Gingrich is Mr. New American South.)

If the voters weren’t silly, they would understand that it has to be Mitt Romney, because, well, primary voters were silly and picked Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell over Mike Castle in Delaware, not to mention running with that goofy Sharron Angle in Nevada, and look how that turned out.  You can’t get California and you probably can’t get New York, if you’re the GOP nominee.  But you have a good shot at Pennsylvania and Ohio, Michigan and maybe even Illinois, if you’re Mitt Romney.  Newt Gingrich?  Forget it.  Gingrich can’t even win Georgia.

And the truth is, this analysis isn’t necessarily wrong.  If I had to make a bet, I’d bet that a Newt Gingrich nominated to run for the GOP in November would implode on the campaign trail.  He’d still make a better president than Obama, but his “sticking it to the media” shtick in the debates would lose its luster when he faced Obama.  He comes across as easily annoyed; the feistiness that resonates with voter sentiment in the primaries would weather time and tides poorly.  As between an irritable Gingrich and a cool, scripted Obama, I would predict without hesitation that the latter’s jokes during a debate would come off better.  All things being equal, that is.

As with the O’Donnell-Castle primary outcome in 2010, however, it’s not the voters who are silly.  They know that all things aren’t equal in 2012.  The voters who put Gingrich over the top yesterday believe that we can’t keep going down the same political path in the United States – and that that holds for Republicans at least as much as for Democrats, if not more.  Their perception is that the GOP leadership is invested in the current path of government: that it doesn’t want change; it is not committed to restoring liberty and limited government, but instead is comfortable with the growth of regulatory intrusiveness, and seeks merely to broker pragmatic accommodations to leftist activism as a sort of rear-guard action.

Considering that the GOP has been doing this for most of the last 80 years, the voters aren’t wrong.  They aren’t wrong about Mitt Romney: his record of enthusiastic accommodations to the left is a set of rusty, clanking weights tethered to the back of the Mitt-mobile.  Gingrich and Santorum both have some ‘splainin’ to do as well, but Gingrich has specifically repudiated some of his earlier faux pas (such as the snuggle-up with Nancy Pelosi on combating “global warming”).  He also speaks trenchantly on the issues that exercise the most voters:  federal debt, health care regulation, regulation in general, government intervention in the economy, illegal immigration.

It does matter to primary voters, moreover, that Gingrich “takes it to” the media by rhetorically denouncing the questions posed in the GOP debates.  Voters on the right perceive the one-sided political attitude of the media to be a significant problem for American politics.  And while I don’t get as excited as others do about Gingrich’s little rhetorical broadsides in the debates –responding with broadsides isn’t, per se, a component of leadership – this is another thing the voters aren’t wrong about.  Media bias is a problem, not only in politics but for our public life in general.  People believe a lot of things that aren’t so today because of the particular narratives favored by the major media.  The perception of public assent generated by the media’s formulations produces an environment for government taking actions that jeopardize our liberties.

Many voters are determined not to be ruled by federal executive agencies whose agendas are approved by MSNBC and the New York Times.  These voters are voting for the candidate they deem most likely to reverse America’s slide into precisely that method of government.  That they see such a candidate in Newt Gingrich speaks more loudly about the general state of the GOP than about anything else.  Voters are seeking to break the inertia and conventionalism of the Republican Party; this is, in fact, a power struggle, and one in which I would not bet against the voters.

The famous salvo from South Carolina in April 1861 precipitated a shooting war under old conditions that no longer prevail.  The Union had all the material advantage in that war, as it had the moral advantage in being determined to preserve the national union while ending slavery.

But today’s South is no longer under such a disadvantage.  A political salvo from the South is a different portent now.  Likewise, the Republican Party doesn’t hold a Union-like advantage over its members, nor is there any valid reason for our federal government to hold such an advantage over a law-abiding people.  Today’s “rebel” GOP voters in South Carolina aren’t the slave-regime old guard, they’re the abolitionists.  We need not be deceived that wanting to reverse the encroachments of the federal government, and defeat the plantation mentality in Washington, is evidence of irresponsibility or lawlessness.  The truth is closer to the opposite.

The people have one tool – the vote – by which to express the sentiment that things have to change.  In 2008, Mitt Romney didn’t look all that different from George W. Bush.  The Obama tenure has been a wake-up call that has put Romney in a new perspective: in 2012, he doesn’t look as different from Barack Obama as conservative voters would prefer.  Obama is less an outlier than the end-gamer of the same big-government principles embraced by both major parties over the past 80 years.  We have now seen with our own eyes where those principles lead, and the voters don’t want to go there.  It’s not the voters who need to wise up; it’s the Republican Party.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Can any Newt supporters explain why they would choose an fat, ugly toad who cheats on his wives and lobbies for fannie and got kicked out by colleagues over a handsome experienced leader with success in government and business and a beautiful family who is as tall as Obama and has a great voice?

I feel like I live in Bizzaro world.

nonpartisan on January 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Uh, because we’re not superficial jackwads?

kg598301 on January 22, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Thanks for the article J.E. Dyer. The problem is the Republican Party.They do want business as usual. I watch Boehner and it is like watching Romney. Romney’s eager accommodation is the standard Republican party fare that has brought us the big mess we are in. I’m not wild about either presidential candidate as a whole. I’ve enjoyed Newt boxing the MSM’s ears, but I want more than that. Newt is not very well liked, has a big ego and is pretty self-centered. I don’t get the sense that he cares more about the country than he does himself. Neither candidate is up to the task. So if we want the presidency, we are going to have to determine which one can win,go with him and beat him about the ears to get the job performance we want when he is in office. We can hope for a good VP pick and maybe the silver lining of the primary results will be that these results scare the Republican party enough that they will make sure we get a VP with conservative substance. And we have to win the senate and keep the house. We have a lot of work to do and, the only we will get back to spending our time with our family and friends instead of these jackals is to shrink that government to a nub.

Charm on January 22, 2012 at 8:57 PM

ConcealedKerry on January 22, 2012 at 8:48 PM

gee, i don’t hear rick or dudley do-right talking about the space program. heh heh heh. Newt really is one smart sob.

GhoulAid on January 22, 2012 at 8:58 PM

Media Advisory: Romney Campaign Will Hold Press Conference Call On Gingrich’s Work As An “Historian” For Freddie Mac #ThereWillBeBlood

lol, here we goooo

Flapjackmaka on January 22, 2012 at 8:35 PM

And all Newt will have to do…

… is go back and explain the cause of the orginal problem.

Seven Percent Solution on January 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Mittbots: But, but, Newt is a fat marshmallow! We can’t have a fat, white, pale, honky, bleached, beached, whale as a President of the United States of America! Vote for Mitt! He is fit, he is health, he looks good for a 67 year old man. His wife is cute and his sons are healthy! BTW, it is his turn, damnit!

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM


Uh, because we’re not superficial jackwads?

Willard has the superficial jackwad demographic nailed.

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM

@ppppolls: First night of our Florida polling: Romney and Gingrich are neck and neck.

Flapjackmaka on January 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Charm on January 22, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Then I’d urge you to support Ron Paul.

Dante on January 22, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Amusing how the Newt people conveniently forget that Newt endorsed Dede Scozzafavva to the bitter end while Romney endorsed Doug Hoffman, the conservative candidate.

As to who can win a debate, primary debates are very different from general election debates. Newt has been throwing the base a lot of red meat. Good for him. But that strategy won’t play in a general election debate, as millions of independents would recoil in horror. People are looking for a calm, reassuring and smart alternative to Obama, not someone who wants some new revolution.

matthew8787 on January 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM

WOW

Dyer. was that damage control, or is it just Sunday?

WryTrvllr on January 22, 2012 at 9:01 PM

So long, Squibbs. You all suck for not sparring with me. Food Network>Hot Gas.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:01 PM

South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for a lunatic asylum.” -James L. Petigru, South Carolina jurist.

Newt played it right down the middle.

profitsbeard on January 22, 2012 at 9:01 PM


Mittbots: But, but, Newt is a fat marshmallow! We can’t have a fat, white, pale, honky, bleached, beached, whale as a President of the United States of America! Vote for Mitt! He is fit, he is health, he looks good for a 67 year old man. His wife is cute and his sons are healthy! BTW, it is his turn, damnit!

ROTFL. Ftw.

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:02 PM

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I liked what you wrote—it was funny, I get it.

arnold ziffel on January 22, 2012 at 9:02 PM

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 8:17 PM

ROTFLMAO

katy the mean old lady on January 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Rachel Ray>Allahpundit
Gay Ferry>Ed Morrison.
Sandra Lee>Tina Corbe.
J/K on the last two, but Allah, Ray Ray kicks your arse.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

matthew8787 on January 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM

like obama’s new revolution of turning us into europe? sit down!

GhoulAid on January 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Yes, because Newts unfavorable ratings are written in stone. Just like Romney’s win in South Carolina by 10 points just a week ago was written in stone to never change. Funny how Newt rose so much and Romney fell so far in such a short time. It would almost require a flash ice age to change the stone’s writings in such short order… Or maybe, just maybe, those numbers are all fluid, and those people who dislike Newt today because they tuned out a long time ago on him will be his allies once they retune back in and see the choices.

Nah, no way. Romney won South Carolina!

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 8:41 PM

LOL. You are gonna compare hard core Strom Thurmond republicans to the center you have issues friend.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

It’s not the voters who need to wise up; it’s the Republican Party.

Says it all. The rest was just fluff.

they lie on January 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Newt is unlikely to be the nominee. The more important question for those who post here (well, the non-trolls who post here) is how serious they are about rescuing the country.

Those who are committed to a single issue need to recognize that they must be willing to live within a large tent…a coalition of people that do not agree with every aspect of your belief system.

For example, it would be crazy to let Obama win if you are pro-life. We must all seek to appeal to the broadest of coalitions. Rather than regressing to some narrow view that essentially says: the left got their man in…so now it’s our turn, we must expand.

There are plenty of casual voters who’ll vote for Obama because he’s cute and can sing. We need to be the adults. None of us will get the perfect candidate.

Burning down the master’s house may feel good in the short run…but if it gets us into the cold winter of socialism we’ll be the first to regret it. The elites and their children will do fine…the talkers and pundits will do fine

It is the unconnected middle class and poor that will lose

r keller on January 22, 2012 at 9:04 PM

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 8:48 PM

If he’s not capable of going after his real opponent, than how does he expect me to vote for him. Three states, three outcomes, obviously many people are not convinced. When he and Newt were scheduled at the same venue at overlapping times yesterday, he should have stayed and they should have been photographed together. Instead he arrived early rushed through the appearance left and then released a news reports saying that his campaign was going to send Newt’s S.C. office a cake to commemorate his ethics charges. All of that is childish and makes me wonder who really is suffering from rage.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Yeah, we want an angry person running the country.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Yeah,quite a few of us do.

katy the mean old lady on January 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

“The voters who put Gingrich over the top yesterday believe that we can’t keep going down the same political path in the United States – and that that holds for Republicans at least as much as for Democrats, if not more.

Their perception is that the GOP leadership is invested in the current path of government: that it doesn’t want change; it is not committed to restoring liberty and limited government, but instead is comfortable with the growth of regulatory intrusiveness, and seeks merely to broker pragmatic accommodations to leftist activism as a sort of rear-guard action.”

You did absolutely nail this, J.E.

Makes me laugh when some insist that there’s no such thing as a GOP establishment who is totally invested in the status quo remaining as it is.

PatriotGal2257 on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM


People are looking for a calm, reassuring and smart alternative to Obama, not someone who wants some new revolution.

No, I want the revolution thing. Willard can go straight to a calm and reassuring hole in the ground and sprout green leafy shoots like the pod person that he is.

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

There’s no way of knowing how Newt would govern as president, but he’s not the choice of the republican establishment and his record is stellar, compared to Mitts.
Newt is an historian and I don’t think he wants to be shown in a bad light, historically.

Norky on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

The Union had all the material advantage in that war, as it had the moral advantage in being determined to preserve the national union while ending slavery.

Since when is coercing someone to fulfill a contract they’d rather breach considered a moral advantage? If you ask contract law, the South was the moral actor.

And here’s another damned question I’d like answered: if the nicegood enlightened North was so darned set on ending slavery, why not offer to buy all the slaves and free them?

I guarantee it’d've been cheaper and more peaceful than what actually happened. And probably a lot more morally doubleplusgood, you superior Unionistas.

misterpeasea on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Mittbots: But, but, Newt is a fat marshmallow! We can’t have a fat, white, pale, honky, bleached, beached, whale as a President of the United States of America! Vote for Mitt! He is fit, he is health, he looks good for a 67 year old man. His wife is cute and his sons are healthy! BTW, it is his turn, damnit!

ROTFL. Ftw.

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:02 PM

No no no…we want newt and his cute intern that gave him BJ’s in the parking lot.

ick.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Don’t forget that 8 months before he was elected, Reagan trailed Carter in the polls by 25 points.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 8:52 PM

The real difference is that Ronald Reagan actually wanted to lead the country and had the requisite humility to comprehend, and the discipline to execute, the responsibilities of executive office. He also had a solid record of demonstrated ability in the execution of official executive duties.

Newt Gingrich has his ego… which must be fed, and recognized, and shown obeisance. And that is actually the only record he has. His orchestration of the Republican taking of the House wasn’t complete until he managed to screw it up and help Clinton win a second term. Zinging reporters and p.o.’ing your own party to the extent that they run you out of office Isn’t the material I’m looking for in a President.

M240H on January 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Norky on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

\
Agreed, plus he actually has published what he will do, day one, as president, and it is glorious.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM

matthew8787 on January 22, 2012 at 8:40 PM

We are not even confident he’ll repeal all of Obamacare.

Quit prettying up the packaging of Romney. We know what is inside and it s*cks big time.

KirknBurker on January 22, 2012 at 9:08 PM

matthew8787 on January 22, 2012 at 9:00 PM

So when Newt’s a good Party guy he sucks? How hard did Gov. Romney openly run away from Reagan. This kind of stuff can go on forever, there is plenty of ammunition on both sides. Each man will make his case and those who don’t like the outcome have only the candidate to blame, not a bunch of anonymous commenters on a blog.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:08 PM

There’s no way of knowing how Newt would govern as president, but he’s not the choice of the republican establishment and his record is stellar, compared to Mitts.
Newt is an historian and I don’t think he wants to be shown in a bad light, historically.

Norky on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Done for the night.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 9:08 PM

No no no…we want newt and his cute intern that gave him BJ’s in the parking lot.

ick.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM

You fail at the game, Clue. It was The Clenis, and it was in the Oval Office, not The Newt in the Parking Lot. Oh, and a Blue Dress was involved.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:08 PM

“Thus the strength of Newt, who has had to fight this battle for his entire political life, becomes incredibly important. Time to call a spade a spade.”

Newt frames the debate, even the media does not get away with framing it for him!

“American Exceptionalism VS Saul Alinsky Radicalism”

Newt running past the Repunks and takin it to the Lyin kING!

ConcealedKerry on January 22, 2012 at 9:09 PM

People who say Newt is not a conservative don’t get it and are simply wrong. Very wrong.

I guess Palin, Rick Perry, Michael Reagan and countless other rock sold consrvatives are supporting Newt because he is such a liberal?

I hope the ignorance we find on Hot Air is not a represenation of the general voting public.

magic kingdom on January 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM

I don’t care what they say, Newt is not a conservative. He is a political opportunist. Recently, he has been for the bailouts, cap and trade, a federal health care mandate, amnesty for illegals, a huge new federal job training program, among other things. He also helped to cause the housing crisis which led to the crash by playing footsie with Fannie and Freddie for a 1.6 million dollar payout. These are not conservative principles. He also backed every liberal republican in 2010 running against TP opponents.

Palin, Perry and Reagan just want to have power. Each one of them will be diminished because of this endorsement. They already are.

fight like a girl on January 22, 2012 at 9:09 PM

saying that his campaign was going to send Newt’s S.C. office a cake to commemorate his ethics charges. All of that is childish and makes me wonder who really is suffering from rage.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

That action is completely grotesque in our nation that is built upon laws.

Newt was fully exonerated on every single one of the ethics charges. The only thing that he ended up doing wrong was that one of several copies of the same document submitted by his lawyer had incorrect information on it and Newt did not catch the error and correct it.

Using such a miscarriage of justice is unconscionable in my book. It goes to character and it goes to how little he cares about the voters that he would try to score political points for that miscarriage of justice.

But hey, he is such a good looking guy and you know, he married his grade school sweetheart and has been married to her ever since.

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Can any Newt supporters explain why they would choose an fat, ugly toad who cheats on his wives and lobbies for fannie and got kicked out by colleagues over a handsome experienced leader with success in government and business and a beautiful family who is as tall as Obama and has a great voice?

I feel like I live in Bizzaro world.

nonpartisan on January 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Easy. What happened to Romney when the the Bain issue and his atxes was raised? He’s been running for president for more than 6 years, yet has NO DEFENSE. He looked weak, like a little deer in the headlights. It has become clear that Obama will wipe the floor with Romney. The man is unelectable.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Is Romney calling Obama out to debate him, mocking Obama telling him to even bring his teleprompter?

Is Romney bitch slapping the liberal scum balls in the media with ease?

Is Romney giving historic lessons about America along with huge ideas every time he manages to speak?

Is Romney calling Obama a radical socialist because he is indeed a radical socialist?

No.he.is.not!! Its why he is going to lose and the party is over..again.

Folks, we have our warrior..we have the guy who is ten times smarter than any liberal who dares challenge him. We have a guy that is not only fearless, but a guy who is PISSED at what the left has done to our country. Romney looks like he is trying to win office at the local country club…no passion, no fire, no political skills to handle the Chicago machine that will eat him up.

NEWT!

magic kingdom on January 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM


Burning down the master’s house may feel good in the short run…

Let’s think about that after we burn down the master’s house. I don’t like masters. Let us all agree: no masters.

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM

“The voters who put Gingrich over the top yesterday believe that we can’t keep going down the same political path in the United States – and that that holds for Republicans at least as much as for Democrats, if not more.

Their perception is that the GOP leadership is invested in the current path of government: that it doesn’t want change; it is not committed to restoring liberty and limited government, but instead is comfortable with the growth of regulatory intrusiveness, and seeks merely to broker pragmatic accommodations to leftist activism as a sort of rear-guard action.”

J.E….

… You just nailed what this election is all about.

Seven Percent Solution on January 22, 2012 at 8:34 PM

This is exactly correct. I feel a little like Lincoln when he was told U.S. Grant was a drunk and a scoundrel, and he replied, I can’t spare him, he fights.

txmomof6 on January 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

No masters, because we are Americans. Or at least, we were in the past. We have become quite soft and bored, lately. Some of us, at least, would rather keep up with the Kardashians then to keep up with what the idiots in D.C. are doing with our tax dollars. Wake up, white people.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

I don’t care what they say, Newt is not a conservative. He is a political opportunist. Recently, he has been for the bailouts, cap and trade, a federal health care mandate, amnesty for illegals, a huge new federal job training program, among other things.

I remember him being pretty darn conservative when he ran the House. He forced Clinton to do welfare reform and balance the budget.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

That’s why I say that these so-called true conservatives are a bunch of morons. These were the same arguments the idiots made when they voted for Christine O’Donnell.

Chudi on January 22, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Okey dokey. Try getting one of the RINOS elected without the bunch of conservative morons you detest. Will not happen.

If you think so, I’d like to see the RINO nominee say publicly, on every campaing stop and in every debate, you moron conservatives, I don’t need your stinking vote, I don’t want your stinking vote, and I want you to either vote for my opponent or stay the hell away from the polls on election day. Don’t get anywhere near a voting booth, you morons.

Who’s the moron?

they lie on January 22, 2012 at 9:13 PM

No no no…we want newt and his cute intern that gave him BJ’s in the parking lot.

ick.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM

But you are going to vote for him if he’s the nominee, right?

tinkerthinker on January 22, 2012 at 9:14 PM

I remember him being pretty darn conservative when he ran the House. He forced Clinton to do welfare reform and balance the budget.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:12 PM

Yes, you are factually correct, but remember, Gingrich is creepy, white, bloated and a CHEATTER! We can not have that in the white house, from a REPUBLICAN, Bill Clinton cared for us all, so he got a pass.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:14 PM

“The voters who put Gingrich over the top yesterday believe that we can’t keep going down the same political path in the United States – and that that holds for Republicans at least as much as for Democrats, if not more.

Their perception is that the GOP leadership is invested in the current path of government: that it doesn’t want change; it is not committed to restoring liberty and limited government, but instead is comfortable with the growth of regulatory intrusiveness, and seeks merely to broker pragmatic accommodations to leftist activism as a sort of rear-guard action.”

You did absolutely nail this, J.E.

Makes me laugh when some insist that there’s no such thing as a GOP establishment who is totally invested in the status quo remaining as it is.

PatriotGal2257 on January 22, 2012 at 9:06 PM

I see lots of people commend him on this statement. I do not like his use of that word.

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 9:15 PM

As between an irritable Gingrich and a cool, scripted Obama, I would predict without hesitation that the latter’s jokes during a debate would come off better. All things being equal, that is.

You obviously haven’t seen Obama when his feathers get ruffled and he gets all pissy. Newt would have him in that mode 24/7.

Then we’d really see who is the “irritable” one.

ButterflyDragon on January 22, 2012 at 9:15 PM

No no no…we want newt and his cute intern that gave him BJ’s in the parking lot.

ick.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 9:07 PM

as barack and rahm played footsies in a chicago bathhouse, right?

GhoulAid on January 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM

I really cannot fathom why people are choosing Gingrich over Romney. Really, it makes zero sense. It is as if they had a major accident where the part of their brain that controls memory was damaged. That is the only explanation when forgetting Newt’s past.
ConservativeLaw on January 22, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Let’s not forget the exceptional achievements legislatively of Newt’s past. He forged some powerful conservative laws during that time.

Let’s also not forget that achievers often create enemies motivated by envy. There were legislators jealous of retaining their own power who saw Newt as a threat.

onlineanalyst on January 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Yes, you are factually correct, but remember, Gingrich is creepy, white, bloated and a CHEATTER! We can not have that in the white house, from a REPUBLICAN, Bill Clinton cared for us all, so he got a pass.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:14 PM

But the choice is between Gingrich and Romney. And it has become clear that Romney cannot win.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:18 PM

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Have you noticed it doesn’t make any difference.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:18 PM

And Gingrich is STILL a serial adulterer that supports more big government programs than many Democrats.

libertarianlunatic on January 22, 2012 at 9:18 PM


I remember him being pretty darn conservative when he ran the House. He forced Clinton to do welfare reform and balance the budget.

This was during the era when Willard was an independent funding Democrats like Tsongas or running to the left of Senator Kennedy, before the era when he described himself as a social progressive signing pledges planned parenthood and before the era when he delivered a program of policy functionally identical to ObamaCare, i.e. RomneyCare, which was before the era when he suddenly morphed into a “conservtive” in advance of a national election.

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Newt is WHITE! From the SOUTH! Wake UP PEOPLE! Damn! We must absolve the sins of our great, great, great grandfathers who enslaved black men and women. We must try to repair that damage by electing only black ore well tanned, slim white men.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:19 PM

Newt Gingrich is a parody of a conservative. He’s the William Shatner of politicians, which would be endearing if he were an entertainer instead of a presidential candidate. Gingrich is a silly candidate — a stay puft marshmallow candidate of conservative fantasy. Republican voters already look silly for choosing him in South Carolina. If he wins the nomination, both the Republican Party and its voters will have end up embarrassed.

RightOFLeft on January 22, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Indeed. The reaction among my independent-minded friends has been interesting…they can’t believe the GOP would nominate Newt.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:19 PM

ore equals or
They sound the same but have completely different meanings.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:19 PM


Bill Clinton cared for us all, so he got a pass.

What!?

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

If he’s not capable of going after his real opponent, than how does he expect me to vote for him. Three states, three outcomes, obviously many people are not convinced. When he and Newt were scheduled at the same venue at overlapping times yesterday, he should have stayed and they should have been photographed together. Instead he arrived early rushed through the appearance left and then released a news reports saying that his campaign was going to send Newt’s S.C. office a cake to commemorate his ethics charges. All of that is childish and makes me wonder who really is suffering from rage.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

You don’t bring a cake to a knife fight.

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

This was during the era when Willard was an independent funding Democrats like Tsongas or running to the left of Senator Kennedy, before the era when he described himself as a social progressive signing pledges planned parenthood and before the era when he delivered a program of policy functionally identical to ObamaCare, i.e. RomneyCare, which was before the era when he suddenly morphed into a “conservtive” in advance of a national election.

But the choice is between Gingrich and Romney. And it has become clear that Romney cannot win.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

And it has become clear that Romney cannot win.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:18 PM

Yes, Romney will not win in the South. He is an outsider.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Bill Clinton cared for us all, so he got a pass.

What!?

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Well, for one, his is a liberal. He cares! And do not forget: “I feel you payne”

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:22 PM

That’s why I say that these so-called true conservatives are a bunch of morons. These were the same arguments the idiots made when they voted for Christine O’Donnell.

Chudi on January 22, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Yep. But, they’d rather lose with an O’Donnell than win an election.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

If he’s not capable of going after his real opponent, than how does he expect me to vote for him. Three states, three outcomes, obviously many people are not convinced. When he and Newt were scheduled at the same venue at overlapping times yesterday, he should have stayed and they should have been photographed together. Instead he arrived early rushed through the appearance left and then released a news reports saying that his campaign was going to send Newt’s S.C. office a cake to commemorate his ethics charges. All of that is childish and makes me wonder who really is suffering from rage.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

You don’t bring a cake to a knife fight.

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Hahahahaaaaa…that is too funny!

tinkerthinker on January 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

People who say Newt is not a conservative don’t get it and are simply wrong. Very wrong.

I guess Palin, Rick Perry, Michael Reagan and countless other rock sold consrvatives are supporting Newt because he is such a liberal?

I hope the ignorance we find on Hot Air is not a represenation of the general voting public.

magic kingdom on January 22, 2012 at 8:53 PM

They know Newt has a good record, this nonsense about him “not being a conservative” is just a “so’s your mother!!” defense. Romney’s record simply doesn’t help against Newt’s.

Doomberg on January 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Can any Newt supporters explain why they would choose an fat, ugly toad who cheats on his wives and lobbies for fannie and got kicked out by colleagues over a handsome experienced leader with success in government and business and a beautiful family who is as tall as Obama and has a great voice?

I feel like I live in Bizzaro world.

nonpartisan on January 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Ummm. because of the way you said it????

WryTrvllr on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Luckily Newt is an unstable fellow and will pull a Cain of some kind in the near future.

Otherwise Obama’s team would turn him into the neo-Grinch who stole the 21st century’s Christmas in the general, and the inattentive electorate would give Obama a rousing win over Captain Newtron G. Crankypants, pseudo-Conservative and master debater cum media killer.

profitsbeard on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Yep. But, they’d rather lose with an O’Donnell than win an election.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

As long as we pick up seats in the House and Senate then I’m fine with that.

ButterflyDragon on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Yep. But, they’d rather lose with an O’Donnell McCain than win an election.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Hey, I can play this silly game too!

Doomberg on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Yes, Romney will not win in the South. He is an outsider.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

It’s worse than that. The way he so badly fumbled the whole Bain issue, to be followed by yet another fumble with his taxes, shows us the man has a glass jaw.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Good job, a perfect answer in so many ways.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

If he’s not capable of going after his real opponent, than how does he expect me to vote for him. Three states, three outcomes, obviously many people are not convinced. When he and Newt were scheduled at the same venue at overlapping times yesterday, he should have stayed and they should have been photographed together. Instead he arrived early rushed through the appearance left and then released a news reports saying that his campaign was going to send Newt’s S.C. office a cake to commemorate his ethics charges. All of that is childish and makes me wonder who really is suffering from rage.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:05 PM

Wait, you’re criticizing Romney for not getting his picture taken with Newt? Are you kidding?

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Romney is scared now. You can see it in his eyes. It’s crunch time and he is not the guy who can sink the jumper at the buzzer. He is a rich guy who is a very average politician.

Newt is the real warrior and I could care less how many chicks he ran off with or how many he cheated on or the fact that he has made a few mistakes over the years. America needs a fighter that can destroy the radical American hating left who at the same time can explain conservatism as good as Rush.

Time to go with Newt..its pretty obvious at this point.

magic kingdom on January 22, 2012 at 9:26 PM

It’s worse than that. The way he so badly fumbled the whole Bain issue, to be followed by yet another fumble with his taxes, shows us the man has a glass jaw.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

You were kind to say he only has a glass jaw. He is almost to the left of Obamma.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Can any Newt supporters explain why they would choose an fat, ugly toad who cheats on his wives and lobbies for fannie and got kicked out by colleagues over a handsome experienced leader with success in government and business and a beautiful family who is as tall as Obama and has a great voice?I feel like I live in Bizzaro world.

nonpartisan on January 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

I know the feeling – I’ve felt that way ever since Obama took office.

silvernana on January 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Hey, I can play this silly game too!

Doomberg on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

I’ve seen many commenters here say they’d rather lose with an O’Donnell, so it’s not just a “game”.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM


Yep. But, they’d rather lose with an O’Donnell than win an election.

Yes, I would rather lose with Gingrich than win with the goofball who delivered a program of policy functionally identical to ObamaCare, i.e. RomneyCare, with all its new rules, its new taxes, its exchanges, its assumptions about the state supervision of private economic activity to pursue progressive goals like universal coverage, and its mandates. Why would I want to trade one progressive for another?

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Here’s another thing to remember. This summer, gas will go above $4 a gallon. Who is more likely to make that a key issue in the election? Newt.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

As long as we pick up seats in the House and Senate then I’m fine with that.

ButterflyDragon on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

We won’t with Newt as the nominee.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Luckily Newt is an unstable fellow and will pull a Cain of some kind in the near future.

Otherwise Obama’s team would turn him into the neo-Grinch who stole the 21st century’s Christmas in the general, and the inattentive electorate would give Obama a rousing win over Captain Newtron G. Crankypants, pseudo-Conservative and master debater cum media killer.

profitsbeard on January 22, 2012 at 9:24 PM

More like a newtron bomb going off on obama. Mitt- powder puffs.

tinkerthinker on January 22, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Forget the horrible spin the author is trying to get you to swallow (and having moderately successful results), the one thing that can be taken away from the primaries so far is this: despite the lamenting of a lack of conservatives/conservatism by people who consider themselves to be conservative, they continually vote for non-conservatives. This will not change.

Dante on January 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM

to: novaculus on January 22, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I haven’t posted here except for right after registration. Mainly because of the real strong feelings expressed here, but this post catches what I’ve been thinking about the Republican primary.
Discounting the undercurrent of anger that Newt is tapping into would be a big mistake for those cheerleading for Romney, or the professional consultant class.

BigFluffyClouds on January 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:26 PM

No, I’m not kidding, they are Party opponents, not enemies. Newt wanted to debate and I have no problem with the governor turning down that idea but they should have acted like civilized men, talked to the patrons. They will have to campaign for the Party when the nomination is set. What odd notions people have of what this process is suppose to promote but it isn’t death at twenty paces.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM

We won’t with Newt as the nominee.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

Don’t forget that when Reagan won in 1980 by a popular landslide, all the polls had him behind Carter. There are going to be a lot of people who give Newt a second look and listen to what he says.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM

You were kind to say he only has a glass jaw. He is almost to the left of Obamma.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Past a certain point, it’s really impossible to get “further to the left” except maybe if you openly support violence against political enemies or something. Since he supports most of the Democratic agenda he and Obama are roughly on par with each other, though Mitt didn’t hang out with radicals and probably won’t embarrass us quite as badly on the international stage.

I care less about associations and foreign policy right now, though, and more about spending policies. His are basically indistinguishable from the Big O’s.

Doomberg on January 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Yes, Obama has been transforming American to a socialistic state. Conservatives understand this.

But the people who will decide this election – independents – don’t understand this and they don’t want to hear about a “counter-revolution.” They want someone who will fix the economy.

People at this site are bright, civic-minded, attuned to public affairs, and are aware of the dangers we face. Rergrettably, most Americans do not have this understanding, and calls for “revolution” will frighten them, not secure their vote. The winning strategy is to lay out a different future with economic growth and a strong national defense. We can educate them AFTER we win the White House; doing so before-hand will walk into a trap by the MSM.

matthew8787 on January 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Hahahahaaaaa…that is too funny!

tinkerthinker on January 22, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Good job, a perfect answer in so many ways.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

Thanks!

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Yes, I would rather lose with Gingrich …

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

If he had a chance for the nomination, your wish would be granted.

Big time.

profitsbeard on January 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

Yes, I would rather lose with Gingrich than win with the goofball who delivered a program of policy functionally identical to ObamaCare, i.e. RomneyCare, with all its new rules, its new taxes, its exchanges, its assumptions about the state supervision of private economic activity to pursue progressive goals like universal coverage, and its mandates. Why would I want to trade one progressive for another?

casuist on January 22, 2012 at 9:28 PM

But you’re OK with the guy who was praising RomneyCare as recently as a few years ago? The same guy who has expressed support for a mandate?

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

And Gingrich is STILL a serial adulterer that supports more big government programs than many Democrats.

libertarianlunatic on January 22, 2012 at 9:18 PM

No……maybe 1 or 2

WryTrvllr on January 22, 2012 at 9:32 PM

We won’t with Newt as the nominee.

I guess Newt winning EVERY demographic in South Carolina when Romney had a double diget lead only days before proves this statement to be mindless and not very well thought out.

magic kingdom on January 22, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I see lots of people commend him on this statement. I do not like his use of that word.

astonerii on January 22, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Why? What word would you use instead of “perception?” Is there some other word that you think is more accurate?

PatriotGal2257 on January 22, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Doomberg on January 22, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Up twinkles, well said.

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:34 PM

I’ve seen many commenters here say they’d rather lose with an O’Donnell, so it’s not just a “game”.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:27 PM

And I’ve also seen many Republicans who would rather support a Coons than an O’Donnell, and more d*mningly, a Murkowski than a Miller.

Doomberg on January 22, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Newt: Serial Adulterer! Ted Bundy: Serial Killer! Oh noes! See the connection?

carbon_footprint on January 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM

He is a political opportunist.
fight like a girl on January 22, 2012 at 9:09 PM

Sweetie?

That’s less a profound indictment of Newt than it is a description of every politician in every party that has ever been.

“Political opportunists” …as opposed to what, exactly?

They’re all opportunists. That’s not a bug in a politician, that’s a feature.

davisbr on January 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM

But the people who will decide this election – independents – don’t understand this and they don’t want to hear about a “counter-revolution.” They want someone who will fix the economy.

Exactly. Newt’s smart enough to know how Reagan did it and follow along. Just watch. Look for him to make a big issue out of energy independence, and use Obama’s pipeline decision to contrast. I don’t see Romney doing this.

pearson on January 22, 2012 at 9:35 PM

Newt is the real warrior and I could care less how many chicks he ran off with or how many he cheated on or the fact that he has made a few mistakes over the years. America needs a fighter that can destroy the radical American hating left who at the same time can explain conservatism as good as Rush.

Time to go with Newt..its pretty obvious at this point.

magic kingdom on January 22, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Run with that Magic. It scares them shiiteless.

WryTrvllr on January 22, 2012 at 9:38 PM

You don’t bring a cake to a knife fight.

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Hilarious!

PatriotGal2257 on January 22, 2012 at 9:38 PM

Because many of his supporters are just as fat and have ex-wives they probably hate as well. Hence the cheering. SC is the 5th most obese state, with 28% obese (number 1 is Mississippi at 30%). SC also has the highest divorce rate in the Bible Belt.

The Bureau of Census’ vital statistics report a dim outlook concerning marriage records. With over 50%-60% of marriages reporting failure, adultery rates have soared 50%-70% in recent years. Even more alarming, the Bible Belt reports divorces to be over 50% of the national average. South Carolina marriages that end in divorce have rates making the top ten in the US.

Newt Gingrich fits in perfectly in this environment.

haner on January 22, 2012 at 8:18 PM

You are totally disgusting belittling the people of South Carolina in this way because you disagree with them. What the he!! does obesity have to do with it. When you can’t win the argument, you have to run people down? Absolutely the worst thing I’ve read on here, and there have been some disgusting ones.

silvernana on January 22, 2012 at 9:39 PM

No, I’m not kidding, they are Party opponents, not enemies. Newt wanted to debate and I have no problem with the governor turning down that idea but they should have acted like civilized men, talked to the patrons. They will have to campaign for the Party when the nomination is set. What odd notions people have of what this process is suppose to promote but it isn’t death at twenty paces.

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 9:30 PM

This process is supposed to promote one candidate over another…it’s not about unity. That, allegedly, is what the general is for.

changer1701 on January 22, 2012 at 9:39 PM

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