Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Guest Blogger @NewtGrassroots

Welcome guest writer, Larry Welsh, of the Twitter account @NewtGrassroots

This Time It Must be Different
By Larry Welsh

To understand why I support Newt Gingrich for President, it’s useful to look at the other side of the coin; to remember the words of what the far left thought once upon time, to remember the words of Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:

And that, I think, was the handle - that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of old and evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark - that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back. 

I don’t want to look back 5 years from now and feel like we missed our shot. I don’t want the Republican Establishment aided by the Liberal media to convince us yet again that we can’t win unless we nominate someone who doesn’t ruffle feathers, who “appeals to moderates,” who can attract “swing voters.” How many scare-tactic buzzwords have we heard before? Why do conservatives pine for Reagan? Because Ronald Reagan wasn’t the safe pick, because he didn’t “tone down” his conservative rhetoric, because he didn’t appease the liberal media. Most importantly, he did it the conservative way and he won.

What has happened in the intervening 31 years? In 1988 the legitimate heir to the Reagan Revolution, the supply-side evangelist and designer of the Reagan tax cuts, Jack Kemp ran for the Republican nomination. The chattering class and the Republican establishment began the whisper campaign: “He spends too much time talking about ‘empowerment zones,’ he’s too wonky, a Congressman can’t win the Presidency, Reagan passed him over for VP, Bush is the rightful heir to the Reagan mantle, he’s never had an unspoken thought.” They convinced us, and we got George H.W. Bush. The same man that called supply-side economics “Voo-Doo Economics,” the same man that the establishment/media/pundit-class wanted in 1980. For that mistake, we got a tax increase and ultimately Bill Clinton. Of course had Jack Kemp been President there never would have been a tax increase and Ross Perot would not have run in 1992 and siphoned off enough votes to put a 2nd rate Governor form Arkansas into the Presidency.

Certainly the lessons of 1988 would lead conservatives not to repeat those mistakes in 1996. We needed a bold, fresh candidate, someone that had a vision, someone that could espouse the themes that Reagan had not so long ago. Enter Steve Forbes with a bold tax plan, a 17% flat tax. Steve Forbes the entrepreneur, Steve Forbes who had worked with Ronald Reagan, Steve Forbes who ran only because Jack Kemp had decided not to. Certainly, we wouldn’t make the same mistakes as we had in 1988. The conservative Union-Leader in New Hampshire endorsed the Forbes candidacy. Then, like clockwork, the whisper campaign began: “Look at him, he’s looks too nerdy to be President.” “He’s a one-trick pony with that flat-tax thing.” “He’s pro-choice you know.” “He’s filthy rich and cant relate to voters.” But, the one they favor the most always rears its ugly head: “he can’t win in the general.” This led us to nominate “Mr. Moderate” Bob Dole. Senator Dole ran around the country speaking in the third person and waving the 10th Amendment in the air in a futile attempt to convince us he was a conservative, he even gave the VP slot to his old political enemy Jack Kemp, but not even that could save his campaign. For the sin of Republican nominee Bob Dole, we lost the Presidential campaign and seats in Congress.

In 2000 we had a chance yet again to right the ship. Bob Dole was doing Viagra commercials and promised not to haunt us again. Republicans, we told Steve Forbes, love to nominate someone that had valiantly run before and lost. “Run again Steve, we won’t make the same mistake three times in a row” we said. Enter George W. Bush. The establishment told us that to run against Clinton’s VP in a good economy we couldn’t run as true Reagan conservatives. No, we would need something called a “compassionate conservative.” Because you know, conservatism isn’t compassionate in and of itself. Meanwhile, the inventor of the Internet and the man who gave new meaning to the word “lockbox,” Al Gore, ran one of the poorest campaigns in elective history and yet, somehow won the popular vote. Luckily, or perhaps not as we’ll see, the Founding Fathers had decided that the Electoral College decides the Presidency and W. eked it out by 353 votes. For the sin of George W. Bush Republicans got “No Child Left Behind” and an expansion of Government and Deficits that would make John Maynard Keynes blush and eventually the loss of Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress.

Feel like a punching bag yet? Wait, it will be different in 2008 right? Not so much. George W. Bush had tarnished the Republican brand so greatly by 2007 that early polls suggested the liberal media’s favorite Republican, John McCain was the strongest contender. Then that summer Senator McCain’s spendthrift campaign imploded. Conservatives were desperate to find an alternative and saw an opening. Enter Fred Thompson. The actor and former Senator from Tennessee was practically begged to run. Conservatives told Senator Thompson: “Don’t worry Fred we won’t make the same mistake four times in a row!” What happened next? You guessed it, the whispering campaign began: “He doesn’t even want to run.” “His fundraising numbers are terrible.” “He’s a better actor than campaigner.” “He started too late.” And the Coup de grâce: “He can’t win in the general.” So like Lazarus, John McCain rose to the top of the polls and secured the Republican nomination. Never mind that McCain never met a tax-cut he liked or that he had co-authored the McCain-Feingold Act which even moderate Republicans detested, he could win you see. The establishment told us that “swing voters” and independents would vote for McCain because he “crossed the aisle” to work with Democrats and “our polling shows voters like that.” How was Bob Dole Act II (aka John McCain) going to beat Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Machine in the General? Well a funny thing happened on the to the McCain vs. Hillary matchup. Turns out Democrats can be equally as naïve when nominating their candidates. Low and behold they nominated a Senator barely 2 years into his term whose sole political accomplishment appeared to be knocking out Republicans before they ran and according to the Democratic Old Guard “speaking well” for a black man. Then in an earthquake like move the floundering McCain campaign picked a firebrand conservative whom the base of the Republican Party loved, Governor Sarah Palin. Then amazingly, the polls swung to McCain’s favor he led the RCP Average in early September, the Electoral College predictions showed McCain/Palin winning! Then he suspended his campaign, to go back to Washington and “fix the economic crises.” The establishment and their old pals the liberal media began the destruction of Sarah Palin. “She’s dumb.” “She talks funny.” “She doesn’t read.” “She said she can see Russia from her window.” And so it went. On Election Day what was unthinkable a year earlier happened: someone named Barack Hussein Obama was elected President. For the sin of John McCain we got a filibuster proof majority for the Democrats in the Senate, sustained unemployment over 8.5%, nationalized healthcare, and a $15 Trillion dollar debt.

This time it must be different. Newt Gingrich the architect of the “Contract with America,” the man who led the Republicans in the House out of the wilderness to gain the majority for the first time in 40 years is the front runner to be the Republican nominee in 2012. Newt Gingrich, the only man in your lifetime to balance the budget and enact true entitlement reform when he led the effort to reform welfare. Newt Gingrich, the man who cut taxes for the first time in 16 years. Newt Gingrich, who had the audacity to see a permanent Republican majority, is the front-runner. The establishment, the liberal media, and the chattering class are up in arms. After all they thought they had him dead and buried back in June. They’re 4-0 since Reagan and they’ll be damned if their not going to fight tooth and nail to get to 5-0. They’re going to use all their battle- tested lines. “He’ll become unhinged” that worked on Sarah Palin. “He’s never had an unspoken thought and will implode” worked on Jack Kemp. “He doesn’t look presidential” worked on Steve Forbes. “He has no campaign infrastructure” worked on Fred Thompson. And of course, “he can’t win in the general.” The establishment wants Mitt Romney, the very definition of RINO. Just like they wanted George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and John McCain. But this time it must be different.

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