Newt is Confused by Democracy

December 12th, 2011 at 12:00 am | 64 Comments |

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Newt Gingrich believes in much more democracy than the founding fathers.

They believed the U.S. House should consist of representatives elected by white male property owners. Voting at the time was a public act. On election day the voters would show up at a public place, usually a county seat, where food and copious amounts of alcohol were shared, and raise their hands when the name of their candidate was announced. U.S. Senators were chosen by the state legislatures for six year terms to insulate them from public opinion. The people were not trusted to elect the President and Vice President. An electoral college stood between them.

Things have evolved considerably toward more direct democracy, but not nearly as much as Gingrich would like. Reading his 21st Century Contract with America is an incredibly frustrating task if you want to know what a President Gingrich would do. It’s replete with demands for drastic change, like abolishing the National Labor Relations Board, the federal tribunal for resolving most labor-management disputes. But what replaces it is an open question. He favors a “new common sense organization.” Like what? To me common sense says labor law should guided by principles of economics so unions cannot cartelize the price of labor. I doubt that many readers of this site agree. Their “common sense” and mine often diverge.

This underscores the soundness of representative government. In a nation of 300 million people, we can’t make decisions by plebiscite or “common sense” because most people don’t know enough about any subject to make public policy. We elect representatives to study matters, listen to what people have to say, but ultimately apply their own notions of what’s in the public interest.

Gingrich is always brimming with ideas about what is right and wrong on TV, in his books and speeches. Yet given his decades in Washington, he is deliberately coy about expressing those ideas now in his presidential campaign. Either this is a display of faux humility, or he is making a deliberate attempt to conceal controversial beliefs until after the election. I can eliminate the first possibility. A close reading of his campaign manifesto reveals a desire to redraw the separation of powers.

Gingrich is convinced most federal judges are unaware of the true meaning of the Constitution, particularly the establishment clause, which has been interpreted as requiring a separation of church and state. His solution: strip the federal courts of their jurisdiction over the entire subject, and possibly others. Gingrich says he would “have a national conversation about a bill that will establish a constitutional framework for reigning in lawless judges…” By “lawless” he means judges who disagree with his views. And just what are his views of the establishment clause of the Constitution?

He says he agrees with the true Jefferson, not the one who has been “misquoted” by historians for the last century. According to this view, Jefferson never used the phrase “wall of separation.” In fact, he meant something entirely different. What did Jefferson really believe? Gingrich does not say. And more importantly, why does Gingrich believe Jefferson’s secret views should govern now rather than the outcome of the “national conversation?” He does not say that either.

Trying to understand this man gives me a case of intellectual whiplash. But I can draw a few conclusions: 1)Gingrich is a big, but not a serious thinker. He identifies a problems but not solutions; 2) Gingrich does not have the courage of his convictions. He will not talk about his proposal to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% but prefers to retreat to identifying a problem, and offering nothing more than “a national conversation” to solve it; 3) Gingrich knows far less about the Constitution than he purports to know. And for someone who purports to respect the original ideas of the founders, his views of how the federal government should function are blasphemous.

Recent Posts by Howard Foster



64 Comments so far ↓

  • Graychin

    He’s running for president, for Pete’s sake!

    • Rich T Bikkies

      And for nobody else’s sake – certainly not ours. Purely as a matter of interest, who is this Pete for whose sake he’s running for President?

  • Ray_Harwick

    To me common sense says labor law should guided by principles of economics so unions cannot cartelize the price of labor. I doubt that many readers of this site agree.

    So, my sister is an RN at a non-union hosital where the Job Creators run the cartel. This year **all** of the staff, with the exception of the doctors and executive staff, were forced to take a pay cut; thereby widening the gap between the highest earners and even college-educated nurses and technical staff. For my sister, it meant she picked the wrong place to live because the amount of her pay cut was equal to the amount of money she spends on gasoline monthly to commute to work. Or it means about half of her mortgage payment for a two bedroom farm house of 1,200 sq. ft. that she had to save money for the downpayment for until so was 40 years old.

    I get your point. Somebody has to win, right? And you want to continue the status quo of the top earners not only staying at the top, but holding the power of determining prosperity over everyone else. Win-win for the highest wage earners.

    Gannett Publishing, owner of a couple dozen newspapers around the country, boasted about how they’d held down expenses for their stock holder’s benefit. Yes. They did. They layed off some 3,000 workers nation wide, mainly those on the news side, then rewarded their 57 year-old retiring CEO who “met Gannett’s challenges of the 21th century” with $39 MILLION good-bye present. I’m gonna say you’re beaming with pride over that, Mr. Foster, since it meets you ideal of keeping the living wage power in the hands of the Job Creators. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    This is why I love to the other extreme flaunt its power. I proudly point to the NBA Players Association which represent a couple thousand near, or actual millionaires who are the actual BACKBONE of the NBA. You know, the talent? Sort of like what the nurses who do all the work at hospitals are? Anyway, the NBAPA is equal in the argument for their sport. Too bad pro baseball is forbidden by law to do what the NBA players can do. But I suppose that’s why we can have minor leaguers playing for peanuts and holding down jobs at car washes in the off season.

    The best question that came from last night’s GOP debate, in my opinion, was the one from a Yahoo commenter who asked “When was the last time you had to cut back on *necessities* in order to survive?”

    Did you notice that *none* of the candidates gave a direct answer and, of course, when Mitt Romney can bet $10,000.00 (or about 0.0055% of his net worth) on a *trivial* political point, it stands to reason why he’d have to admit that he *never* in his life had to cut back on *anything* in order to survive. He had to reach back into papa’s early days. Bachmann still clips coupons with her net worth in the millions! Poor girl. Rick Perry had to bath in a #3 wash tube, just like I did, and gee, what a great real estate oracle he turned out to be. So this millionaires club running for the nomination couldn’t even answer the question.

    Makes you feel cozy, don’t it. You’re working for them and as soon as you’re used up, the Job Creator cartel will dump you without so much as a going away party at the Motel 6 Hospitality Room.

    • Leo

      Ray, you are making his point.
      His point is that no one can agree on what a “common sense” solution is; what is common sense to him is not common sense to others (like you). The idea of “cartelization of labor” is only an example of this.

  • TJ Parker

    Gingrich 2012! The candidate Republicans deserve!

    • Clayman

      Yes, the GOP needs a self proclaimed intellectual, historian, and strategic adviser. Toe to toe, Obama will crush him.

      • Crime Dog

        And well he should. Obama should show no mercy to Gingrich, because he shall receive none. Since Newt has already made grossly racist things about the President (anti-colonial Kenya, etc.), I hope and pray Obama goes right at him. Sure we know about the adultery (though a $50 million ad campaign would be good to drive the point home), but what about the corruption? People have short memories, they probably don’t remember he left office in disgrace. I’d love to see him get hit on being a draft-dodger too. They did it to Clinton, time to turn the tables.

        • Fart Carbuncle

          I knew you Obots would have a field day with this article.

          “Blasphemous.”

          Indeed.

        • dennis

          FC, apart from the insults, can you justify today’s Republican party policies as they relate to helping us “commoners”? The GOP candidates (except Ron Paul) have stated that they would fund the opposition party in Iran and that they would utilize covert operations in Iran and Syria. On the other hand, they are completely opposed to paying for the social programs for our own people here. That’s just one example. Here’s another one:

          Except Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman, all the GOP candidates are against pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, which implies a willingness to continue spending billions per year in overseas fruitless adventures. Yes, fruitless. Yet, they vehemently oppose healthcare reform. How can you justify the richest nation on earth NOT providing healthcare for its own citizens when most First World western nations do, and even some socialist pariahs?

          Those are just two examples. I’m assuming, at the risk of making an ass out of myself, that you claim to be a Christian. Morally justify to me how you can advocate wars and overseas adventures while denying your fellow citizens the same helping hand.

          God Almighty, that was WAY off topic.

        • Fart Carbuncle

          Dennis, I’ll let this quote answer your remark on spending/entitlement cuts:

          “We have accepted today the existence in perpetuity of a permanent underclass of scores of millions who cannot cope and must be carried by society — fed, clothed, housed, tutored, medicated at taxpayer’s expense their entire lives. We have a dependent nation the size of Spain in our independent America. We have a new division in our country, those who pay a double or triple fare, and those who ride forever free.”

  • Rabiner

    “This underscores the soundness of representative government. In a nation of 300 million people, we can’t make decisions by plebiscite or “common sense” because most people don’t know enough about any subject to make public policy. We elect representatives to study matters, listen to what people have to say, but ultimately apply their own notions of what’s in the public interest.”

    While I commend your attempt to refer to the people who comment on this site you do so in a very condescending way. You first refer to our opinions as “common sense” then write this beauty I quoted. Apparently our opinions guided by study and life experiences (many here are highly educated and have professional careers) are simply uninformed to you. As someone who has studied public policy (I have a masters degree in public policy from USC) and worked in a government agency and with nonprofits for a few years (now I work for an internet company) I’ve experienced the way policy is hammered out between stakeholder groups and how they make rational decisions based on their personal needs versus the public good. But then I remember that business is just as bad or worse at meeting people half way to come to some sort of compromise position.

  • Holmes

    Mr. Foster:

    You’re right. Gingrich is a glib blowhard, a dilettante, but at least he has given SOME thought to policy issues and constitutional boundaries, though not, as you point out, with the care and discipline of a genuine scholar. Mitt, on the other hand, shows no signs of having spent ANY time in serious study. He’s Shrub without the pseudo-accent and goofy swagger. Is that where you want to set the bar?

  • Ray_Harwick

    We elect representatives to study matters, listen to what people have to say, but ultimately apply their own notions of what’s in the public interest.

    Excuse me but, does the phrase “America needs leaders, not readers” resonate at all with the GOP in their selection of front-runners they funded? Didn’t GOP money and politics of division set up the clash between the base and the Poo-bahs. Did Karl Rove ask for intelligent leadership when he played the anti-gay card against the very man who raised him from childhood – his gay father? I remember Louis Rove because he went to the same watering hole in Palm Springs I did for years. He wouldn’t touch politics with a 10-foot pole. He and his partner were the jolliest, most loving guys in the group. Meanwhile, Karl Rove’s well-funded politics of division were financing initiatives all across this country to do two thing: 1) Get the Christian Right to the polls to enshine “one-man one-woman anti-gay measure into state consitutions or marriage law and 2) to beat all RINOS and liberals running for office. Mission Accomplished! But you also got “Keep your socialist hands off my Medicare” and “Death Panels” in the bargin. Did Rove ever ask for intelligent leadership? No! And he got what he paid for and now the GOP establishment is whining over their very own self-made disaster. Even if the puppet masters had backed Jon Huntsman, the only truly viable competition for Obama, you have your hand-picked baggage from the Christian Right whom you TAUGHT the concept “elitist” too.

    Please pass the popcorn. In-fighting is a spectator sport and this fight is the best one the GOP ever inflicted on itself.

    • Ray_Harwick

      If a guy who can casually wager $10,000.00 on a trivial pursuit question doesn’t reek of elitism, what the hell does? Americans don’t mind that a person running for office is rich. We just don’t like to have it rubbed into our noses and especially not by an avowed defender of 1%ers whose foot is firmly on the neck of the middle class. Rember what David Frum prophisized: if the GOP elite and the top earners in this country don’t pay heed, the next round of protests will make Occupy Wall Street look like a street fair.

      • dugfromthearth

        maybe he was certain he would win.
        I would bet $10,000 on a sure thing and to me that is a lot of money

  • Ray_Harwick

    So, Obama is outpolling both Gingrich and Romney in South Carolina and Florida after Saturday’s debate. That’s gotta hurt. I don’t think Obama can capture South Carolina.

    Gallup says Newt has a +10 lead nationally over Romney, +19 lead in SC, and +15 lead in Florida.

    Maybe Karl Rove should add an evening shift to the staff.

    NBC News/Marist
    South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary
    Gingrich +19

    Florida Republican Presidential Primary
    NBC News/Marist
    Gingrich +15

    2012 Republican Presidential Nomination
    Gallup Tracking
    Gingrich +10

    Florida: Romney vs. Obama
    NBC News/Marist
    Obama 48, Romney 41
    Obama +7

    Florida: Gingrich vs. Obama
    NBC News/Marist
    Obama +12

    South Carolina: Romney vs. Obama
    NBC News/Marist
    Obama 45, Romney 42
    Obama +3

    South Carolina: Gingrich vs. Obama
    NBC News/Marist
    Obama 46, Gingrich 42
    Obama +4

    • nhthinker

      Typical BS NBC/Marist Poll.
      They used “likely voters” for the Republican matchups and “registered voters” in the matchups against the President.

      But note, that fact is only available in the actual report and not in any of the news releases.
      http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/SCpolls/SC111204/Republican%20Primary%202012/Complete%20December%2011,%202011%20South%20Carolina%20NBC%20News-Marist%20Poll%20Release.pdf

      • Crime Dog

        Maybe because a “registered voter” screen wouldn’t work for a primary in which such a small fraction of people who are actually registered Republicans will vote? Or maybe because its far easier to determine whether someone is likely to vote in an election in 2 months than in 11 months?

    • PracticalGirl

      What I most adore about these polls is that the clear GOPer choice-du-jour is Gingrich.

      Republicans are now elevating an consumate Washington insider, elitist career politician, academic-minded fan-freaking-tastic orator with no executive experience as their very own Messiah. Weird. I could have sworn most of these were the same traits with which this same group bashed candidate and now President Obama.

      To know where the Republican party is going next, all one need do is look back a couple of years at that which GOPers most fervently hated and mocked in their opponents. Republicans, better vote FAST before your next likely Republican frontrunner- a Kenyan Socialist Marxist- pops up.

  • Giggles

    Jefferson was pretty much 200 years ago and we still have to listen to ‘the secret views’ that he left for us about the constitution.
    Reagan was 25 years ago and we still have listen out for the messages HE left for us.

    Cue dead president sketch ‘This President is dead, he is deceased, he has kicked the bucket…..

    Please, please don’t say that in 25 or even 200 years time we will have to interpret the ‘secret views’ the great Newt said about the constitution because otherwise we will be using gold and hands as currency (cheers King Leopold).

  • tctribune

    The Yahoo questioner really scored. “When was the last time you had to cut back on *necessities* in order to survive?” None of them have probably ever had to do this in their adult life. I guess we can somehow mark this up to their success. But success is never really something you do entirely on your own. The whole problem with the current GOP is that it’s a Party “on your own” politics.

    • Rich T Bikkies

      Here’s another question for all the candidates when they’re trying to take the moral high ground.

      “Name one occasion on which you made a decision to do something that was bad for your business or caused you large financial loss, because it was the only available thing to do that was morally right.”

  • hisgirlfriday

    Trying to understand this man gives me a case of intellectual whiplash.

    Here’s some help: This tumblr account explains Newt better than anything else I’ve seen.

    http://newtjudgesyou.tumblr.com/

  • rbottoms

    Some many words just to say Newt’s an a**hole.

    • TJ Parker

      I would say a dick. Much like Dick Cheney and Dick Santorum and Dick Perry, we have Dick Gingrich. Not an epithet as much as an honorific.

  • Oldskool

    Nothing else matters right now except that he knows how to kick Romney in the nuts.

  • nhthinker

    Fred Biery is the poster child for Judges-run-amok.
    Stating a HS student would be thrown in prison if the student mentioned God or Jesus in a Valedictorian speech is beyond the pale.

    Foster’s POV is we should just live with judges that make rulings like Biery rather than taking control and getting rid of them.

    It is not every judge or even most judges the Gingrich is trying to get rid of: just the ones that ignore all understanding of the Constitution.

    • laingirl

      That is not accurate. The ruling applied to the school administration; no students were threatened with jail.

    • icarusr

      I see your Western Texas District chief judge, and raise you Scalia, Thomas and Alito, three Republican d**chebags sitting in DC.

      Run along and put your head in a woodshredder.

    • indy

      It is also not accurate in general. If you’ve seen ‘thinker’s posts, this should be the default assumption with him/her. Biery ruled that students who were speaking at graduation could still talk about their faith or cite a belief in God or Jesus. What they weren’t being allowed to do is lead prayers or otherwise turn the graduation into a religious ceremony. That’s why churches exist.

      To quote from the ruling:

      Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the Medina Valley Independent School District and its officials, agents, servants, and employees, as well as all persons acting in concert with them, are prohibited from allowing a prayer (as defined in paragraph (b) below) to be included in the June 4, 2011 graduation ceremony for Medina Valley High School.

      they shall not otherwise deliver a message that would commonly be understood to be a prayer, nor use the word “prayer” unless it is used in the student’s expression of the student’s personal belief, as opposed to encouraging others who may not believe in the concept of prayer to join in and believe the same concept.

    • nhthinker

      More BS by the leftist posters here…

      OBVIOUSLY students are included in
      http://www.txwd.uscourts.gov/opinions/cases/Schultz_SA09CV422.pdf
      “Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the Medina Valley Independent School District and
      its officials, agents, servants, and employees, as well as all persons acting in concert with them, are
      prohibited from allowing a prayer (as defined in paragraph (b) below) to be included in the June 4, 2011
      graduation ceremony for Medina Valley High School.”

      “Because this suit seeks to enforce fundamental constitutional norms, it is further ORDERED
      that the security requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(c) is waived, and that this injunctive
      order shall be effective immediately and shall be enforced by incarceration or other sanctions for
      contempt of Court if not obeyed by District official and their agents.”

      “Agents” obviously can be interpreted to include formally recognized students when students are part of the official proceedings. Liberal want it both ways.

      1) If the valedictorian is NOT an agent of the school, then obviously separation of church and state applies to her remarks.
      2) If the valedictorian IS an agent of the school, she is subject to incarceration or other sanctions.

      Clearly, Judge Biery was going with the second interpretation.

      Anyone care to make a plausable argument to disagree?

      • dennis

        You know what? You’re an ass. Students are not agents of the school; they are clients of the school. Nuff said. Idiot.

        Sorry, FF, but if you’re going to allow these used babywipes to spew their hateful vitriol, you gotta expect backlash like this every now and then. I don’t claim to not be a hothead.

        • nhthinker

          “clients” are not listed by Biery’s order.

          Again I ask: anyone have a plausable argument instead of just an ad homimem attack from hotheaded and irrational dennis?

      • indy

        ‘Thinker’ seems to be suggesting that 17 or 18 year olds should be exempt from court orders. If she intentionally violated a court order or otherwise acted criminally, I’m all for tossing her ass in jail (or other sanctions). If they are too young, then their parents should have their asses tossed in jail (or other sanctions).

        Only a liberal would suggest that people should be able to intentionally violate any legal order they like based on their age, status, or a private belief system. And even they, in general, don’t seem to advocate for that sort of thing. That would make you to the left of most liberals I guess.

        • nhthinker

          “‘Thinker’ seems to be suggesting that 17 or 18 year olds should be exempt from court orders.”

          Indy- You are perfect in your idiocy.

          I said Biery’s order could get a student thrown in jail for violating it. The Liberal peanut gallery (laingirl) indicated that his ruling said nothing of the kind.

          I countered with the actual relevant text from his ruling that indicated “agents” of the school district were covered by his ruling.

          You chime in and say throw her ass in jail.

          Your timing and your idiocy are perfect!

        • indy

          You really are the hysterical sort, aren’t you?

          What you ACTUALLY said was: ‘Stating a HS student would be thrown in prison if the student mentioned God or Jesus in a Valedictorian speech…’

          This is a lie of course. She was prohibited from leading a prayer. He explicitly stated she could say whatever she wanted in regard to God or Jesus so long as it was statement of her personal beliefs and not a call for a prayer.

          In addition, whether she is a HS student or not is completely immaterial in regard to her right to violate a court order. But it does indeed seem to incite the kind of emotional hysteria people like you are prone to.

          He said if the people associated with the ceremony decided to ignore his court order that prohibited invoking a prayer at a public school ceremony, there would be consequences. What a meanie he is. All the other judges just tell people there won’t be any consequences at all…

          You obviously knew nothing of substance about the case except you you may have heard on Fox but you shot your mouth off anyway. I know I expect that from you. I’m just letting everyone else know to expect that too.

        • nhthinker

          His order was she could go to jail for mentioning “Amen”. I was wrong to say it was the mention of “Jesus”

          Here are the details of how wrong Biery was…
          https://www.oag.state.tx.us/newspubs/releases/2011/060211schultz_motion.pdf

          The District Court’s Order Violates
          the Texas Religious Antidiscrimination Act
          In 2007, the Texas legislature passed the Religious Viewpoints
          Antidiscrimination Act, which requires in part that school districts adopt a policy
          that establishes a limited public forum for student speakers at all school events at
          which a student is to “publicly speak,” specifically including graduation.5 See TEX.
          EDUC. CODE §§ 25.151-156. Student speakers using the limited public forum
          cannot be discriminated against based on expression of a religious viewpoint. See
          TEX. EDUC. CODE § 25.152(a)(1). Additionally, school districts must have neutral
          criteria for the selection of these student speakers.

          Biery got the law completely wrong.

        • indy

          Uh, that’s because ‘Amen’ is the concluding word in a prayer, which he was in fact specifically trying to prevent. God, Jesus, or any other personal pronunciations of faith were NOT prohibited, contrary to your original uniformed statement.

          Quoting from a motion to dismiss to the appeal court as some sort of ‘proof’ the judge got it wrong simply shows more ignorance. I’m not sure if the judge got it ‘wrong’ or ‘right’. That is a matter for the courts and the appeal process because that is what it is there for. I’m certainly not going to get into detailed legal arguments with someone who has never offered even a shred of understanding regarding the practical application of the law. I was only pointing out that your characterization of the judge, his intent, and what he actually said was incorrect and inflammatory.

          The judge may be a hack. I don’t know. I just don’t have a knee jerk reaction to condemn any judge that issues a ruling I don’t like or—as in your case—issues a ruling I wouldn’t like if I understood what the ruling really was, and then pasting his face all over forums like some sort of cheesy wanted poster.

        • nhthinker

          Jail a HS Student for an “Amen” versus jailing a student for a “Jesus”. Doesn’t make a dimes worth of difference to the vast majority of Americans- The entire concept of a judge identifying illegal religious words is beyond the pale. Oh, how quaint the parsing of liberals and “Indy”.

          The expression police have gone WAY too far.

  • sdspringy

    Unfortunately true is the statement that most Americans know very little about American politics. An exit poll taken in 08 as Obama was winning the Presidency asking individuals about their vote. Most respondents stated they were fed up with Republican control of Congress.

    Democrats had been in control of both Houses of Congress for 2 years by this time.

    Funny, these were the really smart people, because they were voting for Obama, and they had no idea who was controlling political policy in the nation.

    So idiots abound, read above for further proof, and the most abundant examples have been Democrats these last 3 years. Obama stating we have 57 states, Pelosi stating we “have to pass it to know whats in it,” and lets not even start with the VP Biden.

    And after 2 years in office Obama suffers one of the greatest defeats at both the state and national level in election history and yet he goes on 60 Minutes proclaiming it’s Bushes fault.

    Stupidity

  • Frumplestiltskin

    I doubt that many readers of this site agree. Their “common sense” and mine often diverge.

    Does Foster even know the meaning of the term common sense? He thinks he can state that common sense means whatever he says it means, instead of what it actually means, which is sound practical judgment that is independent of specialized knowledge, training, or the like; normal native intelligence.

    The principles of economics requires specialized knowledge, and even then it is not called the dismal science for nothing.
    Amazing how Foster can even screw this up.

    • Giggles

      Common (or garden variety) sense would be what the 99% think. Whereas Newtsense is whatever the great thinker most recently pulled out of the hat.

  • lilmanny

    You’re getting intellectual whiplash, but it’s your fault. You put credence into what Newt is saying, something that not even he does.

    His goal is not to be consistent or even to make sense, but to project righteous indignation at all times. To appear in control and patiently allowing the dullards to express their views to him, if only that he can save them from their misconceptions. Constitution, blah, blah, blah. None of that is relevant. It’s only a platform for him to express the above, then move onto something like Iraq, the EPA, or some other serious issue that he has formed into a culture war weapon. Call it asymmetrical debating, call it what you will, but don’t try to make sense of the absurdity and the untruth.

    The most despicable and detestable thing about this man is that he knowingly started this whole charade as a book tour/think tank big ticket, and he realizes that he’s unfit. He knows it. But now that he is winning, he’s willing to let it ride and blow up an entire wing of our political system so that he can sell books. That, my friend, is some Ayn Rand $h!+ right there, if you ever want to see it.

    • Baron Siegfried

      Sadly, I agree . . . I think that both Newt and Cain were out on promotional tours thinly disguised as a presidential run, secure in the knowledge that Mitt was going to be the nominee. Thus they were safe to snipe at the front-runner, free from actually having to make any real sense or propose actual solutions to the problems before us other than boilerplate slam-Obama taglines. However, no one (especially Mitt) realized the depth of the hard right’s dislike / distrust / disdain for the presumptive frontrunner.

      Romney’s greatest failing is that he has failed to demonstrate the rage, angst, and socioreligious weltschmertz that is required in this race. The baying pack demands red, raw meat, and lots of it. He’s not delivering. He’s the guy who comes in and closes your business, not the guy who comes in and saves your business . . .

      Cain was caught flatfooted when he got the lead, and floundered like the lightweight he is. However, he was popular as he fed the passions of the base. None of what he said made a lick of sense, but that’s what the base wants – sturm und drang, hold the rational. But then his past caught up with him, so the spotlight shifted. Now it’s on to Newt.

      The truly pathetic aspect of this is that if you look at Newt’s actions, his behavior, his business model, it exemplifies literally everything the bagro-americans say they oppose. However, since Newt denounces Obama, all is forgiven. At this point, if Charles Manson could get out of prison and said nasty things about the President, I think he, too, could spend a fortnight in the lead . . .

      What I find so annoying is that no solutions are being proposed – just open ended, leading questions. When talking with Baggers, I find that when cornered, they tend to spout “Oh, yeah? Well, what about *insert talking point here*?!?!?”. To which I generally reply “OK, what about it?”. It’s amusing to watch them try to go beyond their programmed response and have to actually support their thesis with words not canned and prepared.

      To be honest, I doubt seriously that Newt really, seriously wants the nomination. Like Sarah Palin, it would mean a massive loss of income and freedom, and he would actually have to produce results and take the consequences if he fails to produce said results. He’s an ‘ideas’ guy, not a ‘results’ guy. I think he also knows that if he gets the nomination, he will be trounced. The only support he’ll get will be from the diehard radicals, and while the thought of being a presidential candidate sounds really good in your curriculum vitae, being a losing candidate . . . mmm, not so much so.

      So . . . it comes down to nerve. Is Newt willing to put it on the line? Personally, I doubt it, and he will find some way to save face while withdrawing from the campaign. Even if he won, being the man-on-the-spot would not be comfortable for him. After all, it’s been close to 20 years since he’s had to accept responsibility for anything.

      In the meantime, the local bulk food store now has a sign up over the popcorn bin advertising a GOP convention special on popcorn . . .

  • ottovbvs

    Foster joins in the Greek chorus of attacks on the Newtster. Of course he’ll fall in right behind him if he wins the nomination. Intellectually I have no problem with this it’s what we do but in this case it’s so obviously orchestrated and motivated by panic at the prospect of Romney’s coronation being postponed perhaps permanently. As of right now it looks like Newt is going to win three of the four January primaries with a close second in NH. This could create so much momentum he becomes unstoppable.

    • Primrose

      While you are correct, I don’t think this is reassuring for the country.

      • ottovbvs

        I do. I think it the best possible outcome for the country and the GOP. The country gets to make a clear cut decision and the GOP gets the nominee it’s heart desires!

  • Rob_654

    How about if we start with just electing the President based on total votes and scrap the electoral college – one voter – one real vote.

    • ram6968

      more than half the population lives in 8 states…..I guess the rest can go suck an egg

      • sweatyb

        Are you suggesting that those 8 states will vote en-mass for one candidate? Even with the current class of incompetents running against Obama, I don’t think that’s possible. More likely would be that the big states would mostly cancel each other out, leaving the smaller states as pivotal swings.

        The small states would lose some of their outsize pull in the national elections, but they wouldn’t lose their voice entirely. Not clear why that’s a bad thing.

        Candidates would have to spend more time campaigning in (and addressing the needs of) the larger states. Again, that doesn’t seem so bad.

        Not that the electoral college is going anywhere.

    • PracticalGirl

      Fail.

      The electoral college is in place to protect small states-and the people making choices within them-from being completely ignored in the election process. It’s the one thing that forces every single candidate to consider (especially in the ’08 election) every single American. Without it, candidates could campaign in California, New York, Florida and Texas and pretty much ignore the rest.

      Turned slightly on it’s head though? I would LOVE to see a primary season that begins somewhere other than Iowa and New Hampshire, forcing candidates to speak to issues that appeal to a broader segment of the population.

      What national issues would be highlighted if the candidates perhaps had to begin with California- had to speak to clean energy issues that don’t revolve around ethanol, or employment issues that revolve around high tech job creation rather than manufacturing? How much more would we learn about a candidate if he had to forego the empty, rhetorical fire-and-brimstone religious chatter and speak to be understood by the majority of voters in the Northwest? What issues would become most prominent if the candidates had to start in the foreclosure capitals of the country, Nevada and Arizona?

      • sweatyb

        The more you benefit from a skewed system, the more it’s likely that you’ll defend that system. Not that the electoral college is going away or anything.

        Without it, candidates could campaign in California, New York, Florida and Texas and pretty much ignore the rest.

        Whereas, in the current system candidates spend all their time in tiny little states that end up with outsize control over the national conversation. And this is better because?

        It would seem to make sense that larger states should claim more attention in the general election.

        • Kevin B

          The more you benefit from a skewed system, the more it’s likely that you’ll defend that system. Not that the electoral college is going away or anything.

          Very true. I am from a large, populous state, and though the electoral college system doesn’t directly benefit me, it does benefit the country as a whole, which benefits me profoundly, and that is why I support it.

          Whereas, in the current system candidates spend all their time in tiny little states that end up with outsize control over the national conversation. And this is better because?

          I don’t think you understand why the candidates are spending time in certain states. Right now, it is because those are the states where the first primaries are held. That isn’t the same as the electoral college.

          It would seem to make sense that larger states should claim more attention in the general election.

          Again, the general election hasn’t started. This is for the party nomination.

          When the general election starts, Mr. Obama and the Republican party’s nominee will spend their time where it will do them the most good (at least, where they think it will). Florida will probably be key. Texas and California are probably already decided.

          You write as though the small states have all the influence, and the large states have none. That isn’t true. New Hampshire plays a big part in the nomination, but it only has four electoral college votes. In the general election, it will not get the attention from either candidate that Florida or Pennsylvania gets. If you win Pennsylvania, you get 20 EC votes. If you win Alaska, you get 3. Given that difference, which state would a candidate spend the most time trying to woo?

    • indy

      Perfection in a thing as messy as a democracy is not possible. Should the citizens of Alaska, watching over a huge (and quite beautiful if I may add) portion of our total land area be essentially frozen out of the day to day political process which would be the practical side effect if population were the only consideration for representation?

      It’s hard for me to say yes to that, even though I can also admit that 2% of the senators for .2% of the population sure seems like overkill.

  • indy

    Oops, replied in the wrong spot. Nothing to see here.

  • dennis

    Fart Carbuncle, I’ll leave this quote with you:

    “The poor you always have with you.”

  • Rockerbabe

    Gingrich is a lying pig of a man; a cheater that makes Bill Clinton look well downright ordinary. He is a bomb-thrower and cannot be trusted with anything for any reason on any occasion. As to his run for the Presidency, omg! I don’t think most Americans want that type of a President, who is so arogant, disrespectful and condesending to most citizens.

    He is a disgrace; I hope the GOP has better sense to get another candidate of high quality; a gutter snipe is just not Presidential material, no matter what the words out of his mouth say or the suit he is wearing. And, who wants a FLOTUS who is a homewrecker?

    Not good.