Newt: There’s no zealot like a convert

One of the things my parents always told me was that there is no one more fired with zealotry than a convert.  Paul of Tarsus is, of course, the perfect example of the truth behind that statement.

One doesn’t have to look so far field, though, in time at space.  Just consider the fact that so many of the most prominent conservative bloggers today are former liberals.  Thomas Lifson, of American Thinker; the whole Power Line crew; David Horowitz; Roger L. Simon; Andrew Breitbart; and so many more, once having seen the light, fell compelled to share it with others.  To them, conservativism isn’t a background noise, it’s an epiphany.  In addition to their zealotry, these neocons have another significant advantage:  having once been liberals themselves, they understand the liberal mindset and they can challenge it more effectively than someone who has never seen Leftism from the inside.

Newt Gingrich is currently under attack for being the ultimate government insider.  He was an elected representative and then, no matter how he dances around it, he was a lobbyist.  Talk about being in the belly of the beast.

In this election cycle, though, Newt speaks with the zealotry of the convert.  Unlike Romney, who has the rich, earthy charm of a poorly designed android, and Santorum, who is the really nice guy no one notices, Gingrich is the one on the street corner hollering to the crowds about being saved.  Either it’s a fantastic performance, or he has genuinely bought into core conservative notions about the economy, about race in America, about welfare dependency, etc.  He is articulating core conservative principles with verve and wit. The added fillip, of course, is that, although Newt has arguably turned his back on the political establishment, he knows better than anyone how it operates and, therefore, is better situated than anyone to bring it under control.

Newt’s joie de vivre makes his presentation so natural that I am currently inclined to see him as a newly converted true believer, rather than a snake oil salesman.  Of course, the problem with converts is that, sometimes, they backslide.  If Newt has indeed seen the light, it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent change to his core principles or a merely superficial fad.

Apropos Newt’s wit, stick with this short speech excerpt to the end:

 

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  • Charles Martel

    I pray that Newt keeps tweaking NBOTUS this way. Sooner or later Affirmative Action Man will exhaust his juvenile stores of forbearance and lash out. When he does, it will be fun to see Harvard’s most brilliant grad step lively into his own Teleprompter®-generated BS.

  • RoyBeans

    Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000149 EndHTML:0000005999 StartFragment:0000000199 EndFragment:0000005965 StartSelection:0000000199 EndSelection:0000005965  Confusing stuff for me these days. All aboard the Newt train for Book and so many conservatives!
    I liked Herman Cain, I liked Perry, I like Santorum, I even like the answers Romney gave in the debates. Conservatives could not stomach Herman Cain but Newt is right on! Right on! Right on!
      Alleged affairs by a man that stayed married. Unsubstantiated affairs by people living in an apartment complex with Obama’s attack dog Axelrod who made attacks on his character from 20 years ago that cannot be substantiated and are made by desperate (financially) people with very checkered pasts. Cannot have this man, Herman Cain in the running for President. But a man who it can be substantiated had 3 affairs and probably many more. One woman, Anne Manning came forth and confirmed a relationship with Newt during the 1976 campaign. She said “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.’”  If this is the case, what makes republicans think that a long line of accusations is not coming. And that is just sex and adultery…
      There was the book deal in 1984. Horrendous and evil, NO, but illegal and lines were crossed. There were actually 3 border line book deals. Again bad judgment not evil. Story of Newt’s political life…bad judgement.
      Newt is the father of earmarks (he designed them as a way to keep republicans in power, there were none before him), helped develop the idea of an individual Healthcare mandate and supported the idea for 18 years at the Federal level (Newt was for it before he was against it), proposed cap and trade, insisted on a comprehensive immigration proposal rather than build the fence and secure border first- all other issues related get addressed later (he was for comprehensive reform before he was against it), was tossed out of the speakership for corruption and poor leadership, was for Medicare part D (not to mention the “doc fix” legislation he instituted that deceptively “fix” the Medicare budget yearly but savings are never realized and terrorize doctors) and strong armed Republicans into voting for it,  he accused Paul Ryan of Right wing social engineering for trying to gradually nudge Medicare in a bipartisan way toward private accounts (Newt was against Ryan’s plan before he was for it), S-CHIP program now near 4 in 10 children in the US are on Medicaid (a terrible medical plan which would become one of our budget breakers of today’s budgets-err continuing resolutions), and proposed eliminating Federal judges who don’t vote your idea of the constitution and calling up judges before congress (what’s fair for Republicans is fair game for Democrats). Newt bounced 22 checks as was revealed in the House banking scandal. YUP that is our guy. He talks tough to the media and has big ideas. Shesssh, we never learn!

      Glenn Beck is right on Newt but so many others are in the tank including the big voice on the right.  
    Glenn Beck endorses Newt  http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/01/23/glenn-endorses-newt-gingrich/

      “I think you can write a psychological profile of me, that says I found a way to immerse my insecurities in a cause large enough to justify whatever I wanted it to.”  Newt once told interviewer Gail Sheehy. This fits nicely with the infamous comment about Clinton putting Newt on the back of Air Force One. His crushed ego led to the collapse, with this plane comment, of Republicans commitment to their budget and with that -came the reelection of Bill Clinton. Tom Coburn said Gingrich (at that time) became a whipped dog.

      From Avik Roy: Former congressman Chris Shays (R., Conn.) probably captured the strength and weakness of Newt best in comments to Bolduc: “He’s a true entrepreneur in the classic sense. You can launch the business, but you can’t necessarily run it.” Gingrich brought us a once-unimaginable House GOP majority but ended up using that majority to expand, rather than shrink, the size of government. (see father of earmarks above).

      Coburn and Shays are now skewered by Newt admirers as establishment Republicans and some even use the name Rino which is bizarre. They get added to the list of John Campbell, Jason Chaffetz, and Jeff Flake.

      In the debates Newt has rattled off hundreds things that he ‘will’ do to fix things. A president who is going to ‘do’ many many many things but all these things have to be written up in committees and passed by a House and Senate. Reagan had 3 goals and he focused on them and put a lot of energy into getting them done and they changed the country (and the world). A hundred or hundreds of things? Is this leadership, the shotgun approach? Gingrich is famous for finding red meat items to work on but the critical items we conservatives are interested in- to get America back on track, get pushed to the back. The Tea Party was about the insane spending from 2008 through 2010 (and before) and the effect this spending would have on taxes soon enough for us and big time for our children and grandchildren. The Tea Party is still concerned about spending but now have to different arenas in which we battle, enlarging the Tea Party caucus in congress. I know it is David Frum but see http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/23/newt-gingrich-trivial-issues-warrior.html

  • Mike Devx

    Charles, I remember that McCain only rarely – once or twice – spoke in a way during the debates that caused Obama to become disconcerted or lose his cool.  Obama doesn’t hide his true feelings well when that happens.  If Newt became the nominee *and* his team took a good psychology-based look at the 2008 debates, I bet he’d be a lot better at causing Obama to lose it on stage.  That would be a good sight to see!

    Book, you gave is a great line! “The added fillip, of course, is that, although Newt has arguably turned his back on the political establishment, he knows better than anyone how it operates and, therefore, is better situated than anyone to bring it under control.”

    I think you are so right!  Hopefully Newt is a true convert!  Politicians are awfully good at telling people what their hearts want to hear.  Even Romney’s words are chosen very well for his current very-conservative message…

    I have a cousin who was a wild child during her high school days.  Now her daughter is in high school… and she can’t get away with ANYTHING.  Her mom knows all the tricks, and she’s bound and determined her daughter is not going to repeat them.  If Newt were to approach Washington D.C. with that zealotry and his insider knowledge, he would be a dangerous opponent to my opponents!
     

  • Old Buckeye

    Book, thank you for articulating what I’ve been unable to figure out as to why I haven’t been able to fully get behind Newt! It’s that issue that you raise–is he truly reformed–that gives me pause. In the final tally, if he did backslide, his sins wouldn’t be atypical of Washington shenanigans. They’d be more of the backroom deals that are part and parcel of D.C. He wouldn’t be backsliding into socialism/communism/hate for America.

  • Old Buckeye

    Book, thank you for articulating what I’ve been unable to figure out as to why I haven’t been able to fully get behind Newt! It’s that issue that you raise–is he truly reformed–that gives me pause. In the final tally, if he did backslide, his sins wouldn’t be atypical of Washington shenanigans. They’d be more like the backroom deals that are part and parcel of D.C. He wouldn’t be backsliding into socialism/communism/hate for America.

  • Old Buckeye

    Sorry for the double post!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    The Left is easy to guard against back sliding. Because the Left tries to roast and eat anyone they think betrayed their cause. So all it would take is to let the Left do their attacks against Newt, and Newt will be forced to attack the Left in kind. There is no “deal” going on here, the stakes are too high. Bush 2 dealt with this by reading history and developing an ability to ignore the hatred spewed at him, because he knew other leaders in the past got the same treatment. Lincoln and Austin too.

  • JKB

    Why it isn’t Necessary to “Throw the Bums Out” – YouTube  Milton Friedman spells it out.  The key is to ensure Newt has the right incentives

  • SADIE

    Old Buckeye, you can’t get behind Newt and I can’t get behind a Prius.

         There’s Something About Mitt

  • jj

    i wish – among other things – he’d get his damn whore off the stage.  What, are they joined at the hip?  Newt, she’s not an asset, swanning around up there!

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

     
    I have an approach/avoidance conflict with Newt Gingrich….not sure I’d be able to vote for him in the primary, actually.  But, believe me – if he is the alternative to the current occupant of the House on Pennsylvania Avenue come November, I’ll pull the lever for Newt with GREAT alacrity!!
     
    That said — was anyone else struck by the sight of two people with “shining helmets” on their heads occupying the same stage?
     
    Yikes!