Focusing on Newt’s virtues

The alternative title for this post is “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  Scott Galupo is no Newt Gingrich fan, but he genuinely hates Mitt Romney, whom he describes in the same terms once used to describe Tom Cruise:  “I don’t sense a man there. I sense a bristling mass of ambition.”  He sees Newt as flawed, but with one genuine conservative accomplishment under his belt, while Mitt has done nothing to earn the conservative description but for the fact that he’s placed the “R” after his name:

Still, there’s a way Newt can effectively undermine Romney and get himself back in the good graces of the conservative base. He needs to stay out of the briar patch of Romney’s position on this or that issue, and focus on one thing: his accomplishments as speaker.

If I were Newt Gingrich, I’d dial down the “vision thing” and draw these contrasts:

What has Mitt Romney ever done, while in office, to advance the conservative cause? He got himself elected in a bedrock liberal state and served four unspectacular years. Whoop-de-do. Name one instance where Mitt Romney fought for conservative principles when it didn’t suit his electoral needs.

Newt was the architect of the most significant rightward shift in the politics of the whole nation, not just one state. Domestically, he did more to slow the growth of government than Ronald Reagan did. After he departed, the party beat a retreat from the Contract with America legacy, and, under Rep. Tom DeLay, emitted an ethical stench far more fetid than the overblown controversy over Gingrich’s book deal.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again that I will vote for anything or anybody that opposes Obama. I’ve also conceded that all of the conservative candidates are flawed.  Indeed, the problem with our primary system, not to mention conservatives’ own obsessive quest for candidate perfection, is that we tend to use the primary process to highlight the candidates’ flaws rather than their virtues.  Ultimately, I’m sure it’s a good thing, because the eventual Republican nominee is thoroughly vetted by the time the media savages him (or her) for having the temerity to challenge a member of the Democratic Party.  Nevertheless, it’s a painful and somewhat damaging process, not just for the candidates, but for the voters too.

I will therefore vote for either Mitt or Newt.  I’m not sure which of them will make me most or least happy, but I know that each will be better than Barack.

Hat tip:  Earl Aagaard