Archive for the ‘Newt Gingrich’ Category

The conservative civil war

March 16, 2009

Beltway conservatives are turning against Rush Limbaugh. The most recent assassin is David Frum. The former Bush speechwriter and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute wrote an article, “Why Rush is wrong,” in the March 16 edition of Newsweek, attacking the popular talk radio host.

By Jeffery Kuhner
The Washington Times

Mr. Frum argues that Mr. Limbaugh should not be the “public face” of the conservative movement. Mr. Frum says Mr. Limbaugh is caught in a time warp, championing small government and tax cuts when economic realities have changed. Mr. Frum criticizes Mr. Limbaugh’s Feb. 28 speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Mr. Frum also excoriates Mr. Limbaugh for saying he hopes President Obama fails. This supposedly puts conservatives on the defensive, making us look mean, petty and unsympathetic to the suffering of Americans during the financial crisis.

Moreover, Mr. Frum maintains that Mr. Limbaugh’s macho, cigar-chomping, bombastic personality, combined with his angry libertarian populism is driving key segments of the electorate – women, Hispanics, independents and college graduates – away from the Republican Party. In his view, Mr. Frum wants to “enlarge” the Republican coalition while Mr. Limbaugh seeks to “narrow” it in the name of doctrinal purity.

Mr. Frum is part of a growing number of elitist conservatives seeking to revamp and redefine the political right. Others include David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Reihan Salam, Ramesh Ponnuru and Newt Gingrich.

These conservatives are amateur Machiavellians posing as sophisticated political strategists. They offer policy prescriptions that will supposedly transform the GOP into a national governing majority once again. They claim to represent the future; Mr. Limbaugh the past.

However, they are effete policy wonks who lack firm principles. During the 1990s, Mr. Frum argued that the problem with Republicans is they lacked the will to fight the liberal ruling class. They had abandoned their anti-statist, tax-cutting, socially conservative roots.

Now, he argues the very opposite: It’s time for the GOP to accommodate prevailing social liberal forces. Mr. Frum recommends that the GOP jettison income tax cuts and embrace free-market health-care reform. He suggests Republicans adopt pro-environment policies and gay rights. He also wants the party to be more receptive to pro-choice vice presidential candidates such as Tom Ridge who, if chosen as John McCain’s running mate, would have made Pennsylvania more competitive in the November election.

In other words, Mr. Frum now wants to create a progressive conservatism characterized by expanding health-care coverage, environmentalism and hostility – or at least indifference – to traditional values. This is not adapting conservative principles to current realities, but diluting them to the point that they morph into liberalism. He is not saving conservatism; he is destroying it.

Mr. Frum is consistently wrong. For example, he has led the charge in defense of uncontrolled immigration, claiming it is good for business and America. When conservatives point out that no nation can absorb such a massive influx of immigrants – both legal and illegal – without profound social and economic dislocations, Mr. Frum dismisses them as “nativists.” The very Hispanics voting for the Democrats by large majorities are the direct result of the open-borders policies advocated by the likes of Mr. Frum.

Mr. Frum has taken credit for coining the phrase “Axis of Evil.” He predicted the war in Iraq would be quick, decisive and easy. Instead, it has degenerated into a protracted, bloody experiment in nation-building.

Elitist conservatives, like Mr. Frum, are consumed by power. They are not genuine, independent public intellectuals. Rather, they serve as the communications arm of the GOP. Ideas are simply pieces on a chessboard in which to checkmate the Democratic opposition. Principles, truth, morality – they are all expendable in the grand game of politics. They are deracinated narcissists who live in a policy bubble and are detached from the values and interests of Middle America.

What Mr. Frum and his ilk don’t understand is that most voters don’t care about free-market health-care reform – or other boutique policy issues, such as hybrid cars, health savings accounts or partially privatizing Social Security. These will not revive the GOP.

Voters do care about the state of the country. What they have seen under Republican rule during the Bush years has been colossal incompetence: rampant corruption, runaway spending, soaring deficits, failing schools, broken borders, corporate plutocracy and quagmire in the Middle East.

The GOP has lost the electorate’s trust as a responsible party capable of governing. Posing as progressive Republicans will not solve the problem. In fact, it will only reinforce the electorate’s cynicism about the GOP’s lack of principles and honesty.

The Republican Party is supposed to be not only the conservative party, but the nationalist party. It has stood for great transcendental causes – abolishing slavery, preserving the constitutional republic of limited government and federalism, defeating totalitarian communism. If it abandons the seminal issues of our time – the defense of the family and the unborn – then it has lost its historical purpose. Social conservatives and pro-lifers will leave in droves. The GOP will become morally and ideologically rudderless; its various factions will fracture, reducing a once-dominant party into a rump.

Many elitist conservatives – including Mr. Frum – backed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to be the 2008 Republican standard-bearer, even though it threatened to rupture the GOP. He was their dream candidate: pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-environment, pro-immigration, pro-education reform – the ideal nominee for women, independents and educated professionals. Mr. Giuliani’s candidacy, however, crashed and burned. His failure should have served as a warning. Voters – from both parties – don’t care for progressive Republicans.

Conservatives are in a state of civil war. The ultimate target of the attacks on talk radio is a populist conservatism that fuses patriotism, free-market capitalism and social traditionalism. First, it Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was disparaged by the elitist right. Now, it Mr. Limbaugh is the target. Mrs. Palin energized activists across the country and Mr. Limbaugh and talk radio mobilizes and gets the message out to tens of millions of listeners.

By contrast, elitist conservatives sit in their ivory towers building castles in the sky as their country burns.

In Gingrich mold, a new voice for solid resistance in Republican Party

February 15, 2009

The last time congressional Republicans were this out of power, they turned to a college professor from Georgia, Newt Gingrich, to lead the opposition, first against President Bill Clinton in a budget battle in 1993, and then back into the majority the following year.

By Adam Nagourne
The International Herald Tribune

As Republicans confronted President Barack Obama in another budget battle last week, their leadership included another new face: Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, who as the party’s chief vote wrangler is as responsible as anyone for the tough line the party has taken in this first legislative standoff with Obama. This battle has vaulted Cantor to the front lines of his party as it tries to recover from the losses of November.

As Republican whip, Cantor succeeded again on Friday in denying the White House the support of a single House Republican on the stimulus bill. That was a calculated challenge to the president, who, in his weekly address on Saturday, hailed the bill as “an ambitious plan at a time we badly need it.”

Cantor said he had studied Gingrich’s years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message. Indeed, one of Gingrich’s leading victories in unifying his caucus against Clinton’s package of tax increases to balance the budget in 1993 has been echoed in the events of the last few weeks.

“I talk to Newt on a regular basis because he was in the position that we are in: in the extreme minority,” he said.

Read the rest:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/0
2/15/america/15cantor.php

People Really Do Hate Republicans:
http://suzieqq.wordpress.com/2009/02/1
5/do-people-really-hate-republicans-in-congress/

Republican 12 Step Program

February 13, 2009

This from Newt Gingrich….
1. Payroll Tax Stimulus. With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50% of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn.

2. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25% down to 15%, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15% for close to 9 out of 10 American workers.

3. Reduce the Business Tax Rate. Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5% to keep more jobs in America.

4. Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.

5. Control Spending So We Can Move to a Balanced Budget. This begins with eliminating Congressional earmarks and wasteful pork-barrel spending.

6. No State Aid Without Protection From Fraud. Require state governments to adopt anti-fraud and anti-theft policies before giving them more money.

7. More American Energy Now. Explore for more American oil and gas and invest in affordable energy for the future, including clean coal, ethanol, nuclear power and renewable fuels.

8. Abolish Taxes on Capital Gains. Match China, Singapore and many other competitors. More investment in America means more jobs in America.

9. Protect the Rights of American Workers. We must protect a worker’s right to decide by secret ballot whether to join a union, and the worker’s right to freely negotiate. Forced unionism will kill jobs in America at a time when we can’t afford to lose them.

10. Replace Sarbanes-Oxley. This failed law is crippling entrepreneurial startups. Replace it with affordable rules that help create jobs, not destroy them.

11. Abolish the Death Tax. Americans should work for their families, not for Washington.

12. Invest in Energy and Transportation Infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.

http://johnbrodigan.com/2009/02/13/
newt-gingrichs-12-step-program/