Saturday, December 03, 2011

Still No to Gingrich

It's down to two: Mitt and Newt. Were there ever two candidates with worse first names?

Since Mitt is a flip-flopper with a "Christian" religious heritage that is neither Protestant, Catholic, nor Orthodox (a polite way to say either Mormon, Christian Science or Jehovah's Witness, and in some cases Seventh-Day Adventist), most Republicans are looking for an alternative.

As the little car full of clowns empties itself in the center ring of the GOP circus, Newt is one of the few besides Romney who doesn't look clownish right now, at least, not in the ways that Romney looks clownish. So he's ahead in polls, and he'll add to his lead when Herman Cain bows out of the campaign to resume his full-time womanizing. Newt is about to go from red hot to white hot.

But the people who know Newt best loath him most.

So writes WaPo's Jonathan Bernstein, who insists that veterans of the Washington scene see Gingrich as fundamentally unsuited for an executive role. He may be smart, but he's utterly undisciplined. If there were ever a description that seemed to encompass all the available information about anyone, that's the prize-taker.

We'll therefore take flip-floppy Mitt, sacred garments and all (an irrelevancy to SWNID as far as politics is concerned), confident that his big-government, smart-solution conservatism is short of the dour fiscal sanity that we really need but is miles better than what we'll get from Obama or any emergency Dem substitute (i.e. Hillary). Mitt at least knows how to put together an organization and run things with a steady hand.

For those who say that the opinion of Washington insiders should be rejected precisely because those guys ran the car into the ditch in the first place, we say get real. Character matters, or at least it does until your candidate has a character deficit, in which case you condemn the people who indict your candidate's character.

Learn the lesson of recent history: our current system for selecting candidates, i.e. a four-year election cycle with endless fundraising and primaries and caucuses, may be flawed. But it does provide a proxy for the presidency: can this person organize a campaign and stay steady under pressure? If Newt is what his closest professional associates say he is, then we'll know soon enough that we need to hold our noses and vote for the chameleon.

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