What relevance does this photograph have to what I have written below? Nothing. I include it here because 1) I love photography, 2) Every photograph tells a story and I like this story, and 3) This photograph from last year, around Christmas, is the best one I have ever found depicting the next President of the United States of America. How cool is this shot? I wish I could claim this photograph as one I had made!
What about last night’s debate? Mr. Gingrich is discovering firsthand, the cool, steely determination of executive authority. The alpha male of the Republican presidential candidates is clearly Governor Romney.
What we witnessed last night is called “command.” Governor Romney possess leadership command. Need I write more?
And Gingrich? How long must Americans continue to provide a forum for an undisciplined, pompous, chest-beating, name-dropping Washington insider to pontificate? Do Americans really want a President that has spent the last half of his life in self-promotion and self-love — who is still “maturing?” The two million dollar “historian?” Someone who might awaken the day after his coronation as President and decide to build an island in the Atlantic ocean so he can claim a 51st state for his legacy?
Contrast Mr. Gingrich with Governor Romney. Until this week, Governor Romney’s demeanor has been that of a confident, but modest gentleman — secure in the confidence that comes from decades of extraordinary accomplishments in leadership — beholden to no one. Some have mentioned to me that his style has been humble; a possible reference to his Christian upbringing in which the virtue of humility is considered above almost all other human character traits. “Well, let me tell you this” (to quote Newt). Governor Romney had enough of the Gingrich “baloney” last night and decided to put Mr. Humpty Dumpty in his place. One of the best examples of that moral authority was Governor Romney’s response to Gingrich’s immigration attack — Gingrich appeared to cower, afraid to even glance in the direction of Romney as he pierced him with one dagger after the next (Governor Romney’s height advantage helps too).
Why does Gingrich keep whining about “attack ads?” This week Gingrich has begun to flail. He does not want to take on a defensive posture, so he jabs at the wind with his weak, empty attacks, resorting to personal labels such as “Liar!”, “Wrong!”, “Desperate!”, etc. (complete irony). Governor Romney’s message is meant to resonate with Americans who are thoughtful; thinking.
Gingrich’s message is directed to the lowest common denominator; those that will believe anything he says or to those that want to believe the pander (lunar colony). Hence, if he says that Governor Romney voted for a Democrat, it is like Pharaoh Ramses declaring, “Let it be written! Let it be done!” All are to then fall in line behind Gingrich. Why can he not just answer to truth?
He demanded that Governor Romney release his taxes. Done. Romney demanded that Gingrich release all the secret files supporting his ethics sanctions. Deflection. Everything about Gingrich is deflection. Even when he has no good answer in the debate, he talks by complimenting the competitors – deflection by flattery! Gingrich is a master of the cunning. You can even see it in his countenance.Pre-Iowa, the PACs promoting Congressman Paul and Governor Romney were generous with Gingrich by letting up when Gingrich tanked after a few days of truth letting (revealing a mere 1/100th of his laundry). Frankly, they should have flattened Gingrich right then and there to end his political career before he got a second wind to promote anti-capitalism.
If Gingrich were to leave the race today, he would best be remembered for his liberal rhetoric and the damage he exacted on the Republican Party. He feigns surprise as more truth is revealed. It is no fluke that just about every staunch conservative is coming out against Gingrich, except the entertainers (Limbaugh / Hannity — those who profit most by liberals in the saddle).
AN ASIDE — DEBATE TRIVA: Did any of you notice some subtle details from the debate? As Blitzer announced the names of each candidate, only one candidate clapped each time: Governor Romney. Two candidates sang the Anthem: Senator Santorum and Governor Romney. Most of the candidates often dissolve to the casual in addressing one another by first name. Governor Romney almost always refers to the others with the respect they deserve by their mere presence in a presidential debate: “Senator Santorum, Speaker Gingrich, Congressman Paul.” Note: People often refer to Governor Romney as “the most presidential…” referring to his appearance. It is called “command presence.”
As a political hack, I have followed the details of campaigns since the Iran hostage crisis. What we have witnessed these past weeks in presidential politics in unprecedented. I saw part of an interview on O’Reilly last night with Ann Coulter that I think summarized what has seemed absolutely clear to me for months. O’Reilly was pressing her to opine as to why the avalanche of major conservatives pummeling Gingrich. My quoting her probably is imperfect, but in effect she said, “I think it is because they are seeing that Romney is running as a moderate and will probably govern as a conservative. Gingrich is talking like a conservative, but may govern as a liberal . . . “ She said Gingrich might wake up one day and decide he was serious about a lunar colony while the debt keeps escalating!
Gingrich may have spent his entire life in Washington and be so much of an insider that, as Jon Stewart says, “when Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles [Newt],” but he is deemed the rebellious outsider challenging “the Establishment” — because, again, “the Establishment” is anyone who opposes Newt.
Newtons claim Romney is a “moderate,” and Gingrich the true conservative — a feat that can be accomplished only by refusing to believe anything Romney says … and also refusing to believe anything Gingrich says.
The many whining Gingrich lemmings are also complaining about Drudge’s relentless posting of prominent anti-Gingrich articles, even implying that the Report is part of some “Establishment” conspiracy. Gimmie a break. This New York Times article ripping Drudge was posted by the Drudge Report! Here is one example comment from it:
Where the hell was all this effort into “exposing” a candidate when #obama was running? #Drudge is officially irrelevant now!
In the WSJ Opinion section yesterday (pre-debate), Daniel Henninger criticizes the internal Republican bashing, even resorting to hyperbole in metaphor to describe the competition as leading to a “thermonuclear” event (I disagree). Love this quote though:
By any traditional measure, Newt Gingrich should not be winning. But he is. Newt, the Silver Surfer, seems designed to compete in this new arena. The ex-Speaker is performing like a videogame character, outputting verbal zingers with a touchstroke to his frontal lobe.
The New York Times had this to report from a Romney campaign stop in Florida yesterday:
Referring to Thursday night’s debate, Mr. Romney joked, “I can’t wait.”
“This is going to be fun again, you know that,” he said. “We’re going to have some choice times talking about the president and his failures. We’ll probably talk a good deal about the State of the Union address, and how badly mis-characterized he has described our nation at a time when so many people are suffering in this state and across the country.”
Referring to his Republican rivals, he added: “We may talk about the differences between ourselves, as well. There may be good give and take. That’s always fun and entertaining, I know.”
He urged the audience to attend the debate, and when some shouted that they didn’t have seats, Mr. Romney replied: “No tickets, huh? Well, just storm in!”
MY FAVORITE READ FROM YESTERDAY (King David’s Redemption as claimed by Gingrich):
Meanwhile our good friend John Schroeder over at Article VI Blog has put up some excellent articles of late. Space does not allow me to copy the entire editorial of one of John’s evangelical colleagues (Jerry L. Walls), but his piece is simply outstanding. Why is it that so many of us have that visceral understanding that Gingrich cannot, will not be our President? Well, Dr. Walls shows, using both logic and scripture, why Gingrich can never govern with moral authority and why he will not vote for him if he were to become the Republican nominee (hint: David’s forgiveness).
One small excerpt in reference to Gingrich’s assertion that he has been forgiven for his serial adultery:
The issue is not forgiveness, but rather character, and forgiveness is not the same as proven character. I believe rapists, murderers, child molesters, persons who fail to report suspected molesters, slave traders, and so on can all be forgiven. I believe in John Newton’s “Amazing Grace” and I well know we all need it. But I doubt anyone would argue that a rapist, a murderer, or a child molester should be running for President.
If you don’t regularly check Article VI Blog to be enriched from its three authors, I highly recommend you start. In my opinion, few destinations on the Net compare to their work. Truly.
Normally, I do not grab 100% of the content of another author’s online article, preferring to link to it. John gave me permission to use all of the third part of a series he is writing called HOW SHOULD A PERSON OF FAITH CHOOSE BETWEEN MITT ROMNEY AND NEWT GINGRICH – PART III posted yesterday (John provides several hyperlinks at his original online post):
So yesterday, Newt Gingrich does his interview thing with CBN’s David Brody. In that interview he said some fascinating things – chief among them:
In a one-on-one interview with The Brody File, Newt Gingrich says that he has “not hidden from the facts of my life, that I have confessed my weaknesses” and he believes that, in part, is a reason why evangelicals are able to get behind his candidacy.
He goes on to say that, “it may make me more normal than somebody who wanders around seeming perfect and maybe not understanding the human condition, and the challenges of life for normal people.”
That one elicits a “WOW” from this Evangelical. See the lost but found narrative is but the beginning of what we like to call “the gospel,” the good news of what Jesus did. It is a notable weakness of Evangelicalism that they often forget to push on farther into the depths of all that Jesus offers us – that is something that I write about with great regularity on my “Godblog.”
As is becoming common when I read something about Gingrich, scripture comes to mind. In this case it is the benediction that the Apostles Paul wrote in his letter to the church at Phillipi:
Phil 4:8-9 – Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you. (NAS)
Now when I read something like that and I think about who I would like standing in front of the nation on a routine basis, I would much rather have someone that has truly focused on the good stuff as opposed to someone that has had to pull themselves out of the bad and might just fall back in at a moment’s notice.
It is true that Gingrich looks more “average” than Romney, but consider about the bell curve when you think about that. That simply means Gingrich has made a lot more mistakes than Romney has. Are we really a nation that wants to be merely average. As Christians, we see the Apostle Paul calling us to the far right side of the bell curve – we are not called to be average, we are called to excellence. Remember being graded “on a curve?” Was a C, even a C+ really the grade you wanted?
But there is another aspect to Gingrich’s comments that needs to be addressed, and that is his crack, “maybe not understanding the human condition.” One has to remember that the “human condition” is not the failing, corrupt condition we find ourselves in – the situation that we find ourselves in results from what theologians call “the fall.” We were not made for this imperfection – we were made for the perfection of first creation.
And finally, how dare Gingrich imply that Romney is somehow less than human? Again, the Apostle Paul:
Rom 14:4 – Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (NAS)
Romney’s “master” holds him to a high standard, but how does that make him unfamiliar with the human condition?
All that does is make him some one that perhaps overcame his baser nature earlier in his life than someone like Gingrich – which also means he may be a bit farther down the road than those of us that got a later start. That is pretty much the definition of a leader, and I think that is what this nation needs most.
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Harold R. McAlindon (also attributed to Emerson and others)
“What chance gathers she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” –Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” — Aristotle