Usually, the tired old insider country club wing of the Republican Party prevails at the expense of the conservative grassroots. The insiders have access to big business and big money, while the grassroots have to rely on the popularity of their ideas. Occasionally, the conservative base of the GOP wins. It happened in 1964 with Barry Goldwater and in 1980 with Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, it has not happened since, for the powerful country club wing of the party hates conservatism.
In this election, there is a different dynamic in play, namely the conservative wing has been energized by the successful Tea Party movement. These activists are not willing to shut up and accept a force fed moderate flip flopper like Mitt Romney as the nominee.
These true conservatives cannot stand Multiple Choice Mitt, the man who has morphed from a liberal Massachusetts Governor to a supposedly mainstream conservative candidate for President. In the past, Romney has expressed support for abortion rights and the man-made global warming hoax. This should be enough to disqualify him from the GOP nomination. However, Romney has lined up so many GOP insiders and big money supporters that he is trying to overcome these handicaps and buy the nomination. Yet, the grassroots base of the GOP is not buying the “new” Romney.
As a result, the real conservatives who dominate the base of the GOP are desperately looking for an alternative to Romney. They have been through a long list of potential nominees: Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Perry and Cain. Now, it is Newt Gingrich’s turn at the top. He will have more staying power than the others and might make it to the nomination. Unlike the other prospective conservative standard bearers, Newt is a recognized conservative icon with a 40 year record of activism.
Although he made mistakes as Speaker of the House, he led the GOP to their first majority in 40 years. He was at the helm when welfare reform, capital gains tax cuts, and a budget surplus were achieved. While his personal and ethical lapses eventually caused his undoing; he has matured greatly in the past 13 years.
Newt, 2011 edition, is a mature leader with a stable marriage. He is a devout Catholic who has learned from his many mistakes.
No one can deny his intellectual brilliance. His performance in the debates has been outstanding. Therefore, conservative voters recognize his attributes and have started to move to Gingrich in droves. Meanwhile, the RINO (Republican in Name Only) brigade, composed of the Washington D.C. insiders, consultants, bundlers, two bit talking heads, and country club sect, are in a frenzy.
Their next mission: destroy Newt. But, the more they criticize him, the better his poll numbers become. As Peggy Noonan explained in her brilliant Wall Street Journal column, “The antipathy of the establishment not only is not hurting him at this early date, it may be helping him. It may be part of the secret of his rise. Because establishments, especially the Washington establishment, famously count for little with the Republican base: ‘You're the ones who got us into this mess.’”
Amen! The grassroots base of the GOP knows quite well that the big spending RINO’s are no better than the liberal Democrats and are a very large part of the horrific problems that our country faces today.
The remaining Republican candidates for President can be divided into three groups. First the moderate wing has Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney. The libertarian wing is ably represented by former Libertarian Party presidential nominee Ron Paul. Remaining are the four conservatives: Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.
When the conservative base of the party examines these four candidates there is little doubt who has the most experience, the best track record and the most reasoned plan for the future. Newt Gingrich, for all of his flaws, is the candidate that the conservative base wants to see debating Barack Obama next year.
If the insiders are able to overcome the grassroots majority and push their candidate through to the nomination, the Republican Party may not survive the process.
Grab the popcorn, the GOP presidential race over the next few weeks will be an exciting show to watch.
Jeff Crouere is a native of New Orleans, LA and he is the host of a Louisiana based program, “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. For more information, visit his web site at www.ringsidepolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected]
Rick Perry, Christianity, Gays And Strong Wrong