In other news, "conservatives" Newt Gingrich, Jon Hunstman and Rick Perry attacked free-market capitalism in a sad continuance of their desperate attempts to be taken seriously in the race for the GOP nomination. Calling venture capitalism "vulture capitalism" (as Perry did) might play well to the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but to serious people who understand how things work, its embarrassing.
Newt has proven that every one of us who had concerns about his lack of personal discipline were right. Because of his petulance and narcissism, Newt has done nothing but give the Democrats an incredibly large garrison of political ammunition to use against Romney should he win the nomination. Out-of-context attacks like quoting Romney as saying he "liked to fire people" are exactly the kind of fodder the Dems need to fire away at in the general election -- the fact that he was talking about using the power of the market to fire under-performing service providers, and not actually firing human beings in his employ, notwithstanding. And anyway, even though the economy is bad, if a person isn't doing their job they should be fired. There's lots of people who need jobs who can take their place. I think the ability to fire people is actually a good asset for an executive to have. But then again, I am an adult.
While Newt touts his "Reagan Republican" credentials with every breath, attacking capitalism was not part of Reagan's rhetoric. Reagan's "11th Commandment for Republicans" also advised against attacking other Republicans. If Newt was indeed a "Reagan Republican" he would know this.
Newt was also the big whiner in Iowa because of attacks on him by Romney supporters. Add "hypocrite" to Newt's lengthy list of personal accomplishments.
Newt's desire for revenge for perceived slights is far outweighing his abilities as a statesman, and he is damaging the party. If you want to make Barack Obama a one-term president, you people in the loyal opposition better turn your backs on Gingrich quickly before his thin-skin and petulance single-handedly hands Obama a second term. It's time for Gingrich to realize he is not a "Reagan Republican" and that his constant reminders that he is a conservative are ringing hollow.
Let's look at the other candidates:
- Ron Paul has started listening to his advisers and is actually beginning to explain the Libertarian position quite lucidly. If he can overcome some of his more ill-advised statements early on in the campaign he just might be able to correct his course enough to be a factor. I did name Paul one of the most dangerous men in America from a Libertarian POV, but it seems he has abandoned the paleo-Libertarian mindset for one that can actually translate well to the rest of America.
- Rick Santorum does not have the temperament to hold the office of President, but quite frankly that didn't stop America from electing Obama, so we'll have to wait and see on that one. Santorum is kind of conservative, but his record shows he never met a big government program he didn't like.
- Rick Perry is just kind of dopey, so his stupid attacks on capitalism and Romney can be excused -- to a point. I would take him seriously as a candidate if his campaign had actually bothered to get his name on the ballots in all the states holding primaries. We'd all be better off if Perry would just slink back to Texas as soon as possible.
- Jon Huntsman will become the darling of the Left Wing MSM in the coming days because of his ties to Obama and his family wealth. As far as having conservative bona fides -- not so much. He would serve the party he professes to belong to well by pulling out and endorsing one of the other serious candidates.