Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sarah Palin on Newt, Romney, and the GOP Establishment

We have witnessed something very disturbing this week. The Republican Establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today, has adopted the tactics of the Left in using the media and the politics of personal destruction to attack an opponent.

We will look back on this week and realize that something changed.

I have given numerous interviews wherein I espoused the benefits of thorough vetting during aggressive contested primary elections, but this week’s tactics aren’t what I meant. Those who claim allegiance to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment should stop and think about where we are today. Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, the fathers of the modern conservative movement, would be ashamed of us in this primary.

Let me make clear that I have no problem with the routine rough and tumble of a heated campaign. As I said at the first Tea Party convention two years ago, I am in favor of contested primaries and healthy, pointed debate. They help focus candidates and the electorate. I have fought in tough and heated contested primaries myself. But what we have seen in Florida this week is beyond the pale. It was unprecedented in GOP primaries. I’ve seen it before – heck, I lived it before – but not in a GOP primary race.

I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The Left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.

We know that Newt fought in the trenches during the Reagan Revolution.

As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, Newt was among a handful of Republican Congressman who would regularly take to the House floor to defend Reagan at a time when conservatives didn’t have Fox News or talk radio or conservative blogs to give any balance to the liberal mainstream media.

Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration “from the right” to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future.

But this week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race. (I know, it makes no sense, and the GOP establishment hopes you won’t stop and think about this nonsense. Mark Levin and others have shown the ridiculousness of this.)

To add insult to injury, this “anti-Reagan” claim was made by a candidate who admitted to not even supporting or voting for Reagan.

Romney was actually was against the Reagan movement, donated to liberal candidates, and said he didn’t want to go back to the Reagan days. .

You can’t change history.

We know that Newt Gingrich brought the Reagan Revolution into the 1990s. We know it because none other than Nancy Reagan herself announced this when she presented Newt with an award, telling us, “The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century. Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.” As Rush and others pointed out, if Nancy Reagan had ever thought that Newt was in any way an opponent of her beloved husband, she would never have even appeared on a stage with him, let alone presented him with an award and said such kind things about him. Nor would Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, have chosen to endorse Newt in this primary race.

There are no two greater keepers of the Reagan legacy than Nancy and Michael Reagan. What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history.

It was Alinsky tactics at their worst.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP Establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on.

In fact, the Establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the Left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment Rights.

The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters.

We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

I spoke up before the South Carolina primary to urge voters there to keep this primary going because I have great concern about the GOP Establishment trying to anoint a candidate without the blessing of the grassroots and all the needed energy and resources we as commonsense constitutional conservatives could bring to the general election in order to defeat President Obama.

Now, I respect Governor Romney and his success. But there are serious concerns about his record and whether as a politician he consistently applied conservative principles and how this impacts the agenda moving forward.

The questions need answers now.

That is why this primary should not be rushed to an end. We need to vet this. Pundits in the Beltway are gleefully proclaiming that this primary race is over after Florida, despite 46 states still not having chimed in. Well, perhaps it’s possible that it will come to a speedy end in just four days; but with these questions left unanswered, it will not have come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Without this necessary vetting process, the unanswered question of Governor Romney’s conservative bona fides and the unanswered and false attacks on Newt Gingrich will hang in the air to demoralize many in the electorate.

The Tea Party grassroots will certainly feel disenfranchised and disenchanted with the perceived orchestrated outcome from self-proclaimed movers and shakers trying to sew this all up. And, trust me, during the general election, Governor Romney’s statements and record in the private sector will be relentlessly parsed over by the opposition in excruciating detail to frighten off swing voters.

This is why we need a fair primary that is not prematurely cut short by the GOP establishment using Alinsky tactics to kneecap Governor Romney’s chief rival.

As I said in my speech in Iowa last September, the challenge of this election is not simply to replace President Obama. The real challenge is who and what we will replace him with.

It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.

We truly need sudden and relentless reform in Washington to defend our Republic, though it’s becoming clearer that the old guard wants anything but that. That is why we should all be concerned by the tactics employed by the establishment this week.

We will not save our country by becoming like the Left.

And I question whether the GOP Establishment would ever employ the same harsh tactics they used on Newt against Obama. I didn’t see it in 2008. Many of these same characters sat on their thumbs in ‘08 and let Obama escape unvetted. Oddly, they’re now using every available microscope and endoscope – along with rewriting history – in attempts to character assassinate anyone challenging their chosen one in their own party’s primary.

So, one must ask, who are they really running against?


William R. Barker said...

Mr. Abrams has been caught red-handed in lending himself to this attempted Romney hit job.


[W]hat Elliott Abrams wrote in NRO about Newt Gingrich based on this long ago speech is not worthy of Elliott Abrams.

Specifically, Abrams implies that Newt Gingrich was spewing mindless vitriol about Reagan on the House floor. Not only not so, it was quite to the contrary. Of President Reagan, Gingrich says:


Rodak said...

Right--the politics of personal destruction. Your man Gingrich (as you pointed out on that other thread) wrote the manual on that tactic, didn't he? What goes around, comes around. That's more true in politics than it is even on the mean streets of the block.
Right now, in the polling, Gingrich comes in last of the three legit contenders (Paul ignored) against Obama. They all lose, but he loses the worst.
If the grassroots could really put somebody in office, Palin would be a candidate today. But she's not. She's back in show biz, where she belongs. Not buyin' it, buddy. And you'll see that I'm right. (Just like I was right about Rudy Giuliani, back in the day.)

William R. Barker said...

@ Rodak

And THANK GOD that Gingrich successfully practiced the tactics of personal destruction on Jim Wright and Dan Rostenskowski... TWO CROOKS!

Rob... Rob... Rob... there's a difference between destroying people who SHOULD be destroyed via telling the TRUTH vs. what Romney and his allies have been doing.

ROB... think back to the 2008 Democratic primaries when BOTH of us were defending OBAMA to an extent against the tactics of the Clinton machine.


Anyway, Rob, I'll keep on posting food for thought. Digest it as you will.



Rodak said...

It's only your opinion that Gingrich shouldn't be destroyed. His hypocrisy during the whole Monica Lewinsky caper is almost beyond belief, for instance.
That's the politics of personal destruction used cynically and hypocritically, for purely partisan reasons, where it didn't need to be used at all.
He's not a good man. Whatever else you want to say about him, he's not a good man.

William R. Barker said...

Rodak writes...

"It's only your opinion that Gingrich shouldn't be destroyed."

Well, duh! It's my blog. Everything I write as my opinion is... er... my opinion.


And OF COURSE it's your opinion that Gingrich should be destroyed.

It's also no doubt your opinion that Romney should be destroyed - beaten - should he be the Republican nominee come November.

It's also no doubt your opinion that Santorum would deserve to be destroyed - beaten - if he were the GOP nominee.

Jeez, Rob... you're a Left wing semi-socialist whose main complaint against Obama is that he's not far Left ENOUGH for your tastes!


Anyway... keep posting. I appreciate the feedback.


Rodak said...

There's a difference between being destroyed in a character assassination campaign and being beaten in an election.
Gingrich deserves destruction because he lives by destruction.
Santorum seems to be the most honorable of the three viable guys left, actually.

William R. Barker said...

I'm tempted to leave you the last word - simply because we're in "dead horse" territory, here, but I've simply gotta highlight the facts:

Gingrich WANTED a "clean" campaign.

Gingrich TRIED to run a "clean" campaign.

It was Romney who went negative and then - and only then... only after being slaughtered in Iowa in large part because of Romney's lies - did Gingrich respond with his own negative ads.


That's simply the truth.

As to Santorum... I've made my opinion clear on Santorum time and again; same with my views on Ron Paul.


In any case, Rob, I'm thrilled by your new-found appreciation of Rick Santorum.


As I recall, our first ever HUGE "battle" (over at Ragged Thots) came about because you belittled and attacked Rick Santorum via making simply horrible "jokes" about the loss of his child.

Here's the deal, Rob... I'm intellectually and ethically consistent. It's out of this character that my opinions are formed.

You...? Well... let's just leave it at your statement "Gingrich deserves destruction..."

Where you're "coming from" is... well... where you're coming from.

Doesn't make you a bad person... but it does caution against taking your various analysis at face value.

Rodak said...

I didn't make horrible jokes about the loss of his child. I made jokes about his way of dealing with the loss of his child, and that remains weird beyond belief.
Gingrich wanted a clean campaign because Gingrich was all-too-well award of all the baggage he's sitting on. He was hoping that the public had forgotten it, and he didn't want the public reminded of it. Romney and Gingrich each call what the other man has to say "lies." They're both right. They're both liars. Santorum is weird, but at least he's not a liar.

Rodak said...

The fact that you don't care that he was working as a lobbyist-once-removed for the very agencies that he thinks Barney Frank should go to jail over; and the fact that Gingrich was having an extra-marital affair at the same time that he was running a smear campaign against Clinton over Monica Lewinsky (to cite just two things), merely shows how completely non-objective you are about Gingrich. The man may be shrewd; he may be glib; he may be promising to do things that you want done; but he's a scumbag, morally. That's why his friends are few and far between in D.C.
I'm actually beginning to hope that he somehow beats Romney, since the polls are now showing that Romney has a chance of beating Obama. The same is not true of Gingrich.

William R. Barker said...

"I didn't make horrible jokes about the loss of his child."

Yeah. Yeah you did, Rob.


There are two Robs; there's the "bad" Rob and the "good" Rob and on the particular occasion I refer to you went beyond "bad" Rob to "scumbag" Rob.



William R. Barker said...

"The fact that you don't care that he was working as a lobbyist-once-removed for the very agencies that he thinks Barney Frank should go to jail over..."


Rob. Not that I expect you to have an encyclopedic memory of each and every blog post and comment I make, but...

(*SMILE*) would be helpful to the goal of civil discussion if you didn't purposefully mischaracterize my views.


Certainly I'm disgusted by Gingrich having taken on Fannie (or was it Freddie?) as a client, but the fact is that he wasn't a lobbyist for them, rather, he fell into the trap of thinking that by getting access to the inside via accepting the contract he'd be able to do some good FROM that perch.


Here's the sad reality of politics: Once you've reached a certain status within the political world you're ALWAYS gonna have the opportunity to make money in the "real" world. Gingrich took advantage of this just as pretty much all politicians do.

As to comparing Gingrich to Clinton...


Clinton was - and I'm guessing still is - a degenerate. The cheating per se is not and never was my focus. After all, human beings are flawed and who knows what goes on in a marriage besides the couple themselves.

No... it was WHO Clinton cheated with... HOW Clinton dealt with the aftermath... the AGE and POSITION of the girls/women... the fact that he was creditably accused of rape...


No... let me put it this way... I equate Gingrich with Sanford. I look down upon both men for cheating, but neither man will give the memory of Teddy - or Jack - Kennedy any run for the money and...


...and speaking of the Kennedy's, on my personal scale of scumminess both of them rank far BELOW William Jefferson Clinton.

(I'm saying that Clinton is WORSE than either Kennedy ever was! They stuck mainly to "pros" and "women" as opposed to a young intern barely out of her teens.)

Finally... Santorum.

Again... I've written plenty about Santorum.

I could fairly enthusiastically support Santorum, though as I've noted time and again, Ron Paul would be the guy I'd "appoint" as President if such were within my power.

Santorum gets MAJOR kudos for opposing the bailouts!

(On the other hand, I oppose Santorum on many of the same social policy grounds that YOU literally detest him for...)


Does he lie? Yeah. Sometimes. Does he lie as badly as Romney? No frigg'n way! Is he as truthful as Paul? Again... no frigg'n way.

Anyway... hope this clarifies my position for you.