Monday, December 19, 2011

Why conservatives shouldn't support Newt Gingrich, and libertarians shouldn't support Ron Paul

1. The Wall Street Journal, in a piece on Gingrich's unconvincing defense against the attacks over his work for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (see my live-blog of the last debate at "9:31"), perfectly sums up the lack of principle at the core of his candidacy:

The real history lesson here may be what the Freddie episode reveals about Mr. Gingrich's political philosophy. To wit, he has a soft spot for big government when he can use it for his own political ends. He also supported the individual mandate in health care in the 1990s, and we recall when he lobbied us to endorse the prescription drug benefit with only token Medicare reform in 2003. . . .

If Americans elect a Republican in 2012, it will be someone who can make the case for reviving economic growth, but also for restraining and reforming government so it doesn't bankrupt the country. If Americans want more "bold" government experiments, they'll re-elect Barack Obama.
That sentence I put in bold seems like the key to understanding Gingrich's approach to government. And needless to say, anyone who becomes president has many, many opportunities to use government to their own political ends! So I can't understand why conservatives would view him as the serious conservative candidate in this race. Frankly, I can't understand why Republicans would nominate him at all. He's far from the most electable or the most conservative candidate.

2. Libertarian blogger Alex Knepper makes the case against Ron Paul:


Jason (the commenter) said...

And where is the case against Romney?

I guess it's so obvious already, we don't need any more evidence to convince us!

John Althouse Cohen said...

I'm not trying to present the case against every candidate. I'll be doing a post on who I actually support, hopefully before the voting starts.

I linked to these two pieces because I found them interesting, thought-provoking, surprising.

The case against Romney is well-known: he's flip-flopped on so many major issues, in such a transparently opportunistic way, that you can't trust him to have the convictions he claims.

But I don't find that convincing as a reason not to vote for him. We have to choose someone, and the strongest other candidates in the race haven't been any less willing to flip-flop when it's convenient. Gingrich — health care. Obama — same-sex marriage.

Anonymous said...

I have another problem with Newt Gingrich-it's the principle of honor.

I had a philosophy prof bombard me for three days- over why lying is a bad principle.

He had about three different planks for this-but it was the third one-or the one he presented on the third day of argument that most applies to Gingrich.

Lying precludes other people from having a choice by lying you take the other persons options away from them-while keeping all of your options open.

Looking back on it-I think the prof might have had a personal experience with that-who knows.

It's been important to me ever since-so I was wondering what Gingrich did in this department-if he let people know what was going on-that's one thing-but not letting people know all the facts is something different.

Wondering about Gingrich on a personal level a front page WaPo article linked to an old interview with Gingrich's second wife-that answered the question-supposedly she was caught off guard. Her interviews might vary though...

However Gingrich led the Republican Party into the abyss of the Impeachment Trials all while having his own issue- and I doubt he let too many of the Republican Congress know that at the time, and when it was found out the story became about not just Newt's hypocrisy-but the Republican Party's-Newt had made certain choices for everyone.

Anonymous said...

when it's convenient. Gingrich — health care. Obama — same-sex marriage.

Well Gingrich has said that he was wrong about individual mandates-that's something Romney refuses to do.

I think it makes Romney as arrogant as Obama.

If you have any question of Obama's arrogance it's pretty much confirmed by Obama declaring his own administration the fourth best ever-after LBJ,FDR and Lincoln.