Hey, did you know that if you don't support Mitt Romney, you are an idiot? That is what Kathleen Parker tells us in her Washington Post column today, The GOP's Death Wish:
. . . Republicans apparently want to nominate anyone except the one person [Romney] who can defeat Barack Obama. And for all the strangest reasons:
One: He’s changed his mind. True. He changed his mind, thus becoming more conservative.
Two: He’s too perfect.
Three: You can’t drink beer with him. Whatever.
The result of these petty obsessions has been a pathological flirtation with a parade of lesser candidates who could replace Romney.
And here I thought my decision to support someone other than Romney was based on my assessment of who could best deal with the massive systemic problems of our government, our economy in the tank and hemorrhaging jobs, the existential threat posed by nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, the continuing advancement of Salafism, and the efforts of the UN to redistribute the wealth of the West under the canard of global warming, just to name a few. I never realized that it was only because I had "petty obsessions." Thanks Ms. Parker, for giving us the benefit of your keen analytical skills.
Ms. Parker than goes on to pronounce that:
. . . no one other than Callista Gingrich thinks her husband can prevail in a general election. No. One.
Perhaps Ms. Parker missed the following in the Weekly Standard:
The latest Rasmussen survey of likely voters — which shows Newt Gingrich beating Barack Obama, 45 to 43 percent — also shows Gingrich beating Obama among independents for the first time. In fact, the poll shows that Gingrich is now clobbering Obama among independents — 50 to 32 percent.
I think Gingrich could beat Obama, as apparently do the majority of Republicans and independents. But Ms. Parker, rather than disagree with us on an intellectual level, has gone to the extreme of simply striking us from the rolls of humanity.
Ms. Parker then explains to us why Newt is so unpopular with the Washington elite.
And there’s a reason for his unpopularity. It isn’t because of his marriages or his Tiffany’s expense account. It is because his erratic behavior and his inability to resist the sound of his own voice have caused Republicans to lose too many fights.
Of all of Ms. Parker's disingenuous statements, this one takes the cake. Gingrich led the greatest conservative revolution of the last half century - for which he was demonized by the MSM with all the fervor they would later turn on Sarah Palin, and for which he was ultimately sacrificed by many in the Republican Party. But let's take a look at what he did accomplish. To pull a quote from Rush Limbaugh out of Peggy Noonan's recent column in the WSJ:
Who was the last person to actually cut government? Who was the last person who actually led a movement that balanced the federal budget? . . . The last time there was true welfare reform, the last time government was cut, Gingrich did it.
Ms. Parker makes no mention of those accomplishments. Nor does she tell us which fights Gingrich caused us to lose. I guess the there is no reason to list them as obviously any attempt at rational discussion would be wasted on people consumed with petty obsessions. I am sure all of the inside the beltway elites Ms. Parker interacts with on a daily basis will understand precisely what she means. Then Ms. Parker concludes with this admonition:
. . . if Republicans want to make Democrats happy, Gingrich is their man.
What possible excuse can there be for this gross violation of the 11th Commandment? I think Ms. Parker, like apparently many elites in the Republican Party, would prefer anyone - including Obama - over Newt Gingrich. I struggle to think why. They cite to his "lack of leadership," but the reality of his accomplishments objectively belies that argument. Is it because he would lead the Republican party to make major changes that go beyond Ms. Parker's comfort zone? I just can't fathom the pathology at work here.
At any rate, I think Ms. Parker has missed her calling. If she can write a column this condescending, this arrogant, and this intellectually dishonest, she should be doing an unpaid daily diary gig over at Kos, not collecting a check for posing as a right of center columnist at WaPo.
Update: Christian Whiton, writing at Fox, takes a good stab at explaining the horror of Ms. Parker and her ilk as they ponder Gingrich ascendent over Romney:
The answer lies in the nature of the Beltway Republican establishment. The problem is that most of what Gingrich proposes runs counter to what they have been conditioned to accept.
After all, this basically remains the Republican establishment that ran both of the federal government’s political branches for the better part of the last decade and managed to achieve essentially no conservative goals. The establishment Republicans didn’t merely acquiesce to big government implications of George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” – they insisted on it. More than a few Bush officials who visited Capitol Hill lamented that it was difficult to tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats on spending issues. While President Obama has normalized trillion-dollar deficits, establishment Republicans got us halfway there during the previous decade.
Do not suppose Beltway Republicans have found religion since. . . .
Now reenter Newt Gingrich, the man whom Republican Washington just knows failed as Speaker of the House, despite the welfare, capital gains tax and balanced budget reforms that bear his fingerprints.
On EPA replacement, for example, Gingrich says: “I don’t think you can train the current bureaucrats. I think their bias against capitalism, their bias against local government, their bias against economic rationality, is just amazing.”
Here, Gingrich is revealing his reverence for Andrew Jackson, who in his presidency succeeded in replacing fully one-fifth of the federal bureaucracy, seeing this as a requirement for radical change.
Most Washingtonian Republicans view desires like this as hopelessly naive. During their careers, they have seen modest changes, but nothing like the major shifts in Washington that have occurred at turning points in American history. Those with historical knowledge of them tend to know only of times the bureaucracy grew as opposed to those where it was actually tamed.
The idea of reversing federal growth is fine to keep on the wish list, but those who advocate it seriously are seen as rubes — either new arrivals in Washington who just fell off a turnip truck or unsophisticated congressmen from ‘flyover country.’ To be a true Beltway Republican is to have accepted the assumption that the scope of government cannot be radically altered. And they think it is politically foolish to try.
Thus the establishment just knows that you run a moderate like Mitt Romney for president. Conservatives have no place else to go and independents will be attracted—historical evidence to the contrary be damned. . .
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