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Republican Establishment Targets Newt Gingrich, Knows He Must Not Be Nominee

December 15, 2011

There is a chance that the Republicans can win back the White House in 2012 with an appropriate candidate.  Not a bomb-thrower, or red-meat partisan.  But instead with a seasoned moderate.

Like Mitt Romney.

There is so much eagerness to win back the White House that establishment Republicans, the ones that know how to govern and understand (for the most part) why government matters, are not in the mood to throw away the chance with Newt Gingrich as the party nominee.

Over the past week there has been a growing vocal outcry from within the Republican Party, from the establishment wing of the party, to undermine and stop the forward movement of Newt Gingrich.

Perhaps no better example of the growing efforts from the GOP to stop Newt can be demonstrated than from the pages of the ever-conservative National Review.

Gingrich’s colleagues were, however, right to bring his tenure to an end. His character flaws — his impulsiveness, his grandiosity, his weakness for half-baked (and not especially conservative) ideas — made him a poor Speaker of the House. Again and again he combined incendiary rhetoric with irresolute action, bringing Republicans all the political costs of a hardline position without actually taking one. Again and again he put his own interests above those of the causes he championed in public.

He says, and his defenders say, that time, reflection, and religious conversion have conquered his dark side. If he is the nominee, a campaign that should be about whether the country will continue on the path to social democracy would inevitably become to a large extent a referendum on Gingrich instead. And there is reason to doubt that he has changed. Each week we see the same traits that weakened Republicans from 1995 through 1998: I’d vote for Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform; Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform is radical right-wing social engineering; I apologize for saying that, and no one should quote what I said because I was wrong; actually, what I said was right all along but nobody understood me. I helped defeat Communism; anyone who made money in the ’80s and ’90s owes me; I’m like Reagan and Thatcher. Local community boards should decide what to do with illegal immigrants. Freddie Mac paid me all that money to tell them how stupid they were. Enough. Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself. He should be an adviser to the Republican party, but not again its head.

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