Newt vs. Newt

This time I should’ve been the one listening.

But listening can be tough sometimes when you’re an analyst and a commentator, and people around the country – listeners, readers, media, candidates, causes, businesses, etc. – come to you to find out why things are happening and what may happen next. Analysis and commentary is one of the few things in life I’m really good at. My car expertise begins and ends with changing a tire. Any toy that comes with the phrase “some assembly required” my kids immediately take to my wife. And when that much-anticipated Zombie apocalypse finally happens I’m going to have to heavily rely upon my gun-toting “doomsday prepper” friends to survive.

But analysis and commentary I can do. It’s how I provide for my family, and since it puts food on my kids’ table regularly somebody must think I’m pretty decent at it. Yet this time I swung and missed.

I am 39-years old so a little young for the Reagan era. I wasn’t legally able to obtain a driver’s license yet when Reagan left office. Like many my age, my conservatism was actually honed by listening to Rush Limbaugh and cheering on Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution of 1994. In my era, Gingrich is a transformative figure. He’s still the only man alive to win a national election on conservative principles. He played a part in establishing much of the conservative infrastructure we take for granted nowadays. There are only two authors I ever sought autographed books from: Bo Schembechler and Gingrich.


Yet despite my fan boy crush, I am well aware of his peccadilloes. He’s on his third marriage. He lost the Speaker’s gavel because of a caucus revolt against his leadership. He inexcusably backed Dede Scozzafava. He rightly stood up against the TARP, and then reversed course and backed what I believe may be the most criminal legislation in American history. These are just some of the reasons why several people close to me told me I was making a mistake when I endorsed him for president during the 2012 primary.

Yet I pointed to the fact he is one of the few national figures in the GOP that has the wit and knowledge to effectively communicate what we believe in today’s short-attention-span-society, which I believe is very important to our movement going forward. He was the only candidate last year that was really speaking to what I believe is the biggest threat to liberty and morality in America—judicial supremacy (which is really the judicial oligarchy Jefferson warned us about). And I was also impressed with the way Gingrich was willing to speak openly about his past moral transgressions, including one very blunt joint appearance on my radio show with Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. As a Christian I’m a sucker for a good redemption story.

However, there’s a reason I have often compared Gingrich to King David in the Bible, beyond the marriage infidelity both have in common. Both were also extraordinarily God-gifted leaders whose legacies were tarnished by their slack of self-discipline. Both were often at their best when pursuing power and at their worse once they obtained it.

While on vacation I was reminded of that comparison when I saw Gingrich say that Republicans should accept the destruction of marriage as “inevitable.” As a historian Gingrich should know better. He should know that marriage and free market economics are the essential societal bedrock components of western civilization, without which liberty isn’t possible. I know firsthand he should know that, because he has communicated right to my face that he does.

In a letter to The Family Leader just 13 months ago, Gingrich said:

As president I will vigorously enforce the Defense of Marriage Act. I will aggressively defend the constitutionality of DOMA in state and federal courts. I will support a federal constitutional amendment (defending marriage). I will oppose any judicial, bureaucratic, or legislative effort to redefine marriage.

So which is it, Newt? Do you want to defend marriage or not? Those words do not read like someone who thought destroying marriage was “inevitable?” Did you mean them?

For the past week Gingrich has been rightly urging conservatives to fight the fiscal cliff tax increase. Maybe Gingrich should be urging us to surrender instead, being that our slide towards bankrupt statism seems “inevitable” after all. As a father with three small children at home, I’m looking for leaders who will fight to stop our “inevitable” destruction as a free republic, not come to grips with it. Especially on an issue like marriage, that is 31-4 (89%) at the ballot box.

Gingrich was arguably the most gifted political figure of his era. He could’ve been an American Churchill. Check that, he should have been. Despite all that he has accomplished (which I’m thankful for) his legacy still includes a waste of potential. He could’ve led us out of the wilderness. Instead we’re still circling the mountain (or the drain).

Several of you warned me about this, which is why despite his obvious gifts Gingrich failed not once but twice to coalesce conservatives when he was the presidential frontrunner. Some of you were once bitten and twice shy. Now I get it.

I still have a soft spot for Newt, and he’s still one of the few politicians I’ve met whose intellect I actually respect. But that’s not enough to believe he should hold the highest office of this land. If someone won’t defend marriage, the oldest institution in God’s created order, then what can you count on them to defend when it’s hard?

Those of you that warned me were right. I was wrong. This time I should’ve listened to your analysis.

________________________________________________________________

You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.

  • stevenlehar

    Gingrich was right to back-peddle the anti-libertarian Christian Conservative message, while the country is going over a fiscal cliff. The gay couple next door won’t harm me, but the rapacious politicians in Washington will. Newt was right — Romney was a liberal RINO from Massachusetts who launched Romneycare. We should never have backed the phoney over the real thing. Now we pay!

    • Flayer

      They both will hurt the country. Don’t do an Obama and put up false choices.

  • nexgenesis

    Newt has made himself illrelevant with his capulation over to the homosexual movement.

  • Carol-Christian Soldier

    newt has always waffled-

    I’m tired of waffle-ers!
    No more for me–
    Carol-CS

  • Toschano

    Newt was referring to the FACT (states’ rights) that there are a number of states that have accepted the homosexual pap and are honoring their unions and for the Republican party to understand how to deal with this environment. I heard no “surrender” statement. What I heard, or interpreted, was know your enemy and deal with it.

    • Absolutely. I am sick and tired of people with a podium and a microphone who portend to be Christian Conservatives spouting the same vociferous diatribe and media hype all the rest do. Even FOX News, which is supposed to be a “haven” of conservative thought ran a banner under Newt while he was saying “I still support traditional marriage,” —the banner read in bold caps, “GINGRICH CALLS REPUBLICANS TO SUPPORT GAY MARRIAGE”

      Same old media hype and lies.

  • chesnut

    Stevenlehar, study a bit more history. You are as naive about what makes a country viable as the day is long. Steve Deace is absolutely correct. Every failed society failed because the established social order of the traditional family broke down in mass. Any argument to the contrary is pure fantasy and fabrication and historical rewrite.

    • reggiec

      I agree that the family is vitally important but it is not the sole problem facing us as a nation.
      ***
      This is not something new. A simple examination of history will show that politicians in the past have done what our government is now doing with disastrous results. Some recognized the folly and cried out in opposition but were ignored then as sound economic and social policy are being ignored now.
      “The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” — Cicero, 55 BC
      We all know what eventually happened to the Roman Empire. One of the very basic reasons for the demise of the Roman Empire was the debasement of their currency. The coined money the Romans used where the gold aureus and the silver denarius. The aureus was originally 8 grams of pure gold and the denarius was 5.5 grams of pure silver. The debasement began when the aureus was replaced with 4.5 gram pure gold solidus.
      From the year 0 to 100 AD the denarius contained over 90% silver. By 200 AD the silver content had fallen to less than 70%. By 300 AD there was less than 5% silver in the coin the rest being base metals like copper. In 350 AD it was worthless and would have taken 9 million denarius coins to equal the buying power of the original 8 grams of gold aureus. Can you see any justification for Cicero’s warning today?
      We can find direct parallels between Roman currency and what has happened to currency in These United States of America.
      The dollar was adopted as the standard US monetary unit by The Coinage Act of 1792.
      The actual metal content of U.S. coins has been debased beginning in with the passage of “The Coinage Act of 1965”. The metal content of dimes, quarters, and half-dollars was changed by law, eliminating the requirement that they be 90% silver. Dimes and the quarters no longer contained any silver. Silver in the half-dollar plunged to 40 percent and was reduced to zero after 1970. Even the penny was debased. In 1981 the 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc alloy penny, changed to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper. Then there was the elimination of the gold and silver backed paper money replaced by the Federal Reserve Note that inflation has debased beyond all recognition.
      On August 15, 1971, President Nixon “closed the gold window”, ending convertibility between US dollars and gold. Since that time the buying power of a one dollar Federal Reserve note has fallen drastically. What would have cost a single dollar in 1971 now costs $112.43. If you go back to 1913 and the establishment of Federal Reserve itself; the value of a dollar is even worse. What a dollar would have purchased then would now cost $459.93. See US Inflation Calculator
      If the value of the monetary unit of any government is debased, it will eventually destroy the free market and the economic viability of that society.

      • Flayer

        The breakdown of the family, church, and by extension, the civil, society requires ever-increasing social welfare spending. Bluntly put, a healthy, family-oriented, church-going, self-defending society is just cheaper to administer.

    • chesnut, while what you are saying is correct, yours and Deace’s application of it are fundamentally wrong.

      Not once has Newt recanted on traditional marriage. What he said was, “9 states have now adopted a law which is different than that.” and “how are we going to deal with that fact? “my personal views, my personal beliefs I don’t back up an inch from the core belief from the Bible and the core belief of my church that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I am trying to understand, how are we going to cope with the complexity that this fact has now entered into our life?”

      Maybe for once, people who are concerned with truth, could actually listen to it for a change instead of portending to support truth and then spread the words of lies.

      • Joe1938

        Yeah Amy, it is obvious that newt likes traditional marriage, he has done it 3 times! The only problem is that he has screwed around on all 3 wives. This newt cretin needs an 18 wheeler to hall all the baggage he is saddled with.

  • Although Steve is a Christian commentator who has good things to say and as he says supported Gingrich when others didn’t, Deace is also fond of jumping on band wagons that don’t really have substance and are mostly conjecture or media hype, so he can stir up discussions with people. I don’t like any media that relies on hype or conjecture to get a buzz going.

    Newt is backing gay marriage now? Not from what I heard him say.Sounds to me like this is an another media lie to discredit Newt. Maybe Deace should listen to what Newt actually said instead of joining the rest of sensationalist media.

    Newt says he “believes as a matter of faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. We want to defend marriage in it’s classic form between a man & a women. I don’t except that there is an alternative.”

    But he also states this fact: “9 states have now adopted a law which is different than that.” and “how are we going to deal with that fact? “my personal views, my personal beliefs I don’t back up an inch from the core belief from the Bible and the core belief of my church that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I am trying to understand, how are we going to cope with the complexity that this fact has now entered into our life?”

    Good question! That is always the problem when you go against truth, you get hit in the face with the consequences of going the wrong way.

    Here’s a direct quote of what Newt has actually said.

    “I’m very concerned. I believe as a matter of faith that marriage is between a man and a woman. I think that everything we know of in terms of the bible and in teaching of the church says marriage is between a man and a women. I also believe as a matter of fact: that 9 states have now adopted a law which is different than that. And that poses very real and complex human circumstances. I think a practical reality is how are we going to deal with that fact? And it’s not that I am going to change my belief. I think that in fact it’s a big mistake to be confused about this issue. But I think it is also a legal reality that now people are being allowed to create legal status over here and if they created it in Maryland and they go on a trip and something happens to them on that trip—what is their status if they need to go to the local hospital? And so I think this is a very complicated human problem and Republicans need to take a deep breath and understand we need to deal with the human side of thus equation and understand that we still want to defend marriage in it’s classic form between a man & a women. I don’t except that there is an alternative. The government can declare that a Ford truck is AirForce One but that doesn’t mean it can fly.

    The Defense of Marriage Act is a very specific bill that says that because Maryland to take an example happens to vote that marriage extends beyond a man & woman doesn’t mean that can be imposed on any other state. I still defend the right of any individual state to not adopt—(interrupted)—but I am saying as a matter of practical reality, we have to deal—we conservatives have to deal with the objective fact that 9 states have adopted a rule which is now going to make life more complicated. It’s not enough to—again—I’m no—my personal views, my personal beliefs I don’t back up an inch from the core belief from the Bible and the core belief of my church that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I am trying to understand, how are we going to cope with the complexity that this fact has now entered into our life?
    We [Republicans] are going to remain the conservative party. We are going to remain a party that believes in core beliefs. We are going to remain a party which defends religious liberty. And we’ve got to do it much much better. I’ve watched us get out maneuvered by the left over and over for the last couple of years in ways that I found frustrating and infuriating and I think we have to learn from that.”

    Maybe for once, people who are concerned with truth, could actually listen to it for a change instead of portending to support truth and then spread the words of lies.

  • Joe1938

    Yeah Steve Deace, this cretin needs an 18 wheeler to hall all the baggage he is saddled with and you sound like one of the woulda, coulda, hada, dona, shouda brothers. Thanks pal for giving the cretin so much press. The most of idiots who supported the retarded puppet are thinking about the same thing re their love affair with obama.