Archive for the ‘Gingrich’ Category

Newt Gingrich: What’s Wrong With Our Election Process?

October 23, 2007

By Michael Lumley
The Daily Beacon (University of Tennessee)
Monday, October 22, 2007

A few months ago at a National Press Club Lunch in Washington, Newt Gingrich actually said something worth repeating. That happens so rarely now-a-days with prominent political leaders I was actually a little astonished. Essentially, Newt argued that the current electoral process is too long, too expensive and fundamentally insane.

“As the campaigns get longer,” Gingrich said, “you’re asking a person who’s going to be sworn in in January of 2009 to tell you what they’ll do in January of 2007, when they haven’t got a clue — because they don’t know what the world will be like, and you’re suggesting that they won’t learn anything through the two years of campaigning.”

Newt’s completely right of course. In 2000, Americans voted for a “compassionate conservative” who believed in limited government, cutting growth in federal spending and a restrained foreign policy. Instead they got George W. Bush.

How could America have been so deceived?

Our electoral process sucks.

Presidents are elected from a pool of candidates who are selected based on one determining factor — their ability to gather small contributions from large groups of people. How best to do this? Some have found that being mayor of a large city devastated by a major terror attack helps. Others have tried being married to very popular former presidents. Less common is an approach involving vision, principle or leadership.

But it’s not enough to start out with a really terrible pool of candidates. After the system eliminates anyone who is unable to instantly reach two to three million campaign donors, it plunges the candidates into a series of encounters that the political machine calls “debates.”

To call these spectacles debates is a bit like calling “Big Brother 4” prime-time television or calling Britney Spears an artist. I mean, sure, technically they’re debates, but in reality, its only 90 minutes of eight to 10 suits doing their damnedest not to stick their feet in their mouths.

Take this real debate question, posed to Rudy Giuliani: What are the biggest mistakes that you have ever made, and how have they changed you for a better person? You have thirty seconds.

Thirty seconds? To answer the question properly would take 30 seconds of just thinking before speaking. Of course, as all good candidates do, Giuliani simply deflected the question — playing it safe and keeping his foot well away from his mouth.

Every once and a while, however, a candidate actually tries to engage in a meaningful policy discussion instead of parroting off meaningless drivel like “I believe in the American Dream.” When this happens, they are first misunderstood and then demonized.

Take Ron Paul, who tried to explain in one Republican debate that American foreign policy might be contributing to a “blowback” effect — that is, when we kill women and children overseas, it makes their relatives angry at us and more likely to blow up buildings. The solution: Critically examine our policies to ensure that they maximize the benefit to the American people and discontinue policies that do more harm then good to our relations overseas.

But for Rudy Giuliani, Paul’s digression into substantive policy analysis was a golden opportunity. In thirty seconds, Giuliani turned the reasonable position articulated above into a message that Ron Paul blamed America for 9/11, and as mayor of New York during 9/11 (something he just won’t shut up about) he demanded an official apology from the Paul campaign.

What’s even worse is that a lot of people out there — people I thought were smart enough not to fall for this crap — loved Giuliani’s aggressive approach.

And then there’s a whole other host of issues that I don’t even have the words to discuss here. Campaign finance reform is silencing people with little or no name recognition. In the wake of the 2004 election, candidates are no longer allowed to change their minds about anything — lest the opposing factions wave flip-flops in the air at rallies or speeches. (Yes, the flip-flop has now become an appropriate substitute for intelligent and rational debate.) And when the driving issue in a campaign becomes something like “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” or a made-up story about National Guard papers, well, something is definitely wrong.

The bottom line is this: It’s time for Americans to demand real, intelligent and appropriate presidential campaigns. How do we do that? Quit voting for politicians who shovel out meaningless drivel. And for once, just once, let’s start using our brains.

— Michael Lumley is a senior in economics. He can be reached at mlumley@utk.edu.

Excellent Gingrich Speech, National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007

Gingrich seeks donors for GOP bid

September 24, 2007

By Ralph Z. Hallow
The Washington Times
September 24, 2007

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will begin next week to seek financial commitments from donors for a presidential-nomination bid, the Georgia Republican told The Washington Times yesterday.

If he can get pledges for $30 million over the next three weeks, he will join the Republican presidential-nomination race — a prospect he had been downplaying until yesterday.

“As people have grown more worried about the Clinton machine and the prospect of a second Clinton presidency, more and more people have been approaching me about running,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Read the rest at:
http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070924/NATION/109240072/1001

Americans Swallowing Communist Precept: Ideology Over Competence

August 10, 2007

We have made a life-long study of the communist system and the communist world.  Perhaps the number one precept of that system is ideology (and loyalty to the party) is much preferred to ability and competance.

Why then, during the so called “debates” are we seeing such communist higging conduct by candidates of both parties trying to show who is the more “pure”?

Recommened reading:

COMPETENCE OVER IDEOLOGY
By Cal Thomas

While Sen. Sam Brownback and Gov. Mitt Romney sparred over who was pro-life first (the Republican version of the Democrats’ battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton over who was first to oppose the war), I suspect most people are more interested in which 0candidate is best equipped to run the government.

Read it all at:

http://washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070810/COMMENTARY09/108100029
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“We are in trouble, and somebody had better start talking about it in a blunt way.”

Excellent Gingrich Speech, National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007
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Our most read essay in the last 24 hours and soon to be most read EVER:

China’s Worthless Stooges

Excellent Gingrich Speech, National Press Club, Aug. 7, 2007

August 9, 2007

The speech below is mainly a proposal to reform the way we in the United States discuss major issues and choose our president.   But Mr. Gingrich has thoughtful things to say on a wide variety of our nation’s issues.

Peace and Freedom sincerely thanks Mr. Rick Tyler of Mr. Gingrich’s staff who worked so hard to get us this transcript.  Mr. Gingrich gave this speech from notes (not text) and a transcript had to be made.  Since the text of the speech is so long we added some headers so readers can scan don and find the areas that interest them the most.  The headers are:

Introduction
Mr. Gingrich Begins
Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Current System Not Working
Strategy and Reality Not Connected
Challenges Are Immense
UPS and FedEx Superior to Federal Bureaucracy
The Scale of  Change
Britain’s Phoney War
 
Our Phony War: The Scale of the Challenge
Conversations About Our Future: Better Debates
Questions and Answers
—Proposal Favors Good Debaters
—How to Handle 3rd Party Candidates
—How to Engage The Public
—Revising Primary Debates
—Reforming The Overall Primary Process
—Campaign Financing
—Fred Thompson
—Gingrich’s Own Plan to Run
—2008 a Democratic Year
—Are The Candidates Up To The Task
—Near Future of the War On Terror

We had a lot of formatting trouble with this document and we are sorry for its porr appearance.  We think you’ll find that the content is excellent.All the best to everyone,
John E. Carey
******************* IntroductionMR. ZREMSKI: (Sounds gavel.) Good afternoon, and welcome to the National Press Club. My name is Jerry Zremski, and I’m the Washington bureau chief for the Buffalo News and president of the Press Club.I’d like to welcome our club members and their guests who are with this today, as well as those of you who are watching on C-SPAN. We’re looking forward to today’s speech, and afterwards, I’ll ask as many questions as time permits.Please hold your applause during the speech so that we have as much time for questions as possible.

Link to the entire speech text at: http://extendedremarks.blogspot.com/2007/08/speech-below-is-mainly-proposal-to.html
 

Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846

Daguerreotype of Lincoln c. 1846

What in the world could the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 POSSIBLY teach us today?  Newt knows.  This is why everyone needs to understand history….