UPDATE: Mark Levin (a Santorum guy) lit into conservatives who are demeaning the conservative record and accomplishments of Newt Gingrich. He specifically address Elliot Abrams and says he’s not sure he wants to be part of the conservative movement anymore. Very worth a listen for entertainment value at The Right Scoop.
UPDATE 2: (1/27/12-11:45amCT) – Jeffery Lord comments on new proof that the Elliot Abrams “has been caught red-handed in lending himself to this attempted Romney hit job.” (any chance an apology forthcoming from my fellow conservatives who bought lies without checking?)
I received two links on Twitter people wanted me to respond to. The first was from a very good conservative site SisterTodjah.com (subscribe and get DM’s of posts as I do) which was a bit pejorative and (i felt) inaccurate on a National Review Online article by Elliot Abrahams. The second was a WND article from disgraced, ex-convict Jack Abramoff. Such is the wonderful state of America. You do time for lying and cheating, write a book and suddenly you are looked at as the fountain of truth.
Now many knew that with Gingrich up in the polls, there would be an enormous whirlwind of vindictive rhetoric flying this week. What is exceptionally strange is the number of “conservatives” who are acting like a pubescent teen age girl without access to Midol.
The Abramoff article starts off with a list of “guess who did this” initiatives including GATT, the Fairness Doctrine and this:
He supported mandatory carbon caps. He proclaimed he would have voted for the $700 billion TARP bailout. He has endorsed man-made global warming as an existential threat. He defended Romneycare.
His list falls into 3 categories:
- Positions or votes that other conservatives thought were good at the time
- Positions or votes that were smaller pieces of bigger legislation (hold your nose votes)
- Outright misrepresentations.
I was outraged at Michele Bachmann for saying Newt Gingrich approved of partial birth abortion, because he refused to cut of funding to some liberal GOP members that gave him the majority to pass OTHER conservative legislation. How ANYONE can think she was the “principled” conservative by trying to smear and slander a fellow conservative OVERTLY LYING about what his decision meant is beyond me.
Rush Limbaugh pointed this out about George Will’s comment that Newt was a Marxist and then did it himself trying to whitewash EVERYTHING that Bain Capital did even though he himself really didn’t know!
Conservative People! This has to stop!
Here is my quick rebuttal I posted at WND:
Wow. I was kind of beginning to like Abrahamoff but his wildly inaccurate piece has caused me to rethink reading his book. Unlike others, I don't automatically discount him because he was a selfish, corrupt lobbyist who truly cared more about his own pocketbook than principle.
People change. I did. so I am open.
But buried within his opening screed are numerous factual errors. Yes, Gingrich hesitantly supported TARP. As did Paul Ryan who most conservatives agree is given a pass because none of us really knew what the hell it all meant at the time and how serious the problem was.
Most of the programs he cites are those REAGAN was for as well. You can't argue away the fact that Gingrich's ACU rating is the highest of the field and Congressmen ENDORSING Gingrich have an average 96% rating while Romney's supporters average 88%.
You don't "manufacture" Conservative ratings like picking one thing out of a bigger bill and claiming he voted for "it" instead of the object of the larger bill.
Abramhoff embarrasses himself on Cap and Trade. I am in the clean energy biz and when the data first came out our advisers at Lawrence Livermore and major universities agreed it might be happening. (We didn't stop Hitler on his first pronouncement of facism because it took a while for us to process what he was really doing.) Similarly, when it became clear the data was cooked - Gingirch was the KEYNOTE REBUTTAL to Al Gore AGAINST Cap and Trade.
Jack somehow thinks it is ok to just leave that little piece out.
Like any of the commentators here on this article, it is pretty damn easy to second history when you are the one making the decisions. If Gingrich was as bad as what he says, why would Michael Reagan - who has not endorsed ANYONE in a primary prior to this year - and who considers himself the defender of his father's legacy - not only endorse Newt but campaign for him? As does Laffer, Sowell, former National Security Chief Bud Mcfarlane and others?
Gingrich made many boneheaded decisions in the 20 years he was in office. NOT among them was leading the “Second” Reagan Revolution, initiating tax cuts, reforming welfare, passing 2 partial birth abortion bills and helping not only to take over Congress for the first time in 50 years – but to personally START the careers of other conservatives like Mike Pence.
Reagan signed into law REAL amnesty. Not the opportunity for illegals with families here for 25 years to go before a local board to let their peers determine if they can STAY (not have citizenship). Reagan allowed CITIZENSHIP to illegals Reagan also increased for foreign aid!
I finished my rebuttal comment by mentioning what Michael Reagan said about his father:
“Had my dad been standing in the debate as a possible nominee of the party, Rick Santorum would have attacked him on abortion,” Reagan said. “(Michele) Bachmann would have attacked him on marriage. Everybody would have attacked him on taxes. Yet every one of them today would tell you he was the greatest president of our lifetime. If you snapshot people the way we do today, you can find wrong with everybody. We have a tendency not to look at the whole of a person but to take them in snapshots.”
Michael also goes on (at that time) say he probably would not endorse anyone because he just “doesn’t put that mantle on just anyone”
He is now fiercely endorsing and defending Newt Gingrich including this defense of Gingrich’s immigration position.
The SisterToldjah.com piece was very interesting. Although the subject was the Elliot Abrams article – she went off launching in a million other non-related Gingrich indictments as we commentators often do. I had seen the link flying around on Twitter all day and didn’t have time to look at it until right before I had to head out to meet some people for dinner. I was struck by the immediate acceptance of Abrams charges as factual proof that Gingrich was a liar, he hated Reagan and undermined REAL conservatives.
What was that Michael Reagan had just said about judging someone by “snapshots?”
So I wrote a bit of a protest comment that SISTER’s portrayal of Gingrich was FACTUALLY wrong on a number of points. She immediately began pouting on Twitter.
I had passive aggressive people and so not wanting to be one myself – I tried to engage her in as friendly of a way as possible. And she is normally very cheerful, respectful so I was a bit unprepared for the immovable stance she took that I pointed out she was wrong on some things.
One of those things was the “Paul Ryan Conservative Social Experiment” issue. Frankly, I was more shocked that someone as knowledgeable as her had not done the research on this as she used it as an excuse that Gingrich was “against conservatives.”
Well now, is Paul Ryan a liberal because HE voted for TARP? Is Paul Ryan no longer a conservative because he UNDERMINED Jim DeMint to “hold the line” during the budget debate instead of giving into the RINO’s that ended up cutting our military by $1 Trillion and allowing Obama to keep spending?
I’m so sick of having to be the one to do the homework here but once and for all but for all of you LAZY conservatives who can’t be bothered to look beyond a BLAZE headline for your education, here are the facts:
- David Gregory asked if Newt would buck public opposition to implementing Ryan’s plan IF IT WAS UNPOPULAR.
- Newt was responding to FORCING the Ryan Plan on America the way ObamaCare was forced upon us.
- Newt’s own newsletter PRAISED the Ryan plan 3 days before this interview.
- Newt had praised Paul Ryan over and over again prior to this.
- Newt was GENIUINELY shocked, people took it the way they did.
- Listen ESPECIALLY to the end of the interview. He is concerned about how to educate Americans who think they are entitled to free services TO TAKE PERSONALY RESPONSIBILTY! The same subject as his course that the Democrats tried to lay the ethics charges on!
It is a problem being as smart as Newt is. When asked if it’s going to rain he is already 20 thoughts in progression down the line talking about reducing irrigation regulations from the EPA. It gets him in trouble because he is thinking of IMPLICATIONS and EFFECTS – not the question itself. This is the FAIREST audio bite I could find on the matter where Bill Bennett helps Newt to see that others assumed he was attacking Paul Ryan. It both exonerates Gingrich and shows a blindness that not everyone is thinking at his level.
So back to the lovely SisterToldjah and the politijim spat.
Elliot Abrams (who everyone knows was RINO establishment in the Reagan administration, who lived and co-wrote communist papers with the founder of Young People’s Socialist League and who was HUGELY at fault in hurting Reagan himself during Iran Contra and cut some kind of deal to avoid multiple felony charges) should not so easily be accepted as a legitimate source on matters conservative.
It is published in National Review Online no less, the former William F. Buckley Jr. publication that RUSH LIMBAUGH acknowledged was totally run by the GOP Establishment.
Here was my reply when i returned to dinner – followed by her reply – followed by my reply to her reply.
TO ME it is a prime example of why there is such animus among conservatives, and why the ELITE’s are not just successfully creating chaos in our ranks, but even among major influencers like Rush, Levin and others. We have got to ALL have a “jones” for the truth and not be so quick to judge the candidates – or each other. (I have cleaned up a few typos from my original reply posted on her site.)
Thanks for the discussion on Twitter earlier. Sorry, I had to meet people for dinner and now need to get back to my REAL job.
But a couple of points slightly longer than 140 characters.
- I never called you a RINO even DEFENDED YOU FIERCELY when Palinista’s and DeMint “hold the line” backers were doing so to you last year. I like you although i don’t always agree with you.
- I don’t mean to insinuate you are a “bad” blogger, or even USUALLY wrong (although you seemed pretty blind to the Perry’s deficiencies :) ), and i agree with you none of us are served by defending a personality rather than the FACTS. For instance – on PolitiJim you can find 3 critical posts about Gingrich ESPECIALLY on immigration and his former squishiness on Global Warming. (When the charge and data was new, he suggested that IF TRUE government could get involved but was the KEYNOTE REBUTTAL to AL GORE against Cap and TRADE when it went to the floor for hearings.). He should have waited (like my company did) until the data was more conclusive.
3. Regarding Reagan. My umbrage with your “slant” is that you take NRO – who wrote an “anyone but Newt” endorsement before Iowa and is stacked (as Rush puts it) with Establishment types is all the proof you need. You somehow conclude from one letter (from moderate Elliot Abrams no less) that the entire sum of Gingrich’s “Reagan” credential on national security is wrapped up in one very obviously slanted letter.
Of course then it is hard to explain why Bud McFarlane, Reagan’s REAL National Security Adviser, not only endorsed him – but publicly stated on camera in New Hampshire (paraphrasing) that Reagan had no better friend in National Security matters. He also went on to tell Newt he would help him ANYWHERE he could.
And then there is this:
Reagan WH Political Dir. Jeffrey Lord: http://bit.ly/zw2ZMb
Reagan Economist Art Laffer: http://bit.ly/xEDETi
Reagan Natl Security Advisor Bud McFarlane: http://bit.ly/zd9eAF
Reagan’s Dir. of Speechwriting Bently Elliott: http://thedc.com/xOkDvA
(H/T and THX to @Josh_Painter)
So when Newt simply repeats Ronald Reagan’s SON and self described “defender of my father’s legacy,” you can see where it might seem less than accurate to conclude he wasn’t a conservative on military matters.
There is very good insight on my post from yesterday rehashing a PBS interview from 1989. – http://www.politijim.com/2012/01/newts-was-hated-but-elected-anyway-in.html
There you have Lee Atwater (Regan’s equivalent of Karl Rove) quoting that Newt is the future of the GOP. And he was the conservative who fought Reagan on some of his appointments.
It also describes Jeffery Lord’s showdown with John Warner on DEMANDING US Sovereignty be in Reagan’s platform.
Now back to REAL work.
AND A STUNNING
REPLY FROM SisterTOLDJAH
Let’s see, you have one endorsement posted twice (Jeff Lord – an endorsement noted in an update to my post, which you obviously didn’t read), an endorsement from a former Huntsman backer who defected once Huntsman dropped out (Quinn). Laffer may have endorsed Newt, but he said this of Romney: ““He’s a good man. And he would make a good president.” And the rest really don’t mean much of anything to me nor do they go to the heart of my point, which is that Newt is almost pathological in his misrepresentations and distortions of his political career – endorsements and/or praise from a few Reagan-era officials don’t change that.
BTW, Romney’s also been endorsed by Reagan-era peeps – 34 at last count.
All righty then. I’ll admit. I was tempted to go another direction here. But this idea that we counter a very diligent, referenced argument without ACKNOWLEDGING those arguments, much less countering them with facts – is simply inexplicable to me.
Even wanting to pass off Laffer’s endorsement when A) He did NOT endorse Romney, B) He acknowledged that Gingrich was very much a part of developing Supply Side Economics and C) Why would Laffer’s comments go beyond the economic world where Romney’s plan – while weak – would still be better than Barack’s – really doesn’t prove HER point which is that Gingrich is NOT entitled to use the “Reagan” label.
I must admit I’m a bit annoyed here, but trying to be civil. I don’t tolerate those people who blindly throw around unsubstantiated facts and feel completely entitled to make wild charges against ANY of the candidates – but they themselves are somehow beyond reproach from being critiqued.
You tell me how i did. I don’t really want to make enemies because, as I told her on twitter, we are ALL going to need each other regardless of who ends up being the nominee.
Nice try. Again “Reagan era peeps” are not all equal. Bob Dole was a Reagan “era” and as the Lord article reveals (and we already know) he’s certainly not a true conservative.
Are you sure you want to argue “numbers of peeps” You have always seemed to be a little more intellectual about your opinions than what you are displaying here.
You don’t address the Bud McFarlane (who would trump nearly EVERY Reagan era official on national security by the way).
You also don’t seem to mention that Elliot Abrams roomed with, and wrote college papers, with the founder of the Young People’s Socialist League. Nor do you mention how badly HE hurt Reagan in Iran Contra.
You don’t address the issue of Michael Reagan AT ALL.
This leads me to believe one of two things. A) You are intellectually dishonest and don’t care about discussing REAL facts and truth (which I know can’t be right because I follow you and Phineas religiously), or
B) You simply don’t want to be “wrong” rather than intelligently discussing the facts.
Don’t forget. YOU WROTE
The issue here is Newt’s, to put it charitably, exaggerations when it comes to his “close” relationship with President Reagan.
There is no way you actually READ the links I gave you or the 100 hours of research I that was put into MY Articles on my blog regarding Newt’s background since I made the post of links.
That would require a little work and research. That wouldn’t allow you to glance at a few facts lob a bomb back at me and move on”
And yet YOU were the one wondering why people were getting so out of joint rather than coming together.
I give you an honest opening to intelligently discuss facts and you act…like a main stream media news reporter who just takes what others say as fact.
As I posted in my article (which you obviously did not read) Gingrich has every right to claim a “close” connection to Reagan. You think Adams and Jefferson couldn’t make the claim they knew each other just because they attacked each other during a Presidential run?
It is this kind of emotionally blast first and then think later THAT YOU ARE ACCUSING GINGRICH OF!!!
Don’t you see the hypocrisy?
But people can read and decide for themselves which one of us is trying to simply “win an argument” and which of us is trying to “get to the truth” and come together to fight the real enemy.
Barack Hussein Obama and liberal encroachments of freedom.
My hand is open in friendship to learn and discuss. You go ahead and slap it away if you want.
There are those like Coulter yelling DONT BE FOOLED ABOUT NEWT!
There are those of us out there saying DONT BE FOOLED BY THE PEOPLE SAYING NOT TO BE FOOLED BY NEWT!
Well let’s put this “Reagan” thing to rest once and for all. If you won’t take the word it’s OK for Newt to paint himself in all colors Ronnie because Reagonomics architect, Ronald Reagan’s Son, Reagan’s National Security Advisor or the late great Lee Atwater aren’t good enough for you, perhaps the CLOSEST person to Ronald Reagan would be sufficient. Nancy Regan says that Ronald Reagan gave the torch to Newt.
And honestly if anyone still wants to hang on to the idea that Newt Gingrich isn’t worthy of not just carrying Reagan’s Revolution and improving on it – you really need to take a long hard look in the mirror. Because if FACTS can not persuade your thinking, you have the same condition liberals do of worshipping at the altar of your own bias.
UPDATE: Some (who will remain nameless) said the Jeffery Lord article didn’t convince them that Elliot Abrams wasn’t correct. As one charged with dealing with speakers on behalf of the Administration, Mr. Lord is quite taken aback at this sudden abhorrence of Mr. Abrams.
Never… not once… did Elliott Abrams ever say to me something along the lines of "that SOB Newt said X." Never. I never heard it from Elliott, and perhaps even more to the point I never heard it from a colleague in our office. One would hear things about, say, then Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter or some such. The President himself would get irked at Specter. But Newt Gingrich? Anti-Reagan? A problem of some sort for the Reagan White House political office? Not a prayer.
In fairness I should mention two things. Mr. Lord (contrary to the opinion of some) believes Mr. Abrams was unfairly being targeted on Iran Contra. He DOES say in the new article he felt he was often wrong on Reagan foreign policy.