Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newt Gingrich for smaller government? His record says otherwise

Newt Gingrich
The Opinion Blog from the Myrtle Beach (SC) Sun-News cites chapter and verse about Newt Gingrich's voting record and activities since leaving the House of Representatives. His social conservative positions are fairly sound, if social conservatives are willing to accept his serial marriages; but he certainly is no libertarian. Among his questionable decisions:
[H]e has partnered with Hillary Clinton to advocate health-care IT legislation, with Al Sharpton and Arne Duncan to promote President Barack Obama's education reforms, and with Nancy Pelosi in an ad stressing the importance of taking action on climate change . Gingrich angered Republicans by criticizing Paul Ryan's plan to reform Medicare.
The writer, Braden Goyette, also notes that Mr. Gingrich pressed President Clinton to balance the budget, but agreed to do so (in part) by increasing tax revenues. He also notes that last year, Mr. Gingrich's consulting firm accepted between $1.6 and $1.8 million for his consulting services to Freddie Mac, in an effort to help the firm more effectively market to political conservatives.

Like most neoconservatives, Mr. Gingrich has supported an aggressive foreign policy, and, if sources like this one are to be believed (and I am not vouching for them), a domestic police state as well. Among Mr. Gingrich's positions cited were a large increase in federal education spending, support for curtailing First and Fourth Amendment rights to fight terrorism, Singapore-style drug testing for Americans, support for the Fairness Doctrine in communications policy, and the USA PATRIOT Act. The same source says that he wants to revise the Geneva Convention to exempt terrorists from its prisoner of war protections. And many more items.

All the loose talk about Mr. Gingrich's marriages obscures one essential fact. He is, at best, an unreliable advocate for liberty in America. He is inconsistent in his positions on fiscal responsibility. He is not the man we need in 2012 to reverse President Obama's policies -- if indeed, he has any desire to do so.

Update 1/24: Here is a concurring opinion from The Daily Caller, which shows why the Tea Party, in particular, should avoid Mr. Gingrich.

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