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Post Partisan
Posted at 01:18 PM ET, 11/28/2011

Newt climbs as GOP still Hunts for a credible nominee


The Union Leader’s endorsement of Newt Gingrich for president Sunday gave his resurgent campaign a much-needed boost. But it is flawed on many levels. Jennifer Rubin calls it “another case of selective conservative amnesia” because it glosses over the former speaker’s many faults. Then there’s this one bit in the Manchester, N.H., newspaper’s Gingrich rah-rah that is dead wrong.

Truth be known, many in the liberal media are belittling the Republican candidates because they don’t want any of them to be taken as a serious challenger to their man, Obama.

Considering I’m a left-leaning chatterer who has already bemoaned that the GOP field of 2012 is nowhere near the caliber of the 2008 Democratic field, it will come as a no surprise that I don’t think any of the flavors of the month, including “just plain vanilla,” deserves to be taken seriously — neither as a candidate for president of the United States nor as a serious challenger to President Obama.

Gingrich disqualified himself in September 2010 when he splashed around in the pool occupied by folks like Dinesh D’Souza who believe the president hates America and occupies his office illegitimately.

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”
“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich tells us.

Rick Perry disqualified himself last month by basically ignoring the “Niggerhead” controversy and other instances of stunning racial insensitivity. As I wrote then, if Perry can’t or won’t address these serious and legitimate concerns, he should abandon his run. Race and racism must not be ducked by anyone who aspires to be president of the United States. Perry continues to duck, aided and abetted by a primary electorate that doesn’t want to deal with race when it lurks in its own back yard. Which leads me to Herman Cain, the only African American in the race for the Republican nomination.

Cain disqualified himself at a CNN debate in June when he said that he wouldn’t be comfortable appointing a Muslim to his cabinet “because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us.” Ever since, from his handling of serious sexual-harassment allegations to his inability to handle a softball question on Libya, Cain has proven how unfit and unqualified he is to lead this nation. And nary a peep from a party that once prided itself on competence.

Meanwhile, “just plain vanilla” (a.k.a. Mitt Romney) continues his role as the old standby, the if-all-the-other-flavors-are-out alternative. The problem for the former Massachusetts governor is that no one wants him as the alternative. That he has been ideologically promiscuous hasn’t helped, either.  

Erick Erickson of the Red State blog vaporized him with a rhetorical ray gun this month, writing that Romney’s winning the GOP nomination would mean the end of conservatism and the reelection of Obama. “There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides,” he wrote. “He is neither liberal nor conservative. He is simply unprincipled.” This “two men trapped in the same body” sentiment is what the Democratic National Committee is pounding home in an ad released today in six states.

To my mind, the only Republican candidate standing is former Utah governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman. He’s a true conservative made to seem “liberal” because he believes in crazy things such as evolution, climate change and according same-sex relationships a modicum of respect by the government to which gay men and lesbians faithfully pay taxes. But, as a Huntsman supporter told me earlier this month, “Your liking him is not helpful.”

Pity.

By  |  01:18 PM ET, 11/28/2011

 
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