Witte: Gingrich hardly deserves Republican nomination


Photo: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

Newt Gingrich makes his way through a standing room only crowd on Sunday, Jan. 1 at West Towne Pub in Ames. Crowd memebers included a a group of high school students from Ohio in Iowa to learn about the caucus.

Jacob Witte

I am not a fan of the current trends in this charade known as American politics. Rancor is pervasive in Washington, D.C., and across the country. Following the 111th Congress, which was the most productive congressional session since the Great Society, we have this turd of a Congress in the 112th, which has passed no substantial bills into law (except the National Defense Authorization Act, which will be covered in a future column), and has been mired in partisanship and the unwillingness or inability to compromise to get anything done.

Then, along comes this 18-month pseudo-event known as the presidential campaign. After what seems like scores of debates with Republicans, which are splashed with as much red, white, blue and heartless audience members as possible, Republicans are still in the process of narrowing down the number of people vying to become the candidate who gets to potentially “dethrone” Barack Obama.

Michele Bachmann has recently quit her campaign, and it is only a matter of time until more candidates drop out as well. The campaign has been full of horrendously negative and offensive advertisements and candidates sniping shots at each other during debates. The campaign has been a horror show up until now. And then there’s Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich represents all that is wrong in American politics today. Gingrich’s campaign, although promising to be positive against other Republicans, has been as vitriolic and scurrilous as any campaign could be against Obama. Gingrich has called Obama a socialist on too many occasions to count, going so far as to say he has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview.

And he doesn’t hold any punches for the American people either. He is constantly berating intellectuals (even though he claims to be one), college campuses and professors, the LGBT community, non-Christians and any other group that can be associated with the word “liberal.”

He has said in 2010 that “the secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” And last year, Newt stated that he is “convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age, they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists.” And although I’m not sure how a completely secular government could be run by radical Islamists, these statements hardly are in line with a person, as president, who is supposed to represent Americans in the world.

Newt also holds any legal precedent he disagrees with in complete contempt, going so far to say that U.S. marshals should be sent to keep judges from making legal rulings that are, in his view, “un-American.” He also said that a judge (and their rulings, likely) should be abolished if they rule in an “un-American” fashion.

Gingrich also very recently, when asked if he would purchase a house in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, replied, “No, I can’t afford things like that. I’m not rich.” This is, of course, a flat out lie. When filing to run for president, Gingrich disclosed that his net worth is at least $6.7 million, and that he made at least $2.6 million in 2010 alone. He also has bragged that he pulls in $60,000 for public speaking engagements, and earlier in 2011 he was caught with an outstanding bill at Tiffany and Co. for more than $500,000. If that’s not rich, then I would love to be poor!

This type of arrogance is nothing new for Gingrich who, if you may recall, led the crusade against President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky scandal while, at the same time, carrying on his own extramarital affair with a woman 23 years his junior, Callista Bisek, who is now his wife.

Newt is also the only speaker of the house in the history of the country who has been convicted of ethics violations. A total of 84 counts of ethics violations were brought to Gingrich, and after many were dropped, the House voted 395-28, overwhelmingly bipartisan, to convict and fine Gingrich of $300,000. Gingrich would later resign as the speaker and as a congressman.

Also, during his time as speaker, he showed no interest in governing, being a very vocal proponent of the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996. It is perplexing that a candidate who is running for president of the United States, the leader of the government, can have such little interest in actually governing.

Gingrich’s presidential campaign will soon come to an end when he realizes that conservatives have had enough with his bully tactics and outlandish quotations. “Washed up” is a perfect example of the type of politician Newt Gingrich is. His 15 minutes of fame happened back in the 1990s, and his career has been floundering ever since.