Newt Gingrich: conservative no more

Ronald Reagan understood Communism and socialism
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Newt Gingrich said some very un-conservative things today, and ruined his reputation by doing it. And he might never undo the damage.

The ex-Representative from Georgia showed up on NBC-TV’s Meet the Press. In his interview with host David Gregory, he tried to lay out what he meant by this:

I believe we can return America to hope and opportunity, to full employment, to real security, to an American energy program, to a balanced budget.

Sadly, he means forcing people to buy health insurance, just like Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. Newt Gingrich tried to say that his idea was different from Obama’s.

In, in the first place, Obama basically is trying to replace the entire insurance system, creating state exchanges, building a Washington-based model, creating a federal system. I believe all of us—and this is going to be a big debate—I believe all of us have a responsibility to help pay for healthcare …


That makes no difference. In an earlier interview (play the above clip), Gingrich proposed a voucher system that he admitted was “a sliding scale of subsidies.” That’s what the Obama law provides. And Gingrich used the same defense of his idea that the Democrats have used, on the stump and in court: that health insurance must become like automobile insurance, which no State allows any motorist to drive without. But driving is a privilege, not a right, so comparing health to auto insurance doesn’t work. Judge Andrew Napolitano has said that often enough to set it to music.

Gingrich also called Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare reform “right-wing social engineering.” He objected to “radical change.” He forgets that “radical change” got the country into this mess in the first place, and only “radical change” will get us out of it.

Furthermore, Gingrich said that Congress must “avoid default if [they] possibly can.” That means raising the debt ceiling. And like the White House, Gingrich had no proof that default would result from not raising the debt ceiling, or even that a “technical default” (making the bondholders wait a few days for their interest payments) would be so bad.

Newt Gingrich’s remarks did not impress the American Federalist Journal. They accused him of “sandbagging” his fellow Republicans. The Wall Street Journal said much the same, as did RedState.

Newt Gingrich is already in trouble with conservatives on several issues, including:

  1. Immigration. NumbersUSA gives him a D minus. He has a “bad” record on limiting immigration overall and in ending “chain migration” (bringing the whole family in after you). On two-thirds of all immigration issues that NumbersUSA tracks, Newt Gingrich is “unhelpful.”
  2. Morals. He served divorce papers on his wife while she was in the hospital taking a chemical cure for cancer, and he has never made it up with her or anyone likely to sympathize with her.

This latest talk cannot help. Most Tea Party activists want “ObamaCare” gone. Some are suing to make it go away, or supporting others who have sued. Every one of those lawsuits says that to do what Obama did, and what Newt Gingrich said today that he would do, is unconstitutional.

An old proverb says:

Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Newt Gingrich did the second thing today.

Editor-in-chief at | + posts

Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

26 Responses to Newt Gingrich: conservative no more

  1. Joseph says:

    It doesn’t appear there are any decent conservative candidates. Oh well, let things continue as they are. Sooner or later it will reach a boiling point, the outcome of which shall not be favorable to liberals. The question is, will the nation they have destroyed be salvageable? If the American people are to stand up to the cancer that has plaqued them for so long, can they recover from it? If the shackles that the Nazi liberals have forged and bound us with are to come off, we must face the possibilty that the damage they have done to this once great nation, damage we allowed them to do, may be irreversible. The freedoms and liberty that the founders fought so hard for may pass into the annals of history. We would only ourselves to blame.

  2. Rob Herbert says:

    “Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    And yet you keep posting, Terry. You should follow your own advice.

  3. John says:

    I like to think of myself as a Christian conservative, and I like to vote conservative, but I’m beginning to realize that to other conservatives, I am neither a Christian, nor a conservative.

    What I’m coming to see is this: to some conservatives, unless you agree with them on EVERY single issue, you are not a conservative. Let me give a few examples:

    I happen to have no problem with the theory of evolution. I always thought that science was supposed to be somewhat apolitical, the facts are the facts. I’m learning this is not true, because I reject a literal interpretation of Genesis, I am apparently an atheist (despite being a Sunday school teacher).

    I do not think that America is a Christian nation. This isn’t to degrade Christianity, this is because by the laws of this nation we are explicitly not a Christian nation. If you don’t believe me, look at Article 6 of the Constitution and then Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli.

    Healthcare in this country is a joke, and one of the worst in the industrialized world. We pay more than anybody, and yet the services rendered are less than anywhere else. I support healthcare reform completely, hell, I wish we had just come up with a single-payer system, declare healthcare an inalienable right, and be done with it. Is this socialism? Who cares? Looking at other nations, it seems to be the wisest decision, no matter what -ism you want to call it.

    And now I find out that I am not a conservative because of this, just like the guy who engineered Republican control of the House through the 1990s.

    I vote Republican across the board, because I happen to agree with conservatives on many issues, usually those relating to fiscal policy (although this has become a massive disappointment of late since no jobs bills are even being discussed). Slowly, as I read more about conservatives on the internet, I’m realizing more and more that I’m probably an independent, and should probably stop voting for people who don’t think I’m conservative enough in the first place.

  4. Linda L Hill says:

    Americans, Let us not forget, we the People out number the folks in our Government. It is up to us to decide who will be elected or not. Keep you eyes and ears wide open, listen for the Truth, God will lead us to who should be our candidate for President, but first the weeds must be cast out. Sincerely, Linda L Hill

  5. Terry – Spot on focus regarding Gingrich’s obvious departure from genuine conservative values! My first thought when I heard this news, confirmed for me that Gingrich had RHINO leanings. I have also been disappointed that Gingrich has been a proponent of green religion. [Believing in man-made, global warming]

  6. Joseph says:

    What I find truly hilarious is that liberals and neocons, like Rob (you’re not fooling anyone), believe themselves to be the logical ones and that the right is just a bunch of hate-filled idiots. They are by far more fanatical and zealous than any other religion, Christian or pagan. They put their faith in Big Science and the Scientific establishment and never question their so called truths. A charge they so gleefully apply to their opposition. As for you, Rob, we do care whether it is socialism or not. We would rather be free and suffer than have our needs met under the yoke of the government. This was our country first. We (Conservative Christians) made it and you attempted to take it from us. If you do not like it, then you can go elsewhere. Why don’t you visit Europe and see first hand what socialism has done for them?

  7. Joseph says:

    By the way, John. It doesn’t matter what you believe yourself to be. A wolf can don wool, but does that make him a sheep? Conservatives are defined by their belief sets as are liberals. If you do not adhere to those beliefs, then you can not claim to be what they represent. Id est, if my ideologies and beliefs are liberal, than I can not be a conservative for the word conservative denotes an entirely different set of beliefs. Same goes for your so called religion. Conservative Christianity, by its definition, requires a belief that the Bible is fact. Therefore, if you can not call yourself a conservative christian if you do not believe this. A common deceptive tactic employed by liberals is to call themselves conservative, neoconservative or moderate to misrepresent conservatives and marginalize them by attempting to represent themselves as mainstream or moderate. Liberals play all kinds of words games and use all sorts of deceptive propaganda to promote their religion. A good example is what was demonstrated above. They declare their side to be right from the getgo, demonizing their opposition and claiming that anything contrary to their beliefs is absurd. They will not even consider the merit of their oppositions’ arguement if they even allow the opportunity. In short, they make the claim that they, and they alone, know the truth and what is best for people, regardless of the will of those they oppress. They are no different from the monarchies and nobility of the past who believed they had divine right to rule. They are a dangerous threat to liberty and to us.

  8. John says:

    Joseph,
    The things you say make me wonder if you are a parodist. You’re certainly a funny man, although you come off as a little tense.

    Liberalism and (neo-)conservatism are not religions. They do not fit the definition of religion unless you either modify the definition of one of those terms or modify the definition of religion to selectively encompass them. This would be silly, as that still wouldn’t be the accepted definition.

    Big Science? You’re playing with conspiracy theories here.

    What is socialism? What do you mean when you use the word socialism? Can you name some current socialist countries? Tell me about how awful they are.

    It’s hard to believe that “Conservative Christians” made this country and “you” attempted to take it from them. This country has always been a mix of people, from the colonization forward. This diversity has only grown. By the time of the Revolution, there were more religions in America than Christianity. On top of that there were literally hundreds of different sects of Christianity. Most of the Christians couldn’t agree on what kind of Christianity they believed counted as Christian. In Europe a lot of people died because of this disagreement. It was a beautiful thing that British Americans had managed to put aside most of those differences.

    These British Americans who decided to rebel were decidedly not conservatives by definition at the time. They were proposing treason against the king, with good reason. Not all of them were Christians. Benjamin Franklin was a deist, and Pennsylvania was founded by the Quakers (which by your definition of Christianity most certainly are not Christians, despite Quakers making a big deal about Christ’s Peace). Thomas Jefferson was ostensibly a Christian, but he didn’t believe in Church dogma, translated his own version of the Bible from the Greek, which notably features a non-interventionist God and has no divinity of any sort ascribed to Yeshua bar Yusuf, nor his mother. Adams could be described as conservative, except that he was an early feminist (and how could he not be with his wife being who she was?). Adams also signed into law the Treaty of Tripoli, which passed Congress without much debate, a Congress largely made up of people who collectively wrote the Constitution to begin with. This country has always been a great big mix of people, not all of which at any point have been Christian or conservative.

    I’m not sure what you think being conservative means. I think you think it means I have to agree with you on every talking point, or I’m not a conservative. How in the hell does the Republican party win elections that way?

    I’ll admit, I’m largely a Republican because my family has always been Republican, and the candidate I’m supporting in the primary is Gary Johnson, who is less conservative than most in social issues, and far more conservative and reasonable on maintaining a small fiscally sound government than all others.

    And that’s the difference between you and me, friend, that last paragraph. I made a concession. That’s what marks me as not a fanatic. Nonetheless, what you’re proclaiming will marginalize the conservative movement, leaving no room for middle ground or compromise. Without healthy debate, concession, and agreement, democracy can’t happen. The Republic will fall apart. It did once. It took the President most likely to be a secret atheist to put it back together again. That’s sad, but it makes me proud to be a Republican.

    I will insist however that I am a Christian, and your denial of this *fact* is not in the teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I do not believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis, I still believe Genesis to be factual as a metaphor. This strengthens my Christian faith, and heightens my enjoyment of the Bible, it does not detract from it, oh ye of little faith. It is worth pointing out that most of the eminent bible scholars also reject a literal interpretation of Genesis, and instead believe it was read as a first prayer to calm the mind and focus parishioners on matters of faith.

    What will damage and destroy this country is your insistence that it is a zero-sum, black and white game. A war between Liberalism and Conservatism, a battle of good and evil, this is nonsense. I like to read this site because I don’t always agree with it, and I comment not to tear it down, but to attempt to get some additional perspective. You come off as quite hostile, as though you’d like nothing more than if I just shut up and stopped adding traffic to Terry and RoseAnn’s site. I happen to like the discussion here, even with you who are so quick to impugn a man you’ve never met.

    Lastly, I’ve been to Europe, but I know that you haven’t. Europe is a lovely, beautiful place, not all of it, but neither is America. If there is one thing to be said about Europeans, they certainly come off as being more civilized than Americans. Also, when I broke my wrist in England, I didn’t have to wait in any lines, I didn’t have to pay any money, and they reimbursed me for the cab fare getting to the hospital. A fortnight before when I lost my glasses in a bar in Amsterdam, a group of British men saw me looking and all pitched in to help me find them. I cannot say anything of the sort has ever happened to me in America.

    Godspeed friend,
    John

  9. Joseph says:

    Religion, beliefs, ideologies, philisophies, ad nauseam. It matters little what you call it. It matters little what you believe for that has no bearing on objective reality. You prove my point by downplaying me as a conspiracy theorist. Anyone that disagrees with your monopoly on the truth is a fool, no? You attempt to rewrite history to support your world view. There were no hundeds of different sects of Christianity at the time. Nor was there all this diversity, as you claim. Funny how only in recent years has any of the founders’ faith come into question. You even have the audacity to say that the issues are not important, that things are not black and white. The president you claim united this country did not. He authorized the brutal murder, rape and pillaging of the South. He did not unite the country. He did more than just beat an army. He engaged in horrific war crimes against his fellow countrymen. Men and women of all colors who were fighting to stop the expansion of the federal government. You even go as far as to cast yourselves as heroes and demonize the South. What is truly sickening though is your elitism. You go as far as to say that we never owned this country and we are hurting it. You talk down upon us and say there is no actual conservativism. It is just a collection of moderates with varying beliefs and people like me are the minority. Liberals are decievers. And yes, I am a little tense. I’ve watched as you and your ilk have destroyed this country all the while hiding behind the banners of “progress” and “liberty”. Despite your belief to the contrary, you are not the majority. We are. Things will reach a boiling point soon. We will take this country back. Everyday, more and more people are waking up to the sobering lies of the left. You ask how can people buy into Republicans, or more accurately conservatives? It is because they agree with us. You also seem to have missed my point entirely earlier. It doesn’t matter what you claim to be. Faiths and belief systems have tenets. If you do not believe them, then you can not call yourself a follower. If you don’t believe the whole Bible as the word of God, then you are not a Conservative Christian, plain and simple. You may be a liberal christian or maybe a feel good christian, but not a Conservative Christian. I say all this in wasted breath though, as you are so far into your fanatical zeal you will not give any of my words serious consideration. You so condensendingly wrote off my mention of big science a conspiracy theory, and yet you claim to be objective? That is humorous. As a little note of interest to you, Jesus believed all of the old testament to be factual. I’m sure if you actually take time to read His words you will find the passages.

  10. […] on May 18th, 2011 Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came out swinging for ObamaCare a few days ago.  On NBC’s “Meet the Press” he […]

  11. John says:

    Joseph, I’ve already schooled out on legal and historical matters, must we add sociology to the mix?

    The trend has been toward an increase in liberalism over history, rather than leaning toward conservatism. A big example would be interracial marriages in the United States, and the civil rights movement in general. These were huge defeats for conservatism.

    Religion didn’t really get heavily mixed into right wing politics until Jerry Falwell. Prior to that, conservatives were not nearly as obsessed with Christianity.

    Big Republican wins are happening in smaller and smaller margins. The wins this last November had less to do with the tea party and a lot of conservatives getting to the polls, and more to do with the democratic base feeling snubbed by Democrats, and not bothering to vote (had Democrats maintained the same voter turn out they had in 2008, the Republicans would likely have lost seats, not gained them). Amongst younger votes, progressives outnumber conservatives by margins larger than 2:1.

    If conservatives are to maintain any semblance of political power, and not marginalize themselves, they must become a party of inclusion, which means not telling other Christians that they are atheists because they happen to not believe in a literal interpretation of the bible. Biblical literalism as a political strategy is a plan for long-term suicide.

  12. […] Newt Gingrich: conservative no more […]

  13. Paul Basso says:

    A couple of things.
    First , you seems to forget that people driving without insurance are just irresponsible and we need to carry uninsured motor vehicle insurance to cover for them.
    Looks very similar to people with out medical insurance expecting for Us (the rest) to made up for their lack of responsibility.
    I know plenty of people with enough money to pay for health insurance who believe that health care should be government responsibility so find multiple ways to cheat the system.
    I pay around $14000 a year for health insurance and over this I got to pay deductibles and co pays and honestly I’m sick and tire of irresponsible people , full of criticism but no solutions like yourself.
    Second, you ask people to judge the character of this man based on the timing to present divorce papers ?
    Are you sure you made so many right decisions in your life and become so righteous that you got the right to try to smear and condemn someone character without having all the facts ?
    And third, I guess you must be an expert in many fields, because after the hoax of global warming was unveiled a lot of geniuses appeared all together, (I’m completely sure you’re not one of them and you knew it for the very beginning right?).
    Anyway I’m one of the fools along with the Speaker that have to admit that use to believe in science and fall for this fraud.
    Does this make me a walking failure ? I hope not.
    I guess I just got more experienced and more cautious now, things that I notice in Mr.Gingrich character along with a long record to back up words.
    Just one question, is this all you got?

    Sincerely Paul Basso

    • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

      Mr. Basso:

      In answer to the first question: have you forgotten that driving is a privilege, not a right? Have you forgotten that the easiest way not to have an accident is not to drive? And if you haven’t forgotten that, then how can you compare driving to simple breathing?

      If anyone out there is thinking that the government ought to be responsible for health care, then that’s one notion that my fellow editor and I are here on this site to knock out of people’s heads. And if that includes knocking it out of your head, too, then so be it.

      Individual responsibility. That’s what people assumed when they built this country. Did Captain John Smith provide “health insurance” for his fellow pioneers at Jamestown? Did William Bradford establish “health insurance” at Plymouth colony? Did General Washington offer anything like “health insurance” for the Continental Army? No to all three. And no such thing as “health insurance” was in force for any of the families that bought the Conestoga wagons that went out west.

      Now to your second question: For your information, I married a lovely woman (one who looked much younger than she really was). For eight years and nine months we were as happy together as any two people can be, until she died. And I never ONCE entertained any thought of adultery, divorce, or any such thing. So if you think that I am not prepared to have people judge me by the full measure that I judge Mr. Gingrich, you’ve got another think coming. And if you have any facts that could possibly excuse, let alone justify, what Mr. Gingrich did, I invite you to present them to me. You know how to reach me in e-mail. Now put up–or shut up.

      And last of all: if you want to defend a deliberate campaign of humbug, bunco, monumental conflict of interest, rent-seeking, and out-and-out scientific fraud, go ahead. You will only embarrass yourself. Frankly, I don’t see how you can continue to take seriously a proposition whose own proponents don’t take it seriously, sometimes. Did you know, for example, that Albert A. Gore never goes anywhere without keeping his automobile engine running at idle, its air-conditioning (or heating) system operating at maximum capacity, just so that he can ride away from his speaking venue in comfort? Or that we just had a snowstorm last weekend, when the fall foliage was still attached? I look out in my yard, and I see the fallen branches from twenty trees lying about. That’s what I think of “anthropogenic global warming.”

      You ask whether that’s all I’ve got? Well, I’ve got plenty. More than you’ve got, because I’ve got one thing that you definitely haven’t got: common sense.

      • Paul Basso says:

        Mr Hurlbut;

        I appreciate the time you took to attempt to answer some of my questions.

        The fact of the matter is that maybe I didn’t express myself if a simple enough manner for you to understand and for this reason I should apologise.

        Regarding driving and breathing I never said that there were the same thing and didn’t say that government should be responsible for provide medical insurance to everyone, what I said was that irresponsible people need “guidance”. The people who refuse to have insurance today,” because they have the right to do so”, is the same people who shows up sick and dying to the Hospitals and demand health care under the slogan “Where is the humanity of this society”.

        So the day you can write me back and give me the assurance that people who chose “not to have insurance” will be left dying in front of emergency rooms maybe I will be on your side.

        Just in case being cautious about people hard to understand, ” I’m talking about people who can afford insurance but they choose not to have it and not about the poor man or family who really can’t”.

        This remark is because I’m completely sure that some twisted mind will use this ” people dying in front of Hospitals” statement as a weapon in the near future.

        Anyway, the second point was you making comments about what kind of men Mr Gingrich is based on a situation of his personal life, and after I tell you that I’m really sorry for your loss , I have to add that if you’re prepared to be judge by others, good for you, the thing is that your personal life is no one business but yourself, like in this case Mr Gingrich.

        The problem I have is with people like yourself, eager to run ,judge and make comments about someone else life without having all the facts in hand.

        So when you have extra details in hand, I mean no only gossip and legal , emotional , personal, etc let me know, mean time I’ll use a little phrase of your repertory “Now put up–or shut up”.

        And at last, I never said that I was in favor of global warming hoax, I did just state that, with no shame at all, I was one of the “fools” who use to believe in science and I learned from my mistakes.

        Please, I hope you understand that this is not a personal attack on your person, I do believe that there is no “PERFECT CANDIDATE” and the more people waste time looking for it , they miss the real potential that some of them have.

        From my point of view Mr Gingrich have more that enough qualifications to take the job and put this Great Country back on his feet, but of course I will always respect humble opinions.

        Is yours one of this ?

        Once again sincerely, Paul Basso

        • Terry A. Hurlbut says:

          Sir:

          The personal life of absolutely any politician becomes public precisely because he is a politician. That goes double for any politician wanting the conservative vote.

          In case you missed it (probably because I didn’t have time to cover it), a study came out providing empirical evidence that conservatives tend to get disgusted with things that liberals seem to find fascinating, or even exhilarating. That’s a fancy way of saying that liberals have no shame, and do not even know what shame is. I could get a lot more graphic, but I shall not. I have made an editorial decision that this shall be a family-friendly site.

          Bottom line: God calls on me to test people and know them by their fruits. I might not be qualified to pass sentence on someone. But I reserve the right to vote against someone for any reason whatever, including the uncontested assertion that that someone behaved in a caddish manner.

          Now about the insurance question: the proper method for dealing with someone who cannot pay is: treat first, and collect later. You don’t have to let a man die. You might, however, reserve the right to proceed against that man to collect what’s due. And there is always the option of private fund-raising. For example, I just returned from a benefit concert held for the benefit of my pastor’s wife. She has undergone some unconventional (and highly successful) treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Lyme arthritis (borrelliosis).

          Last of all, when you said that you “used to be one of the fools who believed in science,” I took that for sarcasm. That’s what it looked like. For the record, I distinguish between science and “scientism.” “Scientism” means the adherence to dogma in science. Because dogma is the very thing that a scientist is supposed to avoid, the very idea of a dogma in science might seem oxymoronic. Nevertheless, “scientism” does have its dogmas. Global warming is the prevailing dogma today. (It was global cooling back in the Seventies.) Evolution has been a dogma of “scientism” for 150 years.

          Now about where Mr. Gingrich stands: maybe this piece, which I published long ago, was one of many shots across the bow. I have already noticed that Mr. Gingrich does not sound at all the way he did when I wrote it. So today he rates a second look.

          • Paul Basso says:

            Mr Hulburt:

            One more time I thank you for your time.

            Even when we not agree on issues like privacy in the live of a politician or public person, I respect your opinion and right to cast your vote on any way you feel like it.

            In reference to health insurance I found fascinating that we talk very often about democrats and their habit to repeat proven failed policies and here you are telling me that the solution to health problem is take care of the person now and bill them later?

            Did you made any research about unpaid medical bills, inability to collect this money and who made up for this shortage?

            I found profoundly naive on your side the fact that you still believe in the individual when you got thousands of records that prove you wrong.Just google it.

            I strongly believe that you teach responsibilities to the individual, you give them the choice and let them deal with the consequences.

            This way there is not excuse, you teach and inform the facts,you show the options and possible consequences and you let them choose.

            That doesn’t sound fair to you?

            I’ve seen a lot I guess, people taken advantage of a system that does not work as intended because this is not a perfect world.

            I’ve seen people selling their houses to their own corporation and then paid rent to them self, to make deductions and get a check for a few hundred dollars as a salary from their own corporation to ask for free or low cost health care, people living for free for more that two years now, having the ability to pay for mortgages and claiming a loan modification and even collecting rent in some cases. The list goes on and on and on.

            And you are asking me to believe is this people being responsible to pay for medical bills ?

            This is not the America we used to live in, where most people were proud of their records and care about a credit reports.

            So based on facts no fiction if this is your proposal, thank you, I’ll pass.

            Sincerely, Paul Basso

            P.S.

            Thank you for taking the time to take a second look at Mr Gingrich, I really think he deserves it.

  14. […] to do what Obama did, and what Newt Gingrich said today that he would do, is unconstitutional. Newt Gingrich conservative no more – Conservative News and Views Theres tons more out there…but im not going to spend any more time posting […]

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