In 2008, I cast my ballot for the Republican Presidential ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin. At that time, I wrote in a column for a different media outlet: “I’m going to have to vote for (Senator) John McCain.” Like so many of my conservative compatriots, I simply could not bring myself to pull the proverbial lever for the community activist from the front pew in the Church of Wright and Ayers and his sidekick, Ol’ Pluggsy. Being the well-conditioned believer in the infallibility of our Republican system, I held my nose and stood up against Obama/Biden 2008 as much — if not more — than I stood up for McCain/Palin 2008. Judging by the results of that tragic electoral misstep, I was hardly alone. I joined millions of my fellow Americans in voting for the lesser of two evils. I expect the lack of enthusiasm for McCain’s campaign played a large part in Obama’s victory. Let me be absolutely clear about one point: not this time, baby.
Recent polling, including a scrimmage conducted by Personal Liberty Digest™ just last week, indicates a growing preference for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In fact, Gingrich has opened a lead over the field that, in some cases, edges into double digits. My instincts lead me to presume that Gingrich’s appeal rests heavily on a combination of fear of four more years of Obama’s dog and pony show and that old canard: electability.
Why even focus on the myth of electability? If the landslide which buried the Democrats nationwide last November told us anything, electability is already settled in our favor. Americans sent liberals packing in record numbers from the halls of Congress all the way to small-town officials’ offices. And let us leave the spirit of bipartisan accord where it belongs, as well. The Democrats abandoned it years ago; and the voters swarmed into the polls last year to remind the Republicans not to follow the Democrats. With that in mind, why the hell would we think of handing the keys to the patron saint of fence-straddling RINOs?
Gingrich is to conservatism what MSNBC is to journalism; if you don’t pay close attention, it seems right. However, in Gingrich’s case, a cursory examination of his curriculum vitae reveals his dalliances with the dark side: his complicity in the Freddie Mac disaster, his support of cap-and-trade legislation and his video love letter with Representative Nancy Pelosi (in addition to some marital missteps which are permissible only for doughy ex-governors of Arkansas). In MSNBC’s case, a simple turning up of the volume reveals — well — Rachel Maddow (enough said).
Now that the Democrats and their accomplices in the corporate media have finished lynching Herman Cain, perhaps it’s simply Gingrich’s turn in the spotlight. Maybe the voters will remember the reason they handed the Democrats a mass of pink slips last November. The corporate media likely will avoid substantive discussion of the various contenders beyond scripted talking points, vague innuendo and — in the case of the tinfoil hat brigadiers on MSNBC — outright slander. Consider that the recent debate producers and moderators seemed less willing to allow Congressman Ron Paul a chance to speak than I am to answer the door when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking (which always seems to occur at 8:30 on a Saturday morning; positively inhuman).
I have not yet decided which of the candidates vying for my ballot will enjoy the privilege of receiving it. But I guarantee you, whoever wins the race for my political heart will bloody well earn it.