Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Play to win, or sit Peyton Manning down for Game 16?

In Opinion on December 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm

In his Best of the Web Today for December 12 (Link Here) the generally flawless James Taranto’s makes an error in his ‘it-all-boils-down-to-the-debates‘ analysis of the prospective Gingrich vs. Obama contest.  He starts by insulting fellow-conservatives by suggesting that all they really desire is a chance to beat Obama at his own game (winning debates and appearing highly-intellectual).  Then Mr. Taranto says (I paraphrase) that conservatives are mistaken to send Mr. Gingrich in for the mini-mission of beating Obama, because they have lost sight of the bigger mission —> beating Obama.  He states, still paraphrasing, that Mr. Gingrich is too smart for the GOP’s own good in a debate with Mr. Obama, since the latter’s formerly stellar reputation as an intellect and great orator has been tarnished, so the best Mr Gingrich can hope for is a pyrrhic victory.  I quote, “[A] dazzling debate performance may be neither necessary nor sufficient to defeat the president.”  Uh, yeah, let’s go ahead and send in the junior varsity?!  What the heck.

In his prognostication, Mr. Taranto seems to have forgotten that the side of the debate which he and his readers (fans) are on is not merely the right, it is RIGHT, and Mr. Gingrich represents that side.  I hope Mr. Taranto has not fallen victim to that beltway mindset in which all analysis is ad hominem, where there is no “Who is right or wrong” there’s only WHO?  He recommends that the GOP hedge our bets in case we’re wrong about WHO the country wants to occupy the Oval Office.  I neither care nor want to know WHO the country wants, since I’ve been taught by a few thousand years of history what a nation must have in order to thrive.  That necessary item is not a good debater, or even a great leader.  The sine qua non of a thriving nation is individual freedom, and Mr. Gingrich comes closer to understanding that than anyone else on the stage.

In other words, I wonder, how can Mr. Gingrich “win” the debate and then not prevail in the election?  Both those outcomes are possible only if you use Karl Rove’s or Keith Olbermann’s definition of winning a debate.  If it’s been said once, it’s been said 10,000 times, the stakes are very high in 2012.  I say, let’s give it our best shot – I don’t want to send another Bob Dole into the game.  No one wearing tutus, standing on tippie-toes are allowed in this time.  You keep Peyton Manning out of the last regular-season game to save him for later, and later never comes, Coach Dungy.  In 1776, did any of our founders hedge their bets?  Answer -> “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

I’m ALL IN.  Are you?

If the stakes are high, let’s be serious and field a team that can WIN.  Or send in Romney for the food fight, since no one really cares if we win a food fight, just play fair, Mitt.  Which is it?

I think of it this somewhat simplified way:

Nominating Romney would be much like nominating:

– Gerald Ford in ’76,
– George HW Bush in 1992 (1988 was really RWR’s 3rd term),
– Dole in ’96, and
– McCain in ’08.

Whereas, nominating Gingrich would be a lot like nominating:

– Nixon in ’68 and ’72,
– Reagan in ’80 and ’84 (and ’88), and
– GW Bush in ’00 and ’04.

Since 1964 (which I will explain later) the so-called extremists have a record of 6.5 and 0, and the popular, more electable moderates are ZERO for 4.5 (GHWB gets 1/2 point for each side in ’88).  I don’t think that word electable means what you think it means, but take your pick, Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Karl Rove, Michael Savage, Joe Scarborough, and the rest of you.

I say, let’s play to win; playing to keep the other team from being angry hasn’t been working well for 48 years.  Go big or go home.

  1. Nice post. I would hope that Gingrich is NOTHING like GWBush. All of the other comparisons are apropos. And, yes, I realize you were talking about the ability of the candidates to win their respective elections. But GWBush barely defeated Gore, and won reëlection only because the Democrats had such a weak candidate in Kerry. So I say again, I pray to God that Gingrich is nothing like Dubya. That would be a tragedy worse than losing to Obama. Or (shudder) electing Romney.

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