The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

We Know What Kind Of Man He Is,
Even If The Price Is Unspecified

Posted on | December 2, 2011 | 16 Comments

by Smitty

Via Ace, emphasis original:

In the article Verum Serum uncovers, Gingrich does not endorse Fannie’s/Freddie’s practices. Instead, he endorses the model of a government-backed enterprise for handling functions that the government has gotten into.
Functions the government probably shouldn’t have gotten into, but it did, and so given that it did, is it better to have a purely government division handling this, or one with some kind of responsiveness to market forces?

One is reminded of a brace of computer geek quotes from David Wheeler:

  • “All problems in computer science can be solved by another level of indirection. . .Except for the problem of too many layers of indirection.”
  • “Compatibility means deliberately repeating other people’s mistakes.”

Hence my love/hate relationship with Newt. If I could be really certain that he is not just a kindler, gentler version of Arlen Specter, I might warm to his cause:It’s one thing to have the eloquence, to have done all the reading, to have the knowledge to describe the problem in nauseating detail. It’s quite another to have character, as Whittle describes in this great essay:
What we need now is not just character in our candidates, we need the capacity to restore character to our government. Our current lack of character is perhaps epitomized by the utterance of Nancy the Atrocious: “Are you serious? Are you serious?
Yes, all you Ruling Class Overlords: we’re as serious as a heart attack.
Character-free incumbents and candidates must be discarded. Hence all the anti-Romney and anti-Newt friction; the court of public opinion has deemed them to have all the character of a comic book. Candidates have to believe in limiting government, or they are of no use, and will merely become tools of the machine.

Update: at the Tatler, some Romney analysis:

Mitt Romney is a smart man. He strikes me as a pragmatic corporate tinkerer and fixer, the kind of person who can examine a given situation, diagnose what’s wrong with it, and come up with a fix. He has probably spent the years between that 2008 campaign and the current one thinking and re-thinking about every move he made in that failed effort. Like an NFL coach poring over game film of the Super Bowl he lost, Romney has replayed much of the 2008 campaign in his mind, not in a weird regretful way, but so that he can figure out what went wrong and win next time. He seems to have concluded that since being the conservative candidate didn’t work then, he would try being the moderate now. Hey, that’s who won last time around, right?

Yep, that Romney is pretty much everything except a Tea Partier. Because those hoi polloi Tea Party characters are just so. . .unrefined.


16 Responses to “We Know What Kind Of Man He Is,
Even If The Price Is Unspecified”

  1. tranquil.night
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    The character that can win has to step up, lead, and find a way to rally people to them, we can stamp our feet demanding purity all we want.

    Until then, I’m of the Milton Friedman “establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing” mindset because the data tells me right now it’s Romney or Newt, likely Romeny as all the Conservative egos continue to tear eachother down.  Go team!

  2. Guest
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

    The question isn’t what kind aof a man Newt is; the question is what kind of man Romney is… and that’s all too easy a question to answer.

  3. elaine
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    I don’t expect ideological purity, but I DO expect candidates who are principled in their convictions.

    The trouble is what we get in the political class is often psychopathy.  Oh, they’re so glib and likeable.  But just below that surface is nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  Which is why they can shift their positions faster than the Saharan sands in a strong windstorm.

    Last night I watched a 30-second Perry spot where he was making fun of his debate brain fart.  Completely charming.  Found myself thinking, “Wow!  He seems so likeable.”

    But then I remember the Gardisil thing, complete with his attempts to politically destroy anyone who crossed him on that, and suddenly, he doesn’t live up to the affable surface any more.

    Newt, Romney, Bachmann, Cain, Perry… they all seem like such nice people, but it’s not the surface we should be looking at.  It’s the character that’s revealed in their behavior, in their legislative body of work, and their private actions.  If those don’t measure up to the pleasant exterior, you need to think about the support you’re giving them, because they aren’t worthy of it…

  4. richard mcenroe
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    Newt quit.  He didn’t “quit” as in “was driven out of office by unceasing legal harrassment” a la Palin; he won his Congressional election and then quit when he was denied the Speakership of the House.

    Newt quits.  On wives, on electorates.  Newt quits.

  5. The Wondering Jew
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    Strong post, Smitty. We desperately need character and a spine of steel in our next leader.  These are certainly “areas of concern” for Newt.

  6. ThePaganTemple
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

    Herman Cain is done for. Check out the latest-

    NORTH CAROLINA – In a shocking turn of events for the Herman Cain
    campaign, a Carrboro, North Carolina man says that his  gravely ill
    mother confessed to him on her death bed that Republican presidential
    candidate Herman Cain is his biological father. Delashaun Friedman, a
    former shoe salesman who lives on disability benefits, said that his
    mother had been in a coma for several months because of complications
    related to cirrhosis of the liver. Friedman said that before she died
    Saturday morning his mom regained consciousness for several seconds and
    revealed Herman Cain was his father before taking her final breath.

    Disabled Shoe Salesman Claims He Is Herman Cain’s Illegitimate Son

  7. Jack Okie
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    Well, it is a conundrum.  I’m with tranquil.night.  And as for Newt’s quitting – how long ago was that?  I don’t care, if Newt can drive our enemies before us for a while.  It’s going to get real messy before the Left is vanquished.  Do you think Rick Santorum has the stones to provide the kind of leadership we need?  Romney?  Hah!

    If we could keep him pointed in the right direction, I’d go with Vlad the Impaler.

  8. Bob Belvedere
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    There’s an apt descriptor for someone like that: ‘worm’.

  9. Bob Belvedere
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    Don’t equate Newton Leroy Gingrich with Vlad The Impaler.  Vlad was at least a man of conviction.

  10. richard mcenroe
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

    And did Vlad know how to secure a border!

  11. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

    Yes, that Friedman model is the model to build.

    As much as we’ve been wailing on Ace the Ewok recently, he covered this very well some months ago. I believe it to be a recurring theme.

    I miss Friedman and never really appreciated his brilliance. His ability to distill the complex while promoting free markets was second to none. My how we need another even though we still have Sowell.

  12. Anonymous
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Funny, I live in Texas and don’t remember anyone not a Democrat saying anything about Perry destroying anyone over Gardisil…

  13. Pathfinder's wife
    December 2nd, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    The problem is: just how profitable will you have to make it in order to make some of them actually do the right thing?

    Because from the looks of it, quite a few on both sides of the aisle have found it far more profitable to do the wrong thing, and even more profitable to do the wrong thing while under the guise of the  right thing (deluding the commoners in this way has become something of a sport).

    And that, imho and unwanted opinion, is where Friedman’s idea starts to have a problem: what if there is no way to get the wrong people to do the right thing because there is not enough to buy them off and they control the script anyway?

    None of these canidates is pure or perfect anyway, so it would have to be done to each and every one…some are just more ammenable to the right thing than others, either out of common sense or some slight ethical streak.

  14. Bob Belvedere
    December 3rd, 2011 @ 2:53 am

    And deal with the poor!

  15. Landivar
    December 3rd, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    You know who obviously isn’t for sale, and has been consisten for the past 30 years? Ron Paul.  I’m telling you, now that Cain’s campaign has crashed and burned, Paul is your man.

  16. richard mcenroe
    December 3rd, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    Call me when he takes back all his earmarks.