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The GinGrinch Who Stole Conservatism

todayDecember 8, 2011

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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Here, under the heading Has Gingrich Changed, by Mark Steyn, posted yesterday, National Review Online. So it was about time for Steyn to step up to the plate and say, okay, well, heres what I think about Newt Gingrich. And he wrote this back in November of 1998 in the London Spectator. And Steyn says, well, today this is still true:

Anyway, back then, after a brisk trot through his collected Brainstorms-of-the-Week hes talking about Gingrich The Triangle of American Progress, The Four Great Truths, The Four Pillars of American Civilization, The Five Pillars of the 21st Century, The Nine Zones of Creativity, The Fourteen Steps to Renewing American Civilization doesnt this sound a politician in a conservator of conservatism? Or does it sound like someone thats in politics and appears frequently with Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, and Oprah? The Thirty-Nine Steps to the Five Year Plan of the Six Flags of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers of the Nine-Inch Nails of Renewing Civilizational Progress for 21st Century America, etc. Steyn made that one up. Heres what he wrote in 1998:

The Democrats demonized Newt as an extreme right-wing crazy. They were right apart from the extreme and right-wing, that is. Most of the above seem more like the burblings of a frustrated self-help guru than blueprints for conservative government. For example, Pillar No. 5 of the Five Pillars of American Civilization is: Total quality management. Unfortunately for Newt, the person who most needed a self-help manual was him How to Win Friends and Influence People, for a start.

After last weeks election, Republicans have now embarked on the time-honored ritual, well known to British Tories and Labour before them, of bickering over whether they did badly because they were too extreme or because they were too moderate. In Newts case, the answer is both. He spent the last year preemptively surrendering on anything of legislative consequence; but then, feeling bad at having abandoned another two or three of his Fourteen Steps to Renewing American Civilization, hed go on television and snarl at everybody in sight…. For Republicans it was the worst of all worlds: a lily-livered ninny whom everyone thinks is a ferocious right-wing bastard.

There is not a scintilla of little r republican constitutional conservatism in Speaker Gingrich. He is, as was described, Darth Vader in one of those Star Wars movies when Alec Guinness was describing to young Luke Skywalker what Vader had become: Hes more machine than man. Steyn concludes, Thats how it would go this time round. Wed wind up with a cross between Teddy Roosevelt and Alvin Toffler who canoodled on the sofa with Nancy Pelosi demanding Big Government climate-change conventional-wisdom punitive liberalism, just as the rest of the planet was finally getting off the bandwagon … but the media would still insist on dusting off their 1994 The Gingrich Who Stole Christmas graphics. Im working on a graphic of the Gingrich who stole conservatism.

Well, I never thought Id say this, either, AG. But I have warmed to Rick Santorum. Santorum is the only one that, since the beginning of all this, has not changed his stripes, has he. Hes pretty much the same in every debate, isnt he.

AG: He is.

Mike: He doesnt change his opinion. He even says, People may disagree with this, but Im standing on this. Actually, I actually have come to really admire Senator Santorum. I disagree with him fundamentally on many things. But I do admire his conviction, dont you? I mean, to me thats an admirable quality. But faced with the dilemma here, though, AG, to answer your question, it is the American conservative sheeple that do not want conservatism. Theyre the ones that are rejecting it. They love their big government. They love their big government politicians. They love the beauty contests. They love to see their heroes on television saying this and that and the other, regardless of what this and that and the other is. They do not care much for the studious, principled, and spirited defense of the Constitution, studious and studied and principled defense of ordered liberty and little r republicanism and of their founding. They just reject it. And when someone brings it up, they just call us sour grapes. They say, Oh, youre just mad because your candidates not winning. Well, maybe I am a little upset that the candidate that does espouse the most constitutionalism that Ive ever heard in my lifetime is pooh-poohed by so many people.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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