Doctor Jekyll and Speaker Gingrich: The Dual Personalities of Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich should be careful- it seems he has a nefarious alter ego roaming the election circuit, saying and acting in a completely contrary way to the former Speaker, or, and perhaps more likely, Speaker Gingrich is one of the country’s most prominent hypocrites.
Maybe it was a dream, but didn’t Newt stand up on stage during one of the earliest Republican presidential debates and say that no matter what happened during the course of the election, the candidates would stand together and not resort to nasty, back stabbing attacks when it came to interacting with each other?
Apparently, the anti-Gingrich didn’t hear that statement, because he has been making some decidedly unsupportive statements about fellow nominee Mitt Romney. In the days before the Iowa caucus, Gingrich got fairly nasty, affirming that Romney would buy the election if he could, and calling the former Massachusetts governor an out and out liar. So much for solidarity between the candidates.
But this isn’t the only area where Gingrich has contradicted something he has previously stated. Somehow, Gingrich has been able to rationalize being both a ‘Real Politik Wilsonian’ and a true Reagan and Constitution loving conservative. He has also claimed that Theodore Roosevelt, the founder of the Progressive party, which is the political antithesis of conservatism, is his political idol. And as if that wasn’t enough, Gingrich has also named the greatest president of the last century as FDR, the president most conservatives would name as responsible for expanding the federal government. And again, a broad overreaching federal government is the antithesis of what Reagan and his followers hold dear.
Also, in one of the last debates before the Iowa caucus, Gingrich talked about making Supreme Court Justices directly accountable to the American citizens. While this might seem like a good idea to some, the Founders intentionally did not make Justices subject to the rancor of public emotion- this inserts politics and public opinion into a place where it is not meant to be. The Supreme Court is meant solely to interpret the Constitutionality of law and its enforcement. Making Justices’ appointments subject to the will of the people lets Justices be subject to the whims of political motivations and punishment, which detracts from the Constitutional goals of the Supreme Court. Besides, since all Justices are approved to the bench by members of the Senate, who are now elected by the people to work for their benefit, the approval of the people is really already engrained in the process. Clearly, altering this process alters the basic machinations of the Constitution, and is not something that a person with true admiration and understanding for the Constitution would wish to do.
In both political stance and interaction with others, it becomes clear that Speaker Gingrich has a problem- he has not maintained a consistent stance. Perhaps the Speaker needs to look no further than this split personality to understand his falling support amongst prospective voters. If Newt is unable to get this flip flopping under control, perhaps a more appropriate name for him would be Gecko, since he apparently changes his political appearance to make the best of his situation and protect himself from attack.