December 20, 2011

National Review - still on the naughty list.

In an effort to be fair, I revisited the National Review online (after promising not to do so for a while) to see if they had recanted their hit piece on Newt Gingrich and basically everyone not Romney or Huntsman.  They haven't.  In fact they've in many ways doubled down on it in some pieces.  But to be fair, there were a couple of pieces that stood in contrast to the semi-endorsement of the editors of the most liberal candidates in the race (Santorum aside as their counter-balance, they know he can't win).

In a piece by the ever-brilliant Thomas Sowell, also carried on RealClearPolitics, they have a Newt-onian dissident.
What the media call Gingrich's "baggage" concerns largely his personal life and the fact that he made a lot of money running a consulting firm after he left Congress. This kind of stuff makes lots of talking points that we will no doubt hear, again and again, over the next weeks and months.

But how much weight should we give to this stuff when we are talking about the future of a nation?

This is not just another election and Barack Obama is not just another president whose policies we may not like. With all of President Obama's broken promises, glib demagoguery and cynical political moves, one promise he has kept all too well. That was his boast on the eve of the 2008 election: "We are going to change the United States of America."

Many Americans are already saying that they can hardly recognize the country they grew up in. We have already started down the path that has led Western European nations to the brink of financial disaster.
But he's not alone.  Andrew McCarthy offers a solid defense of Newt but more-so a dressing down of his editors.  It's truly an effective piece entitled Gingrich's Virtues.
I respectfully dissent from National Review’s Wednesday-evening editorial, which derided Newt Gingrich as not merely flawed but unfit for consideration as the GOP presidential nominee. The Editors further gave the back of the hand to the bids of two other prominent conservatives, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann — a judgment that is simply inexplicable in light of the frivolousness of its reasoning and of the Editors’ embrace of Jon Huntsman, a moderate former Obama-administration official, as a serious contender. 
The editorial surprised me, as it did many readers. I am now advised that the timing was driven by the editorial’s inclusion in the last edition of the magazine to be published this year, which went to press on Wednesday. The Editors believe, unwisely in my view, that before the first caucuses and primaries begin in early January, it is important to make known their insights — not merely views about the relative merits of the candidates but conclusions that some candidates are no longer worthy of having their merits considered. Like many other voters, I haven’t settled on a candidate. What I want at this very early stage is information about the candidates so I can consider them, not a presumptuous and premature pronouncement that good conservatives do not even rate consideration.
I'm not going back for any other reason just yet, but as I said in fairness I did check to see if there was any change in the winds.  The two pieces I mentioned are still sailing into a National Review a strong headwind of anti-Newt. 

Nonetheless, just as I think Newt's past errors should be forgiven, I'm willing to forgive National Review. What I'm not prepared to do is forgive them for doubling down on the anti-Newt stuff.  I would encourage you to read McCarthy's thoughtful, well-considered piece.  The same is true for Sowell, though you can read him elsewhere.  As for the rest of National Review, I'd encourage you to avoid it at the present time.
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