COMMENTARY | The GOP is still looking for their candidate to go up against President Barack Obama in the upcoming 2012 presidential election. While each has his or her flaws and drawbacks, some are worse than others. Take Newt Gingrich for example. Let's look at five strong reasons he does not deserve the power and influence afforded the presidency.
Disdain for human life. There's just no kind way to word this point. In 1996, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich proposed H.R. 4170: Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996. When the word "smuggler" comes up in a discussion, few people would imagine someone carrying as little as two ounces of marijuana as very much of a smuggler. The very idea of a human life being worth less than the government's control of marijuana - an idea with which medical and legal experts even sometimes contend - indicates either a disdain for human life, or an inability to think here in the real world. Death for a month's worth of pot? Really?
He supported the recent bailouts. Granted, he may not be the sole cause of the nation's present economic woes, but he contributed. It would be irresponsible to blame one man for all of the housing market collapse. But, according to a story on Bloomberg.com, Newt Gingrich was paid to sell conservatives in Congress on supporting Freddie Mac. For a "conservative" candidate who claims to have such "vision," he sure did sell out cheaply enough.
The FBI once considered him a target for a sting. A story published on washingtonpost.com tells how, back in 1997, Newt Gingrich's name came up in a "legislation-for-hire" scheme involving him, his wife at the time Marianne and an Iraqi arms dealer who wanted the arms embargo lifted from Iraq. Fortunately for Gingrich, the FBI didn't have enough evidence directly linking him to knowledge of being involved, so the proposed sting was dropped. Still, America needs a president we know we can trust, not one who must constantly be second-guessed.
Look at how he treats his other relationships. Any man who's ever had an ex-wife to cope with knows how angry she can be. The problem for us, as a nation, isn't that he has one, or more failed marriages behind him, but what Marianne Gingrich shared with politicsdaily.com helps us all to see a little bit more of the personality behind the publicly marketed image of the man. In some cases, we do want to see how the sausage is made, especially when that sausage wants to lead the most powerful nation on Earth.
And who doesn't trust Jon Stewart? As usual, someone with a sense-of-humor, intelligence and charm puts it better than anyone else could: "Gingrich is Reagan, if he were abandoned as a child and raised by a family of cactuses." The point is clear: Gingrich is no Reagan. Why should we buy pandering?