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01/17/2012

In which I agree with Maggie Gallagher: Newt's a liability for social conservatives

by Jeremy Hooper

Finally, Maggie Gallagher says something with which I fully agree and have, in fact, been saying myself for months. That is: That if the social conservatives get behind Newt Gingrich, like some still want, then they will be forfeiting their role in the so-called "culture war" that they hold so dear:

MAGGIE: Can we rally behind Newt Gingrich who is now standing up for social conservative issues because he needs our votes but whose past — including his political past — gives us no assurance at all that he is doing so out of deep conviction.

Where was Newt Gingrich in the fight for the federal marriage amendment? I don’t recall seeing him say even as much as Mitt Romney on our behalf back then.

A man who demonstrates, even in his attack on Mitt Romney, that he’s willing to craft the argument that serves, at the moment, if it makes him a “world historical transformational figure”?

“Can we trust Mitt Romney?” Gingrich’s campaign ads now ask, but when I see that tag line I have to ask: “Can we trust Newt Gingrich?”

How can I trust the future of our country, or of our movement to man I would not trust to take care of my daughter?

To rally behind Newt Gingrich over the nation’s most prominent (and therefore most-hated) social conservative elected official — would be to commit suicide as a movement.
1-13-11: #2 THE CULTURAL CONSERVATIVE MOMENT [Culture War Victory Fund]

Wow, "would not trust to take care of my daughter"?! Newt signs the National Organization For Marriage's "Marriage Pledge" and that's the kind of thanks he gets from the org's co-founder? I knew Maggie made a failed attempt at ghost-writing Linda Tripp's book way back during the Clinton years -- perhaps there was some sort of negative Newt run-in as well?

But on substance, I have to say I actually agree with Gallagher on this one. Newt is a political opportunist of the highest (lowest?) order, and he's talking the social conservatives' game right now because that's who he needs to turn out at the polls. Equality activists can't trust Gingrich or Gallagher, because both would strip us of our rights and, by extension, our worth. But at least Maggie's consistent. Hell, I could see Newt running to the left of President Obama, if he thought there was a progressive path to his restored political prominence.

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