GOP primary voters who are considering plighting their troth to Gingrich didnít live and breathe every moment of his time in the sun the way we did.
George Santayana famously stated: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
If Republicans fail to remember or learn about Newt Gingrich's past before the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is made and look to him to lead, Team Obama will not fail to tell the voters about it, in excruciating detail, and re-elect its candidate.
In "Newt's Second Act" (www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/newt_second_act_8znmYY1AV5vb
PIJYogHpbO)John Podhoretz asked the critical question facing Republicans who will nominate a presidential candidate to put an end to the Age of Obama by winning or allowing Obama to continue his insidious campaign to fundamentally transform America: "Will Mitt Romney be able to get Republican primary voters to see [Newt Gingrich's history]? Or will the task fall in the general election to President Obama ó who will use the $750 million-plus heís sure to raise and aim like thousands of heat-guided precision missiles at an undeniably easy target?"
Podhoretz, 50, explained the basis of the recent Gingrich surge: "For those of us who live and breathe politics and make our livings in and around it, the words 'Newt Gingrich' mean something entirely different than they do to the Republican primary voters who are now shifting over to him in droves."
Podhoretz thinks that "the United States is either an uncommonly forgiving or uncommonly forgetful place," remembers Gingrich "[t]oo well" and acknowledges that he "failed to take into account that most people who vote arenít paid to [remember Gingrich well] and have other things to think about."
That seems true.
But the biggest boon boosting the Gingrich boom may be that so many people don't know the whole story of the Gingrich history, not that they have forgiven or forgotten.
You can't forgive or forget what you didn't know, and Gingrich resigned in disgrace as both Speaker of the House and House member long ago--in 1998.
Podhoretz noted that (1) Gingrich experienced "one of the great political flameouts of our time"; (2) "little" of the Contract with America became law; and (3) Gingrich's pattern is "to think in grand terms but...tend toward not grandeur...but grandiosity, instead."
Podhoretz focused on Gingrich's political sins, including (1) "tarnish[ing] his own 'Republican revolution' even before it started between the 1994 election and the swearing-in of the new Congress by getting himself a $4.5 million book deal (that would be $6.5 million today) ó a PR blunder and possible ethics violation that backfired so badly that he had to forswear his advance"; (2) acting on "the wildly wrongheaded conviction...that he was powerful enough to go mano a mano with Bill Clinton in 1995" and committing "perhaps the greatest political blunder of our time ó the showdown over the budget in October 1995 that led to the three-week government shutdown and the subsequent GOP cave-in that brought the 'Republican revolution' to an end only nine months after it began"; (3) causing "Republican members of Congress who had once believed they owed him everything [to] actively plot a coup to remove him from the speakership"; (4) leading "the moralistic charge against Clinton in 1998 ó notwithstanding the fact that he himself was having an extramarital affair at the time"; and (5) "oppos[ing] the 2006 'surge' that turned around the Iraq war."
Podhoretz summarized Gingrich's current good fortune:
"Truth to tell, there are so many things to remember that itís hard to remember them all. But the GOP primary voters who are considering plighting their troth to Gingrich didnít live and breathe every moment of his time in the sun the way we did.
"They know him mainly from Fox News. They know he got a Republican Congress elected, which they like the sound of. And theyíve watched him playing the debates like a piano and enjoyed themselves enormously in the process."
BUT, as Podhoretz wisely warned, "there are still all those things to remember and that when you use glue and tape and paste all those things together to form an overall portrait of Gingrich, youíre looking at someone who is probably unelectable as president."
PS UNlike the opportunistic Gingrich, who took Freddie Mac money and joined with Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore on global warning after resigning, Mitt Romney braved public opinion and supported the surge in Iraq.
Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.
Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.
The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.
Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.