During last Tuesday nights foreign policy debate of GOP hopefuls, a strange turn of events unfolded as Newt Gingrich declared himself the candidate with a “heart”. Was this a glimpse at the new Newt, or was this another example of a newly emerging front runner looking beyond the process of nomination and testing the waters of national electability.
Newt Gingrich, long the right wing historian and resident smartest guy in the room, has never been known by Washington insiders as the political Mr. Congeniality. Decades old tales of leaving his cancer consumed wife for another woman would hardly qualify him for this unlikely role. But to the casual observer, it looked for the world that he meant every word he said. And what was that? Simply that illegal immigration reform that did not take into consideration some degree of amnesty was not only doomed to failure, but was inhumane in the process. Gingrich pointed out that uprooting otherwise law abiding, tax paying citizens, legal or other wise, was simply not socially acceptable. He did, however, ad that in addition to the standard seal the borders stance that all GOP candidates share, that illegal immigrants with no established ties to the US should be deported immediately. Can you say slippery slope?
Its a pretty safe bet that the conservative base will have something to say about this contentious position. The question is, does Gingrich care. Riding the waves of recent rises in the polls may have strengthened the resolve of this recently left for dead candidate. But is he wrong? Can the GOP find room in its staunch demeanor for some degree of compromise, or would this just represent another example of what has plagued Washington for so long.
The problem with politics in 21 century Washington is the deepening of the lines drawn between the primary parties. The public has but so much room for political loyalties right up to the time when something or someone has to give. November of 2010 was a formidable reminder to the political status quo that “By the people, For the people, actually has meaning beyond a middle schoolers text book assignment. Voices can and will be heard.
The American people are aching for a “leader” who can restore the pride of this once illustrious nation. Someone who can restore confidence, help us regain our swagger and right this listing ship. It would seem beyond ironic if that wish were granted by a voter who wasn’t even supposed to be here.
Maybe Newt Gingrich’s heart is still in question, but it’s abundantly clear that his head is working just fine.