OK, First Al Haig now Newt Gingrich. Even a Polyanna-optimist like myself is starting to get weirded out.
Even in my Cranky Conservative phase, I never entirely warmed up to Newt. A smart guy, no doubt, but “further to the Right” than my personal preferences went.
Is he simply trying to distance himself from RNC Chairman and lead-mudflinger Mike Duncan? Or is he displaying rational cognition?
I’ll continue my tradition and say I think the old windbag is serious. Ben Smith has commentary and the letter Mr. Gingrich sent to Mike Duncan:
I was saddened to learn that at a time of national trial, when a president-elect is preparing to take office in the midst of the worst financial crisis in over seventy years, that the Republican National Committee is engaged in the sort of negative, attack politics that the voters rejected in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles.
The recent web advertisement, “Questions Remain,” is a destructive distraction. Clearly, we should insist that all taped communications regarding the Senate seat should be made public. However, that should be a matter of public policy, not an excuse for political attack.
In a time when America is facing real challenges, Republicans should be working to help the incoming President succeed in meeting them, regardless of his Party.
From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the President-elect prepare to take office.
Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.
This is the only way the Republican Party will become known as the “better solutions” party, not just an opposition party. And this is the only way Republicans will ever regain the trust of the voters to return to the majority.
This ad is a terrible signal to be sending about both the goals of the Republican Party in the midst of the nation’s troubled economic times and about whether we have actually learned anything from the defeats of 2006 and 2008.
The RNC should pull the ad down immediately.
Sure, Newt has no doubt smelled some coffee and grokked the lack of enthusiasm among the American public for political slander, and in other circumstances would quite possibly be the one slinging the mud. Nonetheless, it remains a wonderful thing to hear words of reason coming from both sides of the political spectrum and – dare I say it? – it behooves us all to take a page from Newt Gingrich on this one.