By Joshua Madden
Newt Gingrich needs to drop out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. He needs to drop out now.
Gingrich won’t listen to me, of course, but I still feel the need to call on him to step aside in the presidential race. If he ever reads this column — which I seriously doubt — he will probably call out the Lariat for being a leftist organization that works with the mainstream media to prevent conservative voices from being heard.
This is not true — even the members of the Lariat’s editorial board aren’t particularly political, we have no affiliation with other media groups and I personally happen to be a libertarian who writes more columns than anyone else on staff — we are hardly a liberal organization.
Yet this is all Gingrich ever argues, and his campaign is not a campaign of big ideas. It is a one-issue campaign, and that issue is Newt Gingrich. Anyone who doesn’t like Newt Gingrich is merely playing politics, in his view, and everyone who likes him — which is pretty much just the state of South Carolina (and I’m guessing even they would want a do-over at this point) — is on the moral high ground. This is a viewpoint that is entirely inconsistent with reality, given that Gingrich himself has no claim to a moral high ground.
This is a man who resigned from his position as Speaker of the House in disgrace. This is a man who has cheated on not just his first wife, but his second wife as well. This is a man who was fined for ethics violations. This is a man who essentially worked as a lobbyist and won’t admit to it, at first claiming to be paid millions for his work as a “historian.” This is a man who has called Spanish “the language of the ghetto.”
This is not an ethical man. This is not a man we want to be president of the United States. This is, however, a man who is an embarrassment to both his party and his country. His continued involvement in the presidential race, much like the involvement of Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain, is a legitimate embarrassment to not just Republicans but to democracy as a whole.
For those of you reading this who support Gingrich, please point me to an issue where he actually took a stand. I’d be surprised if you found it. This is a man with no morals and no principles, he takes whatever conservative-leaning stance will benefit him at a given moment and he will disregard it the second it becomes a liability.
Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, whether you like them or hate them — I happen to rather dislike the former and genuinely admire the latter — are remarkably consistent in their views. Even though I disagree with Santorum on a great deal of issues, I believe that he means what he says. It would be difficult to look at the personal decisions that he’s made and not see a man who genuinely cares about the pro-life movement.
There’s no clear-cut example like that with Gingrich, except maybe that he is remarkably consistent in his inconsistency. I can’t even give him credit for being a consistent philanderer, as he helped lead the charge to impeach President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinski trial. There is no issue on which Gingrich deserves respect.
The only issue that Newt Gingrich cares about is Newt Gingrich. America has made its decision on that issue — we want less Newt Gingrich, not more — and it’s time he at least has the decency to drop out of the race.
That’s the answer America wants on this issue.
Joshua Madden is a graduate student from Olathe, Kan., and is the Lariat’s A&E Editor.