As Ron Paul Rises, Gingrich and Romney try some jingoism

21/12/2011 11:03

Patrick Henningsen
December 20, 2011

It seems the political games of old aren’t working as well as they used to. Real events are stripping the old left vs right dual-power paradigm of its shiny veneer. As a result, establishment candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are looking increasingly desperate in their efforts to remain relevant in an ever-changing America. Not so with surprise GOP front-runner Ron Paul. 

This past week, Gingrich and Romney began to play that old hard-line immigration card, but in the worst possible way. Quite incredibly, they have both opted for courting the hard-right with a touch of naked jingoism at almost the same time, effectively ditching any chances at grabbing the prized conservative Latin American GOP endorsement.

On Sunday, Newt Gingrich told CBS program Face the Nation, that regarding illegals, “My guess is that 7 or 8 or 9 million would ultimately go home to get a guest or worker permit and return under the law,” Gingrich said.

Only two days earlier, GOP hopeful Mitt Romney said to supporters in Iowa that foreign workers who have come to the U.S. illegally would have to leave the country but would be eligible to apply to return as long as they went to the back of the line.

Of course, it’s not about those illegal immigrants, as much as it about the Federal government’s policies that are feeding the problem America faces. This however, might just as well be rocket science for the rest of the GOP field. The inconsistency of establishment candidates is nothing new, and Gingrich and Romney’s latest desperate synchronized lunge into the immigration debate is to be expected from a pair of runners who now find themselves playing catch-up behind a more consistently conservative Ron Paul.

Recent polling has placed Ron Paul ahead of the field, and experts have also war-gamed his chance against Barack Obama in a general election. In this scenario, and again, Paul comes out in front of his GOP adversaries.

Both Newt and Mitt are suffering from the same condition – their inability to grapple with the real issues facing America is becoming apparent to voters. In the past, this was not a major problem, as serial flip-flopping, denial, along with fierce negative campaigning could turn a flagging run around. But 2012 seems to be somewhat different than 2008, 2004, or 2000. Absent from both Gingrich and Romney’s dialogue, and not from Congressman Paul’s, is addressing the incentive of America’s welfare state which is drawing many illegals from Mexico, and also the inability of America to secure her own borders while bankrupting herself from endless military adventures overseas.

Gingrich is currently the closest runner to Ron Paul, but his gaff-prone nature seems to be his Achilles heal so far in the pre-primary run. Just Monday night in New Hampshire, the nation witnessed a desperate Newt Gingrich go ‘full-jingo’, after telling the audience, “The Pakistani who emigrated to the U.S., became a citizen, built a car bomb which luckily failed to go off in Times Square, was asked by the federal judge, how could he have done that when he signed and when he swore an oath to the United States. And he looked at the judge and said, ‘You’re my enemy. I lied.’”

Gingrich kept on pressing the racist card, despite attempts by moderators to cut him off, as he compared hiring Muslims to ‘how Americans dealt with Nazis in the 1940s’. An ABC News report added:

Gingrich spoke fervently in August against the proposed mosque and community center to be built near Ground Zero, saying that Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to do so just as “Nazis don’t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington,” or “we would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.”

In 2008, the GOP ran a field of non-starters and dead horses, as the establishment chose the wholly unelectable John McCain (and later VP running mate Sarah Palin) to mute out the incredible surge of interest behind Ron Paul. After it was all said and done, Ron Paul finished second in the GOP race behind McCain, as the rest of a star-studded field that included media personalities like Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney – all dropped out of the race.

The difference in 2012 is that since his campaign finished in 2008, Ron Paul has been gradually building national interest in the fundamentals of the US Constitution and personal freedom through his new organisation Campaign for Liberty. In addition to this, Paul has also avoided criticism from media quarters by being their “go-to” guy on the financial collapse which savaged the American economy between 2008-2011. All this seems to be paying him dividends on the campaign trail right now.

Alternatively, you would have been very hard-pressed to have heard either Gingrich or Romney comment on anything in the media since 2008, let alone set the parameters of both the economic and Federal Reserve talking points, as Ron Paul has managed to do.

Are Americans actually doing the unthinkable – and demanding an experienced political candidate who actually has a clean and consistent record on the most important issues facing the nation?

Expect both these two ‘top tier’ candidates – Gingrich and Romney, to flip-flop and parrot any other original ideas floating around, in order to try and reinforce their increasingly transparent campaign platforms.

Perhaps, but expect the GOP circus to get more bizarre in the coming weeks, as the establishment feverishly works round the clock in order to distract voters away from libertarian-minded Ron Paul in the run-up to the Iowa Caucuses in early January.

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