Newt and Mitt: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Rebecca Hagelin

1/23/2012 12:00:03 AM - Rebecca Hagelin

Many folks who oppose Mitt Romney do so due to the uncertainty of where he will stand on certain issues; his support of the individual mandate that forces people to buy health care insurance; and a general tendency to abandon conservative principles when expedient.

When you look past Newt Gingrich's marvelous oratory skills and unrivaled ability to "articulate" what most Americans believe, you start discovering a politician with many of the same issues that plague Romney.

Romney and Gingrich both give great lip service about the sanctity of marriage and family values. But while Romney's past reveals he doesn't always stand up and defend marriage when the going gets rough, well, Gingrich's past reveals - in a very different way - that he doesn't either. Both politicians claim they have "seen the light" and are now staunch supporters of traditional marriage. And, I for one, still doubt that both of them really do. And I seriously question whether either man has the conviction to unflinchingly stand for the rights and protection of the preborn when there are deals to be made - which there always are in Washington.

When it comes to a plethora of conservative issues, both politicians are found wanting. Romney, has a "moderate" take on nearly everything; Newt, while seemingly a staunch economic conservative, is a supporter of big government in critical areas - as a champion of the ethanol mandates; of the Endangered Species Act; and of the huge government prescription drug debacle. All of which, by the way, have huge negative economic impacts on our economy, jobs and our future.

The big difference between the two sides of the Mitt/Newt counterfeit conservative coin is this: while a Romney presidency will be dangerous to the preservation of conservative principles, a Gingrich presidency has the ability to entirely obliterate much of what we hold dear. Why? Because Romney has never been a Capitol Hill insider and thus doesn't know the ropes, and he can't seem to inspire passion or wield much influence. Gingrich, on the other hand, knows precisely how the system works and has the personality of a pit bull on steroids. And he has worked the system brilliantly - both for good and bad- for many years, as Congressman, as Speaker of the House, as a Washington power broker. He is a bully who thrives on power, fueled by an ego and an appetite that can't be matched. And he has repeatedly demonstrated that he behaves exactly how he wants to behave in every situation. When Newt wants it - Newt gets it. Period.

And that makes Newt much more dangerous to many of our conservative principles than Mitt could ever hope to be.

The ability that Newt has to make us forget or discount his many ethical violations in the past - both personal and as Speaker - makes my blood run cold. Do I believe in forgiveness? Of course I do. But forgiving Newt of his many martial infidelities is between God and Newt, and the people Newt betrayed and Newt. While God erases all sins of those who truly confess, the harm done largely remains. In the case of the adulterer, the families remain fractured; in the case of the arsonist, the building is still in ashes; in the case of the murderer, the victim is still dead.

And, on this earth, there are still consequences, even for the forgiven. In Newt's wake, there is human carnage - people he has used and discarded at will, and a legacy of repeatedly violating the public trust of the American people. His constant display of poor judgment over the years shows that he is fatally marred by, well, by poor judgment - and an ego so huge he always seems to believe he can "get away with it". The combination of poor judgment, repeated ethical violations and an unbridled ego is a recipe for disaster. And the very last thing you want to give a person with that record is the most powerful position in the world. Espcially if that person enjoys being a bully and has the oratory ability to intimidate and manipulate; and the uncanny ability to tell the masses exactly what they want to hear - and convince them to actually believe it.

Neither Romney nor Gingrich is an acceptable choice for conservatives who believe in timeless values. It's time to discard the fool's gold and put our efforts behind the real deal.

I have written a column on why Rick Santorum is both the best man to beat Obama, and why he is a good man - a man we can depend on to champion conservative principles with strength, conviction, wisdom and humility. A man who know how to get things done - ethically. I hope you will read it and prayerfully consider supporting Santorum - our best hope - for president.