This time I should’ve been the one listening.
But listening can be tough sometimes when you’re an analyst and a commentator, and people around the country – listeners, readers, media, candidates, causes, businesses, etc. – come to you to find out why things are happening and what may happen next. Analysis and commentary is one of the few things in life I’m really good at. My car expertise begins and ends with changing a tire. Any toy that comes with the phrase “some assembly required” my kids immediately take to my wife. And when that much-anticipated Zombie apocalypse finally happens I’m going to have to heavily rely upon my gun-toting “doomsday prepper” friends to survive.
But analysis and commentary I can do. It’s how I provide for my family, and since it puts food on my kids’ table regularly somebody must think I’m pretty decent at it. Yet this time I swung and missed.
I am 39-years old so a little young for the Reagan era. I wasn’t legally able to obtain a driver’s license yet when Reagan left office. Like many my age, my conservatism was actually honed by listening to Rush Limbaugh and cheering on Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution of 1994. In my era, Gingrich is a transformative figure. He’s still the only man alive to win a national election on conservative principles. He played a part in establishing much of the conservative infrastructure we take for granted nowadays. There are only two authors I ever sought autographed books from: Bo Schembechler and Gingrich.
Yet despite my fan boy crush, I am well aware of his peccadilloes. He’s on his third marriage. He lost the Speaker’s gavel because of a caucus revolt against his leadership. He inexcusably backed Dede Scozzafava. He rightly stood up against the TARP, and then reversed course and backed what I believe may be the most criminal legislation in American history. These are just some of the reasons why several people close to me told me I was making a mistake when I endorsed him for president during the 2012 primary.