Sticking Up For Newt

Newt Gingrich is rapidly moving up in my own personal candidate rankings, along with the polls. And it’s those two factors — most likely more the latter — that have him coming under more and more and more attacks. He’s messing around with the narrative that says “Romney will win the nomination,” and must be smacked down.

Anyway, I’ve looked at three of the most recent ones, and I find that Gingrich is getting smacked around unfairly on all three, to various degrees.

First up, Mother Jones (is that still being printed?) touts the time Newt stood up for pornographers. As Ace notes, this is simply an attempt to smear Gingrich with social conservatives; Newt was solidly on the right in that matter.

Then there’s his work for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his talking about how such institutions have a place in government. The liberals are talking about how this makes Newt a heretic hypocrite (sorry, in this context they’re pretty much the same), because now he denounces them. This is particularly amusing, because their argument boils down to “Newt’s bad because he didn’t see through all the BS being spun by Democrats about how Fannie and Freddie were in no trouble whatsoever.” In essence, they’re bragging about how they conned him — not exactly a devastating attack.

And then there’s his “janitor kids” proposal. This is the sort of thing that you get from Newt; he’s been described as an “idea factory.” He gets ideas and just tosses them out; I get the feeling that they aren’t intended to be implemented as is, but to start a discussion.

His idea here is that in poorer school districts, the schools be authorized to hire and pay students to perform janitorial services within their schools. And I gotta say, I like it. The school districts — already poor — can save money by hiring cheaper students. The students will get some money, some experience that will give them an edge when they graduate and go looking for real jobs, and they will get a chance to learn a good work ethic. Oh, it needs some serious refinements — the students should be limited in hours, be required to maintain a certain GPA, they will need to be supervised, and whatnot — but it’s a creative solution to some real problems.

I still got problems with Newt. He’s not my first choice, and I dunno if he ever will be. But attacks like these — so transparent and bogus — definitely raise his stock in my eyes.

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