22 March 2007


For once I have to say I agree with Newt Gingrich.

The political process in this country is broken and it needs fixing.

"It is very clear that our current political system is utterly and totally incapable of serious conversation.

To support his assertion. Gingrich points to the Clinton 1984 ad that lit up You Tube in recent days as an example of political discourse gone wrong.

I've steared clear of posting about the ad until now because everyone else has beaten it to death and because I'm hoping to avoid talking about these online ads unless they either say something rather than smear someone, or they become so big I can't ignore them.

Anyway, back to Gingrich.

He says the ad is "utterly, totally destructive of the process of thought," and "there is not a single thing in that commercial that enables America to solve a problem."

Gingrich calls the ad and others like it "The Entertainment Tonight version of governing a great country and it's really very dangerous"

The former House Speaker challenged all of the current candidates for president to pledge - should they win the nominatiuon of their party - to commit to a 90-minute "dialogue" with their opponent once a week, every week, from Labor Day '08 through the general election two months later.

Gingrich proposed there be no moderator "no Mickey Mouse questions" and "no gimmicks" just discussion about the future of the country.

Gingrich's call for a return to real poltical debate comes shortly after call by fellow Republican John McCain to keep personal lives out of the campaign.

While I strongly agree with both Gingrich and McCain, I must say I wonder about motivation.

Gingrich hasn't declared his candidacy yet, but he is seen more and more likely to do so as the ultra-conservative wing of the GOP continues to wander in the dark looking for someone to support.

Gingrich, who's picture was only recently replaced by that of Karl Rove in the dictionary under the listing "dirty politics," was among the most divisive figures of the political wars of the 1990s.

Now that he may run, he's seeking a truce. And one wonders whether it is because his personal life has been less than exemplary.

Whatever the motive, I'm all for the plan. But I don't think we'll see a return to the Lincoln-Douglas days any time soon.

For additional reading:

"2008 Campaign Will Test Privacy of Candidates’ Personal Lives" - Steven Thomma, McClatchey Newspapers

"Obama Vows Not To Raise Rival Candidates' Personal Issues" - CNN Political Ticker

"Don't be Cruel; Divining the New Moral Code" -- New York Times

1 comment:

Paul said...

Whatever his motivation, and being a politician I'm sure its self, the weekly debates idea is a great one, so good it's got no chance whatsoever to happen.