Monthly archives "November 2011"

The Rise of Newt

On January 20, 1981 when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States there was a national feeling that someone was in charge again.  Throughout the 1980 campaign one could sense that change was coming.   The final turning point was the October 28, 1980 debate between President Jimmy Carter and former CA Governor Reagan.  After the debate  Carter pollster, Pat Caddell, told him what the nation already knew: “It is gone, Mr. President.”   Ronald Reagan won 40 states, defeated Carter by nine million popular votes and the Electoral College was 489 to 49.

Something similar may have happened this week with the surge of former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, into the lead in some of the polls for the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidential race.  There is something of the 1980 campaign feel to this in the sense that rather suddenly Gingrich, far back for most of the fall, has the lead in IA and is running even with Mitt Romney in NH.    How has this happened?

Gingrich did not just start slow.   He shot himself in the foot.  Last spring he appeared on Meet the Press   and was highly critical of Medicare reforms authored by Paul Ryan–calling it right wing social engineering.   After that Gingrich and his wife took an expensive trip to Greece followed by an expensive trip to Tiffany’s.    While these are private matters his aides took offense as they felt the former Speaker needed to be raising rather than spending money and attending to the campaign rather than travelling abroad.  Several of them left Gingrich for Governor Rick Perry of TX and his campaign.   With Perry sliding and Gingrich surging they must be kicking themselves today.  

How has Newt Gingrich rebounded?  Principally by disciplining himself and by turning in very solid debate perfomances.    Clearly he is the brightest man among many bright people on the platform at the debates.   And he is an idea man.   When he left government he spoke of the fact that without the crush of office he has been able to spend a great deal of time thinking through the issues.     His 10 point plan for the economy has been well received.

Another factor is that Republican primary voters are not sold on Mitt Romney.   His being on several sides of the same issue is well documented.   One suspects he adjusts his positions to fit the polls and that he is a moderate seeking to dress in conservative clothing.   As Michelle Bachmann has said, “We do not need to settle this time.”

When asked how long it will take the economy to recover under a Gingrich Administration he confidently said, “It will begin to recover election night if I am elected as people will realize that President Obama is gone.”    All this makes Republicans salivate at the thought of the brilliant Newt Gingrich squaring off with the intellectually overrated Barack Obama in Presidential debates. 

Roadblocks abound for Mr. Newt.  In many ways he remains a Washington insider.    He supported liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava in the 2009 special election in upstate New York.   In 2008 he appeared with then Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a couch in a green ad on the dangers of global warming.   For a smart guy Gingrich has admitted this was stupid.   It sure was.   And some socially  conservative Iowans may have doubts about a twice divorced President.

But all this could pale before the nightmare of another four years of the most radical and dangerous President in our history as well as the most arrogant with no reason to be in face of his incompetence.   However it turns out, Newt’s surge does remind one of Ronald Reagan’s in 1980 and 2012 is the most critical election since then.   It does promise to be exciting.   Bring it on!


Football in Colorful Colorado

On Saturday, November 5, # 1 LSU will face # 2 Alabama on the gridiron.   Like the Super Bowl, even casual fans are interested in this one.   Meanwhile here in CO our three major college teams have won a total of four times.    The University of Northern CO has not won a game.    Colorado State University has won three games including a victory over winless UNC noted above.    Colorado University has won only one game and that over  previously mentioned CSU.  In short, if it were not for Colorado State University, the University of Colorado would be winless and without UNC, Colorado State would have tasted victory only two times.   The combined record of these three schools is 4-22.   LSU and Alabama are a combined 16-0.    There is no need to mention our NFL team in this paragraph.

As I reflect on this I think of the Orange Bowl January 1, 1991.  My wife and I met at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and we were there that New Year’s night in Miami, FL.   We saw the CU Buffaloes defeat the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame to win the national championship.    The CU head coach was a man named Bill McCartney.   He was a tremendous recruiter who took the team to heights never before seen in college football in this state. 

McCartney is also a devout Christian who has said that the same-sex lifestyle is biblically unacceptable.  This drives the Left mad with rage, and they came out in force two weeks ago to demand that McCartney not be accorded the honor of being Grand Marshal of the 2011 Homecoming Parade.  The game was held on October 22 before the Buffaloes were smashed by  Oregon University–keeping CU winless in  Pac-12 play.

Bill McCartney is a grown up who graciously stepped aside rather than allowing a noisy minority to disrupt a happy occasion for alums and others.   He remains a winner in life and on the field as well.   Meanwhile a special interest group that insists on rights and tolerance exposes itself as intolerant of others and of the free exchange of ideas.    In short, it is not only the football team that lost on Homecoming Saturday.   In light of the current state of the CU football program one would think there would be some respect for Coach McCartney and his tremendous teams.   But we are not dealing with rational human beings here.

Speaking of intolerance, something like this happened on Sunday at Mile High Stadium where the Denver Broncos were easily handled by the Detroit Lions.   Denver quarterback Tim Tebow was sacked several times by the Lions.   On two occasions Detroit players fell to a knee and mocked Tebow (a devout Christian) and the stance he takes to thank God after the game.    There is a rule against taunting in the NFL but no flags were thrown.

The point we are driving at is that it is open season on Christians here and beyond.   This has always been true.   Christ was mocked and so were His followers then and now.  Paul writes in I Corinthians 1:23:  “We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.”   Charles Malek, ambassador for the African nation of Liberia and powerful Christian, noted that in his global travels he finds that everywhere the world hates Christ.   He asks the rhetorical question:   “Who hates Buddha today?”   No one.  “Who hates Mary Baker Eddy who founded Christian Science?”   No one.   But the world hates Jesus Christ and His followers.

So Tebow is mocked and there is no flag.   Bill McCartney is protested and he bows out as Grand Marshal.   Does anyone yell? “Intolerance!”  No.  Wonder what would happen if someone mocked a Moslem player and his faith.    Perhaps a bombed stadium and I do not mean alcohol lubricated fans.

I believe this is worsened by a President who makes fun of persons who cling to faith for comfort.  Leaders set a tone and under Obama the national spirit sags while he golfs on Sunday and divides people Monday through Saturday.   

But God is not mocked and there is another day coming.    Here we do not mean only November 6, 2012 though that also.  No, we are speaking here of the day when history is wrapped up.    I think it not without significance that the Lord says in Matthew 25:33 that on that day,  “He will set the sheep on His Right hand and the goats on the Left.”    

I want to be part of the Right.   Don’t you?   Lord hasten the Day!