Saturday, August 4, 2007

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Newt Gingrich delivered what I hope will be a watershed speech at the Young America's Foundation National Conservative Student Conference at George Washington University this week. While his comment that the war on terror is a "phony" war has gotten all the press, the greater significance of this speech was summed up in this comment:
"Republican political doctrine has been a failure."
The reason this statement is so significant is that one of the defining characteristics of the current Republican leadership is their absolute refusal acknowledge the validity of any criticism or to ever admit any fault or failure. It's refreshing and inspiring to hear a politician of any stripe speak his mind without the spin cycle, but especially a prominent Republican.

Newt's comments on the utter failure of Republican domestic policies are stunning in their bluntness and honesty. Regarding the so-called war on terror, he had this to say:
"We are today engaged in a phony war...None of you should believe we are winning this war...We have not been taking this seriously."
This last comment in particular is most significant. Where are the war bonds? Where is the war tax? What sacrifice have Americans been asked to make to meet this great threat to our nation? Where is the Manhattan Project to get us off our dependence on Mideast oil? The more significant comments in this speech have not gotten the coverage they deserve. I for one disagree with Newt's solution to the problem of terrorism, which is to be even more aggressive and militaristic, a certain path to ruin in my opinion, but the honesty of his speech and his opinions should be commended. We need much more of that in our political dialogue.

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