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First, I’ll stipulate that Newt Gingrich is a flawed man who’s paid a hefty price for his mistakes. Next, I’ll state what I emphatically believe: that Newt Gingrich the visionary isn’t just the right tonic for what’s ailing the GOP. He’s the perfect strategist to lead Republicans to victory. Newt’s speech at CPAC this year is a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about:

The reason why Newt’s got the right strategy is because his speeches aren’t about politics. They’re about improving life with a political twist. Check out this part of Newt’s speech:

NEWT: We must stop being the opposition movement. We must become the alternative government movement that will help make the life of every American better so that they would understand what we would do that we would do right, not just what the left is doing wrong.

The biggest thing that conservatives can do to guarantee the best shot at victories this fall is telling the American people that a) we’re the solutions party and b) we trust families and small businesses to make great decisions.

That necessarily means trusting people with lots of options. If we trust families, we should be the party whose health care reform legislation gives families tons of options to fit their families’ needs. By doing that, Republicans will highlight the difference between Harry Reid’s and Al Franken’s one-size-fits-all plan, aka the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and Republicans’ legislation that trusts families.

That’s a perfect segue into another major point in Newt’s speech:

The smartphone will be the leading public health device of the 21st Century. It’ll be the leading learing device. It’ll be the leading management tool. Congressman Dr. Michael Burgess has a smartphone that has 8 medical applications on it. He can do an electrocardiogram with his smartphone. Now the Food and Drug Administration, seeing the dramatic rise in applications that improve your health, now wants to take over approving applications for smartphones.

Now if you want to see a fight where we can be on the side of young Americans and the left is hopeless, you just go out to any college campus and you say ‘how would you like Washington bureaucrats slowing down the number of new applications you can get, most of them, by the way, are free’?

The party of excessive government can’t control its appetite for controlling people’s lives. Young people naturally love lots of options. In that fight, Democrats lose bigtime.

If Republicans become the party that trusts small businesses to innovate and make families’ lives better, they’ll win decisively because people of all demographic backgrounds will want what we’re selling.

If conservatives return to Reagan’s and Kemp’s and Thatcher’s belief that great ideas that make families’ lives better also makes for great politics, then conservatives will win decisively.

The point isn’t about sounding more conservative or more moderate. It’s about who has great ideas. I’m not advocating for moderation. I’m advocating that makes families’ lives better through entrepreneurship and innovation. Conservatives will jump all over that because it’s from the private sector. Apolitical people will jump all over it because their lives will be improved by the innovations that’s only possible through entrepreneurship.

Watch Newt’s entire speech if you want to see how to win the future. You’ll want to hear Newt’s connecting the dots between the Bakken and defeating Putin. Newt’s speech isn’t getting the buzz like others’ speeches. It’s just the blueprint that’ll make the GOP the dominant party again.

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According to Newt’s article, it’s apparent that conventional wisdom was wrong…again. Based on the latest CNN poll, it’s apparent that the American people blame Republicans, Democrats and President Obama equally for the shutdown:

When asked in the CNN poll whom they are angry at, 63% said Republicans, 58% said Democrats and 53% said Obama. That is a 10-point margin for the president and only a 5-point margin for Democrats, compared with a 23-point margin in November 1995. Independents said they blamed all three equally (60% GOP, 59% Democrats, 58% Obama). This is so clearly within the margin of error that it is for all practical purposes a tie.

After weeks of the media focusing blame on House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Ted Cruz and the House Republicans, it is clear the American people are not buying it.

Earlier in the article, Newt talked about polling during 1995 shutdown:

A CNN poll at the time showed Americans blamed Republicans over President Bill Clinton for the first shutdown by almost 2-to-1, 49% to 26%. Republicans fared only a little better in the second shutdown of the mid-’90s. A CNN poll after it began showed the American people preferred Clinton’s approach to that of the Republicans by 52% to 38%.

Sixty-two percent said they had negative feelings about the Republican leaders during that conflict, compared with only 49% about Clinton.

It’s pretty apparent that the American people are perfectly capable of understanding the different dynamics at play in this shutdown vs. the 1995-96 shutdown. In 1995, Gingrich’s troops didn’t hide the fact that they a) took seriously the fact that they controlled the purse strings and b) that they wanted to change the direction of the country. They didn’t hide the fact that they were will willing to shut government down if that’s what it took to win the longterm fight.

President Clinton understood that. He didn’t hesitate in negotiating with Republicans. By doing that, he looked reasonable. Fast forward to today. This time, it’s Boehner’s Republicans who look reasonable compared with President Obama’s mean-spirited character.

After weeks of the media focusing blame on House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Ted Cruz and the House Republicans, it is clear the American people are not buying it.

There have been too many days of the president saying, “I will not negotiate.” The country believes him. They can see he’s a big part of the reason the government is shut down.

That’s why it’s impossible for me to believe the Gallup and Rasmussen polling that shows President Obama with a job approval rating near 50%. There’s no way to square up the CNN and AP polling with Rasmussen’s and Gallup’s polling.

If House Republicans continue to pass targeted, clean continuing resolutions to fund parts of the government and Senate Republicans demand day after day for the right to vote on these popular measures, the margin of blame may begin shifting from virtual parity to a solidly Democratic problem.

If the Republicans repeat every day their willingness to negotiate and Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid repeat every day their refusal to negotiate, this may become catastrophic for the Democrats.

I don’t expect President Obama to take that hardline approach much longer. He’s got to be seeing polling that shows his popularity tanking. That’s why it’s impossible to believe President Obama will stick to his guns.

That said, House Republicans have done their Senate colleagues a ton of good during this fight. They’ve forced Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor to take votes they’ll regret next November. Voting against funding of the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and voting to keep the national parks closed just isn’t popular. It’s too early to predict that the entire group of Democratic senators will lose in November, 2014. Still, they might want to start drafting an outline for their concession speeches.

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During the last couple of weeks, I’ve highlighted how the St. Cloud Times editorial staff gone overboard. I’d hoped they’d gotten it out of their system. Unfortunately, this editorial proves that the Times isn’t just occasionally foolish. It’s more a way of life. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Though Republicans have generally represented the St. Cloud area, this race may serve as a reality check for the party.

That statement is factually inaccurate. The seat currently held by Tama Theis is definitely a GOP seat. By contrast, the seat now held by Zach Dorholt, who isn’t anything close to a moderate, has been represented by Democrats, with King Banaian the sole exception for the past 20 years. Sauk Rapids and Sartell are pretty reliably liberal at the local level. Ditto with Waite Park.

This statement deserves additional scrutiny, too:

Can it find a moderate candidate, or will it resort to another flamethrower backed by the big money of special interest groups? We can cross our fingers for the former.

Talk to King Banaian about the special interest money the DFL spent to defeat him. The DFL’s attack/smear operation spent tens of thousands of dollars last year to defeat King. I haven’t seen the Times editorial page utter a thing about the tons of DFL special interest money spent to defeat King.

Further, this obsession with moderates is overrated. This past election, the DFL legislative candidates ran as moderates. Then the DFL legislature passed the biggest budget in state history. Then the DFL legislature passed the biggest tax increase in state history, too. In addition to those things, the DFL legislature ignored federal labor law, specifically the NLRA, when it passed a bill that seeks to turn private sector employers into public employees.

It’s worth noting that Michele Bachmann is an expert on regulations, banking procedures, taxes, health care and national security. The Times won’t admit that because of their outright hatred of her.

The reality is that people want politicians who either stop bad things from happening or politicians who gets positive things accomplished. In Michele’s 8 years in Congress, she’s either been in the minority or she’s had to deal with a corrupt, inept Democrat president. It’s difficult getting positive things done in that environment.

Finally, there’s this laugher:

Unlike Democrats, the Republican Party has everything to lose in this election.

I have a simple question for the Times. What are they smoking?

According to this Weekly Standard article, Dianne Feinstein’s anti-Second Amendment bill would exempt government officials:

Not everyone will have to abide by Senator Dianne Feinstein’s gun control bill. If the proposed legislation becomes law, government officials and others will be exempt.

“Mrs. Feinstein’s measure would exempt more than 2,200 types of hunting and sporting rifles; guns manually operated by bolt, pump, lever or slide action; and weapons used by government officials, law enforcement and retired law enforcement personnel,” the Washington Times reports.

In other words, the elitists have a right to protection but Main Street doesn’t have the right to self-protection. That’s typical elitist behavior. Compare that with ‘evil’ Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America:

FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;

Liberal elitists villify Speaker Gingrich and sing praises to Sen. Feinstein, which is odd considering the fact that Sen. Feinstein apparently thinks elitists like her are entitled to special treatment.

Why shouldn’t Main Street Americans be entitled to self-protection with the weapons Sen. Feinstein wants to ban? Don’t Main Street Americans contribute mightily to the health of this nation? Shouldn’t they be entitled to the same protection as elitists like Sen. Feinstein?

I’d love hearing Sen. Feinstein argue against that argument.

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John Boehner is failing. He’s playing President Obama’s game on President Obama’s court. He’s prosecuting the wrong case. Rather than discussing the terms of the fiscal cliff debate, Speaker Boehner should be talking about why Republicans’ pro-growth tax policies are America’s only hope for a variety of Obama-created ills.

First, Speaker Boehner should highlight the fact that President Clinton’s high tax rates didn’t trigger the great economy. He should remind the nation that it was Newt’s capital gains tax cuts that sent the economy into high gear. Prior to those tax cuts, the economy was doing ok. After cutting the capital gains tax, growth exploded.

Another thing that Speaker Boehner must do is remind people that Republicans’ insisting on balancing the federal budget helped strengthen the dollar, which led to a dramatic shrinking of America’s trade deficit. That especially affected gas prices.

Third, Speaker Boehner should shout from the rooftops that revenues during the Bush tax cuts were significantly bigger than revenues are today. If Speaker Boehner asked President Obama why he’s insisting on anti-growth policies that tamp the economy down rather than implementing new pro-growth policies that strengthen the economy, President Obama might well blow a gasket.

This is the debate we should start. This is the debate President Obama can’t win. This is the conversation that would expose President Obama’s motivation for imposing higher tax rates.

Rather than the pattern of proposal-counterproposal, then a counter offer to the counterproposal, with each side publicly stating that the other side needs to put forth a serious proposal, Speaker Boehner should ditch that pattern, especially the taunting language.

Instead, Speaker Boehner, followed by every Republican in Congress talking with their local newspapers and TV outlets about how cutting spending is what’s fair to taxpayers and how reforming the tax code, highlighted by fewer deductions and lower tax rates, would strengthen the economy.

Highlight the fact that this was the real reason why the economy was strong during the Clinton administration. Highlight the fact that the economy didn’t take off until Newt changed the trajectory of the debate.

President Obama is too arrogant to be frightened by that debate, which means Speaker Boehner should be able to turn this situation into a discussion on getting America’s economy going for the first time during President Obama’s administration.

With expensive utility bills, shrinking paychecks, high gas and grocery prices and unacceptably high unemployment rates, the indictment against President Obama’s mishandling of the economy should be lengthy and powerful.

Finally, he should unleash Paul Ryan. Speaker Boehner should insist on a televised fiscal cliff summit, with Ryan leading the prosecution of the case against President Obama’s reckless spending. Dave Camp should prosecute the case for why the GOP tax reform plan will strengthen the economy.

GOP senators and governors should take part in this summit, too. One tactic President Obama has overplayed is saying that ‘we can talk about that’ on a variety of policies, then dropping that position the minute he’s out of the room. Republicans should tell him that implementing a pro-growth economic plan is non-negotiable.

Finally, make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates won’t affect the Warren Buffetts of the world because their income comes from investments, not wages. Make the case that raising the top marginal tax rates will hurt small businesses, not the evil Wall Street fatcats President Obama always talks about.

President Obama’s policies are failing. Speaker Boehner’s ineptitude in highlighting those failures has the fiscal cliff conversation heading in the wrong direction. It’s time to change the direction of that conversation.

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Newt Gingrich is one of the best political strategists of our time. Whether you agree or disagree with his policies, whether you think he’s too temperamental or whether you think he’s utterly brilliant, there’s no denying the fact that he’s got a fantastic knack of understanding main street. This video is a tour de force presentation by Newt:

Here’s the first thing Newt said that caught my attention:

It’s great. It’s the American drama. After all the talk, after all the ads, after all the pontificating, the American people get to tell us.

I’ll just say this. It’s about time. Let’s get this started. I’ve had enough of looking at deceitful polls. I’m tired of listening to President Obama’s stump speech. It isn’t time for the pontificators to leave the stage. It’s just time for them to add insight into why the American people made the decision they made.

This is the next thing Newt said that caught my attention:

I’ll give you one example. They’re talking about Democratic early voting in Ohio but they’re counting the counties along the Ohio River, which is coal country, which are Second Amendment gun rights country, which are God-fearing counttry, which are the very things that Obama had contempt for in San Fransisco. Those Democrats are going to vote against Obama.

It’s wrong to think of these coal-mining Democrats as Romney Democrats, at least at this point. It’s possible they’d be accurately described as Romney Democrats. It’s entirely possible they’ll just join the GOP.

At this point, though, it’s best calling them anti-Obama Democrats. At this point, they’re best described as people agitated that a Democrat wouldn’t fight for the blue collar Democrats that once was the backbone of the Democratic Party.

This statement spoke volumes to me:

NEWT: I was struck by something Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times, hardly a right wing reporter, said that the states he’d been in this week, his phrase was “The organic enthusiasm was for Romney.” There was a mechanical machine for Obama but there was an organic enthusiasm for Romney. My experience in politics is that organic enthusiasm,. the whole wave effect, always defeats the mechanical machine.

Notice that Newt didn’t criticize the machine. He simply said that a mob of genuinely enthusiastic voters will defeat the machine every time. I couldn’t dispute that if I wanted to.

Later, they talked about Todd Akin. Here’s what Newt said there:

Well, first of all, Callista and I have both been out campaigning with him. I’ve really liked Todd Akin. He was given a very bum rap by the national establishment. She is a very Obama-like voter in a state that voted by 71% against Obamacare and then she voted for Obamacare six weeks later. And Romney’s going to carry the state by 8-12 point so I think Akin wins by 3 points.

Frankly, I hadn’t thought about the folks along Ohio River Democrats voting early for Mitt but it makes sense. If that’s what’s happened, then that drops Ohio comfortably into Mitt’s lap. Similarly, if Mitt’s winning Missouri by double-digits and if Missourans don’t like Claire McCaskill like I think is the case, then I think Todd Akin wins.

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This article from Salena Zito and this article highlight the lengths the Obama administration will go in shutting down the mining industry.

This is from Ms. Zito’s article:

His vice president said coal is more dangerous than terrorists. Can you imagine that?” Romney told a cheering crowd of about 2,600 people in the village of Beallsville, where 70 miners from American Energy Corp.’s Century Mine joined him onstage. “This tells you precisely what he actually feels and what he’s done, and his policies over the last three-and-a-half years have put in place the very vision he had when he was running for office.”

Romney said he and mine owner Bob Murray, whose Cleveland-based Murray Energy Corp. digs 60 percent of the state’s coal, listened to an Obama campaign ad on the car radio, in which the president said he supports “clean coal.” Yet, Obama tells audiences in Western states that he supports only energy resources that come from aboveground, Romney said.

“I thought, how in the world can you go out there and tell people things that just aren’t true?” he said. “If you believe the whole answer for energy needs is wind and solar, then say that.”

Mr. President, it’s shameful that you’d lie to the people of Ohio like that. Speaker Gingrich was right when he called Steven Chu the anti-energy secretary.

Here’s something scary from Michael Bastasch’s article:

In May, the EPA released its watershed assessment of large-scale mining by Pebble LP at Bristol Bay, which could be one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world, and expressed concerns over impact the mine would have on local salmon habitats and surrounding wetlands.

Under the Clean Water Act, operations that dump “dredge or fill materials” into wetlands, rivers, lakes, or streams are required to obtain a Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA can revoke this permit if there are “unacceptable adverse impacts on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife, or recreational areas.”

However, the watershed assessment did not evaluate any actual plans for the Pebble Mine, as none have been put forward, instead it evaluates a hypothetical mine. Independent scientists have also expressed concerns over this approach and have said the assessment was rushed.

That’s chilling. The EPA is making a judgment based on…assumptions? Shouldn’t their decisions be based on actual plans?

President Obama campaigned on the notion that he’d base his decisions on science. That’s BS. He’s basing his decisions on political ideology, not verifiable facts.

As a direct result of his EPA’s decisions, gas prices have doubled since he took office, electric bills are more expensive, mining jobs are endangered and the price of products affected by higher gas prices is more expensive.

That’s the direct result of his political ideology and the Democratic Party’s reliance on campaign contributions from the trust fund elitists who fund the militant environmentalists.

This administration’s hostility towards mines of all kinds is appalling. We The People can’t afford their hostility towards mining.

That’s why firing this president this November isn’t just important, it’s imperative.

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Last night on Piers Morgan’s show, Newt Gingrich utterly dismantled a) Piers Morgan’s chanting points and b) Democrats everywhere. This video summarizes it perfectly:

Here’s the transcript of their exchange:

PIERS MORGAN, HOST: I suppose the fundamental debate that’s going to be had, though, will come down to whether the Republicans can sell to the American people that they are really concerned about jobs, about people’s livelihoods, and all the rest of it. If they’re also scratching the backs of their rich and wealthy members, which is clearly I think the flaw in the Ryan plan is that it just does. I mean, if you’re very wealthy, you’re going to be doing a lot better out of Paul Ryan than you would out of Barack Obama who believes fundamentally the rich should pay more tax.

NEWT GINGRICH: You know, I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but I do wonder sometimes if you guys all get off in a little club and learn a brand new mantra and then all repeat it mindlessly. The fact is, these kinds of things were said about Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan’s tax cut – which was developed by Jack Kemp who Paul Ryan worked for – Ronald Reagan’s tax cut raised more people to middle class status, took more people out of poverty, created more jobs.

You know, this is the core thing that liberals don’t get. If you want to have jobs, you have to encourage job creators. If you discourage job creators, if you engage in class warfare, if you do what Barack Obama’s been doing, you have what we currently have. This is the worst recovery in 75 years.

Now, nobody in the media seems to want to come to grips with the fact that the Obama economic policy is a disaster for the poor. Look at the unemployment rate for black teenagers. Look at the unemployment rate for Latino teenagers. At what point do we hold the president accountable for a policy which is crippling the poor in America by crushing the economy under big government?

Ryan and Romney represent a different approach. And I think there’s this mantra you guys almost sound like you’re an extension of the Obama campaign. The Ryan/Romney plan empowers middle class Americans to get a job. When they get a job, their income goes up. They pay more taxes. They are independent. They’re able to live their own lives.

Obama worries about student loans. None of those students are going to get any jobs under Obama. Ryan and Romney are worried about getting jobs for those students so they can pay off the Obama loans.

I think this is a fundamentally different model, and I know everybody in the media wants to rush down and narrow it down to one point. So I’m going to rush down and narrow it down to one point: how long are we going to tolerate a president who makes the poorest Americans more unemployed, who pushes more poor Americans on to food stamps, and who eliminates hope for minorities? And that’s the Barack Obama record after four years.

Most Republicans would’ve tried defending ‘tax cuts for the rich’. Newt didn’t have time for that. He attacked the underlying principle, essentially saying what Ronald Reagan said decades ago: You can’t be pro jobs and hate job creators.

President Obama has villified entrepreneurs all of his adult life. He’s even had to put out an ad saying that he loves small business:

That ad was hastily thrown together right after his infamous “You didn’t build that” speech from Roanoke, VA.

Newt’s message is refreshing because he doesn’t accept the progressives’ premise. After demolishing the progressives’ premise, Newt then proceeded to highlight this administration’s failures in helping the poor, especially minorities.

The end result is Newt making a brilliant case for capitalism being the best path to prosperity for minorities.

That’s what happens when you aren’t restricted to mindlessly repeating the progressives’ chanting points.

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Newt Gingrich is one of the most astute political strategists in American history. I know that I’ll catch flack over that statement but there’s no denying his putting together a revolution that took back the House for the first time in 40 years.

That’s why I’m paying attention to Newt’s latest article:

The announcement that former President Bill Clinton had been personally asked by President Obama to place his name in nomination at the Democratic Convention struck me as potentially a major mistake.

Bill Clinton is one of the most effective and aggressive speakers in the Democratic Party.

His attacks on Republicans will be witty, memorable, and effective for the moment.

The problem for Democrats is that while those who listen to Clinton’s speech and cheer him will be excited, those who think about Clinton and Obama in the same thought will begin to realize how bad Obama really has been as President.

Republicans should take every opportunity to drive home the amazing contrast between Clinton’s bipartisan achievements working with a Republican Congress and Obama’s absolute inability to work across the aisle.

I’ve thought the same thing since the announcement. I can’t argue that Clinton won’t electrify the people watching, whether they’re in the convention hall or watching their TVs.

I don’t doubt that he’ll pull off convincing people, albeit momentarily, that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between himself and President Obama. That image won’t last long. It might not make it through the weekend.

If I’m the Romney campaign, I’d have ads in the can with Clinton “ending welfare as we know it” vs. President Obama gutting welfare reform, then finishing with a picture of Bill Clinton with John Kasich with captioning reading “four straight surpluses, millions of new jobs created” just to remind people that creating a robust economy isn’t impossible.

You wouldn’t need to highlight that against a clip of President Obama. The message is already etched into people’s minds. That’s already ‘baked into the cake.’

These statistics are a stunning indictment against this administration:

With Clinton and a Republican Congress unemployment fell from 7.3 percent to 4.2 percent. Under Obama unemployment has been stuck at 8.2 percent (now moving up to 8.3percent this month). Obama has the worst job collapse in 75 years. Obama has had over 8 percent unemployment for 41 straight months. In fact under Obama unemployment went up from 7.8 percent to today’s 8.3 percent.

President Obama’s $5.2 trillion in deficits is a sharp contrast to Clinton’s balanced budgets.

During the bipartisan period from 1995 to 1999, debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP dropped 23 percent. Under Obama, it rose from 40.5 percent in 2008 to an estimated 74 percent in 2012—an increase of more than 83 percent. And under President Obama, gross federal debt passed 100 percent of GDP for the first time since 1947.

When I was sworn in as speaker in January 1995, the Congressional Budget Office projected cumulative federal budget deficits of $2.7 trillion over the next decade. After four years of bipartisan rule, in 1999, the CBO projected a $2.3 trillion surplus, a turnaround of $5 trillion. Under Obama, the CBO this year estimated a ten-year cumulative deficit of $2.9 trillion.

The President’s jobs failure has left 46 million Americans in poverty, the largest number in history.

If Mitt picks Paul Ryan or Bob McDonnell as his runningmate, they’ll likely campaign on a theme of ‘Reforms that work’. That’s a powerful message this campaign season. I might even be tempted to appropriate Bill Clinton language.

I’m one of the people that remember Al Gore before he flipped out. Bill Clinton put him in charge of a project called “Re-inventing Government.” There’s no reason why a Mitt-Ryan ticket or a Mitt-McDonnell ticket couldn’t run on the theme of “Re-inventing Government, Part II.”

That theme would play well with independents who aren’t that ideological. Independents want government to do its job right without intruding into their lives. Play on the themes of creating a robust domestic energy plan, getting rid of the corruption within the EPA and the crony capitalism of Solyndra.

Couple that with talking about building a 21st Century health care system and this could turn into a rout fairly quickly.

Doing those things would remind people of what it was like to have a functioning government that got things right without unduly burdening their families and their businesses.

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Newt Gingrich isn’t staying silent about the media’s crucifixion of Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Tom Rooney, Trent Franks and Lynn Westmoreland, aka the National Five. Gingrich used this Politico op-ed to ridicule the Washington elites from both parties:

The recent assault on the National Security Five is only the most recent example of the fear our elites have about discussing and understanding radical Islamists.

When an orchestrated assault is launched on the right to ask questions in an effort to stop members of Congress from even inquiring about a topic, you know the fix is in.

The intensity of the attack on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as well as Republican Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tom Rooney of Florida and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia is a reminder of how desperate our elites are to avoid this discussion. Yet consider this rush to silence questions in light of our history of unpleasant surprises during the Cold War.

It’s shameful that political opportunists like Jim Graves and go-along-to-get-along types like Speaker Boehner and Sen. McCain have taken shots at Michele. I can partially excuse Graves because I don’t expect much from DFL candidates. I won’t excuse Boehner’s and McCain’s behavior because they should know that the National Security Five asked totally legitimate questions.

We have replaced tough mindedness about national security with a refusal to think seriously and substituted political correctness and a “solid” assurance that people must be OK because they are “nice” and “hard working” for the systematic, intense investigations of the past.

That’s the case the media and the left have made on Huma Abedin’s behalf. I’ve said throughout that I won’t accuse her of being a terrorist plant. There’s simply no evidence of that. I’ve been just as consistent in insisting that it’s perfectly legitimate for legislators to question the procedure by which she received a security clearance.

How bad is this denial? Here’s how bad it iss:

After Maj. Nidal Hasan shouted, “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”) in Fort Hood, Texas, and killed 12 soldiers and one Army civilian while wounding 29 others, there was pressure to avoid confronting his acts as inspired by his support for radical Islamism.

An American of Palestinian descent, Hasan had been in touch with a radical American cleric in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki. He declared Hasan a hero. Al-Awlaki was himself declared a “specially designated global terrorist” and, with presidential approval, was killed by a predator missile.

Yet, despite the evidence, Wikipedia reports, “One year after the Fort Hood shooting, the motivations of the perpetrator were not yet established.”

It did offer suggestions about motivation, however. For example, “A review of Hasan’s computer and his multiple email accounts has revealed visits to websites espousing radical Islamist ideas.” Talking about Islam, he said, “Nonbelievers would be sent to Hell, decapitated, set on fire and have burning oil poured down their throats.”

A rational person would have some hints about what motivated a terrorist killing spree.

If even Wikipedia could reach some conclusion about motivation, you would think the national security system could do the same. Not so.

I wish I could say I’m surprised but I’m not. This administration say that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan weren’t wars but instead called “overseas contingency operations” and that terrorist attacks would be called “man-caused disasters.” Why should we be surprised that this administration won’t officially declare Maj. Hassan’s killing spree a terrorist attack?

Speaker Gingrich is a serious man when it comes to national and homeland security issues. It’s anything but surprising that he’s defending Michele and the National Security Five for asking unpopular but important questions.

If a few feathers get ruffled by asking the difficult questions, that’s the price that must be paid to do the right thing.

Mr. Graves’ cheapshot was a futile exercise in political opportunism. It wasn’t an act of bringing people together. It revealed his lack of foreign policy gravitas. It showed Graves’ willingness to play political games on important issues. Far from being the witch hunt that Graves calls it, it’s really a congresswoman taking national security seriously.

The reaction to the National Security Five and their request for investigations by the inspectors general must be seen in this context of willful avoidance and denial.

In fact, there is a good deal in the Obama administration’s national security and foreign policy to ask about. One theme of the inspectors general letters is the administration’s courting of individuals viewed as leaders by the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood. A recent terrorist finance trial produced 80 boxes of evidence related to the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood network in North America over the past 40 years.

Apparently, it isn’t PC to think that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to influence U.S. foreign policy just because there’s boxes of documentation showing the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempts to influence U.S. foreign policy.

The scandal isn’t that the National Security Five asked important questions. It’s that the media, Washington DC and political candidates turned this into a circus this easily. In that sense, it’s really an indictment of DC, the media and Jim Graves.

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