Friday, January 20, 2012

Conservative Envy | Romney vs. Gingrich

* Round 15: GOP Debate

* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *

The first three minutes of the January 19th CNN-GOP Debate was such a crock that I turned it off and caught up with the highlights later on. In one less notable tirade, Mitt Romney exclaimed, "Mr. Speaker, you talk about all the things you did with Ronald Reagan and the Reagan Revolution and the jobs created during the Reagan years and so forth. I mean, I looked at the Reagan diary. You were mentioned once in Ronald Reagan's diary. And in the diary he says you had an idea in a meeting of young congressman, and it wasn't a very good idea, and he dismissed it. That's the entire mention."

Well first of all, the book is entitled, “The Reagan Diaries”, not the Reagan Diary.

Secondly, the meeting Romney referred to was concerning what at the time was considered to be a “horrendous” budget deficit.

As Reagan relays, on page 123, Newt's idea for addressing the deficit was to "freeze the budget at the 1983 level". Gosh, what a horrible idea!

Reagan penned that the idea was "tempting", not that it was an outright zany notion. He went on to say that Newt’s idea, although tempting, would “cripple” his proposed defense program.

Actually there's a little more to the story than that.

Reagan said he was worried that an across-the-board freeze on spending, with the exception of defense, would cause every special interest group to demand the same.

So in a sense, Reagan was willing to let the deficit spiral out of control, rather than take up that fight. Do you disagree?

We all know what happened subsequently. That’s right, by the 1990's our nation would face a much more serious budget problem. One which would be combated with higher taxes. That is until this notion was finally quashed by the Gingrich Revolution.

So if nothing else, at least Romney inspired those with curious minds to pick up the Reagan Diaries for a badly needed refresher. And in retrospect, perhaps Newt’s idea wasn't so bad after all, especially in light of our current fiscal crisis.

To be fair, George Romney was mentioned twice, on pages 249 and 415. Each mention was a short little blurb about his being the head of some kind of "volunteer initiative”, or something. Seriously, that's the entire mention. Read it for yourself.

So what was Romney’s point? That his father got mentioned twice, for some trifle; while Gingrich was only mentioned once, regarding the most important issue of this era? Man, was that dumb!

Or was Romney trying to say that being mentioned twice in the Reagan Diaries is superior to once? If that’s the case, then what are we to make of the fact that Mitt Romney wasn’t mentioned at all?

If you ask me, this was just another anemic Romney exchange, worthy of the response it received -- none. Perhaps Romney was signaling that he would never go for a spending freeze, under any circumstance. Who can decipher his reasoning? Nevertheless, he came off as one suffering from a classic case of Conservative Envy. Consequently, Romney is going down.

Sources:

The Reagan Diaries, pages 123, 249, and 415.

Quotation from: Real Clear Politics - Romney To Gingrich: "You Were Mentioned Once In Ronald Reagan's Diary".

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