Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tommclaughlin@fairpoint.net

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fiery or Milquetoast?

There’s no fire in Romney’s belly, but Gingrich has it. It’s in his eyes too. People see it. They like it, and they don’t sense it in the other candidates either. That’s the biggest reason Gingrich won South Carolina. Conservatives wanted someone who will take it to Obama and his media lapdogs and they know Gingrich will.
Conservatives believe media went after Gingrich because he’s conservative. They loved watching him give it back. They believe Obama gets a pass - and he’s our president only because media have worshiped him since he spoke at the 2004 Democratic convention. They believe media look for dirt on conservative candidates but turn a blind eye when it comes to liberal Democrats. When they’re forced to report it because new media like blogs and AM radio have been on a story for days or weeks, they’ll grudgingly put it on page 16. Gingrich gave voice to conservative anger and the base affirmed him with an overwhelming victory.
CNN's John King being lambasted by Gingrich in South Carolina

As I moved across the political spectrum from left to right over the past 25 years, I’ve become much more aware of how pronounced liberal media bias is. It seemed like brilliant insight when I was a liberal, but when I matured into middle age and life experience opened my mind to alternative viewpoints and I realized that, as Margaret Thatcher said, “The facts of life are conservative,” liberal bias became more and more obvious. Gingrich gets it and so do Republican primary voters.
Audience in South Carolina responding to Gingrich

But will a majority of the American electorate get it in November? That’s the question that haunts. Should conservative voters ignore their gut and vote for the candidate that they think most Americans will support? Or do they look for a leader who will be able to shape voter opinion between now and then? The late Bill Buckley, founder of modern conservatism, established the rule that Republicans should vote for the most conservative candidate with the best chance of being elected. So who should it be? The fiery one or the milquetoast one?

I’ve been present for Romney speeches at least five times. Once I questioned him personally. He’s an intelligent, articulate and good-looking candidate. But he’s like a “Ken” doll. It’s as if there were a string in the back of his neck that someone pulls and he goes out and talks until it coils back in. He’s bland. He’s boring. I was in the Washington, DC audience when Romney pulled out of the 2008 race in favor of McCain. He’d been introduced by Laura Ingraham at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and she was far more interesting than Romney was. She had fire but he didn’t.

I’ve been present for about five of Gingrich’s speeches too. I’ve questioned him publicly and had a couple of short conversations with him. He’s intelligent, articulate and rather ordinary-looking, a little pudgy too. He’s also spontaneous and quick, sarcastic and insightful. He shoots from the hip and from the lip, and he’s never boring.
Romney at CPAC 2010

My encounters were all at large conservative conferences. Other speakers would be introduced and then enter stage-left to polite applause. Not Gingrich. He’d be introduced in the usual way, but then the sound system would start blaring “Eye of the Tiger” while he entered from the back of the hall with an entourage as if he were the heavyweight champion of the world. He’d be smiling and shaking hands with people in the aisles as he approached the podium - the way presidents do when entering the House chamber to deliver State of the Union speeches. By the time Gingrich got up to the dais, the crowd was his. Even after such a build-up, he never disappointed when he spoke. This guy can rally the troops. South Carolina wasn’t a fluke.
"Rocky" Gingrich approaching the dais at CPAC 2009

But can he do that with independents? I think he can. He’s a history teacher. He can educate people about what Obama, Congressional Democrats, and their media lackeys have done to this country and that’s exactly what he must do with independents. He’ll have to go after Obama with gloves off, and go after the media too because they’re just as much the enemy as Obama is. We know they’re both going to go after him. The media already have. Obama will do his dirty work vicariously and he’ll have a billion dollars. That buys a lot of hatchetmen.
Gingrich as professor

All that’s going to happen no matter who the Republicans put up because Obama cannot run on his record. We’re in the mess we’re in because of him. It’s obvious after three years that he doesn’t know how to be president, but he was good at running for it. Blaming Bush for everything won’t work so well this time, so he’s blaming “the rich” now and conservative Republicans in the House. He’s going to escalate attacks like that with his billion-dollar war chest and it’s going to be an ugly race. Republican voters must consider who is most capable of winning that kind of fight.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Irregardless NH said...

It is nothing short of amazing that so-called ‘value voters’ (think South Carolina) or conservative pundits (think Educator McLaughlin) would line up behind Newt Gingrich.

Setting aside the disgraced ex-Speaker’s morality (akin to a rutting pig); his pontificating, condescending tone; his divisive, racist rhetoric….Historian Gingrich is THE consummate Washington insider, known – in less decorous language – as ‘influence peddling’ or, to be more honest, pimping (think Freddie Mac).

How, also, do religious Catholics not gag at the thought of Perfessor G. having purchased an annulment from the Vatican after ‘dating’ (ah, what a euphemism!) his current Wife #3, Callista during the waning days of his marriage to Wife #2?

If Newt Gingrich is the best the GOP can do…woe be unto them and our nation.

Oh, the humanity…

1/25/12, 10:20 AM  
Anonymous Ol' Hickory said...

After reading dribble like this it's no wonder this nation is in ruins. Heck, if I were one of the elite banking families and found it so easy to manipulate these half wits with " politics" and " elections" I'd probably do it to. It is stunning, beyond stunning actually, that the American sheeple still play this fixed "presidential" game. Truly amazing.

Yes, there are only two parties---- two ways of thinking. That's it!

Yes, newt and mitt are the best and the brightest the " right" has to offer.

Yes, Ron Paul will be ignored, smeared and marginalized.

Yes, the few media outlets are owned by the same corporations that back these " candidates".

Yes, Barry soetoro proves beyond a doubt that two party politics are a lie. He can " say" whatever he wants, the reality is he intensified the bush agenda. It's all about PR and branding. The sheep love it. Makes em feel a part of something.

Yes, the election of 2000 was illegal. But hey. Why raise a stink over a rigged presidential electon.

Yes these " debates" will be anything but. More like softball toss. Real issues? Nah. Remember, these networks own these candidates.

Yes, you were lied to about 9/11

And on and on and on and on

1/25/12, 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Paul in Raleigh said...

Republicans made a mistake in choosing McCain the last time. Some have said the current process makes the last candidate standing stronger for the run in the general election. Does it result in the best candidate is the question? I'm not convinced that it does. Perhaps I would think otherwise if I were in favor of one of the top two, but I am not. Santorum to me is the best with the least baggage. Don't talk to me about the candidate that should be running. The ifs, maybes and shouldbes don't count since they have not the fortitude to step up to the plate. The process is still ongoing and surprises may happen. But the more time goes by and I see what is happening in the process to pick a Republican candidate, the more likely it seems that Obama will be re-elected. I see that as a continuing catastrophe for our country.

1/25/12, 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday it was Mr Romney, today its Mr Gingrich. Tomorrow who knows. The voting public is as fickle as a rabbit in heat. Where are the issues? I have no idea what any of them believe in. I am a 'non registered' voter and really don't want four more years of Mr Obama. I am sure there are many more who who feel the same way. Its time someone spoke about something other than character and personality.

1/25/12, 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Winston Smith said...

American apathy with russell means

http://www.infowars.com/american-apathy-with-russell-means/

1/25/12, 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it to Fidel Castro. This quote sums it up nicely.


The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is — and I mean this seriously — the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been," said the retired Cuban leader, who has dueled with 11 U.S. administrations since his 1959 revolution.

1/25/12, 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Liberal Bias  said...

The information is precisely one of the desirable source every reader should takes place of. Keep on partaking such useful information. Good Luck

1/26/12, 2:14 AM  
Blogger Spring Smith said...

Not to get into a huge battle here but why not even mention Ron Paul??? He is the true conservative. Grngrisch is a progressive and I know many conservatives who think he is just as bad as Obama. Personally Ron Paul is the only conservative with half a brain and the only one worth considering.

1/26/12, 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very surprised at this piece, Tom. I am now convinced we are becoming a nation of sheep. Please explain to me how a man can, starting with little accumulate a massive amount of money, control hard-bitten financial types of all kinds, create unison out of chaos(Olympic games) and be a milqutoast?

Gingrich is a Washington insider; he is corrupt, devious and a liar but knows instinctively how to pull lambs like you into his fold.

Bah Humbug! Gordo

1/26/12, 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, the "Lib-Tards" seem to be out in force in response to this column Tom. Notice the Collective "talking point" (that was obviously fed to them) they all seem to be portraying us, in their same ole retort, as morons. They put themselves up on a Pedestal looking down on the "Sheeple" and describe with way to many Thesorous adjectives, their points which make them sound sophisticated and (edjumacated). This should in their hopes make us all want to not be "down here" with all the other morons and up there on their pedistal with them who are "Open Minded" and Non Judgmental. The problem with their Elitist attitude is this; Notice that they have nothing to say that defends Obama and his policies and debt and printing money and selling guns to drug cartels and deporting illegal alians but rather giving them in state tuition and Welfare and Social Security and voting rights and Energy independence and apologizing to the world for anything American etc... No, that's indefensible to us simple sheeple. they therefore then have no choice but to portray themselves as above all this simpleton rhetoric and with out asking you make you think you want to rise above all the lowlife fray and perch yourself up there with them and Piss down on anything or anybody Conservative.

The Elitist problem with their arguement and I find the solution to weeding them out is this; I call it the "Piss Test" Ask them, and you can pick a subject that appeals to you and your belief system here. "Why is it, that what was right and wrong 100 yrs ago (on any subject that fits here to your liking) is OK and acceptable today?" What you will notice is that they will then perch themselves up a little higher than you and (Piss) on you for believing it to be right or wrong. It's because they are Tolerant of all things Until you disagree or have a varying position than them. Think about it and then try the test. Trust me, after a while, YOU'LL GET PISSED.

Now go back and reread the Comments above and see it all again in a different light.

Ol' Hickory, I love it; 9/11 is caused by a conspiracy of the US and not by Terrorists. That is so Rosie O'Donnell, 27 minutes ago.

Irregardless; "disgraced ex-Speaker’s morality (akin to a rutting pig); his pontificating, condescending tone; his divisive, racist rhetoric….Historian Gingrich....Educator McLaughlin". Are you a member of the adjective word of the month club? Have you ever done any manual labor in your life there Poindexter? Do you have any calluses on your hands at all, or just writers cramp?

Name withheld for fear of being put on the Obama watch list.

1/27/12, 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Ol' Hickory said...

Anonymous...please clear this up for me.

Critical thinking exercise:

the 9/11 commision report neglects to mention the compete collapse of wtc building seven. please explain.

If you can't answer that one then let me know because the anomalies, coincidences and sheer luck just don't add up.
And, since you and Tom love to thought the benefits of " critical thinking" how about actually apply critical thinking?
After all this is the most important event in our lifetime. Kinda cries out for critical evaluation? No?

So when you can't answer me the above question about wtc seven move onto other red flags. Did you know the first two buildings to be brought to the ground by fire are wtc one and two? Molten steel under the rubble? Hmmm? How does thatbhappen?What wasn't molten was shipped to china ASAP. Which is illegal because it's a crime scene? Apply critical thinking to that one and get back to me. Or the fact that NORAD had intercepted 67 jets in 2000 that deviated for flight plans. But they happened to be involved in "exercises and war games" so they couldn't tell the hijacked planes from the fake on screen planes. Or the fact that the pilot who supposedly flew into the pentagon happened to pull off a turn in mid air that most pro pilots can't do. Yet, this guy could hardly fly a Cessna at all!!!

I could go on and on. Apply critical thinking and you cannot help to see tht we were lied to. And when did I say 9/11 was a " conspiracy of the USA" ? Oh, I didn't? That's right. But that's the only argument you can come up with? Weak

Look at the facts, critically, and you'll see we were blatantly lied to. Who did it? I don't know? but we were lied to. I guess it's easier to accept the lie then face the potential realities and truths. By the way thats all anyone questioning this event acknowledges--- we've been lied to.

Don't you care about your rights and the constitution? Have you lost the ability to think crucially and question?
You do know that the gulf of tonkin incident was a lie right?

1/27/12, 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Old' Hickory said...

Anonymous,

You're missing the point. Insecure? The sheep comments are meant to be directed at people who, despite overwhelming evidence, insist on participating in the left vs right debate. Point being---- there is no difference between the two. Divide and conquer, as I've said many many times yet you insist on making everything fit within the dualistic paradigm? Why?

1/27/12, 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hick; I acknowledge that you have done far more research on this subject than me and I suspect that if I came over your house to get "informed" that I would have to take a winding path through the mine field and trip wires and you would have to deactivate the Claymores at the door. No Hick, I'm a little nervous now and think you are are a little more to the left than the average Micheal Moore conspiracy theorist. But my hat's off to you, you have done alot of reading on this subject. I also agree that there is a wooden nickels worth of difference between the Progressive Republican Establishment (mainstream) and the left wing of the Liberal Democratic Party. But thank God I am neither.

Hey, on a different subject, You don't happen to live in Fryeburg Village where my Kids do their Trick or Treating do you? Just askin.

1/27/12, 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Ol' Hickory said...

Anonymous, thank you for that predictable response. Though I would've bet you mentioned tin foil hats.

Why is it that when faced with the task of investigating the most important false flag event in our history people like you just cry ' conspiracy theory'! And that's it? No reading information, no fact checking on your own? You are just going to take the 9/11 commision report as fact? Even though they don't mention the complete collapse of a building? Come on...I realize it's easy to make inane comparisons to " left wing conspiracy theories and Michael Moore'" but no substance? Again, gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie! as a result we enter Vietnam! Any cute answers for that one?

And, by the way, left wing conspiracy theory ? what? Sorry, to say it yet again, I don't play the left vs right game.

These are facts, not conspiracy theories. Why you all want to keep your heads in the sand is beyond me?

The laziness and complacency is staggering! The most important event of our lifetime....and you ignore it?

We deserve everything we get as a result of 9/11: a diminishing constitution and civil rights, the TSA groping little girls and old women, war in Iraq, Afghanistan, and an endless war on "terror".... Thank you america! I guess watching american idol is 'more important.

You realize you didn't address one issue I raised?
Just the predictable cry of "conspiracy theory".
Well. After youllok at the facts, you'll realize the real conspiracy theory is the one where a bunch of cave dwelling terrorists who could hardly fly and had been spending their time in strip clubs pulled of the greatest attack in us history against the greatest military in history.

1/27/12, 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No skip, its just not where i want to spend my time at this point. shall I investigate the fact that we had the Japs on Radar coming in and did nothing about it....and that we cracked their code and didn't decipher it in time to warn anybody. that's a good enough conspiricy theory...

Should I investigate the Gulf of Tonkin more than I have already and determine that it's a conpiracy too?

Should I investigate that the Shots made by Lee Harvey Oswald were pretty much impossible to make and that there must be a second shooter behind the grassy knoll?

Why not investigate the fact that The Media Is In the Liberals pocket and not the GOP? As I teach my kids; it's not just what you report on in the media that shows bias...it's what you choose not to report on that shows even more Conspiracy. Yet you Libtards are convinced that the Media is controlled by the GOP and not the Dems when it's a fact that the Media votes ninety percent democrat. You insist on calling one channel Faux News When they are the only ones reporting on what the other channels choose not to report on....Conpiracy? Why don't you choose to focus on that? But I'm an idiot for not following your conpiracy...No skip, as I said I don't choose to put in the time.


By the way you didn't answer if my kids trick or treat at your house or not...I really want to know

1/27/12, 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Old' Hickory said...

Anonymous,

The media is owned by corproations. Fact. So, no, they are not liberal. Nor are they conservative. They are corporate disinformation mouthpieces. Fox plays the Parton the " right" and CNN the "left". Neither is competent or critical of anything coming out of d.c.. It's absurd theatre at its worst/best?

And the gulf of Tonkin incident was a lie. That is not disputable. There are govt documents admitting as much. As well as Robert McNamara admitting it. So, how do you feel about being lied into the Vietnam " conflict" ? No big deal? Oh well? Say, if they did that, then......?

You don't want to spend the time on 9/11? Wow. That says it all I guess.

1/27/12, 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Ol' Hickory said...

Anonymous,

" As I teach my kids; it's not just what you report on in the media that shows bias...it's what you choose not to report on that shows even more Conspiracy."

Exactly!! In the context of 9/11 your logic proves we were lied to! Building seven. Firefighters saying they heard explosions. Buildings collapsing at free fall into their own foot print. Molten steel. Disregarding the health of first responders. Etc etc all ignored bybthe media

I don't lke talking about this, but my god, we have to acknowledge the very very large elephant in the room at some point don't we!? Dont you want your children to know the truth about that day? Don't you want to know?

Watch ' loose change' on YouTube for a start. I don't agree with everything presented, but the facts are the facts. Eye opening.

And no, don't worry about the trick or treating

1/27/12, 10:28 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I give you credit, Mr. McLaughlin. The imagination you use to come up with different ways to repackage and present the tired, old screed about the liberal media is breathtaking. You’ve made no secret of the liberal bias that you perceive in the larger media, and you’ve provided examples and the causes and effects of that bias. And I do agree with you; bias in the media is wrong. It means news outlets do more to make and manipulate the news rather than report on it. They arrive at conclusions first and then work backwards highlighting those events that support their conclusions. They abdicate the investigative journalism portion of their job. My question is, as you see it, what is the real issue? Is any bias in the media the problem or is it just liberal bias in the media that represents the problem? I ask because when you condemn the liberal media, you invariably champion the reporting done by Fox News and AM radio. Yet, in a response to one of my posts on your blog, you conceded Fox has a conservative bias when you wrote, “I don’t include Fox whose bias is conservative.” If the larger media is manipulating the news to favor liberals and incidentally not to be trusted as you claim, shouldn’t news organizations with a conservative bias to be equally distrusted? After all, bias is bias whether we hope it’s true or doctored. The antidote to one bias is not the opposing bias but rather objectivity.

1/28/12, 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Hick;

How do you feel about the conspiracy to force all these carbon credits on all of us due to the claim that Global warming is caused by man and not natural events. Why not spend time on that instead of two buildings being knocked down? Think of all the restrictive laws that will result Globally with the exception of china and India and other supposed third world countries. Do you think that is a hoax or conspiracy and yet I hear nothing out of you for that. I could produce plenty of evidence there to refute it's claim. and false info cooked up to produce dire warnings and how Al Gore and others own shares in these so called Carbon Credit Brokerage Firms. big conspiracy here hick...Follow the money trail as Deep throat would say. Why aren't you talking about that...

An article in the Opinion section of the Wall St. Urinal today which has prominent scientists signing their name to it debunking the claims that global warming is irrefutable. Read it skip

you say; "The media is owned by corproations. Fact. So, no, they are not liberal. Nor are they conservative." you might want to rethink your logic on that one there skip....Your bias is hanging out

1/28/12, 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Ol' Hickory said...

Anonymous,

What on earth are you blabbering about?
I am well aware of the global warming hoax and carbon credit scam. Why? I don't watch or read mainstream media.
I read that information three days ago! I have known about well before you. And your point is...?????

Uhm, the main stream media is corporately owned. That isn't merely my opinion, but a glaring fact. Don't you get it?
They play parts, ya know, it's calle acting. There is no such thing as journalism in this country. Watch RT news if you want something refreshing. It's on time Warner cable in Maine.

I cannot believe you mentioned 9/11 and shrugged it off as just a couple of towers falling!! You really have no clue as to the outcome of that day? Patriot act? NDAA? Iraq, afghanistan, Etc. etc.
Truly amazing to me that an American treats this topic like you do. Truly shameful....good luck. If you truly care about your kids future then you should learn everything you can about 9/11.

We're done. I cannot patronize such anti American bs any longer

1/28/12, 4:08 PM  
Blogger P. C. Poppycock said...

Have you read Tom Coburn's "Breach of Trust?"

It was a real eye-opener to me. Newt had a chance to really be a leader, and he couldn't pull the trigger, so he got outfoxed by Clinton.

Ever since, I've figured he can talk a great game and put on a good show, but when the chips are down, he couldn't come through.

Saw him speak in Portland a few years ago, and he gave a great speech, but it wasn't enough to overcome the 'history' in the book.

And he appears to be doing everything he can to be as unlikable as possible.

1/29/12, 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Wi said...

Truly amazing how gutless and dumb the people of this country have become...

Critical thinking and 9/11........I guess they just don't mix?

Thank you all for betraying this once great country.
What could possibly be more important?

1/30/12, 2:03 PM  

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