Last night, as I was preparing for bed, I caught a bit of Greta van Susteren’s On the Record, particularly that segment when she offers us a clip of Rush Limbaugh. So much did Rush’s point about Newt Gingrich’s surge in the polls resonate that I googled my favorite passage and alighted on his most excellent monologue in which he gets not only the rise of Newt, but also the recent appeal of Herman Cain.
Each man, Cain and Gingrich, do have the ability to articulate conservative principles. Cain is an outsider, not part of a political class about whom Americans have become increasingly suspicious these last few years. Newt is a master of policy, but even in coming to master policy, he has not lost sight, at least rhetorically, of those principles which have defined the conservative movement at least since Reagan’s celebrated speech in 1964.
So, let me just leave you with Rush’s monologue of November 18:
First principles are the answer. First principles, first conservative constitutional principles are the answer. Articulating that as fact with depth and conviction is what the people of this country want. We and the rest of the people of this country are sick and tired of careful politicians, business as usual politicians. We are fed up and exhausted with people who measure their comments. . . . Robust liberty and freedom for the American people is the answer, and then a government willing, after unleashing that, to get out of its way is the answer.
. . . .
What Newt’s doing is no secret. Newt is tapping into the American mind-set. He has the ability to do it. He also has the ability to blow it. Which is what gives people pause, but at this point they’re looking past that, they’re looking past the baggage, and this is my point.
. . . .
The press, the media, the Democrats are trying to focus on the baggage, trying to focus on Cain’s baggage and whatever they can manufacture, or Michele Bachmann’s baggage, and even Romney’s baggage with his Romneycare. We don’t hear any reports of the baggage that Barack Obama brings to the table, but it takes a C5A cargo jet to hold it all. Newt Gingrich is making it clear that he is proud of this country and its history, of our culture, the idea of American exceptionalism. My point is here, nobody ought to be shocked to learn that a Republican who is articulating conservatism proudly, competently, confidently, articulately, nobody should be surprised that that person is nearing the top of the heap.
Emphasis added. It merits your time. Read the whole thing.