Mark Z. Barabak's article in today's Baltimore Sun ("Romney in a race not suited for him," Dec. 12) perfectly illustrates the deception The Baltimore Sun engages in when it comes to politics.
His characterization of the rise of Newt Gingrich being due to the fact that Republican voters are looking for someone who can best "stick a fist down President Obama's throat" is absurd. Speaker Gingrich rose by attacking his Republican opponents the least. That's right, he has been the grownup in the room. The attacks on President Obama's policies have come with equal venom from all the candidates, and Speaker Gingrich has engaged in that, but to no greater degree than any of the others.
Since he has run a positive campaign, it makes no sense that the voters can conclude from what they've seen in the debates and on the stump that he would be the "meanest" of the candidates. Speaker Gingrich's rise can be attributed to his grasp of the issues and his uncanny ability to explain them in such a way that the audience understands why the speaker has taken the view he has taken, and his ability to make the voter believe he has the best plan. I know that's not a convenient depiction since it doesn't attach any negative attributes to the reasons for his rise, but The Sun has never been known for stating the inconvenient truth about conservatives.
The other part of the article that's maddening is the statement that Mitt Romney is the result of "good breeding." It's unclear whether Mr. Barabak intends that to mean that Mr. Romney was taught good manners, or whether he is one in a long line of men who have been bred to be superior, in a superior race sort of way. Either way, it comes off a knock. Assuming the intent is to depict Governor Romney as someone who grew up in an affluent family that taught him how to make his way through life, I don't see that as a disadvantage. Voters may love the story of an underdog, but just because Governor Romney didn't live over a garage as a kid like Newt Gingrich did — a fact also revealed in the debates, but conspicuously ignored by Mr. Barabak because it makes Speaker Gingrich "one of the people" — doesn't mean Governor Romney has no empathy for the poor. It's not as though growing up in the streets, being homeless, being a wino in a back alley makes someone more qualified for the presidency.
Governor Romney's problem isn't timidity, and it's not that he's out of touch with the folks. It's that his campaign has shown about as much imagination and courage as his policies. It's stale. How refreshing it is to have a Republican candidate like Mr. Gingrich who's not afraid to be reasonable about the illegal immigrants who've been in the country for years. How cowardly of Mr. Romney to stick to the Republican hard line of deporting everyone.
On issue after issue Speaker Gingrich shows a wisdom Governor Romney doesn't. That is why the speaker is leading in the polls. And as far as the voters wanting him to stick a fist down President Obama's throat, no, the voters will be more than delighted to have the failures of President Obama's policies explained in a calm manner, with no fists involved. We're confident the American people will see the wisdom of Speaker Gingrich's policies and select them over the president's. In fact, it seems to be the Democrats who complain the most that President Obama isn't tough enough on the Republicans, despite the fact that he has spent over a year bashing them every time he steps in front of a microphone.