As we watch the ongoing debates and campaign cycle for the 2012 GOP nomination the standard so many set for their candidate makes it impossible for a human to attain without either being the single most boring person to live, or a liar.
The "conservative" voters are the most guilty of having no political savvy. They eat their own, the candidate has to be perfect, has to have 100% purity on conservative values throughout the entirety of their lives. No room for any indiscretions or change in thinking, once a flaw is found, scorched earth is used.
With these standards far too many of the political neophytes who populate the Tea Party movement and make up nearly all of the Libertarian population, would not support Ronald Reagan today even as they hold him us as a marble statue. I loved Ronald Reagan, worked on his campaign barnstorming from Indiana through Oklahoma and Texas for his campaign in 1980. However, Ronald Reagan wasn't perfect. For today's "conservative" voter, the fact that he was a lifelong Liberal Democrat voting for FDR four times would disqualify him for suspicion of RINOism. His being a president of a labor union, in Hollywood no less would be sure of it. If that wasn't enough, he was divorced and remarried Heaven forbid.
For that matter I am not sure which one of he Founding Fathers would pass today's standards. George Washington, married for money, was involved in some very shady land deals, was single handed responsible for the French Indian War. As a General he lost every battle but two Trenton on a surprise attack on Christmas 1776, and the final battle in Yorktown. Rumors ran rampant of his potential womanizing, including his favorite General Nathan Green's wife Kitty. Who always seem to show up in camp at the same time Washington would send the General on the road. Did they or didn't they, who knows? Is that why Martha burned all Washington's letters and papers at his death?
John Adams was known for his violent temper, and many feared he was a monarchist wanting to bring back hereditary royalty to America.
Thomas Jefferson, ran for the hills abandoning his role as Governor of Virginia for fear of the British. He likely fathered children out of wedlock with his slave, was thought to have had an affair with the wife of a friend in Paris. He paid James Cavander to write yellow journalism to destroy the political careers of one of Jefferson's best friends, John Adams, and of Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was able to side step the accusations of Cavander by confessing he was not paying bribes to his post as Secretary of the Treasury, but in fact was paying bribes to the husband of a woman he was having an affair with. When Jefferson didn't pay off Cavander with a job in his administration it was Cavander who broke the story of Sally Hemmings.
James Madison, the father of the Constitution, partnered with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers to sell the Constitution ratification. He then turned on them and was the pen to attack them for his mentor Jefferson. Was he the first flip flopper, or was it Jefferson who has the uncanny ability of holding passionate beliefs for and against almost any subject of the day at the same time.
We can go on, Benjamin Franklin and his opiate habit, all night forays with women married and single. His son born out of wedlock and more.
I am not bashing any of the founders, I adore them one and all. However, they were men, not granite or marble. As men, they were not perfect. All of their decisions were not perfect, but their collaboration was miraculous.
So when I hear that Newt Gingrich is the most brilliant, most experienced, BUT, he has flaws, I want to scream.