No, I bet you don't.
Neither do I.
OOPS! My bad!
I plum forgot that the former Republican Speaker of the House backed not the Tea Party choice for the infamous New York state 23rd congressional race in 2009.
No, Newt Gingrich, the stalwart conservative let the whims of a few Republican county party chairs sway who to support.
So, it is important to give a brief as possible history lesson on the race in question.
In 2009, the Dear Leader, President Obama, appointed John McHugh, a New York state Republican congressman to become Navy Secretary.
So, a special election was called by then-Gov. David Patterson.
In New York state, unlike California, the Republican party depends on the county chairs to essentially appoint a candidate. In California, a first-round of voting occurs and if no one gets 50% plus one, then the top two go to the second round, the general election.
The county chairs chose a little-known state assemblyman, Dede Scozzafava to be the choice the maintain the seat. Mrs. Scozzafava was and is a liberal Republican. Think of our former-thank God-governor, Benedict Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In New York state, there are two small parties, the Conservative and the Liberal party.
Enter Doug Hoffman.
Mr. Hoffman supposedly "lost" to Mrs. Scozzafava among the 11 county chairs in the 23rd congressional district.
So, Mr. Hoffman ran an insurgent campaign on the Conservative party line.
This created huge problems for the Republican party everywhere. Especially in Washington, D. C.
You know who supported Mrs. Scozzafava?
Why none other than the current flavor-of-the-week conservative, Newton LeRoy Gingrich.
In fact, your humble blogger noticed that Mr. Gingrich had some undying loyalty to Mrs. Scozzafava. And he was one of the last Republicans to unendorse Mrs. Scozzafava.
And it was not just some conservative on the Left coast noticing this may have not been the wisest choice Mr. Gingrich made.
The Hill newspaper noticed that Mr. Gingrich stepped in it, big time here.
If you think that Mrs. Scozzafava was some moderate, consider that she supported the union-backed "card-check" legislation. Was more than just "pro-choice" on abortion. And she supported the so-called "stimulus" legislation in 2009.
Somehow, Mr. Gingrich thought that this was a principled conservative:
“Our best chance to put responsible and principled leaders in Washington starts here, with Dede Scozzafava.”
Sure, Newt. Sure was.
Oh, for the record, Mrs. Scozzafava dropped out of the race. Endorsed the Democrat and current congressman, Bill Owens. And now has a cushy state job she was appointed to by the. . .wait for it. . .Democrat governor, Andres Cuomo.
But remember, all of you who are saying Newt Gingrich is a true conservative fighter. When he had the chance to get on the right side of the Tea Party, he went right back to his Rockefeller Republican roots.
It is ironic that today, on the Gingrich for President website, he has to admit that it was a mistake to support Mrs. Scozzafava. Here is from the website:
Whether it was helping to build the Republican Party of Georgia back when Democrats controlled the entire state or leading the nationwide effort in 1994 to break 40 years of Democratic rule in the House, Newt has always tried to advance the cause of a truly conservative Republican party. This has always meant supporting the most conservative nominee possible as selected by Republican primary voters.
Therefore, Newt will almost always back the nominee of the Republican party and not back an independent candidate in a race against a Democratic candidate.
Newt still believes in this principle, however, he has admitted it was a mistake to back Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee in the 2009 NY-23 special election. Although she was the Republican nominee, the problem was that Republican primary voters did not pick her, the local party leaders did, otherwise her liberal views would have prevented her from becoming the nominee.
I highlight the most important part because it was the process that was wrong. As a so-called reformer, he should have been demanding that the secretive process be opened to party rank-and-file voters, not corrupt county party chairs greasing the wheels for one of their own.
Newt was wrong then and while he admits that mistake, it cost the Republican party a congressional seat and dealt the Tea Party movement an unnecessary setback.
Leadership means sometimes throwing out the playbook. On this Mr. Gingrich did not and I think there are a whole lot of other issues that he has been on the wrong side of.
This is a glaring one.