Here’s MY view of manliness and SOUTHERN STOICISM, a crucial supplement to the MIDWESTERN Mansfield.

Newt, for what it’s worth, has the repulsive side of manliness. He overrates his significance, and he praises his own greatness (for little good reason) in words that would be better reserved for others (if they had any merit).

On the good side of manliness, what’s found in the fictional Attticus Finch or the real Churchill, Newt has nothing. We’re talking here genuine magnanimity, generosity, physical and moral courage, rugged integrity, and not being a sell-out (not to mention not selling out people for whom you are responsible). So I hope the Newt is a sell-out line that Pete and Ron Paul are pushing really catches on. I have my doubts. I also doubt that Newt would decimate the president in the debates, but I will discuss that issue later.

Our friend Mr. Cheeks asks whether I would vote for Newt. Over the president, sure, and with the confidence he’s not going to win anyway. Over Huntsman, no. If Huntsman’s strange stategy (as nicely described by John Presnall) starts to catch on this time, I’m for him. He’d be a decent president. Not only that, he’s actually more conservative than Newt. He and Gingrich don’t disagree on evolution and manmade global warming probably happening, but the ex-governor does have a firmer grasp on what’s required to deal with the economic crisis of our time. He’s even more reliably pro-life. I don’t like his “I’m too cool to be a regular Mormon” vibe, but that’s not all that big a criticism.

Articles by Peter Lawler

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