The latest from Washington and the Republican Primary

Dear Friends,

I don't know how much more discouraging the news from Washington can get. Congress pushed hundreds of earmarks into legislation these last six months in spite of the ban. They used information they received at private briefings concerning the financial crisis, given by the Fed and Treasury, to line their own pockets. It's called insider trading and would land any of us in the federal penitentiary. But members of Congress ... they're exempt from that law! Every time you scratch the surface you find another sweet deal.

Then there's the Super Committee. They couldn't find a lousy $1.2 trillion dollars which they could agree on to trim the deficits over 10 years. In relative terms this comes down to about $125 a month for an American family making $50,000 a year. Think you could find that much if your family's future depended on it?

You could find $1.2 trillion in tax loopholes alone-and Republicans put some of those on the table. Or you could do it with entitlement reform-and the democrats put some of that on the table. But everyone wanted to get something to take home with them. The Republicans wanted Bush tax cuts made permanent before they would agree to any revenue increase. Democrats wanted a tax on the wealthy (read you and me) before they'd agree to any reform measures for Medicare and Social Security. But the Super Committee's goal wasn't to see what they could get-it was to begin a serious deficit reduction process-it was intended to be a small step in the right direction to show that our leaders are finally serious about the crisis our country faces. Was that too much to ask?

And what role did the President play-he did absolutely nothing. He knew it would fail, we are told, so he kept his hands off. More great leadership! In the midst of all our troubles Obama has abdicated all responsibility-and chosen instead to spend his time campaigning against Republicans.

Some say it is best the Super Committee did nothing-I don't agree. We know they can do nothing-in fact, we know they are exceptionally good at doing nothing. But can they stop the spending? Can they close the corporate loopholes? Can they reform the entitlements? Can they take the tough steps that will give Americans a chance to be prosperous again? In short, can they be responsible guardians of the trust we have placed in them? I have seen nothing that suggests they can.

There was no deadline-the automatic cuts in defense and entitlements don't go into effect until 2013-and Congress never does anything unless a deadline is looming. Millions of our countrymen are out of work, our businesses are struggling to survive, and if the spending doesn't stop, the nation will surely find itself on the brink of financial disaster. And all our leaders can do is nothing? Why? Because they have decided that's the right thing to do politically.

Republicans see a big win next year-House, Senate and the White House. No time for leadership-that stuff's risky. They will play it safe and run against Obama.

As for the Democrats, they can't possibly agree to any entitlement reform or cutting of the budget-all that money goes to their constituents and if they have any shot at holding the White House or their own seats they can't be messing around cutting benefits to their voters.

With this kind of leadership America has no hope.

But deep inside the halls of Congress we do have some great Americans-just not enough. Next year will be critical, possibly our last chance to put the reins of power in the hands of courageous leaders who will serve their country and not themselves while in office.

And who is the latest frontrunner for Republican presidential primary: Newt Gingrich! The news just can't get worse. He is a smart man and a fine debater, no one can argue. But a conservative? Not a day in his life.

Sure he spearheaded the great "Contract with America" campaign which turned into the Republican Revolution of 1994. But he only used it to gain power. Once he secured the title of Mr. Speaker, he thwarted all efforts from conservative freshman to make real change. His love of power got in the way, according to Senator Tom Coburn, and undermined all the momentum for fundamental change in government. "Gingrich would receive our input, but he rarely took it seriously" writes Coburn of the efforts of the freshman conservatives. Newt knew better than they.

This year Gingrich sandbagged conservative Republicans again when he jumped all over Paul Ryan's budget plan as "radical", and "right-wing social engineering." This "gaffe," writes columnist and CATO Vice-president Gene Healy, "was a window into Gingrich's irresponsible approach toward entitlements. In 2003, Gingrich stumped hard for President George W. Bush's prescription drug bill, which added about $17 trillion to Medicare's unfunded liabilities. ‘Every conservative member of Congress should vote for this Medicare bill,' Newt urged.

Gingrich aggressively pushed for cap and trade, joining John Kerry in a joint press conference and Nancy Pelosi in a TV commercial to promote it. He has often endorsed an individual mandate for health insurance, supported TARP, thinks No Child Left Behind just wasn't big enough, and wants to give amnesty to illegal aliens-anything conservative there?

Then upon disgracing himself in office he left Congress and took $1.8 million dollars from his friends at the taxpayer funded Freddie Mac, and had the audacity to tell Americans it was for "my advice as an historian." He also took boatloads of cash from the health insurance industry-now does his support of individual mandates make sense?

Little has changed over the years. In 1992 he wrote of himself: "Gingrich-primary mission, advocate of civilization, definer of civilization, Teacher of the rules of civilization, arouser of those who fan civilization...leader (possibly) of the civilized forces." Now there is some serious self-love.

More recently he has compared himself to Reagan, Thatcher, and Brave Heart!

And when asked about his extra-marital affairs he explained: "Partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." Patriotism made him do it!

Gingrich is the quintessential Washington insider, and a ranking member of the arrogant class of career politicians. While in power he ignored the will of the people because he was smarter than they. Then after leaving Congress in a cloud of shame and hypocrisy, he cashed in.

Let's be clear. Newt Gingrich is a big government, self-proclaimed moderate, without a conservative instinct in his body.

Some say you can't trust Romney. But can you trust a man who cheated on his families multiple times, who used our movement to gain power then abandoned the conservative mandate that put him there, and who thinks of himself as the "definer of civilization" and "leader of the civilized forces." I can't, and as a woman I can't vote for him. Not in the primary and not in the general. I'm not as dumb as he thinks I am. For the sake of our great nation let's hope Republicans aren't either.

-Bay Buchanan