Former-Sen. Gregg blames blogosphere for lack of presidential ideas

In a harshly worded opinion piece publishing in the Hill newspaper on Monday, former Republican U.S. Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire excoriated “a blogosphere electorate that does not have to consider approaches that work on difficult problems such as our deficits, immigration reform and energy policy, because they have no responsibility to fix those problems.”

“This electorate is simply out there somewhere in the cloud shouting down anyone who disagrees with them, and requiring GOP presidential candidates to kowtow to their excess or be excoriated,” wrote Gregg.

Gregg also criticized GOP presidential hopefuls Ron Paul (a “gadfly”), Rick Santorum (“unchristian”) and Newt Gingrich (just trying to sell books). He had no criticism of former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, whom Gregg has endorsed, though he does criticize Romney’s position on immigration policy, saying it is rooted in the “’Know Nothing’ Party of the 1830s.”

“The American people are not interested in the wailing of the disgruntled who dominate the dialogue of the blogosphere,” he concluded. “They want leadership that proposes effective and realistic initiatives built off such conservative ideas as fiscal and individual responsibility.”

It’s an odd rant from Gregg, who was known for his sometimes-acerbic wit while he served in the Senate, but rarely for his fist-pounding personal attacks. It is also unfortunate that he fails to mention even a single instance in which “the blogosphere” contributed to the degradation of the public dialogue.

Gregg also gives short shrift to the substantive ideas that Rep. Paul, Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum have put forth. Perhaps he ignores them because addressing them at all would undermine his entire grievance. Finally, it’s irritating to read this from a major actor on the political stage. Certainly he could pick up the phone and offer his advice to the candidates he ridicules. Even more certainly he could advise the candidate he is supporting to offer policies that meet his ideal of seriousness.

Author: Patrick Hynes

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