This website has extensively documented the ways in which former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich has sold out the stated principles of the Republican party – which he once led with such promise.

(Click here, here, here and here for just a few of those posts).

After single-handedly aborting the “Republican Revolution” nearly two decades ago, Gingrich’s betrayals have only intensified. He’s cozied up to former U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the issue of global warming, he’s backed liberal “Republicans” over fiscally conservative challengers in competitive U.S. House races and he’s pandered to the ignorance of voters by leading a movement against the imaginary menace of “Sharia Law.”

More recently, Gingrich referred to a middle-of-the-road Republican budget-cutting proposals as “radical change” and “right-wing social engineering.”

That’s why it surprised us to read in Tuesday’s editions of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper that Gingrich had received the support of a so-called “Tea Party leader.”

Allen Olson – chairman of the Columbia (S.C.) Tea Party – said in a statement that he is resigning his post to endorse Gingrich’s presidential bid.

“There is only one candidate for president who is leading on what I believe are the underlying issues this country faces,” Olson said in a statement. “Not only is this candidate talking about serious issues, he is providing real solutions.”

Sheesh …

Now we understand why attendance at Olson’s Tea Party rallies has been so abysmal lately … this guy is clearly just another establishment Republican hack who decided to slap a convenient label onto his organization.

Look, anybody can start a group and call it a “Tea Party” organization – just as any politician can run for office and call him or herself “Republican.”

That doesn’t mean sh*t.

Just ask S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, who started her own Tea Party after getting rebuked by the movement that elected her.

No fiscal conservative in his or her right mind would ever trust Gingrich again. On a personal and political level, he’s a fraud – which apparently makes him not unlike some South Carolina “Tea Party” groups.