Does Newt Gingrich Speak for Either Republicans or Tea Partiers?

If the former, I hope the wilderness gets even colder. If the latter, it's a matter of time before the currently popular governance-less anti-big-government movement fractures along some of the same idiot lines that helped shrink and divide the GOP coalition in the first place. Here's Newt on Fox News talking about the divided loyalties of the Obama administration:

"I believe what you have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism," the former House Speaker told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly Monday. "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."

An incredulous O'Reilly replied that Gingrich's statement was "impossible to believe" and asked, "Why would any rational person want to extend protections to a terrorist than their own family?"

"You interjected the word 'rational,'" Gingrich responded.

Most likely, Newt Gingrich speaks just for Newt Gingrich. But one reason why the anti-big-government tent has been growing recently after years of heavy shrinkage is that the ascent of an even bigger-government party in Washington, coupled with a basic loss of GOP power/responsibility, has allowed the putative Leave Us Alone Coalition the luxury of not arguing over sharply divergent views on foreign policy and militarism. But there's nothing like a little national security freakout to get the Zell Miller choir singing again. And that's a group I never want near the levers of power again.

Link via Wonkette.

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  • Chrispy||

    I don't understand the context of the quote. Is he referring to Tea Partiers when he says "I believe what you have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism"?

    I hate to ever agree with Bill O'Reilly, but what an asshole.

  • Chrispy||

    On second thought, maybe he appears to be referring to the Obama administration? Either way, this article is still unclear. And Gingrich is still an asshole. So is everyone who disagrees with me.

  • Some Guy||

    Newt used to be one of the few Republicans I respected because he walked away when his party became a joke once in power.

    Nevermind that now. Maybe Obama should send his ass to Gitmo on terrorism charges pulled out of a hat, so he can reconsider his view that the government is infallible when charging people with terrorism.

  • ||

    he walked away when his party became a joke once in power.

    Yeah, but that's not why he walked away.

    -jcr

  • zoltan||

    Wasn't it cause he got caught cheating on his sick wife? At least Roberts could have had the nads to quit politics when he got caught (not that she didn't know about it while it was happening).

  • Matt Welch||

    I added some language to make the context more clear.

  • Chrispy||

    This is pretty amazing to me. At 5:30 AM I get a response and alteration, within minutes, to an article on a website I get to read for free? I can't remember any situation when I've ever had a letter to the editor printed, or a response from anyone in charge of anything. And frankly, the article probably didn't even need any changes if I hadn't been drunk in the first place. But I'm still blown away by this level of (free) service. I'm going to write a big check to the Reason foundation tomorrow morning or afternoon (whenever I come to). You're awesome, Matt, and so is everyone else at Reason (except Tim Cavanaugh.)

  • Matt Welch||

    We have ways of making sure Cavanaugh doesn't see any of it.... And thanks mucho. Though in fairness, I should point out that it was 11:30 in the morning where I am.

  • ||

    You think Tim doesn't see any of it, but you might want to check the petty cash supply. You'd be surprised how much ether you can get for not much money, and think of how that explains his writing style.

  • TP||

    Though in fairness, I should point out that it was 11:30 in the morning where I am.

    You need to learn how to keep your mouth shut. :)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The correct term is more clearer. Anyway, that's what happens when you post before 5:00AM.

    Gingrich is actually thinking about a run for the White House, and no doubt sees blood in the current water on national security matters. Like every Republican right now, he's going after the Obama Administration on the subject in exactly the wrong way.

  • Chad||

    Yeah, the anti-big government crowd that just wants you to keep your damned government hands off its Medicare.

    I don't think Newt WANTS to be the mouth of the utterly stupid.

  • ||

    Chad, I'll gladly drop medicare, if it means I'm allowed to stop paying into it immediately.

  • EJ||

    id gladly drop both medicare and Social security if i didnt have to pay into them... for the money id say, i could easily buy an annuity that would give a much greater return

    Im just so glad that progressives belive in the right to chose... oh yeah wait a sec...

  • bleephole||

    More stupidity from the king of same - Chad.

  • ||

    I don't think Newt WANTS to be the mouth of the utterly stupid.

    ...and you know this because he declined your request to be your spokesman?

    -jcr

  • bleephole||

    +1

  • ||

    I don't think Newt WANTS to be the mouth of the utterly stupid.

    The Nobel Committee wants Newt to speak for them?

  • TP||

    From Heritage Foundation

    Gingrich's goal isn't to fix all of America's problems in sixth months. But he does hope American Solutions , complete with a Solutions Lab, can bring people together to share common goals toward reasonable solutions.

    It's fairly clear Newt doesn't speak for economic freedom. So, my question is, how many Tea Partiers support the Federal Reserve and fiat money?

  • ||

    my question is, how many Tea Partiers support the Federal Reserve and fiat money?

    Very few, and that's only because they haven't gotten around to reading End the Fed yet.

    -jcr

  • TP||

    Check your HTML tag. I can't follow the link.

  • ||

    Dang it. Let me try that again:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446549193/reasonmagazineA/

    -jcr

  • TP||

  • ||

    It's fairly clear Newt doesn't speak for economic freedom.

    If people are allowed to have (understandably) nostalgia for the Clinton years, why not nostalgia for when Newt ran Congress? For all his foibles, he did actually get the party to run and-- and in some cases achieve-- actual shrinkage of government.

    Is there any particular reason some libertarians talk about how great Clinton was and hate Gingrich, considering what Clinton's Administration was like in its first two years, and Clinton's position on the "government shutdown" that really killed efforts to shrink the government?

    Of course there is; politics is always about personality as well.

  • Kroneborge||

    agreed, I've always had a certain fondness for Newt. If they had stuck with his contract for America, things would probably be a LOT better now.

  • ||

    We don't actually have fiat money in the country. We have fiat reserves instead. Almost the same thing, but not quite.

  • ||

    Newt isn't the first clown to try to jump in front of the Tea Party parade, and he won't be the last.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Hey, anyone heard about the great news for the Democrats? Their #3 disgrace in the senate is throwing in the towel, and retiring. Of course, he's going to make a shitload more money as a lobbyist bribing his former colleagues than he did when he was taking the bribes.

    -jcr

  • TP||

    Yeah. That's the race that Peter Schiff is in.

    I guess Dodd got the message.

  • ||

    I see a job for Dodd at Bank of America.

  • DJF||

    He has been working for them for years.

  • Draco||

    I agree with the proposition that it is not in my interest (as an American citizen) to grant "rights" to Islamic terrorists who are not citizens of the US. I believe they should be captured, interrogated, and killed based on a system of justice which does not involve the presumption of innocence, and all of the other protections afforded to US citizens under the Constitution.

    Although Newt takes it a bit further than that in his claim (which is obviously an exaggeration -- because exaggerations get peoples' attention), I think he is in the right ball park, and I think libertarians are fools if they think that Americans want to extend rights to non-citizen, non-uniformed enemy combatants. And that's just what the Democrats look like they are doing, in all too many cases. And that's why (among other reasons) they are going to lose big in November.

  • ||

    The US Constitution does not "grant" rights to anyone. Human beings are born with certain rights. The US Constitution prevents the government from violating their rights in most cases.

  • Edwin||

    no shit, - but it doesn't say we have to administer those rights to non-citizens

    We can't pretend that we can enforce our system of rights and law on other countries and people. Eventually, you'd have to start send cops over to other countries where we have no jurisdiction and arresting government agents for violating their citizens rights - even if they did nothing of the sort according to THEIR laws.

    There is no law or statute in the constitution or in any other American law that says that we have to grant full rights to terrorists from other countries as though they were just some criminal who knocked off a liquor store or got in a drunken brawl - as opposed monsters who hang women in villages for trying to get an education, or who shoot a bunch of villagers to establish themselves as "in power", or who blow up American supply convoys that are just delivering construction equipment or food to aid in the Iraqi reconstruction.

    If we ever capture a terrorist in America who happens to be an American citizen - then sure, we're obligated to give him full rights. But people who are in no way, shape, or form under the jurisdiction of our laws? There is no obligation

  • ||

    LOL< Gingrich is an over inflated ego that is WAY too full of himself.

    RT
    www.total-anonymity.at.tc

  • Some dude||

    I suspect that picture might be photoshopped. I have a pretty good eye when it comes to that sort of thing.

  • qwerty||

    I see. So it's impossible to be in favor of economic liberty and a strong national defense? Tell that to Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, Bill Buckley, and just about any other conservative from the past 40 years.

    "You interjected the word 'rational,'" Gingrich responded.

    Damn, I miss Newt.

  • ||

    What does overextending our military and bleeding our treasury dry for years to come on pointless wars have to do with a strong national defense?

    You seem to be forgetting Reagan's "cutting and running" from Lebanon when it became clear that the situation was unwinnable.

  • ||

    Er, It's impossible to try terrorists under fair legal rules and still have a strong national defense?

  • Jeffersonian||

    If those legal rules are under the civilian criminal justice system, then yes, it's not possible.

  • Les||

    That's if you think invading countries that pose no threat to us (along with supporting terrorism to overthrow democratically elected governments) and increasing the size of government via the military means having a "strong national defense."

    I miss how Newt would say things like the government should kill people who import marijuana. What a guy!

  • Edwin||

    *that pose no threat to us

    B.S. - look it up. There were plenty of instances of WMDs or traces of WMDs found - no huge stockpiles - but plenty still. There isa also plenty of evidence that Saddam was helping fund certain terrorist groups - and one wayt or another he certainly COULD.

    Something tells me you're going to respond without doing even a little googling on the subject. Because, hey, who cares about facts - you KNOW that war is BAD!

    *supporting terrorism to overthrow democratically elected governments

    Overblown and over-repeated claim. First of all, the stories you hippies could/would tell are probably full of lies - I've stopped believing people who are essentially ascetics whose ONLY driving knowledge and reasoning is "WAR BAD!"
    Second of all, we don't run the world. It's very possible that whatever happened with the taliban and other groups who overthrew governments would have happened anyways. How powerful do you think our CIA is? Most third world countries are fucked - they don't need us to have violent coups that put terrorists in power.
    Third - So What? seriously, who cares? Are you implying that if we hadn't backed the Taliban we wouldn't be in this situation today - that there would have been no 9/11 or nothing like it? Bullshit. Terrorists are batshit crazy, and we're the biggest country in the world - we were bound to be their target one way or another. Even IF our intervention DID ultimately cause the situation we're in now with most of the muslim world hating us - that says nothing about what we should do NOW. Should we sit down and take terrorist attack after terrorist attack becuase you claim it's "our fault"? No. Whatever he-said-she-said, we should still kick terrorist ass, and sitting down twiddling our thumbs is not an option.

    Even if Iraq was the "wrong war" at least it was a plan that involved DOING SOMETHING. You DO NOT only invade only one country (Afghanistan) when there's a billion-person movement against you. Even attacking the wrong country is better than the hippy-liberal-douche solution of doing nothing.

  • Chrispy||

    I love that your whole justification for fighting two unnecessary wars is so that we can be "DOING SOMETHING." A rational response to the threat of terrorism would be: what can we do to minimize this threat? How can we reasonably make ourselves safer while preserving our way of life? But no, it's obviously much better to DO SOMETHING rather than do anything that actually makes sense.

    PS - Please cite some sources of WMDs found (or traces of WMDs, whatever those are).

  • zoltan||

    This is Chad from the right!!!!

  • ||

    C'mon, libertarians are silly people who think "if you leave them alone, they won't bother you."

    In fact, it is libertarians who should be left alone.

  • qwerty||

    Unnecessary wars? Let's see: Afganistan was harboring a terrorist organization that had killed 3000 Americans, and Iraq was controlled by a mad dictator that had already used chemical weapons, was working on nuclear weapons in the 80s, invaded Kuwait to dominate most of the world's oil supplies, and was happily collecting bribes from the French and Russians and waiting for the sanctions to be removed so he could restart his nuclear program. Those two wars were absolutely necessary.

    Now, was it worth staying in these countries for years and doing nation building? Only time will tell. It's possible that we should have gone into both countries, kicked a bunch of ass, and then left. But that's not the argument that we get from the left. Opponents of the war were not saying, "Let's kill Saddam and then leave." They were saying, "War, what's it good for? Nothing!". This is the epitome of a weak policy.

    As costly as the wars have been, they are a drop in the bucket compared to the Stimulus bills. And unlike bailing out car companies, paying for the military is something the Federal Government is supposed to do.

    Oh, yeah, trying terrorists (note, not alleged terrorists, as Obama called the latest airplane bomber, but people we know are terrorists) in civilian courts is a really stupid, as well as weak, idea. Ever since, well, forever, foriegn soldiers have been dealt with differently than domestic criminals. Terrorists have also been dealt with differently than soldiers. When a foriegn national tries to kill over 100 people, you interrogate him and punish him. This enables us to gather information and deter further attacks. The weak thing to do is let him lawyer up and keep his mouth shut.

    The purpose (and for a libertarian, pretty much the only purpose) of the federal government is to protect us from foriegn threats. In fantasyland, everyone is libertarian, and there is no need for anyone to protect us from threats. In the real world, there are people who want to take our freedoms away (the Nazis, the Soviets, and Islamic terroists are examples), and we have to be vigilant against attack.

    Nothing about realizing these realities of the world is in the least bit contradictory with the idea that the government should not run your life.

  • ||

    Reading the comments on this sight (for the most part) only re-inforces why most Americans do not trust Libertarians to run the government, protect the borders, and to secure Liberty.
    But, you would do a very good job running the FDA.

  • ||

    Newt Gingrich's reply, in response to O'Reilly's question, suggested that pro-bono terrorist lawyers were not acting rationally when they agitated to increase the chances of terrorists succeeding by giving terrorists the same rights enjoyed by ordinary criminals. In fact, the lawyers know very well that the chances of any one U.S. family being directly hurt by terrorist action is very, very small given the large number of U. S. citizens. Suppose the lawyers increase the terrorist success rate by two or three or even ten times what it now is. A very small number multiplied by two or three or ten is still a very small number -- almost certainly too small to worry about. If, on the other hand, the eventual result of all that pro-bono work is extra business from terrorists being able to "lawyer up," which down the road leads to a big increase in the income of lawyer families, that is a somewhat more certain outcome. Note also that these lawyers can be reasonably sure that all that mideast oil money behind terrorism can afford to pay massive legal expenses, and the terrorists may well go to some small effort to blow up them and theirs last. Come think of it, all criminal defense lawyers who act in such a way as to increase business by increasing the "rights" of criminals, which necessarily also increases the likelihood that they and theirs will be attacked by criminals, make a similar sort of rational, cold-blooded calculation. I'm afraid that the actions of the legal cabal mentioned in this article is all too rational -- what's irrational is the rest of us letting them get away with it!

  • ||

    Of course, Newt Gingrich doesn't speak for anyone but himself, but that does not mean that he should be ignored.

    Newt and the American Tea party have different aims which could be combined in the same goals. The Tea Partiers are a popular movement against the Socialist direction in which the country is leading. It is composed of Conservatives of both political parties. According to the Washington State Battleground Polls, 60% of American's consider themselves to be conservative or very conservative.

    If the American Tea Party is to have any practical effect it must define issues which will appeal to American voters. Being opposed to Obama's agenda is not enough. We must propose, and carry through with, a Conservative agenda.

    Newt Gingrich says that the way to effect change is to find those conservative issues which appeal to 70% of the electorate. These are, among others, a balanced budget, an end to earmarking, lower taxes, a reduction in the size and scope of the government and a cut back in its interference in the US economy. It is necessary to elect representatives which will follow through with the ideals expressed by the Tea Party movement. It is far better to concentrate on a few things which will disenfranchise the Left.

    The American Tea Party movement is ideological, while Newt Gingrich's aims are practical. I see reasons for supporting both Newt and the Tea party where they can agree. The purpose of the Tea Party is to hold the politician's feet to the fire. Too often, we elect people to Congress where they slowly become part of the enemy.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Anyone who goes out of his way to endore Didi Scozzafava isn't to be trusted when he pumps his fist over the tea parties.

  • ||

    Newt blew it.

  • ||

    Newt Gingrich DOES NOT speak for any TEA Pary factions he speaks for his OWN SELF INTEREST! If there is a buck to be made he will do what it takes. I will NEVER give a man who runs with the "climate" change LIE & RELIGION to the ultimate end and makes a commercial with Pelosi.....he is NOT part of the solution he IS part of the PROBLEM!

  • ||

    I meant to say "I will NEVER give a man as stupid as Newt the benefit of the doubt EVER because he who runs with".....my fingers got WAY PAST my brain...hehe! long day.

  • zoltan||

    Where did all the LGFers come from!?!?!?

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