Drug War

How Gingrich's Love Drives Him to Kill

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Dustin Krutsinger reminds us that in 1996, when he was speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich introduced a bill (PDF) mandating the death penalty for drug smugglers. He explained:

It is because you have made the personal decision that you are prepared to get rich by destroying our children. I have made the decision that I love our children enough that we will kill you if you do this.

"This" was defined as carrying 100 or more "usual dosage amounts" of an illegal drug across the border, which could be a couple ounces of marijuana or a tiny quantity of LSD. Gingrich's bill would have required "imprisonment for life without possibility of release" for a first-time offender and death for anyone with a similar crime on his record. For Gingrich, the key was deterrence: 

The first time we execute 27 or 30 or 35 people at one time, and they go around Colombia and France and Thailand and Mexico, and they say, "Hi, would you like to carry some drugs into the U.S.?" the price of carrying drugs will have gone up dramatically.

Krutsinger contrasts Gingrich's harsh attitude toward drug mules with his lenient view of his own youthful pot smoking, which Gingrich famously dismissed as "a sign that we were alive and in graduate school in that era." Unfortunately, Krutsinger also cites another self-excusing statement by Gingrich, reported in Martin Booth's book on cannabis, that appears to be apocryphal.

Krutsinger adds that Gingrich, who supported medical marijuana as a congressman in the early 1980s, more recently had this to say on the subject:

There is no medical marijuana. Marijuana is a drug. There is nothing in the Food and Drug Administration that supports the idea that it's medical. There's nothing in the Institute of Medicine that supports the idea it's medical. The American Medical Association has not said it's medical. 

Let's skip over Gingrich's dubious premise that drugs can't be medical. In 1985 the FDA approved Marinol, a synthetic version of THC, marijuana's main active ingredient, as a medicine; it is currently weighing approval of Sativex, a cannabis extract. In 1999 the Institute of Medicine issued a report that described the plant's therapeutic potential. In 2009 the American Medical Association recommended that the federal government consider reclassifying marijuana so it can be used as a medicine. Tell me again how smart and well-informed this guy is.

NEXT: A Bad Week for Climate Change Alarmists*

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  1. Newcular Titties Gingrich. Wrong on the drug war. Wrong for America.

    1. “Newcular titties” is hilarious every damn time, and I mean that.

  2. It is because you have made the personal decision that you are prepared to get rich by destroying our children. I have made the decision that I love our children enough that we will kill you if you do this.

    Wait, what? Is he talking about Congress?

    1. You’d think the guy who was promoting “personal responsibility” as his party’s platform could, y’know, propose the idea that parents, not the government, keep children from using drugs.

      1. The Right, in fact, cares even less about personal autonomy and government restraint than the Left.

        Which comes as a shock to all, since it was widely believed to be impossible to care less than the Left about such things.

    2. LOL/ If only man if only. FTW!!

    3. I would certainly vote for him if that were what he meant.

      1. You know, there’s nothing in the Constitution that says the branches can’t kill one another.

          1. Nah, that was one branch killing itself. Suicide is a sin, y’know!

            1. Technically, whether Congressmen can attack or kill each other is up to the internal rules that Congress establishes for itself. In fact, since Congress also governs the District of Columbia, it can make rules exempting Congressional murders from DC law (not allowing killing of DC citizens outside of Congress, as that would be unconstitutional without due process).

              1. Legislation by combat?

                “Marcus Junius Brutus: Of course, you have to imagine, long hair down to here, huge moustasches, the most terriffic stench, they eat only raw meat and never wash. Though they do have one admirable custom, they settle their political disputes by a single combat to the death.

                Pompey Magnus: Excellent idea.

                Marcus Junius Brutus: Isn’t it? Mother is always nagging me to attend politics.

                Servilia of the Junii: Well it’s been our family’s tradition and duty for, uhm, five hundred years?

                Marcus Junius Brutus: Oh it’s such dreadfully dull stuff. Now you see, if our senate conducted business in the German style I should certainly go and watch. Yeah, no tedious laws and endless debates, just swords, and daggers…”
                Rome-Season 1 / Episode 1: – The Stolen Eagle

                1. No really, it was. I do like in particular how the Republic collapsed essentially over an arcane matter of Senatorial procedure (regarding Antony’s aborted veto).

  3. So Newt Gingrich not loves this country so much that it drove him to commit adultery, but he also loves this country’s children so much that he would like to see them executed?

    1. We have to destroy that high school to save it.

    2. If we would just execute the first 25 or 30 people who dumped their cancer striken wives, our problems with that would be solved very quickly.

      I am ashamed to have ever defended this dirtbag.

      1. He really is vermin. The worst part is that he obviously knows full well that pot isn’t dangerous.

        1. Even worse is his out of place accent. At least Buckley went to prep school.

        2. He is a functional sociopath. He knows damn well that most of the stuff he says is BS but he says it because he thinks it will benefit him. Like when he recently told some group of Bible-thumpers that we were in danger of becoming a godless secular society dominated by Islamic radicals.

  4. In other news, best headline of the year.

    Liberal Bloggers: Obama is not our boyfriend anymore

    http://www.npr.org/2011/06/17/…..t=1&f=1001

    You guys wonder why I make the abused spouse jokes all of the time. That is what these people are like. Don’t worry, they know Obama loves them. They will let him back in the apartment when he comes back. And they are not going to call the cops.

    HAHAHAHA

    1. But he promises he’ll change after the ’12 elections.

      It’s not really his fault anyway, those republican bastards make him take positions he doesn’t want to.

      1. If the Republicans didn’t make him so mad, he wouldn’t beat you?

        You should try to be extra nice to him then. I hear that sort of thing works.

      2. His defenders always tell me that we have to wait until he’s reelected before we see him move towards scaling back the Bush era policies he decried in his campaign.

        See right now he’s afraid that the Republicans will criticize him more, or he won’t have a chance at reelection if he goes forward with the change we were promised. Every now and then the absurd argument is that he can’t do anything else because the tea partiers already hate him because he’s black and doing more could get him killed.

        Nevermind that fear of the Republicans or tea party didn’t sway him at all in his single minded push for Obamacare.

        The asininity of the whole ‘wait until next term’ is that they’re suggesting (admitting?) that from the time he was first elected he’s been jerking us around so he could curry favor and get reelected.

        Of course, reelecting him will simply encourage him to continue with those policies since he wouldn’t have been reelected if people didn’t like them. This is along the lines of the GWB taking his reelection in 2004 as a mandate for all the things people hated and were told he had to keep doing to be reelected and would stop doing at that time.

  5. If we legalize the green stuff we’ll be denying our children the right to awesome American moon bases. Gingrich 2012!

    1. I have a dream of spectacular growth rates under the sodium bulbs of Tranquility Base..

      But that Eagle has flown

  6. There is no medical marijuana. Marijuana is a drug. There is nothing in the Food and Drug Administration that supports the idea that it’s medical. There’s nothing in the Institute of Medicine that supports the idea it’s medical. The American Medical Association has not said it’s medical.

    There is no medical opium. Opium is a drug. There is nothing in the Food and Drug Administration that supports the idea that its medical.

    Rush Limbaugh should be executed by Mr. Gingrich’s logic. I’m sort of OK with that*

    *I’m not ok with that, nor am I ok with Mr. Newcular Titties stance.

  7. …we execute 35 people at a time…..

    1. are obsolete!

  8. I didn’t need another reason to despise Newcular Titties, but thanks for serving one up anyway.

    What. A. Fuckbag.

  9. Romney ain’t better; meets medical marijuana patient:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY6UTnS6Z-A

  10. Someone remind why this has-been duncebag is a Serious Candidate and Johnson is a marginal whackaloon nobody.

    1. It’s all about marketing. Gary. . .Johnson. I mean, come on, that’s totally dull. Might as well be Mike Smith. Completely forgettable. Similarly, Ron Paul–what kind of branding is that? And two first names? Come on, man!

      Newt Gingrich. Hmmm, interesting name. Gingrich–sounds like Grinch. I always liked that book and the Christmas special. I wonder if he’s the bitter Grinch or the one with a big heart? I like the big-hearted Grinch. And Newt? What’s that short for? Newton? Newcular Titties? I’m intrigued

      1. It is all about who kisses the big media’s ass the most. Gingrich has been in Washington a long time and knows all of them. So is automatically serious. Same way the treated Buchanan seriously for years after it was obvious he was a loon.

        Same reason Barney Frank is still in office. He is a great interview and he is gay, so it doens’t matter that he is one of the biggest crooks or maybe the biggest in American history.

        1. If American history started two decades ago…no, it’s still a stupid assertion.

          1. I would hold him largely responsible for FANNIE MAE. Has there ever been a larger financial scandal than that? If there has been, their are very few bigger.

    2. I think it’s because there’s no way he’d beat Obama. Johnson is not a sure loss. And as we know, only the MSM can determine who the serious candidates and frontrunners are.

  11. Speaking of our depraved political class. David Brooks writes about the new book on the FANNIE MAE debacle today and says that they had better clean them selves up or (cue dramatic music DA DA DUM!!) someone like Bachman will clean it up for them.

    Say what you want about Brooks. Sure he is a douche bag. But the man knows his audience. You can just see the typical New York Times reader reading this and trembling in the corner

    OK OK Maybe Bawney should resign. But stop it with the Bachman stuff because that is not funny

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06…..ef=opinion

  12. All hail God Emperor Douchebag Newt I. And the lovely Empress Callista.

  13. How about he starts off with his wife, who looks to be high on some kind of cough syrup derivative all the time.

    1. Robotrippers have an entirely different vacant look. No, that particular vacant look you see on her is the specific one one gets after being married to Newt. No other known cause. Then comes the cancer, but that’s after they’re addicted and can’t get out.

  14. Jacob. Alt-text: “Newt is short for Newcular Titties.” It’s the right thing to do.

  15. When this guy’s lips are moving, he’s lying!

  16. Let’s skip over Gingrich’s dubious premise that drugs can’t be medical.

    Its not dubious. Its flat wrong. Google “medical heroin” and (especially) “medical cocaine”.

    What a moron.

  17. Drug = not medical? Huh.

  18. I’m not defending Gingrich on the main point.

    However, the argument that, just because the FDA approves an extract/offshoot of marijuana (Marinol), but refuses to approve the thing itself isn’t contradictory per se. Botox is an FDA-approved product used for cosmetic purposes. But its base product is related to botulism, which can be lethal. No, marijuana isn’t lethal (or that dangerous), but it’s a reasonable argument to agree w/ the FDA’s approving an offshoot while not approving the original element.

    1. but it’s a reasonable argument to agree w/ the FDA’s approving an offshoot while not approving the original element.

      It’s not reasonable given that the FDA itself shouldn’t exist.

  19. Who the fuck could be in the same room with this odious cretin for thirty seconds without stabbing him in the eye with a mechanical pencil?

    How did he manage to survive into his twenties?

    1. Glass eyes?

    2. Nictating membranes?

  20. There is a debate posted on cato from the other day with Jeff Miron and some fucking ancient prohibitionist from the Nixon administration. Get out your bong, take a couple hits, and watch this fuckwad spew everything out about the drug war as if it’s the good things from prohibition.

    http://www.cato.org/event.php?eventid=8011

    I’m convinced it won’t be till that old fart’s generation is dead, buried and pissed on that a rational approach might be taken when it comes to drugs (at least mj). I’m just hoping I’m not to old see that day.

    1. I’m convinced it won’t be till that old fart’s generation is dead, buried and pissed on that a rational approach might be taken when it comes to drugs (at least mj).

      Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The younger kiddies love the funding and power over others that prohibition brings to the table.

      It’s not about the geezers. Someone going to college in 1969 who was 18-22 at the time is now 60-64. The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 112th Congress was 56.7 years;
      and of Senators, 62.2 years.

      That means that, on average, the majority in Congress lived at a time when MJ consumption was all around them, and many either smoked it themselves or had friends or relatives that did.

      To see the actual results of use and continue to blather out the tired old WOD script points to something other than a lack of familiarity with the realities of the drug. That something is funding and power, and humans don’t seem to grow out of that ‘phase’.

      1. That means that, on average, the majority in Congress lived at a time when MJ consumption was all around them, and many either smoked it themselves or had friends or relatives that did.

        Is this really true? I know it’s conventional wisdom that everyone smoked pot in the 60’s, but I have a hard time believing the percentage was higher then than it is now. (and even a harder time finding the stats online).

        1. Percentages aren’t as important as the personality necessary for political life. Desire for power, acceptance and a social drive do not make for the types of people that ‘follow the rules’.

          Those types may run for office, but they don’t win.

          Whether they smoked or not, they certainly knew and were friends with those that did.

    2. I couldn’t stand to watch the whole thing, but I think it’d make a great drinking game: every time you hear a logical fallacy, take a drink. You’ll be wasted within 10 minutes of that Nixon asshole opening his mouth.

      I’ve met a few doctors I’d describe as not smart, but this is the first one I’d call flat out stupid.

  21. Ty for the article. I had never heard this before. I’ll be sure to cross ol’Newt out.

  22. There is nothing in the Food and Drug Administration that supports the idea that it’s medical. There’s nothing in the Institute of Medicine that supports the idea it’s medical. The American Medical Association has not said it’s medical.

    Appeal to authority much, Newt?

  23. What a pathetic waste – a fat, useless, bloodthirsty, slob.

  24. first off- fuck Newt Gingrich.
    hes a hypocritical, sociopathithic, fundamentaltard. But hey, alot of politicans/people are nowadays.

    second- take this to the supreme court and argue how its constitutional to deprive someone of their LIFE, Liberty, and POH for fucking drugs.

    Maybe in Malaysia or Thailand you can get a death sentence for smuggling drugs.

    But not america.

    Mabey amerika.

  25. Gingrich is a prime example of how the very worst sorts of people thrive in a corrupt system. Americans are so stupid they deserve scummy pieces of shit like Gingrich.

  26. Oh–when you said “drives him to kill,” I thought you meant he actually killed someone with his bare hands. But actually he just sends uniformed thugs to do his killing for him. Figures. REMF all the way. What a pussy.

    1. You’re correcvt. Newt is a pussy’s pussy all the way.

  27. Newt Gingrich…..The most shameless flip-flopper since John Kerry.

  28. I guess he didn’t bother to consider that this idea would give drug smugglers a huge incentive to murder people. If you know you’re getting the death penalty if you get caught anyway, and you have even a remote suspicion that someone you’re working with is an undercover cop, of course you’d just kill them. The same goes for potential witnesses, former associates you think might snitch on you, cops or coast guard that try to arrest you, etc.

    This guy isn’t just a disgusting hypocrite, he’s an irrational disgusting hypocrite.

  29. Newt is a gawd damn waste of human organs and skin. I can’t wait for the punk to die a lingering death from some unknown disease so I can dance on his grave.

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