By Sherry Mann
If were picking my favorite candidate only by watching the debates, I’d pick Newt Gingrich.
But this time, I want more than promises for change. I want change! So I decided instead of just listening to the announcers, I’d pick the “winning horse” by going down to the barn and turning over the straw; because I’ve found that presidential candidates can serve up a surprisingly, enticing organic by-product that comes from hay and horses.
My mother told me that if I couldn’t say anything nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all, so I’m not going to offer you my opinions about Newt Gingrich after looking through his stall. Instead, I’ve assembled Newt Gingrich’s quotes (with context), so you can draw your own conclusions.
“Either we are going to have to rethink our Constitution or we are going to have to rethink our process of making decisions…”
Newt Gingrich in a speech to the Center for Strategic and International Affairs saying that, the challenge for the United States in leading the world is compounded by our Constitution.
“We need to be honest about the fact that we are transferring from the United States at a practical level, significant authority to a new organization…This is not just another trade agreement. This is doing something which twice, once in the 1940’s and once in the 1950’s, the US Congress rejected…It is a very big transfer of power.”
Newt Gingrich in Congressional Testimony on the World Trade Organization and GATT. He later arranged for the vote on GATT, voted in favor of it, and bears the shared responsibility for transferring America’s foreign trade matters over to an international authority.
“Here’s the key — it’s always two out of three. If the president and the congress say the court is wrong, in the end the court would lose. If the congress and the court say the president is wrong, in the end the president would lose. And if the president and the court agreed, the congress loses. The founding fathers designed the Constitution very specifically in a Montesquieu spirit of the laws to have a balance of power not to have a dictatorship by any one of the three branches.”
Newt Gingrich on the Bill of Rights which would no longer be used to protect individual rights because the judges who help ensure those (often unpopular) rights can be outvoted by the White House and the Congress. Newt’s “Rock-Papers-Scissors version” of the Constitution is that the Supreme Court would no longer have the final say on the law.
“The courts have become grotesquely dictatorial and far too powerful.”
Newt Gingrich on United States courts.
“That was clearly an overreach by the court.”
Newt Gingrich on the court’s 5-4 decision in 2008 that prisoners held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had a right to challenge their detention before a judge, and that the President as commander-in-chief has the power to control prisoners during wartime, making the court’s decision [as he put it] “null and void.”
“You can’t trust anyone with power”
“I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power.”
“Gingrich – Primary mission, Advocate of civilization, Definer of civilization, Teacher of the rules of civilization, Leader of the civilizing forces.”
“The most serious, systematic revolutionary of modern times.”
Newt Gingrich, on Newt Gingrich
“These people are sick. They are so consumed by their own power, by a Mussolini-like ego, that their willingness to run over normal human beings and destroy honest institutions is unending.”
Newt Gingrich on Democrats
“Now, we don’t get rid of it in round one because we don’t think that that’s politically smart, and we don’t think that’s the right way to go through a transition. But we believe it’s going to wither on the vine because we think people are voluntarily going to leave it — voluntarily.”
Newt Gingrich, admitting that while they won’t kill Medicare outright, Republicans will try to make it ‘wither on the vine’ and die.
“The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.”
Newt Gingrich, arguing that it’s okay for politicians to be bought and paid for.
“The problem isn’t too little money in political campaigns, but not enough.”
Newt Gingrich on campaign finance reform.
“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
Newt Gingrich, saying we should listen to what he says, regardless of what he actually does.
“She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.”
Newt Gingrich, talking about his first wife after divorcing her.
“This is one of the great tragedies of the Bush administration. The more successful they’ve been at intercepting and stopping bad guys, the less proof there is that we’re in danger. It’s almost like they should have — every once in a while — allowed an attack to get through, just to remind us. Think about the psychology. Human beings do not like living in periods where they are deeply threatened. And if the democracy can’t protect them, they will shift towards a dictatorship. I would frankly give them extraordinary ability to eavesdrop, and my first advise to civil libertarians is simple, don’t plot with terrorists.”
Newt Gingrich, at a book talk in Huntington, NY, April 2008, saying that Republicans should allow terrorist attacks on American soil to remind us of the dangers in the world.
“Give the park police more ammo.”
Newt Gingrich, responding to a reporter who asked what to do about the homeless a few days after the police shot a homeless man in front of the White House.
In 1995, Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House of Representatives and recommended The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler as required reading to his congressional colleagues in which homosexuality, promiscuity, adultery, divorce, and abortion are viewed as normal and even desirable. Gingrich wrote the Forward and cites it as his creed. In the book, Toffler writes to the founders, “For the system of government you fashioned [a republic] including the very principles on which you based it [the Bill of Rights], is increasingly obsolete, and hence increasingly, if inadvertently, oppressive and dangerous to our welfare. It [the Constitution] must be radically changed and a new system of government invented — a democracy for the 21st century. For this wisdom, above all, I thank Mr. Jefferson who helped create the system [balance of powers] that served us so well for so long, and that now must, in its turn, die and be replaced.”
Is “Newtered” or “No Newt is good Newt” better? I think I’ll pull a Mitt and say, “yes.”