Likud’s perfect candidate: Newt Gingrich (UPDATED)

Israel/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics
on 50 Comments

For an update to this story, scroll to the bottom.

Newt Gingrich is running hard to the right on Israel/Palestine, as his recent comments on Palestinians show. You would be forgiven if you thought that Gingrich was running to be the head of the Likud Party in Israel instead of the GOP.

Andrew Sullivan has been on this story, calling the Likud-GOP alliance a “new fusion” (though it’s not really new). “Gingrich has all but declared that under his presidency, the American position would be that of Netanyahu’s,” Sullivan recently wrote.

And Gingrich does not dispute this; he’s promoting it as a way to “get more [Jewish] votes in swing states” and to “get some money from the obvious corners in the Jewish community,” as New Yorker editor David Remnick tells Haaretz. It’s also a way to cement the Christian Zionist vote.

Here’s Gingrich, in a recent interview with The Jewish Channel, on his ideological kinship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a member of the right-wing Likud Party:

I see myself as in many ways being pretty close to Bibi Netanyahu in thinking about the dangers of the world. I believe in a tough-minded realism. I believe that if somebody is firing rockets at you, they are probably not engaged in the peace process. I believe if somebody goes around and says you don’t have a right to exist, they’re probably not prepared to negotiate for peace. I think if someone says they wanna wipe you out, you should believe them. So I see a much more tougher-minded, and much more honest approach to the Middle East in a Gingrich administration.

The shared worldview is clear when examining Gingrich’s and Netanyahu’s remarks on the Arab uprisings. In the same interview with The Jewish Channel, Gingrich said:

I think we’re much more likely to see an Arab winter, than we are to see an Arab Spring. The fact is that when people point out that of the 1,200,000 Christians who were in Iraq when we arrived, 700,000 have fled the country. That doesn’t strike me as a success. When you know that Coptic Christians who have been in Egypt for 2,100 years are now being persecuted and having their churches burned, that doesn’t strike me as a success. I think the Israeli Defense Minister said the other day that he’s very concerned about the Muslim Brotherhood’s success in this recent election.

Remember, I think 15% of the seats went to people who are more extreme than the Muslim Brotherhood…So, I think there’s a lot to be concerned about, and whether or not the Arab world is going to evolve now in a very negative, probably very destructive, way.

Netanyahu made similar claims in a recent Knesset speech he delivered on the Arab uprisings, saying that the Arab world was “moving not forward, but backward.”

And it’s not just ideology that binds Netanyahu and Gingrich together, though. It’s also cash. The Forward reports:

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, one of the wealthiest men in the world and a major donor to Jewish and conservative causes, is widely known as a Netanyahu stalwart. Less well known are his equally close ties to Gingrich, to whom he has been a major giver in recent years.

Adelson’s faith in Gingrich hasn’t been particularly contagious. High-profile Jewish supporters of Gingrich remain tough to find, even as Gingrich has rocketed into the GOP lead in national polling. Still, the former House speaker’s ties to Adelson, his relationship with Netanyahu and a foreign policy team packed with neoconservatives leave him well situated in the competition for pro-Israel voters.

Neither a spokesman for Adelson nor for the Gingrich campaign responded to repeated requests for comment for this story. But the alliance of Adelson and Gingrich is famous in Jewish Republican circles.

“They have been tremendous fans and supporters of Newt from day one,” Fred Zeidman, a Texas oil executive and prominent Republican Jewish supporter of Romney, said of Adelson and his wife, Miriam.

Adelson, who ranked eighth in Forbes’s 2011 list of the richest Americans, is chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., which owns casinos in Las Vegas and Macau, China. He has been a major funder of Taglit-Birthright Israel, which sends young Diaspora Jews on free trips to Israel, and has been among the most significant American supporters of Netanyahu. In 2007 he launched a free right-of-center newspaper in Israel called Israel Hayom.

At the same time, Adelson is among the largest political donors in the United States. Adelson and his wife rank second among individual contributors to federal candidates, parties and political action committees in the current election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Adelson has given particularly heavily to Gingrich-associated organizations. Between 2006 and 2010 he donated $7 million to American Solutions for Winning the Future, one of Gingrich’s political groups, according to a database maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Sullivan is right when he described the scary consequences of the Likud-GOP fusion:

You can view the US as a global power, assessing its values and interests in a secular fashion. Or you can view the US as the most powerful Christianist force in the world, and its foreign policy as one shaped by fear and loathing of Islam and fusion with Judaism.

If you believe the former, you will see why you’d want to keep the US on the right side of the Arab Spring, calm Jihadism by getting Israel to accept a two-state solution soon, and then embrace a defensible Israel as a vital democratic country in the world. But if you believe the latter, you believe that Israel has a Biblical right to all of the West Bank, and to a permanent apartheid-style Greater Israel with a permanently disenfranchized and restive Arab majority. Moreover, you see Israel’s clash with Iran as a no-brainer. In the Judeo-Christian war with Islam, it fits right in. Of course, the US should back such a war. As the leader of the Judeo-Christian front against Islam, it should initiate it.

So as much as Obama has done nothing in the face of relentless settlement expansion and demolition of Palestinian homes, it could get worse with Gingrich as president. Instead of one Likudnik in power, you’d have two.

UPDATE: Politico‘s Ben Smith reports on a revealing Gingrich moment from last night that makes clear that his antipathy to Arabs and Muslims is not limited by the borders of the Middle East:

John McCain in 2008 took the occasional strange, xenophobic question about Barack Obama, and routinely batted them back: Obama wasn’t scary, or (God forbid!) “an Arab,” as one woman memorably told him. He was a decent family man, just wrong on the issues. There’s little upside in correcting voters who hate your opponent, but McCain had political reasons to worry about being tainted by the fringe, and no evident personal inclination to indulge a stew of bigotry and misinformation.

Newt Gingrich missed a moment like that last night in Windham, when a young man — as student at Windham High School, I think — asked a question that began, “Islam is trying to take over this country.”

The questioner went on for a while, noting that he was a Christian and wanted his rights protected against Islam. The crowd applauded.

Gingrich didn’t quite endorse the question, but he certainly didn’t correct it: There was no caveat that most American Muslims are good citizens, or that Constitutional rights apply to all religions. Instead Gingrich pivoted directly into a riff about the dual threats, to Christians and Jews, of Sharia law and of secularism.

The moment captured Gingrich’s political skills: He offers parts of the Republican base who are used to being dismissed and marginalized by the mainstream media — for what was, in this particular case, an actual fringe conspiracy theory, or at best a wild overstatement — a sense of legitimacy and intellectual heft, a sense that their concerns are part of a profound, deep, and fundamental structural concern.

For more on Gingrich’s anti-Muslim obsession with sharia, see this Washington Post article by Michael Gerson.

50 Responses

  1. MichaelRivero
    December 13, 2011, 10:55 am

    If you love Israel so much, Newt, MOVE THERE!

    • eee
      December 13, 2011, 11:48 am

      That looks reasonable to me, as long as you move to Iran which you love so much.

    • DICKERSON3870
      December 13, 2011, 2:30 pm

      RE: “…as long as you move to Iran…” ~ eee

      REPLY: I would not want to live in either Israel or Iran, but if forced to choose…

      Veteran Israeli activist warns against ‘neo-fascist’ legislation ~ By Ofra Edelman, Haaretz, 12/9/11
      LINK – link to haaretz.com
      In Israel, ‘fascist’ is not a rude word ~ by Amira Hass, Haaretz, 12/09/11
      LINK – link to haaretz.com
      Israel Turning Into Theocracy ~ By Eric Alterman, The Forward, 12/12/11
      LINK – link to forward.com
      Unlike Iran, Israel won’t face sanctions ~ By Zvi Bar’el, Haaretz, 12/07/11
      LINK – link to haaretz.com
      Israel’s bizarre decision to give up on education – and its future, by Ami Kaufman, +972 Magazine, 12/03/11
      LINK – link to 972mag.com
      The assault on Israeli women’s rights ~ By Noga Tarnopolsky, Global Post, 12/09/11
      LINK – link to salon.com
      One day in the State of the Jewish People, a ‘light unto the Nations’ ~ by Jerome Slater, 12/11/11
      LINK – link to jeromeslater.com

  2. seafoid
    December 13, 2011, 11:12 am

    The situation deteriorates daily in Israel
    Gingrich is just throwing petrol onto a very dry pile.
    He doesn’t care what happens to the victims of the future.

    link to haaretz.com

    “As the situation currently stands between the Israel Defense Forces and the widening margins of the extreme settler right, the only “red line” that has yet to be crossed is a scenario in which an Israeli citizen would open fire on IDF soldiers. There are those in Israel’s security forces who fear that that day is not so distant.
    Before we hurry to call Tuesday’s attack on an IDF brigade commander and his deputy an “escalation” in IDF-settler ties, it is important to emphasize that this is not a new situation.
    For several months now, there has been outright violence between “price tag” groups who rally around illegal outposts, and the IDF forces stationed there for their protection. For the settlers, throwing rocks, and even fire bombs, at IDF and border police patrol vehicles is no longer a rare incident and physical altercations have also become almost routine. An attack on a base of a regional brigade, as occurred early Tuesday morning, has already happened three months ago. Moreover, an attack on IDF soldiers by residents of illegal outposts in Gush Shilo occurred a little more than two months ago.”

    Education minister says no way for a Palestinian state

    link to haaretz.com

    The state of Israeli education

    link to 972mag.com

    Minister is more interested in settlers

  3. seafoid
    December 13, 2011, 11:15 am

    Newt and bibi are bound together by ties of arrogance, pompousness and strategic ineptitude

  4. Abu Malia
    December 13, 2011, 11:38 am

    Someone really needs to tell the Zionists to come back to reality. Someone needs to tell ‘em that the reason they haven’t succeeded in subduing the Palestinians, Syrians or even the people of Southern Lebanon, is not due to lack of access to the executive branch – Obama is just as compelled to do their bidding, nor is it some kind of tactical error vis a vis the Palestinians.

    The reason Zionism in Palestine is doomed to fail is that the price they have asked the Palestinians to pay is simply too much bear. The Palestinians would have to commit national suicide to accept Israel on its’ current terms.

    Likud’s negotiating tactics reminds me of a scene from the movie Independence Day with Will Smith. If you have seen the movie, you’d surely remember the scene where the character playing the POTUS is brought to area 51 to see the Aliens. He asks the Alien, in a seemingly sincere tone, “what do you expect us to do?”. The Alien, talking through a slain scientist’s vocal cords, responds…….Die…..Die….

    If anything, the election of Newt Gingrich would probably accelerate the decline of American Power across the board and simultaneously diminish the power of Zionists who work through the US Government. Can you imagine Gingrich and Santorum ticket with Bolton slated for secretary of state ?

  5. Kathleen
    December 13, 2011, 11:47 am

    Newt has not received word that facts on the ground are out there far more than ever before. Newt and Bibi are both committed to racism and classism in one form or another

  6. Kathleen
    December 13, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Looking for the full interview. That clip that you have linked stops at Gingrich’s statement about paying attention to US national security that that should come first. We all know how many experts have been saying that Israel’s persistent refusal to stop building illegal settlements is a very serious and dangerous US national security issue for the US. In the 9/11 report they were even willing to mention this. Carter, Zinni, Scowcroft Bryzinski, James Jones, Wesley Clark, Clinton and so many more have been willing to say that Israel’s illegal activities present a serious problem for the US.

    here is the transcript
    link to washingtonpost.com

    “I think we need an American President who starts by focusing on American security, recognizes Israel is an ally, it’s an important country. We are natural friends and allies, but let’s start with what is in America’s interest and let’s do it. I wear a pin.

    This is actually the command flag of General Washington at Valley Forge And it is a reminder that we created the American presidency out of our experience of fighting the Revolutionary War. Washington was the commander in chief for 8 years. He only spent 1 week of that 8 years at Mount Vernon. We need a commander in chief who gets up every morning and understands protecting America, defeating America’s enemies is a very key part of their assignment.”

    • seafoid
      December 13, 2011, 12:58 pm

      Gingrich looks like an old man. Those are the people Zionism depends on. He reminds me of the Dersh. Those old man trousers. Old man worldview too.

      • Kathleen
        December 14, 2011, 8:51 am

        Old I never mind. Carter is old, Zbigniew is old. They have more than reasonable views based on facts when it comes to the I/P issue. Gingrich is a dangerous and flammable person. Willing to flush issues of morality totally down the commode. Going after Clinton for extra marital activities while having an affair himself. Creepy…very very creepy.

        Have you watched his shifty eyes, puffy face? Has that heavy cocktail hour look.

      • Citizen
        December 14, 2011, 10:43 am

        Ron Paul is an old man too. We all know he’s the only consistent POTUS candidate. Paul’s notion is that, beyond the fact we cannot afford to keep giving so much foreign aid & Israel is explicitly no exception, our country has no justifiable business interfering in Israeli decisions because Israel is a sovereign country and dependence on us makes it much less so. Israel needs more liberty, same as the USA. Some Israelis actually agree with Paul on this–or at least, they think they do. Nobody in media has really pushed Ron Paul to connect the dots specifically to my knowledge. Has anyone ever followed up his general statements suggested above with the question: “So, should we cut all aid to Israel? Some? How much? ” Beck interviewed him and they both tip-toed around the implications when they discussed if Paul supported “Israel’s right to defend itself”? This was Beck’s question; of course Paul said he did–then said we don’t support Israel’s sovereignty by (more or less, paraphrasing) telling it what to do.

        So far, to my knowledge, Ron Paul has not raised the issue in public re whether or not Israel’s conduct re the natives is a matter of self-defense, or one of lebensraum.

        Beck admitted on the show that he had dismissed Paul as a nut job basically–until he schooled himself on the Fed & US monetary policy and its connection to Wall St, etc.

        Still, we all know Paul is against foreign intervention or “nation building” and feeding the monster war business so much, his bipartisan opponents dismiss him as an “isolationist.” The MSM does too.

        Perhaps both parties & MSM will be forced by a big win in Iowa for Ron Paul to swerve for a brief moment from the official script (Ron Paul is a consistent, but squirrelly nut job) provided by our bipartisan ruling elite?

  7. Kathleen
    December 13, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Steven – Now, for a lot of Pro-Israel voters in America, one of the most controversial policies to come out of the Republican primary so far has been the foreign aid funding starting at zero. Where do you feel that Israel falls into that?

    Newt – Well, first of all, we have a 10-year commitment that we have to live out. So I think because we’ve made this long-term commitment, you wouldn’t be able to go back to zero.

    Steven – Do you renew that commitment?

    Newt – Well, it runs for another seven years, I think. You know, I don’t think you need to renew it right now. But I think the intellectual principal that we should rethink from the ground up every commitment we have is a good one. The world is changing very dramatically. There is no Soviet Empire. We were in the habit of throwing money away everywhere. And very often, we’re giving money to a dictatorship that votes against us in the UN, and despises us. Well, why are we doing that? So I think the idea of rethinking it all is a totally reasonable idea. I think, as Governor Perry himself said, you know it’s very, very likely that Israel’d be fine. But there’s nothing wrong with saying, “let’s critically think about everything we’re doing,” when you’re talking about two, or three or four billion dollars a year.

    • Citizen
      December 14, 2011, 11:03 am

      Newt’s quite evasive. He’s really saying we don’t promise other countries foreign aid even at a non-fixed amount, except in the case of Israel–where we promised another decade of the biggest chunk going to any country. And I will honor that because I desire big zionist dollars & good Israel First press coverage for my campaign coffers, which I will figure out a way to use for my side business of blowing my own horn as an expert, making paid speeches, writing books, etc; even if I lose the election. So I tell you, “there’s nothing wrong with SAYING, “Let’s look at aid to Israel too,” so I appear to make no exception to the GOP notion of starting with $0 aid as to each country, and then going from there. So, I rake in big Zionist $ both Christian & Jewish–and yet I appear to be objective, earning cred for pure GOP spending cut principles.”

      God only knows what this old fat degenerate would do if he were POTUS.

  8. Kathleen
    December 13, 2011, 12:06 pm

    John Bolton,James Woolsey part of his foreign policy team. The line up for an overt attack on Iran is lining up

    The release of the traitor Jonathon Pollard issue
    Steven – Now, one of the members of your foreign policy team is James Woolsey, the former CIA director. He’s actually made some pretty explicit calls for the release of Jonathan Pollard. Does that mean that there actually would be a release of Jonathan Pollard?

    Newt – Well, I have a bias in favor of clemency. He has served a very long time. I have a working group studying it right now. What I would promise is that as President I would appoint a very small panel that would be very willing to look at the facts. If in fact he has served as long or longer than most people who have the same sentence, then I’d be willing to consider clemency. I’d want to listen to the Secretaries of Defense and intelligence chiefs who have deeply opposed it, and find out why have they deeply opposed it. You know, President Clinton considered doing it, and then-Director of Intelligence Tenet I think threatened to resign. So there’s something there that I don’t know as a non-President, and I’d want to be thoroughly briefed. My bias would be infavor of clemency. He served I think 25 years. And I think you’d have some conditional clemency. He couldn’t publish. He couldn’t make money out of it. You know, he’d have to think through the conditions. But if we can get to a point where I’m satisfied that there’s no national security threat, and if he’s in fact served within the range of people who have had a similar problem, then I’d be inclined to consider clemency.

    • hophmi
      December 13, 2011, 1:35 pm

      Hardly the unequivocal OK that you might expect from someone who is supposedly close to Bibi. I can tell you right now it will not happen, least because Pollard’s most likely going to be paroled in 2015.

      • Woody Tanaka
        December 13, 2011, 2:00 pm

        “Hardly the unequivocal OK that you might expect from someone who is supposedly close to Bibi.”

        Are you nuts??? He may not have a problem with kissing the ass of the American Jews screaming for the release of this traitor, but there are a lot of people whose support he neeeds who put the needs of American and their loyalty to it over the desires of the “Israelis” and their loyalty to the Zionist idea. They don’t take kindly to clemency for traitors, especially when its America’s supposed friend who spied on us in the first place.

        “I can tell you right now it will not happen, least because Pollard’s most likely going to be paroled in 2015.”

        Based on what? From what I know of the case, those that get the briefing on what actually he did are convinced that he should never walk free again.

      • Citizen
        December 14, 2011, 11:41 am

        Our government has sound practical programs and practices for sharing appropriate classified information with our allies. When necessary or helpful, the information is passed on. Often, we share information with Israel and other close allies as a matter of routine. But that information must flow through the proper channels and be subject to review by those officially empowered to oversee the relevant programs.

        Pollard passed on a wealth of information—much of which was not of particular value in the defense of Israel, but which compromised highly classified U.S. programs, capabilities, sources and methods. He did deep and extensive damage to American security. Basically, he passed this information on to Israel, an alleged friend, who in turn passed it on to the USSR during the cold war, a map of our entire missile defense system. This was not a matter of accidental disclosure or a single misstep or two. Pollard systematically and enthusiastically betrayed all Americans who care for their country more than any other –and he was paid cash to do it. Newt addresses this situation in his framework: “Well, I have a bias in favor of clemency. He has served a very long time.”

        How much time did the Rosenbergs serve? Too bad they did not have a fake friend, middleman conduit. And they, to my knowledge, did not get paid a nice piece of cash for their treason.

      • hophmi
        December 15, 2011, 9:29 am

        “Based on what? From what I know of the case, those that get the briefing on what actually he did are convinced that he should never walk free again.”

        In 2015, he will be presumptively eligible for parole. The US might oppose it, but I don’t see what grounds they would have considering that 30 years is a heck of a long time for what Pollard was actually convicted of.

        But we’ll see.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2011, 2:16 pm

        “I can tell you right now it will not happen, least because Pollard’s most likely going to be paroled in 2015.”

        You also told us Steve Weiner would hold on to his seat. And a lot of other things.

  9. hophmi
    December 13, 2011, 12:28 pm

    You can drive yourself crazy with stuff like this, Alex.

    I’d really like to hear your prescriptions for US foreign policy in places like Egypt, where it is clear that the liberals are not going to be a major force in government. What should the US response be? What should the US do if the Islamists pass laws restricting womens’ rights or gay rights and the right to organize, for instance?

    When will you do the honorable thing and admit that in a world where everybody talked about how great Egypt was going to be and Netanyahu said, “hey great, but let’s make sure we know what government we’re getting before we jump in with both feet,” Netanyahu was right and everyone else was wrong?

    • Woody Tanaka
      December 13, 2011, 1:54 pm

      I’d really like to hear your prescriptions for US foreign policy in places like Egypt, where it is clear that the liberals are not going to be a major force in government. What should the US response be? What should the US do if the Islamists pass laws restricting womens’ rights or gay rights and the right to organize, for instance?

      It should do what it does when Israel does these same things (worse, actually): express regret and do nothing.

      “and Netanyahu said, ‘hey great, but let’s make sure we know what government we’re getting’”

      The problem with the ‘yahoo’s view, and yours, is that it is not a government that “we’re” getting: it’s a government the Egyptians are getting. And they are entitled to chose whatever government they want. At that point, if there are problem with the policies, then it is up to the Egyptians to change it, and we should support that change. But if we aren’t going to start regime-changing “Israel” as the Jews occupying Palestine elect fascist government after fascist government, then on what ground would we have to do anything different in Egypt?

    • American
      December 13, 2011, 2:44 pm

      It’s actually none of the US’s business what kind of government any country has……..UNLESS…….that country starts doing something ‘morally horrific’ …in their own State….or out of their State.
      Then we should intervene.

    • MRW
      December 14, 2011, 10:24 am

      Re: Egypt. “What should the US do if the Islamists pass laws restricting womens’ rights or gay rights and the right to organize, for instance?”

      What kind of fruitcake logic is that? The Islamists would have come into power in Egypt as a direct result of the decision to organize last February.

      I don’t think you’ve ever read the Koran. It prohibits restricting women’s rights. The Wahabists in Saudi Arabia are a splinter group created over 200 years ago, and the other fundamentalist sects (Taliban, etc), who have some of the same rules as the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel, are johnny-come-latelies as well–Islam doesn’t have a priestcraft; you’re free to get a bunch of like-minded people together and interpret it the way you want–and are as outside mainstream Islam as the snake-wavers and multi-tongue talkers are to mainstream Christianity.

      The Knesset just passed laws restricting the right to organize if it disagrees with its political POV, and the ultra-right are taking care of what women can and cannot do in public, and gays. So fix your own backyard first before you start worrying about Egypt.

      • hophmi
        December 15, 2011, 9:26 am

        “I don’t think you’ve ever read the Koran. It prohibits restricting women’s rights.”

        LOL. It doesn’t matter what the Qu’ran says. Practice is different. The Bible doesn’t restrict women’s rights either.

      • ErsatzYisrael
        December 15, 2011, 1:55 pm

        hophmi says:

        “LOL. It doesn’t matter what the Qu’ran says. Practice is different. The Bible doesn’t restrict women’s rights either.”

        ROFLOLOLOLOL. Sounds just like Israeli “Democracy” (i.e. sounds fantastic on paper; more than a little bit rubbish in practice) .

        Please try to be just a tiny bit more understanding, hophmi; it’s unfair to blame the Islamofundies for their uncouthness – not every wannabe ideologue has been fortunate enough to receive the benefit of a great Israeli education.

  10. VR
    December 13, 2011, 12:34 pm

    Gee, Newt screwed Americans with his “contract with America (according to my studies),” what makes anyone think he will not go for seconds? There must be something in the drinking water.

    • Citizen
      December 14, 2011, 12:00 pm

      Newt wrote his university thesis defending the massacre of the Congolese people.

  11. VR
    December 13, 2011, 1:18 pm

    If you look carefully at that “contract” you will see everything that has brought us to the present day economic disaster. It was the tip of the spear during the Regan era that opened the doors to totally unregulated pillage of the American people by what is now called the 1%. It had all the seeds of the current destruction, the contract), so if he would sell America out then it is just a matter of where he tips his hat at any given time. Frankly, the whole system is a joke, but I elaborate like this because some still think there is juice left for them.

  12. Les
    December 13, 2011, 1:20 pm

    Gingrich is committed to taking food stamp funds from lazy Americans in order to help subsidize Israel’s socialized medicine.

  13. kapok
    December 13, 2011, 1:45 pm

    Gingrich is unelectable. This has got to be a ploy to get Obama to “demonstrate his commitment” to the peculiar “State”.

    • john h
      December 14, 2011, 5:17 pm

      From “Newt Gingrich’s ‘Heart of Darkness‘”

      The picture that emerges is not a pretty one – even for those nominally on the same side as him. He was a disastrous leader as Speaker of the House – deposed by his own allies just shy of serving two terms – and the GOP establishment can’t put their faith in him. In fact, GOP pundits are “freaking out” as Gawker put it in their quote roundup, which featured David Brooks saying, “As nearly everyone who has ever worked with him knows, he would severely damage conservatism and the Republican Party if nominated”. Peggy Noonan also chimed in: “He is a human hand grenade who walks around with his hand on the pin, saying, ‘Watch this!‘”

      But deep as those failings may be, Newt has been far, far worse for the United States as a whole. He has played a key role in making American politics much more nasty, polarised and dysfunctional.

      To understand Newt’s historical role, we must first cut through his smokescreen. Touting his conservative credentials recently, Newt said, “I helped Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp develop supply-side economics, I helped lead the effort to defeat Communism in Congress, I helped – as Speaker of the House – balance the budget for four straight years”. Three claims. Three whoppers. All puffery.

      link to aljazeera.com

  14. Annie Robbins
    December 13, 2011, 1:58 pm

    excellent update and very appropriate juxtaposition w/what mccain said. if the US places a xenophobe islamophobe in the WH we’ll prove to be quite worthy of whatever wrath comes back at us no holds bar. i don’t understand how gingrich could even make it thru election season without macaca moment after macaca moment.

    • Bumblebye
      December 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

      Here’s a shocker:
      link to haaretz.com
      Take the Israeli Zionist Chief Rabbi and get him appointed UK’s Chief Rabbi, with an automatic slot in the House of Lords, therefore part of Britain’s government. The member of the anglo-Jewish community with the far reaching connection to the royal court can only be Ambassador Gould of Fox/Werritty/Gould infamy.
      And it’s so nice to know he beleives in population transfer. Of Palestinians in Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula.
      link to en.wikipedia.org
      Likud’s perfect candidate for the UK?

      • MHughes976
        December 13, 2011, 3:46 pm

        Well, the seat in the Lords is not quite automatic. Wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where he ends up, though.

      • droog
        December 13, 2011, 4:45 pm

        no fair, why can’t Zionists earn their Lords seats like everybody else has to?,
        with Corruption, Cronyism and wads of cash stuffed in brown envelopes.

        p.s. I should point out that the Lords sometimes acts as the last fragile line of sanity between British Law and the latest ideological machinations of UKPlc Government.

  15. Dan Crowther
    December 13, 2011, 3:03 pm

    And Gingrich will win…..

    • MHughes976
      December 13, 2011, 4:01 pm

      He’s still 5% behind Obama in the latest Rasmussen poll, whereas Romney is a couple of points ahead. Whether any of that is good news or bad I’m not sure.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 13, 2011, 4:54 pm

        5 points behind a sitting president, with the holiday economic gains about to fade away, higher unemployment expected in 2012 AND he isn’t Mormon. I’d say it’s a near slam dunk for Newt. Holy fucking shit. I hate being one of these “the republicans are sooo scary” lefties, but Newt really does scare the crap outta me. But not enough to vote for Barry and the O’s again, I just can’t do it.

      • Citizen
        December 14, 2011, 12:04 pm

        Yes, Dan C, I feel the same way. What to do? I voted for Ron Paul in the primary last time. Will likely do it again. For the main event?

    • Justice Please
      December 14, 2011, 7:02 am

      Dan,

      link to articles.businessinsider.com

      right now in Iowa, Ron Paul seems to be at 21% versus Newts 22%. As business insider notes, this marks a straight decline from Newt since he entered the ring. Given the numerous ethics problems and outrageous policies Newt has, I would say that Ron Paul can easily overtake him.

      If Paul wins the nomination, Obama is forced to confront important issues like ending the wars, ending the FED, stop torture, ending the war on drugs etc.

      • Dan Crowther
        December 14, 2011, 9:05 am

        Well, if there are more columns like Tom Friedman’s today – maybe you will be right

      • Annie Robbins
        December 14, 2011, 9:21 am

        the cool thing about iowa is it is a caucus state. they can’t stuff the ballot box or fiddle with the machines in the primary.

  16. DICKERSON3870
    December 13, 2011, 5:18 pm

    RE: “Likud’s perfect candidate: Newt Gingrich ” ~ Alex Kane

    ALSO SEE: Racism, Genocide and Business as Usual ~
    The Republicans and the Palestinians
    , by Robert Fatina, Counterpunch, 12/13/11

    (excerpts) As each election approaches, few candidates miss making a trek to worship at the altar of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC). There they pay homage, hoping to be anointed with the generous largess that that organization dispenses, mainly through its many fallen angels.
    The most recent pilgrim to this unholy site is Republican presidential candidate wannabe Newt Gingrich, serial adulterer, egomaniac and blowhard extraordinaire. There, bowing before one of the gods of the almighty dollar, he verbalized what his fellow worshippers have vaguely hinted at, but always practiced. Said the adoring Mr. Gingrich: “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman empire.” He further expounded: “I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people.”
    Mr. Gingrich chooses to ignore that this ‘non-state’ is referenced in the Old Testament.
    One might well imagine a Native American leader saying: “Remember, there was no United States country. It was part of the British Empire. I think we have an invented United States citizenry.”…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

    • Citizen
      December 14, 2011, 12:08 pm

      Wonder if Newt knows “Jerusalem” is not mentioned at all in the first five books, the Torah? It is mentioned in the later oral take, the Talmud.

  17. DICKERSON3870
    December 13, 2011, 5:19 pm

    RE: “Likud’s perfect candidate: Newt Gingrich ” ~ by Alex Kane

    ALSO SEE: Racism, Genocide and Business as Usual ~
    The Republicans and the Palestinians
    , by Robert Fatina, Counterpunch, 12/13/11

    (excerpts) As each election approaches, few candidates miss making a trek to worship at the altar of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC). There they pay homage, hoping to be anointed with the generous largess that that organization dispenses, mainly through its many fallen angels.
    The most recent pilgrim to this unholy site is Republican presidential candidate wannabe Newt Gingrich, serial adulterer, egomaniac and blowhard extraordinaire. There, bowing before one of the gods of the almighty dollar, he verbalized what his fellow worshippers have vaguely hinted at, but always practiced. Said the adoring Mr. Gingrich: “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman empire.” He further expounded: “I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people.”
    Mr. Gingrich chooses to ignore that this ‘non-state’ is referenced in the Old Testament.
    One might well imagine a Native American leader saying: “Remember, there was no United States country. It was part of the British Empire. I think we have an invented United States citizenry.”…

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to counterpunch.org

  18. MHughes976
    December 13, 2011, 5:30 pm

    I’d have thought that an opposition candidate should have a slight lead in this stage of the cycle but perhaps that reflects UK experience!

  19. dalybean
    December 13, 2011, 9:30 pm

    I read somewhere that the hardcore ziocons don’t trust Romney to bomb Iran, especially one Bill Kristol. Newt obviously made a promise that he would do it. Therefore, I won’t be surprised if he wins the nomination and we then have the dirtiest, nastiest election in history.

  20. jayn0t
    December 14, 2011, 9:45 am

    Arguing about whether or not the Palestinians are a people is a trap. When the Western countries stopped supporting apartheid, it wasn’t because they decided between the following propositions:
    1. South African black people are a people,
    2. they are several peoples,
    3. they are the majority of the people of South Africa,
    4. they are part of the people of Africa.
    It doesn’t matter – they were deprived of their rights as individuals, and that’s why the individualist West forced one of its members to recognize their individual rights. It’s exactly the same with the Palestinians. It doesn’t matter whether they are a people or not – what matters is that they are being deprived of their rights in a Western country, and being granted those rights follows the values, and interests, of the West.

  21. MRW
    December 14, 2011, 10:28 am

    Phil, not a chance Andrew Sullivan could have written the above two years ago and not been fired from The Atlantic. The power of this site.

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