Newt Gingrich is former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a current GOP candidate for president. Until early in November 2011 he was considered a long-shot candidate, but in late November he surged ahead of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to be the GOP frontrunner.
This site's coverage has focused on his absurd, unworkable immigration ideas. Scroll past the debate coverage below to see detailed descriptions of why Gingrich's immigration ideas won't work (only the coverage of this debate mentions Newt and immigration).
The phrase "truer words were never spoke" came to my mind several times as I was reading "The tea party and the GOP: a marriage that isn't working"  by Andrew Dodge (former head of the Maine Tea Party Patriots) and Christopher Barron (GOProud). I suggest all of my fellow Tea Parties patriots read it and take its message to heart:
During the last debate, Mitt Romney supported a form of what's called "attrition" to reduce the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S., suggesting that many would self-deport; see the link for a description of that plan. The reaction by many to Romney's use of "self-deport" was more than a bit shocking.
Republican Presidential Debate January 8, 2012 (NBC News, Facebook, New Hampshire, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Ron Paul, Huntsman, David Gregory) - 01/08/12
The second worthless GOP debate of 2012 starts today, January 8 at 9am Eastern. This is apparently the first morning debate of this presidential campaign season, but don't expect it to be any different from all the others. You can watch the debate live on Facebook, but it will also be shown on NBC later in the day depending on your location (reportedly the same time slot as Meet the Press).
NETWORK: NBC News
CNN Republican Presidential Debate October 18, 2011 (Las Vegas, GOP, Romney, Cain, Perry, Ron Paul, Bachmann, Gingrich, Santorum) - 10/18/11
Tonight CNN will be conducting yet another of their worthless debates, this time a GOP debate in Las Vegas in conjunction with the Western Republican Leadership Conference (WRLC). Show time is at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific. Feel free to leave comments below before, during or after the debate. This post will be updated after a transcript becomes available.
Tonight Bloomberg and the Washington Post will be conducting yet another worthless GOP debate. Feel free to leave comments below before, during or after the debate. This post will be updated after a transcript becomes available. This debate stands to be just as bad and as much of a public disservice as all the others.
Tonight Fox News will be conducting a GOP debate in conjunction with Youtube, with some of the questions to be asked having been submitted via Youtube. Feel free to leave comments below before, during or after the debate. This post will be updated after a transcript becomes available. This debate stands to be just as bad and as much of a public disservice as all the others, especially considering the involvement of Youtube.
Tonight CNN will be conducting a GOP debate in conjunction with the Teaparty Express organization. Feel free to leave comments below before, during or after the debate. This post will be updated after a transcript becomes available.
Tonight at 8pm Eastern, seven declared or possible GOP presidential candidates will debate at New Hampshire's St. Anselm College. Feel free to leave your comments about the debate below; some live coverage might also be provided. When a transcript is available I'll highlight the immigration-related parts in an update.
Those debating are (see each link for more):
Jake Sherman shows again why The Politico isn't a legitimate source (Newt Gingrich, Tiffany's) UPDATED - 05/17/11
[See 5/25/11 UPDATE below]
Newt Gingrich, a fiscal conservative? Not when it comes to Tiffany’s.
In 2005 and 2006, the former House speaker turned presidential candidate carried as much as $500,000 in debt to the premier jewelry company, according to financial disclosures filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
Obviously, I'm not a Newt Gingrich fan. However, Sherman's article doesn't even rise to the National Inquirer level:
1. There's no indication at all of any sort of impropriety. As the article admits, Gingrich retired in 1999 and his wife (whose disclosure form listed the debt) "was employed by the House Agriculture Committee until 2007". As far as I know, Tiffany's jewelry and agriculture have few common bonds; it's not like ag subsidies are offered to diamond growers.
2. So, unless Jake Sherman can find some sort of link, this is a purely personal matter. It does reveal that Gingrich was living the high life, but then again so do most people with large amounts of money. Politicians' private lives should be off limits unless there's some sort of link to their policies. The media should be discussing politicians' policies and public actions, showing the ways they're wrong, and trying to encourage better policy.
3. Gingrich's spending habits (or those of his wife) have absolutely nothing to do with fiscal conservative policies: Sherman is engaging in a logical fallacy. Gingrich could throw $100 bills out the windows of his Hummer, while still promoting fiscal conservative policies with no contradiction whatsoever. What Gingrich does in his private life has no bearing on what's best for the country as a whole. It's very easy to make valid, logical arguments against fiscal conservatism, yet opponents of it generally act like, for instance, Rachel Maddow or others who are even less persuasive and credible.
If Jake Sherman were a real reporter and not just a Jerry Springer wannabe, he'd do something like call Newt Gingrich on his immigration position.
UPDATE: Jake Sherman isn't alone. For instance, Eric Kleefeld of TalkingPointsMemo offers a post based on Sherman's "work" here. It's so paint-by-the-numbers that you know Kleefeld is only doing it because - like Sherman - he's just a hack.
5/25/11 UPDATE: There might actually be something here, although the comments about Sherman still stand because he didn't look into that angle. The "credit card" with Tiffany's was actually interest-free; their normal credit card charges interest at a 21% annual rate. However, they also extend interest-free loans to top clients and Gingrich says he took advantage of an interest-free first year that they gave to anyone else (link). At the same time, contrary to what I said above, there might be a link between the Committee Gingrich's wife sat on and Tiffany's line of business (link):
Filings by Tiffany’s lobbyist, Cassidy & Co., and other government records show that the firm’s spending on “mining law and mine permitting-related issues” in Congress, as well as the Forest Service, the Interior Department, and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management shot up sharply between during the period when Callista Gingrich was chief clerk at the House Agriculture Committee...
The Forest Service, which comes under the committee’s jurisdiction, oversees mining, including silver mining, in federal forests.
Silver, of course, is a big part of Tiffany & Co.’s business.
The video below shows Newt Gingrich being confronted by an angry GOP voter in Iowa about Gingrich's recent comments about Paul Ryan. The voter presents no argument against anything Gingrich has ever said or done but instead just tells Gingrich: "You undercut [Ryan].... you're an embarrassment to our party...
Amnesty author Mike Pence for president? Dick Armey, Club for Growth, others hype him (UPDATE: he's out) - 01/21/11
Back in 2006, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence proposed his own "compromise" amnesty plan. He may have gotten the idea for that plan from a proposal by billionaire heiress Helen Krieble, and also in 2006, Krieble, Pence, and Dick Armey of Freedomworks appeared at an event to promote comprehensive immigration reform.
The latest bad idea from their general camp is to try to draft Pence to run for president. Those backing the idea include Armey, Chris Chocola of the Club for Growth (known around here as the "Club for Profits at Any Price"), former Rep. Jim Ryun, and Brent Bozell.
“What I see across the board, especially with the party activists, the energetic people, is a sharp division between those personalities you would call ‘old news’ personalities and newcomers... And almost anybody, if you said, ‘who will be on the field for the presidential sweepstakes from the Republican side,’ all the names you would name today - (Newt Gingrich), (Mike Huckabee), Sarah Palin and (Mitt Romney) - these are all old news names and, quite frankly, I don’t think they have much of a chance.”
While Jonathan Martin and Kasie Hunt of the Politico try to claim (link) that the appeal to Armey and Chocola is due to the claim that Pence "is viewed as a politician who would actually govern as a social and fiscal conservative" and that the "Draft Pence coalition can be best described as a group of insiders that prefers outsiders - and especially those focused on social issues like abortion and gay rights".
It's more likely that Armey and others in the "Profits at Any Price" school don't really care all that much about social issues; the tea parties - a group more or less controlled by Armey, the Koch family, and other "fiscal conservatives" - have deliberately avoided social issues. Rather, Armey et al see Pence as a salable commodity who'd be "good for business" (if you know what I mean).
1/29/11 UPDATE: Pence has decided against running for president. Whether he'll run for something else isn't yet known.
Newt Gingrich supports some parts of DREAM Act; supports guest workers; uses false choice; sounds like Hoffenblum - 12/06/10
The audio below (also at peekURL.com/vkhylh1 ) has Newt Gingrich clarifying his immigration stance to Laura Ingraham. A round-up is here. In the interview, Gingrich supports at least one part of the anti-American DREAM Act:
"I think that it’s legitimate to say, if you’re willing to risk your life for two or three years, serving to protect the United States, we will be willing to consider you for citizenship."
However, he claims to oppose broad programs that would give a "pathway to citizenship", preferring instead the more George W Bush-like approach of a massive guest workers plan. Such a plan would have huge social costs such as are to be found in Germany. And, the children of those "guests" would be U.S. citizens, making it very difficult to deport them. Our "guests" would never leave but instead would stay here as second-class citizens of a sort.
And, he also sounded like Allan Hoffenblum:
Gingrich replied that no election, including the Colorado governor race that saw the openly anti-illegal Tom Tancredo lose to his Democrat rival, has been won on the idea that 11 million people can be deported. This led to a heated argument between the two conservatives, with Ingraham saying that both Republicans and Democrats have “fallen down” in their basic responsibility to enforce the border.
Tancredo supports attrition rather than mass deportations, so Gingrich either doesn't know or lied about Tancredo's position. And, Gingrich engaged in the deportations false choice by failing to acknowledge attrition as an alternative to mass deportations or a legalization program.
And, as with every other hack, Gingrich supports secure the border:
Gingrich said he is in favor of deporting illegals who are gang members or arrested for a felony, and is “committed 100-percent” to enforcement of the US border, noting his past accomplishment as Speaker when he helped enforce the first control of the San Diego border. He also said he committed to having English as the official language of government.
In other words, he does want to deport hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens, but he thinks 11 million is too many to deport. And, whether he'd support English only laws is unclear, but it is slightly ironic since Newt Gingrich is promoting bilingualism.
Newt Gingrich: And our very deliberate goal, as with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is we’re talking about how can we create a space that is sort of center-right, pro-jobs, pro-entrepreneur but where the entire Hispanic community feels comfortable arguing, talking, and thinking. We’re going to be putting the DREAM Act on that space and we hope to have, before the beginning of the year, with Jeb Bush’s efforts and others, a very lively debate about whether or not we can develop a step by step solution to help everybody in America come out from outside the law and find a way to ultimately have every person in this country living within the law. That’s got to be our goal.
...Jorge Ramos: So if you say, as one of the most prominent Republicans, that you are for immigration reform, you know many Republicans are going to follow you. They are going to follow your lead. Are you for immigration reform?
Newt Gingrich: I am for immigration reform and the person who I think has had the most courageous position in this is Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush is co-author of a report on immigration reform, which is much bolder than the Republicans will be ready to be in Washington, but he moves us in the right direction.
Newt Gingrich has launched a new Spanish-English bilingual website called "The Americano" (theamericano.com). His motivation isn't known; he might be trying to make money, or he might be trying to help himself and the GOP outreach to Hispanics, or both. Whatever the motivation, he's not doing a good turn for the U.S. and he's not working against how the Democrats are able to gain and maintain power.
One would think that a group that gave an award to someone who'd proposed genocide wouldn't have much of a chance at beating their opponents. Yet, the National Council of La Raza is in the lucky position that most of their leading opposition doesn't have a clue about that organization or doesn't have a clue about the best way to oppose them.
(For those curious, the way to oppose them is simple: just tell the truth. See the extensive summary of their activities at the last link.)
Sotomayor made "wise woman" comment in 1994; only 19% support her New Haven firefighter decision; Gingrich gets smarter - 06/03/09
In 2001, Sonia Sotomayor made her now-infamous "wise Latina" speech, and since then Barack Obama and Robert Gibbs have tried to walk her back from it, despite the fact that at no time between when she said it and now did she issue any sort of backtrack. Not only that, but back in 1994 she said something highly similar (link); one of the few differences is that she didn't mention her ethnicity, only her gender:
Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that “a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same conclusion in dueling cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes the line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, if Prof. Martha Minnow is correct, there can never be a universal definition of ‘wise.’ Second, I would hope that a wise woman with the richness of her experience would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion.
The defense raised by some that apparently that statement was reviewed for her appeals court nomination and found acceptable doesn't particularly wash due to the fact that she's been nominated to the US Supreme Court and due to the fact that what she later said was even worse.
On Thursday, a group of putatively moderate Republicans will announce a new effort called "National Council for a New America". While they claim that they're non-partisan, it's clearly a GOP effort. And, the list of those involved that CNN has obtained (link) includes several supporters of comprehensive immigration reform.
The WSJ is subscription-only, but a copy is available here:
[America is a nation of immigrants, heart-warming platitudes, etc. etc...]
Conservatives believe in legal immigration.[related folderol deleted]
Conservatives oppose illegal immigration. We believe there is a right way and a wrong way to immigrate to the United States. However, as conservatives we believe that our laws must reflect reality and common sense, and be both fiscally responsible and avoid the loss of innocent life. Our current immigration laws do not pass this test.
Bzzzt! It's not the laws at fault, it's our current level of enforcement of them. See this for examples. For a quick example: "In San Diego County, only one owner, whose company hired workers for major hotels, has been prosecuted since 2000, and he was given probation. No business has been fined.".
Between 1990 and 2000, the United States increased the number of U.S. Border Patrol Agents from 3,600 to 10,000. During that same period illegal immigration rose by 5.5. million.
What statistic did they forget to include that would give a clear picture of the problem? Oh yeah, the bit about workplace enforcement being sharply down from past years. And, the several amnesties in the past two decades haven't done much good either, as illegal aliens have come here in droves expecting to be rewarded with yet another amnesty.
Moreover, over the past 8 years, more than 2,000 men, women, and children have died attempting to cross into America and seek the opportunity to work and achieve a better life. The status quo is unacceptable and clinging to the status quo - or tougher versions of it - is neither conservative, nor principled. It has become clear that the only viable approach to reform is combining enforcement with additional legal avenues for those who wish to work in our economy, while also addressing the situation of those already here in the United States.
It's unfortunate that those people have died. Perhaps if employers weren't able to employ people regardless of their immigration status, and perhaps if there weren't so many incentives to come here, many fewer would attempt to cross the desert. Most nations - especially those that have been invaded - would be quite grateful for such a natural barrier to invasion.
[Speaking for all conservatives, we support the Bush/Fox Amnesty, etc. etc...]
[We believe strongly in assimilation, etc. etc...]
signed by: Stuart Anderson, Jeff Bell, Linda Chavez, Larry Cirignano, Cesar V. Conda, Francis Fukuyama, Richard Gilder, Hon. Newt Gingrich, Ed Goeas, Tamar Jacoby, Hon. Jack Kemp, Steve Moore, Grover Norquist, Richard W. Rahn, Hon. Malcolm Wallop
UPDATE: The fact that the Other Side always predicates its arguments on omitting key facts makes their conclusions trivially easy to refute.
Perhaps just once someone on the Other Side could say something like, "We realize the laws work. It's just that we can't enforce them. Racist organizations will use the liberal media against us, and the large manufacturers, agbusinesses, and retailers whose teats we suck might dry up the milk. Plus, we like the idea of a serf class."
Fat chance of that happening, but at least it would be intellectually honest.