Saturday, October 15, 2011

Newt Gingrich Wants to Jail Legislators He Disagrees With

Former Speaker Has Much in Common with Former Soviet Republic

It is not very nice to single out Newt Gingrich for criticism because the former Republican Speaker of the House is so far removed from rational thought processes and so consumed with his own self importance that even noticing him is providing more attention to the gentleman than he deserves.  However two somewhat unrelated news stories so illustrate what is lacking in Mr. Gingrich that they require some attention.

Zuma Press
Yulia Tymoshenko and her lawyer Sergei
Vlasenko during her trial in Kiev.  Newt
Gingrich Thinks This is a Fine Political System

The first story involves Ukraine.  That country was formerly a part of the Soviet Union, and has become an independent nation.  In that country a losing political candidate and former Prime Minister was sentenced to jail, primarily for opposing the current government.

A Ukrainian court sentenced former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison on Tuesday for abuse of office in a politically charged ruling that drew criticism from the West and Russia.

The prosecution of Ms. Tymoshenko, the opposition leader who was the driving force behind the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought a pro-Western government to power, has become a litmus test for her archrival, President Viktor Yanukovych. Since he defeated her in a close election in 2010, he has pursued closer ties with Europe at the same time as critics accuse him of increasingly adopting the authoritarian tactics of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

This is the type of justice system that two people at extreme ends of the political spectrum, Russia’s Vladamir Putin and the editorial writers of the Wall Street, can even come together to condemn.  Here is Putin

Conceding that Ms. Tymoshenko's pro-Western stance had made her "a political opponent," Mr. Putin said in televised comments during a visit to China, "I don't really understand what they gave her the seven years for."

And here is the editor of the WSJ

In modern democracies, political differences are settled politically and policy differences aren't criminalized.

So what is the major point here with respect to Newt Gingrich? Here is Mr. Gingrich commenting on the housing problems and financial regulation in the U. S.

But let's be clear about who put the fix in. The fix was put in by the federal government. If you want to put people in jail, I want to second what Michele said, you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.
Mr. Frank is and Mr. Dodd was Democratic members of Congress in the minority party while all of the housing problems were being incubated.  They had absolutely nothing to do with creating the housing crisis, but are covenient scapegoats for the failure of regulators to correctly monitor the housing industry and prevent the abuses that lead to its collapse in 2007.

So yes Mr. Gingrich, there are countries where your brand of political discourse is appropriate, where they put political leaders in jail for disagreeing with the those in control.  If you want to migrate there and stay, well, nobody here is going to miss you.

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