Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reason Number 417 Why Newt Gingrich Should Never, Ever Be Considered as a Presidential Candidate

Conservatives, Are You Even Listening?

It is not difficult to make a case against the candidacy of Newt Gingrich for the office of the Presidency.  The reason it is not difficult is that Mr. Gingrich himself makes the case so strongly and so eloquently that nothing else is needed.

Case in point is Mr. Gingrich’s recent rant against the judiciary.  His position, as best as one can summarize it, is that as President he would seek to end the independent judiciary as set forth in the Constitution.  He would apparently replace it with a Presidency that was wholly unanswerable to any court, meaning it was wholly unanswerable to any rule of law.

In a half-hour phone call with reporters Saturday, Gingrich said that, as president, he would abolish whole courts to be rid of judges whose decisions he feels are out of step with the country.

Mr. Gingrich’s complaint is that courts have issued rulings that conflict with what Mr. Gingrich has decided are the rulings he wants.

“Are we forced for a lifetime to keep someone on the bench who is so radically anti-American that they are a threat to the fabric of the country?” Gingrich asked. 

And being a historian, Mr. Gingrich is clearly capable of distorting American history to support his position.

Gingrich, with his penchant for citing history, told reporters Saturday that there is plenty of precedent to support his idea, going all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, who, as president in 1802, led the abolition of three federal circuits and 16 judgeships that had been created — and filled — by his political foes before he and his party took power.

“It’s clearly constitutional, and Jefferson did it,” Gingrich said. “... I raise that issue not because it’s necessarily something that we would do but to indicate to the justices that there are clearly powers that historically have been used.”

Naturally reality, in the form of history is a little bit different.  And Conservatives, that is real Conservatives are alarmed.  Here is a former Bush Administration Attorney General.

Mukasey, in an interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, said some of Gingrich’s proposals were “dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.”

But wait, what about the issue that Conservatives love the most, having the Supreme Court declare the Obama Health Care law Unconstitutional?  Couldn’t the President simply ignore that under the Gingrich doctrine?

Relying on those precedents, Gingrich said that if he were in the White House, he would not feel compelled to always follow the Supreme Court’s decisions on constitutional questions. As an example, he cited 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.

“That was clearly an overreach by the court,” Gingrich said Saturday. The president as commander in chief has the power to control prisoners during wartime, making the court’s decision “null and void,” he said.

But the former House speaker demurred when asked whether President Obama could ignore a high court ruling next year if it declared unconstitutional the new healthcare law and its mandate that all Americans have health insurance by 2014. Gingrich said presidents can ignore court rulings only in “extraordinary” situations.

Buyt after reading all of this and rethinking the issue maybe The Dismal Political Economist was too hasty in determining that Mr. Gingrich was not suited to run for President.  There is a Presidential race coming up in Russia very soon, and given Mr. Gingrich’s positions it does appear he is uniquely qualified to run for President of that country. He could win, as the favorite, Mr. Putin, has views on the rule of law which are remarkably similar to those of Mr. Gingrich.  And if that fails, well there is always North Korea waiting in the wings.  It needs a new leader and Mr. Gingrich's views would seem to fit nicely in that country's historical view of government.

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