Gingrich Pledges To Kill Enemies Of The United States

I have previously questioned the historical and legal views of Newt Gingrich. However, we may agree on one recent historical claim: that Andrew Jackson tended to address enemies by killing them. As shown in the video below, Gingrich embraced this approach as a campaign pledge — eclipsing prior campaign pledges in the primary to bomb countries or torture detainees.

Gingrich thrilled the crowd by proclaiming that Jackson “had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them.”

Putting aside a tendency to shoot enemies in duels, Jackson was infamous for his treatment of Native Americans. This included the disgraceful treatment of the Cherokee nation where they were forced to walk from lands east of the Mississippi River to present-day Oklahoma. The “Trail of Tears” led to the death of thousands of men, women, and children — an act that bears striking resemblance to acts of alleged genocide. Jackson was unwilling to live by a ruling of the Supreme Court in 1832 in favor of the Cherokee (Worcester v. Georgia). Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokee Nation was sovereign, making the removal laws invalid. Jackson nevertheless pushed the tribe from its land through federal agents — the very type of disregard for Supreme Court authority that Gingrich previously embraced. For Native Americans, this is akin to citing the man behind the Bataan Death March as a model for leadership. Jackson also imposed military rule — and authoritarian measures — before the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson was a remarkable man in many respects but he is also responsible for outrageous acts, particularly against Native American tribes.

Gingrich avoided the specific question raised over his willingness to violate international law and national borders to kill enemies. However, he proudly associated himself with the right of presidents to kill people who they deem to be enemies of the United States — a position not too far removed from the policy of President Obama. While Obama insists that he will only kill U.S. citizens and others based on his view that they are terrorists, his Administration has carried out a broader use of drone attacks than any prior president. Moreover, both Gingrich and Obama base their policies on the same unlimited notions of presidential power.

With presidential candidates pledging to kill enemies, torture detainees, and bomb countries, our political system appears to be de-evolving into a type of paleolithic politics.

57 thoughts on “Gingrich Pledges To Kill Enemies Of The United States”

  1. The only thing I want to know is who decides which person or nation or group is the enemy? When we are attacked it is clear that the attacker is an enemy, but I have posted on sites only to have people say I, as an honorably discharged disabled Veteran and member of the American Legion, am the enemy. Of course I consider these left wingers the enemy, but not to the point of wanting them dead or even injured. Some of my friends are foolish left wingers and their own worst enemy, but I still love them even though they left the brains behind the barn. We should not be too quick to give this kind of power to any one person.

  2. Llyn:

    Here’s a resume’ for a Rodrigo Hernandez who may be the one you’re talking about. I wonder about your feelings on the humanity of his victims and the death sentences they received at his hands. Like you I’m in favor of his quick earthly exit as I’m sure are the families of his victims.

    Timeline for Rodrigo Hernandez:
    • June 1973 — Born in Texas.
    • July 1990 — Burglarizes a Grand Rapids home. Spends six months in jail.
    • September 1991 — Homeless woman Muriel Stoepker, 77, killed in Grand Rapids.
    • November 1991 — Commits property damage in Grand Rapids. Spends 10 days in jail.
    • January 1992 — Breaks into a Grand Rapids sporting goods store, ordered to three years of probation.
    • 1992 or 1993 — Moves to Texas.
    • February 1994 — Kills 38-year-old Susan Verstegen in San Antonio area.
    • March 31, 1994 — Arrested on probation violation in Grand Rapids.
    • July 1998 — Commits felony assault in Grand Rapids on Grandville Avenue SW, beating a man nearly to death with a bottle. Imprisoned for the crime in November 1998.
    • February 2002 — Completes prison term and provides DNA sample as condition of release. Sample enters national database.
    • September 2002 — Arrested in Grand Rapids based on DNA evidence linking him to Texas murder.
    • 2004 — Convicted of Texas murder and is sentenced to death row, where he remains.
    • March 2010 — Linked by DNA evidence to the 1991 murder of Muriel Stoepker in Grand Rapids.

  3. May Rodrigo Hernadez Rest In Peace. I believe that the Justice System in the USA is inhumane especially to Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans and of course the poor. First it seems you serve what is twice the Life Term in Civilized Countries around the World and then you are executed. Disgraceful. May Rodrigo leave this earth as easily as possible. Llyn.

  4. I just was given the library privilege here at the joint. My predecessor (ConLawCon) Rodrigo Hernandez is scheduled to be executed on January 26th. I could not speak to him about this yesterday or this a.m. He is now in solitary confinement and no one can speak to him. He ran a good ship here. There aint no hope of a pardon.

  5. sheafferhistorian:

    Thanks for your contribution. I do enjoy your website and as an avid Madison/Jefferson – ophile rejoice in your arrival. I’d like to hear more from you on Bob,Esq’s and my robust debate on Madison’s likely views on the passage of the NDAA of 2012. The dabate is raging on the “Indefinite Detention” thread on this blog written by JT on 1/16/2012.

  6. Jackson responded that he was upholding a law passed by Congress, Indian Removal Act–and that Marshall was acting outside he proper legal authority. Sad, but it was a populist law supported by most voters in the South.

  7. Not As Insane:

    Rafflaw’s got it right. The law in most states is that if the signer was a verifiable registered voter at the time of sigining and then subsequently expires his signature is valid so long as he has not filed an affidavit to remove his signature prior to his death. His estate or spouse cannot do this for him in most states either.

  8. SwM,

    Try to find some people whose ancestors are French or Spanish rather than American-Yankees … they’ll fill you in

  9. I forgot, if Gingrich is the most intelligent of the republicans. Then America has sunk to a new low. But, some might think that is crazy.

  10. I was talking to a buddy tonight that lost his dad tonight. He was 80 and had signed the recall petition as his permanent address was Appleton, WI. His question was interesting, since he died will his signature still be counted? I don’t know. That was a crazy but understandable question. Does anyone know?

  11. I find it interesting the Gingrich is so often touted as “probably the most intelligent” of the Republican candidates.

    And yet with all his inherent brain-power, he seems – as so many others – utterly unable to see how this nation’s policies and ego create far too many of its own enemies.

  12. Blouise, I did not know that about the square. It is such a pleasant place to sit and people watch. I will be heading back there in May as she will be there part of the summer.

  13. Newt is beautifully described in this article by David Michael Green. As are many other politicians. The key sentence describing Newt is “He’s a big beached whale of an alleged humanoid, but it’s still almost unimaginable that anyone could’ve possibly stuffed so much hypocrisy within the confines of a single epidermal sack.”

    The rest of the article is here..

  14. I just learned that my access to the library and the computer here at the joint is being denied as of 6 a.m. I ran this prison law library for five years now and will miss the books (such as they are) and the computer. And the outlet to the free world out there. The good thing about solitary is the company one keeps. Bye.

  15. What is really vile is that Gingrich is not just a silly ignoramus, he is a conscious demagogue appealing to the wolf pack. (Thankfully he is also fat and foolish.)

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