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. I had a copy of Arthur Schlesinger’s book: The Age of Jackson. If one goes to the index there is no mention of: The Trail of Tears. Arthur was a Kennedy suckboy and not a good historian.

    Few people realize how many Native Americans are assimilated into the rest of us. I picked a jury in southwest Missouri one time. I had a Cherokee guy as a defendant. There were about 60 people on the panel, sitting there in the courtroom filling it up. After my intro the first voir dire was: My client is part Cherokee, do any of you have Ameriican Indian heritage? 55 of 60 raised the right hand. Most were Osage. Then Cherokee, some Iroquois.
    That was a long time ago before I got locked up.

    Further research later revealed that many of the Cherokees in Missouri got dropped off by the trail of tears migration. Some moved back from Oklahoma because it was so close by.

    Andrew Jackson is just the sort of guy that a small fry brain guy like Newt would relate to when he gets desparate- or incontinent. Herr Newtster. His real name on his birth cretificate was Newton McPherson according to a previous commenter on this blog. Anyone know anything about that?

  2. Gingrich possesses none of Jackson’s courage, but does share several of the latter’s traits: racism, a complete disregard for the separation of powers and an intemperate personality. Fortunately, he will not be President. Even were he to be nominated, he would self-destruct during the campaign.

  3. I tend to agree…All fair in love and war….But in politics….watch from behind….

  4. raff,

    From what I have heard…the AG has said that he’d fight the recall signatures because they had an extra day to get the signatures…Either the first or last one should be counted….I think is BS….There is generally extra effort expended the first and last days…..but if one is excluded maybe the last day….but depending on how many signatures are needed then it might just be academic…

  5. It will take a long time to check the validity and the government has asked for an extension as quoted in the link supplied. Somewhere around half a million signatures were needed and that has been more than doubled by the number collected which represents slightly more than 23% of the total number of registered voters.

    It is indeed “a recall effort with the most participants in U.S. history.”

  6. The word is not paleolithic politics it is Fascism. Not necessarily Nazism but definitely fascism.

  7. raf,

    Haven’t been back since Katrina. We took 2 of the grandkids with us in 2004 and I’m so glad they experienced New Orleans as it used to be.

  8. raf,

    I was in New Orleans the year before Katrina and hanging out with the “natives” (non-Yankees). They positively despise that statue of Jackson and still call the square ‘Place d’Armes’ .

    If you are at all interested in the history of New Orleans before the damn-Americans showed up … here’s a quick start.

    Back in 2004, when I was last there, we spent an entire day just being driven through the city seeing the differences between the “American” culture (big white houses as status symbols) versus New Orleanians’ culture (small colorful houses set on large properties) … New Orleanians judged status by how big the party and how long it lasted versus the size of the house. You spent your money on entertaining, not on building. A party lasting less than a week was a failure. Fascinating culture.

  9. “Many don’t realize, but he’s on our $20 bill as a slight to him, as he was against the printing of any bills $20 and up. ” (CP7)

    I didn’t know that … thanks.

    Although it was John O’Sullivan coined the term “MANIFEST DESTINY” in 1845 … in 1818 Andrew Jackson, while taking a broad interpretation of vague instructions from President Monroe, led military forces into the Floridas during the Florida crisis. In a systematic and ruthless way, he punished the Seminal Indians for taking up arms with the Spanish, destroyed Spanish forces, and captured several cities and forts. Americans who had moral reservations about the rough tactics of Jackson, soothed their consciences with a familiar, but not yet named philosophy. Their reasoning, the Floridas were part of American territory; therefore, destiny intended that America should have them.

    Jackson was big on manifest destiny and I agree with CP7 in that he is one of my least favorite Presidents. Newt probably would be another Jackson.

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