Gingrich Accused Of Violating 12th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill Of Reagan

While Nancy Pelosi continues to warn Republicans not to nominate Newt Gingrich (which is being used by the Romney camp this week), the Republican establishment is doing a full court press against Gingrich. That has led to some curious moments like Ann Coulter denouncing Gingrich for “hotheaded arrogance”. However, the strangest came from Elliott Abrams who accused Gingrich of the greatest sin of a Republican. No it is not endorsing torture or promising to renew the Iraqi War or even wiping out the separation of church and state. It is the unspeakable act of criticizing Ronald Reagan. Reagan famously handed down the 11th Commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” However, that is merely a venal not the mortal sin of violating the 12th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of Reagan.”

Republican leadership is calling out ranking establishment figures to question everything from Gingrich’s electability to his morality to secure the nomination for Romney. Elliott Abrams, however, shows how deep they are going in the GOP bench. You may recall Abrams from a little criminal affair called the Iran-Contra scandal. Abrams ultimately pleaded guilty to crimes of withholding information from Congress which included two years probation. He was then pardoned by President George H. W. Bush, in December 1992. Then on February 5, 1997, Abrams was censured by the D.C. Court of Appeals publicly for giving false testimony on three occasions before congressional committees. At the time, three judges wanted to not just impose the censure but to suspend him from practice.

As previously discussed in a column, many of these dark figures from the Reagan years were brought back into government by President George W. Bush, an early indication of the Administration’s approach to the rule of law. Abrams considers himself so rehabilitated in the public eye that he feels entirely comfortable in denouncing Gingrich for statements against Reagan that include criticism over . . . yes guessed it . . . Iran-Contra.

Abrams offers a rather cheerful account of his role, which led to his criminal plea. He accuses Gingrich of saying mean things about Reagan and “predicting that Reagan’s policies would fail, and in all of this he was dead wrong.” Of course, Iran-Contra was not exactly a roaring success.

Yet, Abrams notes that he and others were fighting “vicious criticism from leading Democrats — Ted Kennedy, Christopher Dodd, Jim Wright, Tip O’Neill, and many more — who used every trick in the book to stop Reagan by denying authorities and funds to these efforts.” You may recall that Congress limited funds to the Contras through the Boland Amendment. Abrams notes the Gingrich did in fact vote for the Administration, but said negative things about Reagan. His “best” example was on March 21, 1986.

“This was right in the middle of the fight over funding for the Nicaraguan contras; the money had been cut off by Congress in 1985, though Reagan got $100 million for this cause in 1986. Here is Gingrich: ‘Measured against the scale and momentum of the Soviet empire’s challenge, the Reagan administration has failed, is failing, and without a dramatic change in strategy will continue to fail. . . . President Reagan is clearly failing.’ Why? This was due partly to ‘his administration’s weak policies, which are inadequate and will ultimately fail’; partly to CIA, State, and Defense, which ‘have no strategies to defeat the empire.’ But of course ‘the burden of this failure frankly must be placed first on President Reagan.’ Our efforts against the Communists in the Third World were ‘pathetically incompetent,’ so those anti-Communist members of Congress who questioned the $100 million Reagan sought for the Nicaraguan ‘contra’ rebels ‘are fundamentally right.’

So, Gingrich is unacceptable because he criticized a criminal conspiracy that ultimately landed the Reagan administration into a quagmire of criminal investigations and convictions, including Abrams’ own admission of criminal conduct. This is a lot like a bank robber singling out a witness as unreliable and disrespectful for not remaining silent.

I previously called Abrams part of the Bush Bada Bing club – men who earned their bones by showing their willingness to violate the law. I am no fan of Gingrich, but this pile on is becoming truly Felliniesque.

Next I am waiting for James Watt to come out with his anti-Gingrich column on how Gingrich was not sufficiently supportive of his efforts to influence peddle at the Department of Housing and Urban Development — leaving to his own guilty plea.

It is hard to see how a Republican can purge himself of having spoken ill of the Gipper. The secret purging ceremony has only been witnessed by the Republican National Committee members. It involves the Souix ritual of having one’s pectoral muscles pierced and eagle’s talons are drawn through the wounds and tied to leather thongs from which the Republican hangs until purified. That may take a bit longer for Gingrich . . . at least until after the Florida primary.

Update: Other Republicans are now challenging Abrams on his account.

Source: National Review

58 thoughts on “Gingrich Accused Of Violating 12th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill Of Reagan

  1. Professor, I have studied the Newtster’s physique and my conclusion is there is no eagle talon that will bear the weight. Are there still any dragons around? I figure dragon talons might be strong enough.

  2. I love to see this blood letting among these vile scum.Sadly, the more I hear nooty the more I think he is exactly what GOP. Voters want and his shtick can win in Nov.

    Now that’s scarey!

  3. There is an unstated and moral reason behind the Reagon defenders. He was senile. One does not critcize uncle Ronny when he has lost the marbles. He was an actor, their boy, their Man of Lamantra or Mantra. Keep him on a pedestal for Christ sake or the populace will start thinking about his dumb but not senile predecessors and successors. He was: the success. Oh, we could talk about Ike, Nixon, Jerry Ford, Bushie I, Bushie II. Jeso, keep Ronnie on the Pedestal. Yavull? Dogs know about loyalty, you Republicans, be it old or young but old at heart farts need to shape up.

  4. Fellini wouldn’t have filmed this story, Prof. Even he would have found that it stretched incredulity to the breaking point.

  5. Newt is along for the ride. This post is just another example of how virtually every GOP functionary, regardless of stripe, wants the establishment candidate to be nominated. Newt is riding the crest of GOP electorate uglimania ™ and hatred of everything not Jesus-endorsed, at least now that Santorum is on a current downswing.

    Really I don’t no what the concern is; in office Newt is likely to be as big a highway robber as Mitt, or bigger since, if anything, Newt is the ultimate loose cannon.

    So all this is a big surprise to Newt who probably thought, along with everyone else, that he was doomed last Spring. But the seedier his history is revealed to be, the more it pads his forgiven sinner resume (witness his multiple, really ground breaking adulteries, now being an emblem that he can make cause with the common man).

    Anyway, all this increased celebrity status might help him with his present and future Tiffany bills. There is of course the odd chance that he could wind up in the WH, in which case, hold onto your hats. He, along with his cohort aspirees, could be truly dangerous. Not that there’s been an outbreak of common sense among many of the politicos of late.

  6. Oh dear, oh dear … criticizing Reagan for getting embroiled in a CIA/National Security Council (the NSC is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters … the CIA and NSC were both created in 1947 as part of the National Security Act) plot knowing full well that Reagan’s V.P., George, was a former head of the CIA … and George ended up pardoning all the boys when he formally became the real President and then his son rehired them and … oh dear, oh dear … where’s Ollie when you need him? (North was a National Security Council staff member involved in the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran)

    Incestuous relationships between the Republican party and the CIA/NSC just never go away. Poor Newt … he’s taking votes away from the anointed one so all the creeps are crawling out of the woodwork and stepping out from behind the curtains.

  7. Blouise, Romney is pulling ahead in Florida. Rasmussen has him up by eight points this morning. Newt needs a good debate tonight.

  8. Matt. 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

    Not speaking of you all as individuals, but the Dems, too, have carried their fair share of corruption, malfeasance and criminal behavior in politics. Boxer, Kennedy, Clinton in recent memory. All “idols” of the Democratic Party.

    Oh, for the good old days when you could distinguish one party from the other…

    Republicans got their hands caught in the cookie jar, Democrats got their hands caught in the cookie…

  9. Wow and if that can’t be topped….Obama is about as much of a centrist as RWR was….and that is scary…

    And a note from John Kerry:


    Newt Gingrich’s economic plan: Make inner city kids go to work, and, as he boasted Monday night, make sure that Mitt Romney pays no taxes. The middle class can fight over the crumbs.

    Contrast that with President Obama’s vision: Invest in American jobs. Strengthen our middle class. Pursue policies that work for everyone, not just the very top.

    We know all too well what’s coming. Republicans will attack, assail and lie to destroy President Obama and usher in one-party rule. If the thought of President Gingrich leading a GOP Congress scares you beyond belief, then I’m asking for your urgent help.
    We have a choice. We can fight for a nation where fundamental fairness guides us, or we can let Republicans continue Robin Hood in reverse – taking from the many to give to the very few.

    I know whose side I’m on, and that’s why I’m supporting the DSCC. Please join me. Let’s win one for fairness.

    John Kerry

  10. Fidel Castro: Republican candidates display ‘idiocy and ignorance’
    The State Column | Staff | Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro responded to the Republican presidential candidates comments about him earlier this week with an op-ed article in Cuban state media Thursday, Huffington Post reports.

    Read more:

  11. @AY – To me, that’s one failure endorsing another failure. I wonder how much John and Teresa Kerry paid in taxes over the last several years? Per dollars earned, probably less than Warren Buffett’s secretary.

    And while I’m not a Newtster; in all fairness, he was speaking of inner city job creation for students (why pay custodians $50K, when you can augment cleaning with student assistants), not workhouses for the poor. More productive than midnight basketball, I think.

    The Dems had one-party rule from 88-90. Look where it got us. Lies (or at least unkept promises) from Obama, Pelosi, Reid. And trillions of dollars down the tubes. To paraphrase Sen. Everett Dirksen, “10 billion here, 10 billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about some money.”

    It will come down to that one question… “Are you better off in 2012, than you were in 2008?” And for most wage-earners, that’s a resounding “NO!” From the 9-10% unemployed, a “HELL NO!”

    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.

  12. SwM,

    Newt’s remarkable rise from the ashes and his forthcoming fall interrupted our funfest of speculation as to whom Romney will choose as a running mate.

    Will he choose another crazy like McCain did?

  13. Blouise:
    my guess is he’ll want Chris Christie but since he’s a NJ politician the GOP will press him to pick someone like Santorum who’se more right leaning and while not having Christie’s charisma would appeal to the Tea Party without the baggage and polarization of Gingrich (well polarizing rhetoric, just not a polarizing past and hypocrisy).

    The most dangerous IMO would be if he picked Rand Paul. They may try to appeal to some of his father’s libertarian fans who don’t realize that the son is far more conservative than the father, though they may agree on some domestic issues. Personally though I don’t see Rand running with Mittens as the right likes to call him. He probably realizes its a losing fight, and unlike Christie whose close friends with Romney, he wouldn’t want to tie his legacy to Romney and lose out at a chance to win the GOP nomination in the future if they lose the election.

    LOL at the 12th commandment, but there is truth in comedy.

  14. My guess is he won’t get the nomination, but if he does he will be forced to pick Santorum. Christie is popular with the Corporatists in the party, but seen as too far “left” by the teabaggers. Romney is so disliked in his own party because they distrust his conservative credentials and will have to throw them Santorum as a sop.

    As for Rubio, living in Florida I got to know of him via his time in the State Legislature. He’s a thoroughgoing Corporatist who will pander to any group to get power.

  15. Thanks Mike and “Mom” – Like many other things that come to our attention, is it similar to the question, “Is there more crime now, or is it just being increasingly reported?”

    Similarly, is it now that no politician has character, or is it that that the mainstream and alt-media are bringing these salacious issues to the fore, rather than filling pages with objectivity? The old news adage, “If it bleeds, it leads,” seems to be the rule, not the exception.

    I’ve come to believe that newspapers and their modern platforms became “whores for hire,” the day they took their first advertisement. While Mark Twain said, “Never argue with anyone who buys ink by the barrel,” someone has to buy that ink (and paper, or airtime) for that medium to exist.


    Frustrated, and it’s only January

  16. Thanks for the input and info everyone. Didn’t know too much about Rubio though I’ve heard the name come up quite frequently. It sounds as if Mitt’s own financial issues at just paying 14% in taxes (on the one year he chose to release..imagine whats in the others, since as he stated, he’s “running for president for pete’s sake”) coupled with Rubio’s would not be a great combo.

    Still what do you all think of him picking Rand Paul? If hypothetically you ignore my position that Rand wouldn’t go for it, might that not present a danger in uniting Ron’s libertarians and independents with the further right conservatives that Mitt so desperately needs? Ron and Mitt clash too much on the issues for that union to even seem believable, and I honestly think the GOP will lose in any scenario, but I still view that as the most dangerous combo, even moreso than Mitt and Santorum.

    And don’t forget even if they can’t win the presidency, if they manage to get votes in their favor there’s still the house and senate seats to consider. Somehow I hope Gingrich wins the GOP nod because even if he’s a good debater it will tear the party apart, and force the GOP to debate its core hard line values on a national stage with someone who can pick them apart in a way that turns off independents, costing them the house and senate.

  17. eniobob, Thanks for the link to the Newt/arms manufacturer investigation. Veeeeeeery interesting.

    I’d like to see a Gingrich – Christie pairing. On the thug-life ticket, ’cause that’s what they are, short-tempered, rude, thugs. I can see them in their baggies and bling now…… 😉

  18. Yea, yea, its not the deep meaning of ‘Thug Life”, just the superficial misstatement of a thuggish allusion, but the bling and attitude fits. No learned dissertation on the social/cultural meaning necessary. I apologize for the low humor (or attempt thereof) in advance. Mea Culpa.

  19. LK:

    Keep the things in mind that the article about the arms dealer says,it will be brought up,I want to see him dodge that one.

    On Marco Rubio:

    Team Gingrich takes down Spanish-language ad
    Posted by
    CNN’s Jim Acosta and Shawna Shepherd
    Coral Springs, Florida (CNN) – The Newt Gingrich campaign has taken off the air a Spanish-language radio spot not long after an influential Florida senator lambasted the presidential candidate for releasing an “inaccurate” and “inflammatory” ad about Mitt Romney’s immigration record.

  20. Romney has to pick someone who appeals to the crazies if the RNC intends to get them off their couches and to the polls in Nov.

    All those mentioned thus far are known … what if he reaches deep into the populace and comes up with a relative unknown that can be presented as anything the party thinks is needed. Rather like they did with Palin.

  21. It makes one wonder how one can live in my America, if it is as racist as you claim. My daughter goes to a high tech private school in California. There are all sorts of people of ethnic heritages that attend. The only thing that divides us from them is our money. I see no color. Granted, there are whites I dislike, not because they are white, but because they are assholes. I have learned you have assholes in all races, religions, lack thereof and sex.

  22. Blouise and Swarthmore,
    I think Romney needs to worry about beating Newt before he starts thinking about running mates. You are correct that it will have to be someone who appeals to the far right crowd that controls the party.

  23. “Jorge Ramos: We are going to open it up to the audience. Let me just ask you. Would you consider Newt Gingrich as your running mate?
    Mitt Romney: At this stage, if he were the VP and I was the President, why, that’s something I would consider … I haven’t made any considerations as to who would be my VP at this point. I think it would be presumptuous. I’ve got to become the nominee, first. And then I have to defeat President Obama. And then I’d get the privilege of having a vice president.”

  24. As a cat owner and EBayer (And familiar with the boilerplate language “Would not buy from again” in their rating section.) I must laugh out loud every time I see that cartoon.

  25. Mr. Gingrich has adopted the notion of the political campaign as personal vendetta. He wants to make his former congressional colleagues regret that they stripped him of power. He has Machiavellian values, but lacks Machiavellian discipline. His train is now moving at such high speed that it is bound to miss one of the curves.

  26. Mike Appleton,

    I want to say that this never entered my mind….But after reading it….it does make sense for such an megalomaniac individual…I was taught a few years ago to question my motive….And with what you have said it seems logical…Thank you….

  27. Mike,

    I have learned over the years to repeat back to people what they say….and it is interesting that some people will not realize what they have said until it is repeated back to them….and Newt is a prime example of this….But, as you pointed out…He has to get even….It makes perfect sense….

  28. Professor: You are possibly absolutely wrong. Sins are mortal or venial, not “venal” (sic), although of course a venial sin could also be venal, depending on the facts. The difference, by the way, is that for a sin to be mortal, it must contain: a. grevious matter, b. sufficient reflection, and c. full consent of the will. In Newt’s case, perhaps b. is inoperative. I’m at the stage where my memory of grammar school is stronger than that of law school.

  29. Mike Appleton,

    “Mr. Gingrich has adopted the notion of the political campaign as personal vendetta. He wants to make his former congressional colleagues regret that they stripped him of power. He has Machiavellian values, but lacks Machiavellian discipline. His train is now moving at such high speed that it is bound to miss one of the curves.”

    Excellent analysis … good enough to be repeated.

  30. Mike A.,

    Damn, I wish I thought of that, I of course didn’t, but it makes so much sense as to be most probably the truth.

  31. enibob,

    Let’s hear more from Neil Gallagher … the FBI DC who shut down the investigation … oh yeah, let’s hear a lot more from him and everybody he asked for advice.

  32. Detroit Democrats told to vote for Ron Paul in GOP primary

    They wore Obama T-shirts and draped a banner calling for the re-election of President Barack Obama.

    But a couple hundred Detroit Democrats got a bit of a conflicting message Thursday evening at Triumph Baptist Church in Detroit.

    At a rally for Obama’s re-election, they were told to vote for U.S. Rep. Ron Paul for president at the Feb. 28 presidential primary.

    Michigan was able to thwart a Bush Victory when the Democrats voted for McCain….

  33. Neuter is running himself off the rails on his “crazy” train. Even if I were, hardcore repub, I’d vote for anyone but Newt. This guy is up to his armpits in lies about his past. All the way back to Ronnie “cowpoke” Reagan; whom, by the way, started the whole banking debacle by pushing deregulation of that industry down the throats of Americans. Some heroe he turned out to be.

  34. Swarthmore mom, This link is probably as good as we are gonna get as to proof of Ole Ron’s knowledge of the published comments. It doesn’t change anything for me, since I knew already he was trying to dismiss the whole thing by “lying”. Oh no, a career politician lying to the American public! They wouldn’t do that would they?…..Ron does have some grandiose ideas though, that actually make sense. Leave the usage of illegal drugs up to individuals and let the morgues and God sort them out. If people are too stupid to control their addictions and habits without Gov. oversight, then let the chips fall where they may. We would see a spike in the economy when the dust settles, since most of the drug related crime would come to a screeching halt. Population decrease immediately. Less work and expense for our strained law enforcement. Less prison overcrowding. No taxpayer funding for treatment of coke and heroin addicts. A big increase in jobs for mortuaries and the funeral home business. etc.,etc.

  35. Off Topic–but about Newt Gingrich:

    Newt Gingrich Robocall: Mitt Romney Forced Holocaust Survivors To Eat Non-Kosher Food
    By Amanda Terkel
    Posted: 1/31/12 12:00 PM

    LAKELAND, Fla. — The Newt Gingrich campaign has a robocall out in Florida claiming that Mitt Romney once took kosher food away from Holocaust survivors.

    The allegation made in the call, obtained by anti-robocall activist Shaun Dakin, is undoubtedly targeted at Florida’s large Jewish and elderly populations.

    The text of the call:

    “As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors? Tuesday you can end Mitt Romney’s hypocrisy on religious freedom, with a vote for Newt Gingrich. Paid for by Newt 2012.”

    The call is referencing Romney’s veto of a 2003 bill. It came at a time that some nursing homes were considering eliminating their kosher kitchens during a period of budget cuts. Their plan was to instead bus in kosher food from other locations. The bill Romney vetoed would have given an additional $600,000 in funding to nursing homes, therefore making it possible for them to continue cooking kosher food on site.

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