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. 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….

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. LK,

    That looks more like HenMan’s doing. If he didn’t post that, he should have.

  5. “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.”

  6. eniobob, I filed the article in my favorites tab, that story takes one to some pretty interesting places.

    Did you post this link?

    It’s one of my favorites also.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…… 😉

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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