Brave Newt World


If you’ve been watching cable television regularly, you’ve heard from many analysts who know Newt Gingrich personally. They either call him the smartest man in the room or they tell us Gingrich believes he’s the smartest man in the room. Gingrich has always been a government ideas man, and whenever he says something odd, out of the ordinary or otherwise eyebrow raising or provocative, it’s explained away as Newt being Newt. His ideas are, in fact, what get him in trouble.

When Gingrich called Palestinians an invented people, that wasn’t a Rick Perry moment. There is a long academic debate behind the Palestinian question. Yasser Arafat, after all, was born in Cairo as a poor Egyptian, but died in Paris as a wealthy, corrupt Palestinian leader. There was never an independent state of Palestine, and the people now known as Palestinians were known simply as Arabs before the creation of the State of Israel. None of this, of course, is relevant to U.S. foreign policy, because none of it is relevant to U.S. national security interests. It is only relevant to politics.

When Gingrich mused that the federal government ought to hire poor children to work as janitors, that, too, was no Rick Perry moment. There is something to be said about instilling a sound work ethic in youth. Indeed, as Gingrich noted, most of this country’s productively wealthy people started working at an early age, and he points to that as a primary driver of their successes later in life. But is there a role for the federal government in micromanaging how the nation’s youth are imbued with a work ethic? No, there is not. The government can’t deliver the mail.

Perhaps the most telling of Gingrich’s ideas is that the federal government ought to expand its presence in space, up to and including mining the moon for minerals. It’s a pie in the sky idea, literally, and scientifically absurd. But it, too, is not a Rick Perry moment. It’s not like Dennis Kucinich admitting he believes in UFOs. It’s just Newt being an ideas man.

Yet, all of his out-of-the-box ideas have a common thread: He wants to expand the government.

Gingrich doesn’t belong in government, because government isn’t subject to the forces of the free market. Because it’s not subject to the free market, it becomes difficult for government to filter bad ideas from good ones. After all, Gingrich may have a good idea in trying to instill work ethic in troubled youth. But he also had the idea to use the death penalty when it comes to marijuana, a substance that’s only been banned by the federal government in the past 40 years and is less harmful than alcohol.

The whole drug war is a horrible idea, costing us valuable treasure and blood but doing nothing to prevent drug use. But it keeps those government bureaucrats involved in the war on drugs steadily employed, and so Gingrich loves the war on drugs and wants to expand it.

None of Newt’s nutty ideas belongs in the federal government, because the federal government must be confined to the Constitution, not to the new ideas of a self-important insider who’s grown rich off of government fat. How can we ever get rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac when our self-identified conservatives leave government and then use those entities to make money for themselves? Newt’s nutty ideas perpetuate the problem of government because by profiting off of unconstitutional government policies, they incentivize government to keep those policies.

We don’t need new ideas in government; leave those for the free market. Good ideas are advanced by consumers and investors who choose to spend their own money on them, not by bureaucrats who spend your money on them. We don’t need Newt’s new ideas about drugs and Palestinians and the moon. We need some old ones Newt has forgotten, like that government is best which governs least, like the people are entitled to a government that stays within the confines of the Constitution, like the Constitution was written to keep the government off the people’s backs. Gingrich has Big Government written all over him; and Big Government has brought us all our woes.

If you live in Iowa or New Hampshire, you can do something about Big Government in the next three weeks. You can vote in a caucus or a primary for a candidate who believes government should be confined and not expanded; someone who believes the Constitution will restrain him, not unleash him; someone who believes the Constitution actually means what it says. You know who that man is. He is the game changer.


Judge Andrew Napolitano


Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the Senior Judicial Analyst at Fox News Channel and anchor of "FreedomWatch" on Fox Business Network. His most recent book is It Is Dangerous To Be Right When the Government Is Wrong.

  • Michael PS

    In all mature democracies, there are always two parties or coalitions, the friends of corruption and the friends of sedition: those who hope to profit from existing abuses and those who hope to profit from the disaffection that corruption naturally excites.

  • pammie

    “When Gingrich called Palestinians an invented people, that wasn’t a Rick Perry moment. There is a long academic debate behind the Palestinian question.”

    Only amongst those who want to destroy them….the “nonexistent” people whose existence is being debated and whose land is being settled by New Yorkers as I write . Does it really matter whether you call them “Palestinian” or “Arab”? They are Arabs that lived/ live in the geographical area known as Palestine since the time of the Romans. Do intelligent people really purport to believe the Holy Land was unoccupied until the European Jewish community decided to relocate there in the 1920’s and ’30’s? Only those who hope to benefit by that assertation in some way, one would expect.

    No one commonly referred to the English, Welsh and Scots as the “British people” until the 1960’s. Did the British also not exist before that time? Did the Irish people not exist because they had no independent political identity after being conquered by the ENGLISH, until the early part of the 20th century? It is a necessary step in destroying a people: deny them an identity within the human community . It smoothes the path to domination and extinction in reality, one might say.

    I shouldnt think that corruption would disqualify anyone from a leadership position in the Holy Land. Otherwise at least three Israeli prime ministers : Olmert, Liberman and Netanhayu would be as equally discredited by the writer as Arafat is. But didnt our entire US congress wear themselves out cheering and applauding Bibi the last time he made an appearance? Apparently corruption isnt the deterrent to public adoration it once was— at least among one’s fellow politicians.

    Lastly: If Arafat’s birth in Cairo( of Palestianian parents) disqualifies him as a Palestinian, shouldnt Gold Meir’s and Menachim Begin’s foreign births be a deciding factor as well? Not to mention all those nameless New Yorkers who continue to destroy “nonexistent” Palestinian villages today?

    Newt is just one more politician who tries to turn a profit anyway he can. He’ll say anything he feels necessary to sit in the oval office. He’ll do whatever it takes. I say enough of his kind.

  • paris-dakar

    Most ‘Palestinians’ are Jordanians. ‘Palestine’ was originally a province of Transjordan.

    • Sarto

      Misleading. They live where they live, and the Israelis drove them out of their homes in Israel and routinely drive them away from their land and water on the west bank.

      • paris-dakar

        You’re the one being misleading because it was King Hussein who drove them out of Jordan when they tried to overthrow him and establish a terror state – similar to what the PLO later succeeded in doing in Lebanon.

    • pammie

      Because you, the author, and Bibi say so? History doesnt back you up on that you know. Modern day Iraq was known by another name in antiquity and also ruled by the Ottomans as was modern day Egypt, Jordan and Syria, etc and most of North Africa. Not to mention Saudi Arabia! Do none of their people exist either ? Just a few Arabs living in geographically distinct areas in the Middle East and indistinguisable from one another- interchangeable cultures?

      Here’s some reading material about Palestine published back in the late 1800’s!/photo.php?fbid=10150715896485297&set=a.10150715896440297.709578.10150158149015297&type=1&theater (picture is of the original editon) but still available reprinted from amazon..if you should ever want some non-ideological information about the region and its natives.

  • paris-dakar

    Again, most of what are now called ‘Palestinians’ are descendants of people who ’emigrated’ from Jordan over the past 60 years.

    As a matter of fact, King Hussein actually expelled a large number of them from his country because they tried to overthrow his government and turn Jordan into a giant terror camp. Then again, that may just be something that ‘Bibi’ made up.

    • pammie

      The best propaganda is a mixture of truth and lies. All the old Palestinians that I knew back in the day were born and lived in Palestine as were their parents, grandparents etc.. their churches and their villages were in Palestine. Not Jordan. Not Egypt. Not Syria. and definitely not in Germany or New York. I dont need the history revisionists to tell me about the natives of Palestine. Read a non-ideological book about the people and culture of Palestine before 1949–if you dare.

      • TomD

        “The best propaganda is a mixture of truth and lies.” How true.

        Not many Jews emigrated from Germany to Israel because, (1) they were generally prohibited from emigrating by the Ottomans prior to WWI, or, after WWI, due to restricted emigration through the British Mandate, or, (2) for obvious reasons, they were “unable” to emigrate from Germany after the Second World War . . . although some German Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany did manage to survive and emigrate to Israel, much to the consternation of some.

      • TomD

        “. . . were born and lived in Palestine . . . and definitely not in Germany or New York.”

        Why, whatever do you mean? Leaving aside the patently offensive reference to Germany, do you mean “those of Jewish descent who were born in New York,” or do you mean “those New York Jews?” You have walked right up to the line, don’t cross over it, don’t you dare.

        • pammie

          I have no idea as to what you are talking about. What line have you drawn in the sand and on what beach? I actually meant to write “Europe” instead of “Germany” if that is some comfort.

          I mean people who are born in the US who take a notion to relocate and drive another person off his land in order to live on his property. I mean anyone born elsewhere who feels he is more entitled for whatever reason to land legally owned by another person who does not wish to sell or to relocate to suit said person’s wishes. That’s what I mean.

          • TomD

            What you actually wrote reveals what you actually meant.

            • pammie

              “What you actually wrote reveals what you actually meant”

              Why bother to ask then if you are as adept at reading souls as your reply would indicate?

              • TomD

                No one is reading souls, merely reading words.

                • pammie

                  Neither do I routinely infer nefarious motives from the simple plain, meaning of anyone’s words. If you’ve got something to say -spill it- please or let’s move on and stick to the discussion at hand.

  • TomD

    The word “Palestine,” although the actual etymological origin of the word preceded Roman rule, came to prominence from the Roman name for the region, Syria Palaestina, which was designated so by the Romans to, in effect, complete the dissociation of the region from Judaea, from the Jews, and from the biblical designation of the land of Israel.

    It is ironic that today many people use the name Palestine for a similar purpose to the Roman use of the word . . . to replace any reference to the designation of the region as Israel, and to deny it as the homeland of the Jewish people.

  • paris-dakar

    The comments about ‘New York’, ‘New Yorkers’, ‘Bibi’ and ‘ideology’ are very telling.

    Next step – referring to oneself as ‘anti-Zionist’.

    • TomD

      Close, but actually, next step, “[n]or am I a follower of Christian Zionist theology.”

  • pammie

    I wish you folks would get your stories straight. First there is no Palestine at all. Then according to your mate there is– but it’s only a province of trans Jordan–in the manner of Ireland being a part of Great Britain I guess…and no natives? And now you tell us it was a only a part of Syria Palenstina . Still unoccupied with people after all those years since the remaining Jews were expelled in the first century A.D… until the European migration began in the early 1900’s? If it doesnt make sense then it probably isnt true.

    ‘It is ironic that today many people use the name Palestine for a similar purpose to the Roman use of the word . . . to replace any reference to the designation of the region as Israel, and to deny it as the homeland of the Jewish people’

    No. What’s ironic is that why Israel as a viable political entity (an important requirement of physical existence according to your arguments) who had ceased to exist long before the Romans finally destroyed it 2000 years ago, has entirely different standards attached to it than the people who have resided in the same place for the past 2000 years or so. I think everyone should play by the same rules.

    “Next step – referring to oneself as ‘anti-Zionist’.”

    I am admittedly not a socialist nor a supporter of any socialist movements. From your comments I gather that you are. Nor am I a follower of Christian Zionist theology. I believe Our Lord ‘s words when he told his fellow Jews that He hadnt come to set them up in a political kingdom as in their days of old. Wasn’t that a part of the reason why Judas betrayed Him? Disappointment that He hadnt lived up to political expectations?

    I’m not sure as a RC how one is now to believe that such an important concept of Our Lord should today be the exact opposite. What He had expressly denied to His fellow Jews in His own time is supported by many Christians today with great vigor. It makes no sense to me. Especially when doing so has hurt very many Christians in the Holy Land and reduced their populations significantly in a matter of 50 years’ time.

    • Mark

      Did Christ deny Israel’s right to exsist as a soverign state, or did he really mean that Israel and her specific religious were not intended to rule the world?

  • pammie

    “Did Christ deny Israel’s right to exsist as a soverign state, or did he really mean that Israel and her specific religious were not intended to rule the world?”

    Did God want Israel to be a sovereign state? History tells us the kingdoms of Judea and Israel were not long-lasting in real time, having been conquered repeatedly by the Assyrians, the Babylonians , the Macedonians, the Romans and a few more if memory serves. So how one might conclude this from the historical evidence I’m not sure. Since “the right to exist” is a modern notion, I dont think I ever saw it addressed as a concept in the Bible for a political entity or anyone for that matter.

    And if He meant the latter I never saw any indication of this since He hoped that all His people would accept Him as their Messiah. In which case there would be no more jew/gentile divisions. All would be one, worshiping as one. Something He specifically prayed for, if one might recall. I would be hard pressed to come to either of your conclusions given the plain sense of the New Testament.

    All one can say with assurance (from what I know) is that Christ had to make it clear to his followers that His Father did not have a political solution in mind for the Jewish people’s political situation.