MTP: Newt Gingrich Thinks Americans Should Be Afraid....Booga Booga!

[media id=8404] (h/t David) I think it's hilarious that Newt Gingrich perfectly encapsulates the overriding motivation for everything about the GOP:

5 years ago by David
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(h/t David)

I think it's hilarious that Newt Gingrich perfectly encapsulates the overriding motivation for everything about the GOP: they are frightened little bunnies, petrified by the bogeyman coming to get them. And according to the Newt-ster, because that bogeyman is so vewwy scawwy, anything and everything you do in the name of making the bad man go away is fine, damn treaties, laws, and morals, much less effectiveness.

The thing that I think motivates Cheney, and I watched this firsthand after 9/11, is the shock of 9/11, the reality that his children and his grandchildren could die, that he has an obligation to America to take extra steps to keep us alive. And I think this was burned into him that day and the following day, and the realization we had been caught totally off-guard. Despite all the warnings of the '90s, we have been caught totally off-guard. And so they did everything for seven and a half years to--and they have a very simple principle: If you're in doubt, do what it takes to help America survive every time.

Then Newt deftly moves into the non-sequitur of claiming that Cheney is right that Obama (in his four months in office, mind you) has made us less safe (hear that? Be afraid! Booga booga booga!) because the CIA has low morale since Obama has said we don't torture and Nancy Pelosi said they lied. There's a big WTF for you. So according to one of the great minds of the GOP, the CIA is so bummed by the fact they can't torture and that the Speaker of the House said they lied in a report (again, ignoring that Newt himself said they lied about the Iran NIE), they are unwilling to do their job to look out for terrorist threats. So should we be comforted by being protected by such dilletantes?

Newt then provides a ridiculous strawman dichotomy that Obama is looking towards the effete ACLU method of "not offending" the terrorists instead of the He-Man/Jack Bauer GOP method of the ends justifying the means. I guess that works when you want to leave your second wife, but in a nation of laws, it's a little more frightening to me than the possibility of another terrorist attack.

Maybe someone ought to mention to Cheney and Gingrich that their fear for the safety of their children and grandchildren is misplaced. They are far more likely to die of heart disease (something with which I think both men have some experience) than of a terrorist attack. Maybe living in mortal fear of Big Macs and french fries is a slightly more logical neurosis.

REP. GINGRICH: Let me just say, I think people should be afraid. I think the lesson of 1993, the first time they bombed the World Trade Center, was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of Khobar Towers, where American servicemen were killed in Saudi Arabia, was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of the two embassy bombings in east Africa was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of the Cole being bombed in Yemen was fear is probably appropriate. I'll tell you, if you aren't a little bit afraid after 9/11 and 3,100 Americans killed inside the United States by an effort, if you weren't worried about the second-wave attack that was designed to take out the biggest building in Los Angeles, I think that, that you are out of touch with reality.

Shorter Newt: Be afraid. Be very afraid. (after all, that's how we get your votes)

MR. GREGORY: Why can't there be a middle-ground approach, some compromise with regard to how to fight terrorists?

REP. GINGRICH: Well, I think there can be a, an effort to find a common agreement, but I don't think you can find--I don't think it's a question about compromise. The thing that I think motivates Cheney, and I watched this firsthand after 9/11, is the shock of 9/11, the reality that his children and his grandchildren could die, that he has an obligation to America to take extra steps to keep us alive. And I think this was burned into him that day and the following day, and the realization we had been caught totally off-guard. Despite all the warnings of the '90s, we have been caught totally off-guard. And so they did everything for seven and a half years to--and they have a very simple principle: If you're in doubt, do what it takes to help America survive every time. So they consistently fell down on the side of being very tough about national security, being very tough with specific terrorists. And remember, the Obama administration has reserved to itself the same right to use enhanced interrogation techniques at the direction of the commander in chief that the Bush administration did. They were used three times--they were used on three people who were known terrorists who had very high value information. So I'm just saying it's, it's ironic; when you get below the speech, President Obama in many ways--he's now back to military tribunals...

MR. GREGORY: Right.

REP. GINGRICH: ...you know, he's, he's, he's back to somehow keeping all these terrorists, even if not in Guantanamo, he is keep--he's reserving the right to use enhanced interrogation techniques in his administration, which by the way is absolutely correct...

MR. GREGORY: But do you agree with the vice president when he says that the country is less safe under President Obama?

REP. GINGRICH: Absolutely.

MR. GREGORY: Why?

REP. GINGRICH: Because I believe if you just look at the behavior of the last two months, the effort to open up past wounds--if you were a CIA employee today and you understood that there were people out there who wanted a truth commission, there are people who wanted to say to you, "I'm, I'm going to go back six, seven, eight years and I'm going to put you on trial potentially," if you look at what, what Speaker Pelosi said, "They all lied to--they lied to us all the time," the drop in morale, which frankly Director Leon Panetta, himself a former Democratic congressman, has testified, has said this has hurt morale. The question is, is the most important thing to us today to find some kind of civil--American Civil Liberties Union model of making sure that we never offend terrorists, or is the model for us today to say to the CIA and others, "Do everything you can to protect America. We're going to cover your back, we are proud of you and we want you to defend America"?

MR. GREGORY: Senator Durbin, the vice president's--former vice president's daughter, Liz Cheney, said that President Obama has a September 10th mentality in his fight against terrorists.

SEN. DURBIN: Let me say--if you, if you step back and take a look at history for a moment, you will find the message we just heard from Mr. Gingrich, from Vice President Cheney and Mr. Rush Limbaugh to be the same, it's a message of fear: "Be afraid, be very afraid." And to say that this president is not doing everything in his power to keep America safe is just as irresponsible as anything I've ever heard said on your program. This president is dedicated to the safety of America. He has said clearly that he's not going to allow a single dangerous person to be released in the United States or be in a position to harm us. He's doing everything night and day to keep us safe. But let's look at what we have here. The president said in his speech--he didn't question the motives of those like Vice President Cheney, who thought they were keeping America safe. The fact is, in a way it didn't work. Guantanamo became an inspiration for recruiting terrorists around the world. At the end of the day, it was President Bush in his second term who abandoned the Cheney approach, who said, "We're not going to use torture. We're going to close down Guantanamo because it isn't working to keep America safe." Now, I just want to tell you, when people like General Colin Powell step forward and say to us, "Put torture behind us and close Guantanamo," I believe they are on the right track. Here's a person who served our nation in the military and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he believes we can keep America safe with a much better approach. And this notion somehow that President Obama is not keeping America safe has been rejected by the American people. They trust his leadership.

REP. GINGRICH: Let me just say, I think people should be afraid. I think the lesson of 1993, the first time they bombed the World Trade Center, was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of Khobar Towers, where American servicemen were killed in Saudi Arabia, was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of the two embassy bombings in east Africa was fear is probably appropriate. I think the lesson of the Cole being bombed in Yemen was fear is probably appropriate. I'll tell you, if you aren't a little bit afraid after 9/11 and 3,100 Americans killed inside the United States by an effort, if you weren't worried about the second-wave attack that was designed to take out the biggest building in Los Angeles, I think that, that you are out of touch with reality.

MR. GREGORY: Right. But--wait, but Speaker Gingrich, you make the point about how Vice President Cheney felt personally, personal fear. And isn't President Obama's argument that fear as a basis of national security policy is not sustainable over time? How do you come up with a sustainable legal framework, a sustainable national security policy?

REP. GINGRICH: We, we...

MR. GREGORY: Don't we elect leaders to transcend fear for lasting policies?

REP. GINGRICH: Look, we sustained the Cold War against the Soviet Empire for 44 years because our national leadership came together and said to the country there are sufficiently great dangers to America to sustain our power worldwide. I mean, we sustained against the Soviet Empire worldwide for 44 years. Now, that requires us to have a--I think the first level of debate's simple: How much should you worry about something truly terrible happening to America? I belong to the wing that believes we live in an age when very few people using very dangerous weapons can cause incalculable damage, and I think we should take very strong steps to make sure that doesn't happen.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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