Newt Gingrich unveiled his strategy to combat his slide in the polls today on Face The Nation. He is going to appeal to the tea party by turning the crazy up to 11.
Here is the video from Face The Nation:
Schieffer: Let me just tell you what several people have said about this. When the Des Moines Register announced that it was supporting Mitt Romney, it said one of the reasons is because he does not pander to extremes with attacks on the courts. And a number of conservatives, including two of George Bush’s attorneys general, Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mulcasey both said and I’m going to just quote what Mr. Mulcasey said and he told this to Fox News, he wasn’t telling it to Mother Jones. He told Fox News, he said “Mr. Gingrich’s proposal is dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off the wall, and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle.” Now that’s a conservative judge or a conservative attorney general. How do you respond to that?
Gingrich: I think many lawyers will find this a very frightening idea. They’ve had this run of 50 years of pretending judges are supreme, that they can’t be challenged. The lawyer class defines America. We’ve had rulings that outlawed school prayer, we’ve had ruling that outlawed the cross, we’ve had rulings the outlawed the 10 Commandments, we’ve had a steady secular drive to radicalize this country away from all of its core beliefs. I mean what got me into this was the 9th Circuit saying that one nation under God is unconstitutional. We live in a country where Judge Biery can literally say I will put you in jail for saying the word benediction. There’s something profoundly wrong with the judicial system that has moved to that kind of extreme behavior.
Schieffer: But I would also add that what happened in that case is that an appeals court overturned that judge.
Schieffer: And the system worked.
Gingrich: No the local school board ended up paying large legal fees. Let me give you an example of how much this elitism permeates the system. The House Franken Commission says members of the House cannot say Merry Christmas in their official correspondence. This is absurd. But it’s part of the same elite anti-religious belief structure which leads the courts to define that you’re supposed to take down the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego even though it’s a historic cross. And I’m just suggesting to you…I got into this originally because of two things — The steady encroachment of secularism through the courts to redefine America as a non-religious country and the encroachment of the courts on the president’s commander in chief powers, which is enormously dangerous.
Schieffer: Let me just ask you this. You talk about enforcing it because one of things you say is if you don’t like what a court has done, the congress should subpoena the judge and bring him before congress and hold a congressional hearing. Some people say that’s unconstitutional but I’ll let that go for a minute. I just want to ask you from a practical standpoint, how would you enforce that? Would you send the Capitol police down to arrest him?
Gingrich: If you had to or you’d instruct the Justice Department to send a U.S. Marshall. Let’s take the case of Judge Biery. I think he should be asked to explain a position that radical. How could he say he’s going to jail the superintendent over the word benediction and invocation? Because before…because then I would encourage impeachment. But before you move to impeachment, you’d like to know why he said it. Now clearly since the congress has the power…
Schieffer: What if he didn’t come? What if he said, no thank you, I’m not coming?
Gingrich: Well that is what happens in impeachment cases. In an impeachment case, the House studies whether or not, the House brings them in, the House subpoenas them. And as a general rule they show up. I mean, but you’re raising the core question, are judges above the rest of the constitution? Or are judges one of the three co-equal branches?
What makes Newt Gingrich dangerous is that he knows the voters that he is courting. These are the same people that nominated candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. He knows they aren’t politically knowledgeable. He doesn’t need facts. All it takes is fanatical belief in an extremist ideology to win their love. He went straight for the hearts of religious right voters with talk of secularism, crosses, and Merry Christmas.
The folks Newt was wooing see nothing wrong with sending a US Marshall to grab a federal judge who delivers a ruling that they disagree with. Gingrich might be really dangerous to the country if he believed the things coming out of his mouth, but he doesn’t. He recognizes that the people who hate Mitt Romney are looking for a candidate who appeals to their beliefs, so Newt is breaking out all the dog whistles.
Beneath the historical references is a line of bull shit that makes every tea partier/social conservative swoon. (These folks also love the historical references too, because they lend the appearance of intelligence and credibility to their crazy ideas).
Unlike Bachmann or Perry, for Newt Gingrich these appeals to the right are nothing more than a strategy. He is attacking Mitt Romney at his weakness. He is openly courting those voters who don’t trust Mitt. Gingrich is the biggest threat to Romney because this is all part of the game for him. Gingrich understands the far right in a way that Mitt Romney can’t.
Instead of running ads or doing any to the traditional things that a campaign does when they start to slip in the polls, Newt Gingrich has launched a courtship designed to win the hearts of GOP primary voters, and there is nothing Republican primary voters love more than illegal detentions.
The Gingrich campaign’s biggest strength is its ability to throw red meat out to the base. His insane rant about the “problems” in the judicial system today was the equivalent of a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates for social conservatives.
It doesn’t matter how crazy he has to get. Child janitors, arresting judges, nothing is off limits to Newt Gingrich’s quest to be the Republican nominee. Gingrich has it all figured out.
Anytime he starts to slide in the polls he turns the crazy up another notch, but the most insane thing of all is that his strategy just might work.