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Archives: Newt Gingrich is a man of flawed ideas

Originally published in December 2011
Simon Nguyen

Newt Gingrich loves to call himself as a man of big ideas. However, many of the grand ideas he is sharing on the campaign trails range from the bizarre to the outright dangerous. The former House Speaker’s latest controversial idea, first initiated on CBS “Face the Nation,” is a call for activist judges to be arrested. The bold suggestion has aroused passionate opposition from conservatives, who fear such a maneuver would severely impair the judiciary branch.

While Gingrich clearly had Iowan voters on his mind when he made the suggestion, his crusade against “radical” judges shows a willingness to overstep one of the basic tenets of the constitution – the separation of powers. What constitutes an activist judge? Would a democratic president or congress be allowed to arrest judges with conservative views and vice versa? Gingrich’s suggestion is both unconstitutional and impracticable.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time Gingrich offers a flawed idea. The Pennsylvania native got into a bit of trouble when he suggested in a speech at Harvard that poor kids should take up janitor jobs at their schools to learn the ethics of work. What Gingrich appeared to have omitted is that many wealthy kids also need the same douse of reality. Moreover, the economy needs working adults and not working children.

Gingrich has also received a lot of criticisms for his support for moon mining. While his vision is to be applauded, such an expensive endeavor in these tough economic times is not cost-effective.

The former House Speaker’s train of bad ideas did not end there. Gingrich was also a notable backer of the much criticized individual health care mandate and an advocate for rapid home ownership expansion – one of the factors behind the housing bubble.

Not surprisingly, many of Gingrich’s stances on policy put him at odds with core conservative values. Republicans may be willing to overlook his personal baggage but not his flawed ideas.

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