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I'm actually not surprised at all by the reaction that Newt Gingrich's Andrew Jackson line from the debate is getting. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Newt delivered one whale of a response following Ron Paul's staggering explanation of why it was illegal but not illegal for us to go after bin Laden. After everyone had been thoroughly confused by Paul's belief that bin Laden was analogous to a Chinese dissident seeking asylum in the United States, Newt stepped up to the tee and delivered a drive straight down the middle of the fairway.
Here was his response:
Bret Baier asked Newt Gingrich if he were president and he received actionable intelligence saying that Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was in Pakistan, would he act upon it even if it caused an end to all U.S./Pakistani cooperation. Gingrich exclaimed, "Nobody believes that bin Laden was sitting in a compound in a military city, one mile from the National Defence University, and the Pakistanis didn't know it." He then invoked the memory of Andrew Jackson, who Gingrich said had a "pretty good idea about America's enemies, ?Kill them!'"
Now, this is being panned by a couple of different sources. First, the anti-Gingrich conservatives. Glenn Beck apparently took issue with this answer because Gingrich invoked the name of Andrew Jackson. Remember, Beck is on record as totally opposing the candidacy of Newt Gingrich, so I'm not surprised that he didn't want to applaud the former speaker for a direct and powerful, stand-ovation inducing line at the debate. And I agree with Beck that Andrew Jackson was not an admirable man. He was far from the model we should want in the White House. I don't even take issue with Beck putting Jackson in the same group with Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon Johnson. Jackson was an extra-constitutionalist. He was the guy who just ignored the other branches of government and sought to consolidate a great deal of power in the executive.
But that had absolutely nothing to do with Newt's answer. Newt wasn't endorsing the Jackson model of governing. He was applauding and repeating the Jackson model for dealing with your enemies. And that's something I - and obviously a great number of those in attendance at the debate - agree with.and I'm guessing had someone else said it, Beck would have agreed too.
But Newt's getting hammered by the left, of course, for that line too. And not just Newt. You're seeing all this hand-wringing out there by the liberal media types. I'm just waiting for Ann Curry to host John McCain on the Today Show and ask through a pained expression if that type of cheering for bloodlust is what this country really needs right now. She's so full of it. And throw Diane Sawyer in there too so she can get that patented constipated look she has as she feels her way through the questions.
You are reading all this out there from the liberals about how the standing O that Newt received for this line was "disturbing," that it was "alarming, frightening, and bloodthirsty." Oh brother. It was nothing of the kind. I'll tell you what it was: it was a bunch of red-blooded Americans that are fed up with the political correctness they are inundated with. They are tired of the America-sucks apology tour of their president. They're tired of being told that they must feel ashamed of their nation's strength. And they desperately crave an honesty and bluntness from their president about the threat that we face, and the response that we must have to confront that threat.
That's the sentiment that was sweeping over the conservative crowd in South Carolina - not bloodlust. And it's something that is sweeping over the country. The Republican candidate who grasps that and starts speaking bluntly and honestly will demolish the re-election efforts of Mr. Weak to be Respected, Mr. Apology himself, Barack Obama.