Apparently, Newt Gingrich hates America

For years now, I’ve been told that it’s the liberals who hate America. But it’s the conservatives I’ve been seeing lately doing things that seem counter-American (illegal wiretaps, authorizing torture are two examples that matter to me). The latest of these seemingly America-hating conservatives is Newt Gingrich, who feels that freedom of speech must be done away with to fight terrorism.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich yesterday said the country will be forced to reexamine freedom of speech to meet the threat of terrorism.

Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a “different set of rules” may be needed to reduce terrorists’ ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.

“We need to get ahead of the curve before we actually lose a city, which I think could happen in the next decade,” said Gingrich, a Republican who helped engineer the GOP’s takeover of Congress in 1994.

And the real irony of this is he said this at an awards banquet honoring those who have fought to preserve free speech in America. I’m looking for an available transcript so I can post exactly what was said, but it doesn’t sound good – giving up freedom for safety is not a good strategy, unless our strategy is intended to let terrorists win.

On the other hand, in an interview before the banquet, Gingrich spoke of other things that I tend to agree with him.

Gingrich said America has “failed” in Iraq over the past three years and urged a new approach to winning the conflict. The U.S. needs to engage Syria and Iran and increase investment to train the Iraqi army and a national police force, he said. “How does a defeat for America make us safer?” Gingrich said. “I would look at an entirely new strategy.” He added: “We have clearly failed in the last three years to achieve the kind of outcome we want.”

He is absolutely correct that defeat in Iraq does not make us safer. He is also correct that we need to look at a new strategy. I’m not quite sure I agree that America has failed in Iraq, but it is true that we have not achieved the outcome we want. We have a long road ahead of us to finish up in Iraq, and I hope that the new liberal congress and whoever is our next President don’t screw up by trying to end our involvement too soon, though.

And no, I don’t actually believe conservatives hate America. I hope that conservatives don’t really believe liberals hate America, but I think they really do believe that (and I’m talking about normal people, not the likes of Alec Baldwin – who even knows what the hell he is thinking?). I don’t think there are many Americans who hate America, but for those that do, I hope the rest of us can help them move somewhere else.

[tags]Does Newt Gingrich have America?, Conservative recommends restricting free speech[/tags]