Editor’s note: Joseph Farah is on the road for the next 10 days.
His column will return as time and schedule permit.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Clinton should not
be indicted after he leaves office.
I say he should have been indicted, tried and convicted of high
crimes and misdemeanors long ago. Failing that, he should have the book
thrown at him now. And, failing that, he should be pursued to the ends
of the earth by every controlling legal authority for the rest of his
Thank you, Newt, for weighing in, defending the criminal in chief
once again. It’s not bad enough, I guess, that you share generously in
culpability for allowing Clinton to get off the hook while serving in
office. Now you want to make sure he never pays for his crimes.
“No,” Gingrich says, “We don’t want to go down the path that
destroyed the Roman republic.”
Excuse me, Mr. Historian, but is the prosecution of criminal leaders
what led to the downfall of Rome? My recollection of the reasons for the
decline of the empire is somewhat different. In 1788, Edward Gibbon set
forth five basic reasons for the fall of all great civilizations. They
- The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home,
which is the basis for human society;
- Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public money for free
bread and circuses for the populace;
- The mad craze for pleasure — sports becoming every year more
exciting, more brutal, more immoral;
- The building of great armaments when the real enemy is within —
the decay of individual responsibility;
- The decay of religion — with faith fading into mere form, losing
touch with life, losing power to guide people;
Somehow the prosecution of corrupt politicians failed to make
“I can’t imagine how it would help America to get in the habit of
indicting former politicians,” Gingrich added.
Let me tell you how it would help. It would make politicians
accountable for their crimes. It would make them think twice about their
actions. It might even result in fewer criminals choosing this career
But that’s not the way Gingrich sees it. He’s feeling very charitable
toward Clinton these days.
“He’ll go down in history with the record he has,” said Gingrich of
Clinton. “I think it’s a tragic record that could have been far more
brilliant because he’s personally a much more brilliant person than he
was able to achieve.”
This from the man who, in May 1998, announced the creation of a
Watergate-style special committee to investigate charges that Clinton
placed America’s security in jeopardy in return for illegal Chinese
campaign contributions. A week later, Gingrich intensified the rhetoric.
“What you have lived through for two and a half years is the most
systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice cover-up and effort to
avoid the truth we have ever seen in American history,” he said. “The
time has come to say to the president, ‘Quit undermining the law in the
United States. Turn over the evidence.'”
Back then, Gingrich said we should stop referring to the Clinton
“scandals” and start referring to them as the Clinton “crimes.” To
underscore his seriousness, he said, henceforth, “I will never again, as
long as I am speaker, make a speech without commenting on this topic.”
And, of course, that was the last time anyone heard Gingrich comment
on the matter — until now. Things have changed. Gingrich, too, was
compromised. He got caught. He couldn’t play hardball with Clinton. So
now he has become a revisionist — willing to forget about all the
crimes for the sake of history.
Gingrich even says the Senate was right to acquit Clinton of his
“It was clear that the country had reached the conclusion that while
it (Clinton’s testimony in the Monica Lewinsky case) was an offense and
they were offended, it was not legitimate to deprive him of the office
he had won in 1996,” Gingrich concluded.
And to that I say: “Newt, the country was clearly right about you,
too, you two-faced, double-talking politician. Good riddance and have a