L. Neil Smith's

Number 12, August 14, 1996

Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov) Takes a Ride on the von Klinton Express

By L. Neil Smith

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         I saw House Speaker Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov) on TV this afternoon, declaring that, in the light of the recent event in Atlanta, he, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, and Republican Narcolepsy Poster Boy Bob Dole had changed the useless lumps of tissue they use for minds, with regard to certain unconstitutional provisions they had previously managed to keep out of Bill Clinton's so-called terrorism legislation.
         One of those provisions calls for "roving wiretaps": if someone they can credibly claim to believe might be a terrorist happens to visit you for one reason or another -- perhaps because they sent him -- they can tap your phone.
         Another calls for "propellant taggants", chemical additives to black and smokeless gunpowder which, in certain loads might cause your weapon to hangfire or blow up, but what the hell, they don't want you to have guns anyway, and after all, as Julia Child or Mussolini or somebody put it, you can't make an omelette without breaking heads.
         There were other provisions, but a haze of outrage seems to have erased them from my memory.
         It's the oldest political scam in the book, and (with the apparent commendable exception of movie star and Tennessee Senator Fred Dalton Thompson) these spineless cretins in the GOP fell for it. Pick some handy enemy scapegoat (Libya or Iraq) or create one (Libertarians or the militia), then goad them until they assassinate someone or blow something up. If you're really impatient, assassinate someone or blow something up yourself. Then tell everyone across the fruited plain and from sea to shining sea that -- for their own safety -- the whole country is now in protective custody.
         You can find it in the Bible, Machiavelli, or the doctrines of the Red Brigades. (Which is why I always thought that any voyages Young Bubba may have made to Italy back in the 1960s might be far more significant than his infamous pilgrimage to Moscow). And still that trio of whimpering dribblers Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov), Lott, and Dole fell for it.
         I gotta say, it never fails to amaze me how few brains or guts Republicans always turn out to possess. The craven idiots had a good thing going -- the "Republican Revolution" of 1994 -- yet they acted every minute afterward as if they were still in the minority. They let the whorish left-leaning mass media determine the level of discourse, the topics to be discussed, and the context they'd be discussed in. They let traitors in their own ranks screw up their agenda. They let themselves get caught up in trivial pseudo-issues and forgot the greater principles that were the reason voters had elected them.
         In short, as the revised saying goes, the Republicans "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory" and left everyone who supported them exposed to the tin-pot two-for-a-penny fascist bully-ragging of William Jefferson Blythe Clinton.
         Or, as Sinclair Lewis referred to him in It Can't Happen Here, "Buzz Windrip". (Didn't think we'd recognize you, did you, Bill?)
         The first ten Amendments to the Constitution obviously don't mean much to Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov). (I seem to recall that he tried to have them suspended a few years ago, "for the duration" of the War on Drugs.) If they did, he'd never have tried to substitute what Rush Limbaugh (if Rush ever used both halves of his brain) would call the "phoney-baloney plastic banana good-time rock'n'roll" Republican Contract with America for them. Deriving his "core beliefs" from polls and focus groups exactly the same way Clinton does, Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov) has forgotten -- if he ever knew -- certain basic facts ...
         What's right doesn't change overnight, even in Atlanta.
         What's right never changes.
         Back when this was a free country, America worked.
         Now that it's a police state, it doesn't.
         There is no known instance in history in which a dangerous mess was made any better by "emergency measures" like hiring more thugs, passing more laws, or curtailing people's freedoms. There's a reason for that: peace, progress, and prosperity in any civilization arise solely from individual human action.
         And humans must be free to act.
         It ain't brain surgery, Mister Newt (georgia6@hr.house.gov), or rocket science. When people are no longer free to act -- when they have no real investment in maintaining civilization -- civilization collapses. See the former Soviet Empire. Or the Reconstruction South. Or the South Bronx.
         If Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov) can't comprehend that, if he can't keep the solemn oath he once took "to uphold and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic", if he can't stand up to round-heeled propagandists masquerading as journalists, to white trash in the White House, or their goose-stepping orcs in black Kevlar, he should do the honorable thing: declare an end to the hollow sham his "Republican Revolution" has become, resign from the office he holds under false pretenses, slink back to Georgia, and start shoving soft-boiled eggs and milk-toast into his toothless, empty head like the harmless old grannie he increasingly resembles.
         I'll say it once again for the benefit of any Republicans in the audience. Maybe they can find somebody to read it for them, or at least explain the big words.
         What's right doesn't change overnight.
         What's right never changes.
         Back when this was a free country, America worked.
         Now that it's a police state, it doesn't.

L. Neil Smith's award-winning first novel, The Probability Broach, which has long been out of print, will be republished by TOR Books this October. Permission to redistribute this article is herewith granted by the author, provided that it is reproduced unedited, in its entirety, and appropriate credit given. Readers are especially urged to forward this article to Newt Gingrich (georgia6@hr.house.gov), who desperately needs to read it.

A Juror's Creed: As an American juror, I will exercise my 1000 year old duty to arrive at a verdict, not just on the basis of the facts of a particular case or instructions I am given, but through my ability to reason, my knowledge of the Bill of Rights, and my individual conscience.
-- L. Neil Smith

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