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Who does Newt want to kill?

[ 40 ] January 17, 2012 |

Last night’s debate provided yet another example of Gingrich’s firm grasp of history:

We’re in South Carolina. South Carolina in the Revolutionary War had a young 13-year-old named Andrew Jackson. He was sabred by a British officer and wore a scar his whole life. Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: Kill them.

He was in South Carolina and had just related an anecdote about Andrew Jackson, so I can see why he’d quote Andrew as the Jacksonian source of the “Kill them!” quotation. Only Andrew Jackson didn’t say it—Stonewall Jackson did. Accounts as to who he said it to vary, but the circumstances in which he said it don’t. Union forces greatly outnumbered Southern forces at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and shortly after the death of Brigadier General Maxcy Gregg, someone asked Jackson how the Confederate forces could win. He responded

Kill them, sir! Kill every man!

Which, of course, refers to the Union soldiers. So America’s enemies are, by Gingrich’s account, other Americans. (Most likely Democrats.) There’s the possibility that his error represents an eleventh dimensional dog-whistle blown for the benefit of the strong neo-Confederate presence in South Carolina, but I somehow doubt it.


Comments (40)

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  1. Colin Day says:

    There’s the possibility that his error represents an eleventh dimensional dog-whistle blown for the benefit of the strong neo-Confederate presence in South Carolina, but I somehow doubt it.

    I’m perfectgly willing to believe it.

  2. jon says:

    All them Jacksons are pretty much the same. Except for Michael. He was weird.

    It’s wonderful that he’s ginning up a North-South conflict, and advocating aggression against the North, which was governed by Republicans, during the late unpleasantness.

    Newt will never disappoint. After all, he has History to uphold. Maybe Obama will make him Education Secretary.

  3. Rob says:

    Gringrich showing the history he provided to Fannie and Freddie. Clearly worth it.

  4. rea says:

    Actually, of course, Jackson made it quite clear that he was willing to kill secessionist South Carolinians. But surely Gingrich can’t be referring to that . . .

  5. thebewilderness says:

    I think he was trying to combine his vision of putting children to work with his desire to kill enemies. 13 year old kids headed for war! Ain’t that America?
    Getting rid of the child labor laws seem to be job one with the Republicans this time around.

  6. Warren Terra says:

    I’m pretty sure Newt just likes referring to Andrew Jackson because he hits so many Tea Party buttons:
    1) Against government interference with banks.
    2) Against the courts’ meddling to protect the rights of despised minorities.
    3) Cheerfully willing to massacre minority groups if they’re in the way.
    4) Brash, uncultured, and populist.

    Jackson was wrong about the first three of those, of course, but they’re points on which the Tea Partiers agree with him.

    • The Shaggy DA says:

      See, you’ve just fallen into his trap. Jackson was a Democrat, don’t you know.
      Cue “Democrats are the real racists” trolls.

    • JohnR says:

      Now, hold on there, Bobbalooie! Your #3 is patently wrong – AJ never did anything cheerfully; in fact I don’t believe he’s ever been accused of even smiling. “Grimly” is a far more appropriate term here. That’s about as “cheerful” as AJ ever got afaik. Anyway, when it comes to that quotation, I’m perfectly willing to put it down to Andy; I’d say the odds that he never in his lifetime said “Kill them” in reference to some batch of opponents or other are so minute as to be less measurable than the mass of the Higgs Boson.

  7. LosGatosCA says:

    He could have used this quote from Andrew Jackson instead:

    “Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there.”

    It might have been awkward though. Which wife?

  8. bobbyp says:

    If you don’t want your Jacksons, send them to me.

  9. Visitor says:

    Oh, well, he’s not going to get any votes in Virginia* anyhow, so I guess he can mix his Jacksons freely. The warlike ones, anyway.

    *In VA there is a Stonewall Jackson SHRINE. yes a shrine. Plus, they just observed Lee-Jackson-King Day. R.E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, MLK, Jr.

  10. DrDick says:

    I think the the more important question is who doesn’t Newt want to kill?

  11. LKS says:

    I’m afraid this isn’t quite up there with Snowbilly Sarah’s version of Paul Revere’s ride. And it’s at best a tie with Crazy Eyes Bachmann starting the Revolutionary War in New Hampshire.

    • efgoldman says:

      But neither Snowbilly Grifter nor Crazy Eyes is alleged to have a PhD in history, nor has either ever been accused of teaching the subject at the college level.
      I think Newt is trying out for his next career as a standup comic. Or maybe his other choice as a fascist crank.

  12. J. Otto Pohl says:

    I am not sure who Gingrich wants to kill. According to his earlier speech the Palestinians are an ‘invented people’ and the implication was that they did not really exist. Can you kill somebody who does not exist? I am not sure how this works.

  13. Adam Roberts says:

    Gingrich ought to make more of the genuine American hero, Admiral Halsey: ‘kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs.’ Plus Paul McCartney wrote a song about him! He’s surely election-winning gold.

  14. Forest Street says:

    I just finished watching Ken Burns’ The Civil War series again, so I feel qualified to offer a minor correction. It was after the Battle of Fredericksburg, but after the Confederates regained the city and saw what damage Union troops had done to the place, particularly to the churches.

  15. E L says:

    Well, who cares which Jackson said it? All these Jacksons look the same to me.

  16. Red Ryder says:

    Andrew Jackson is Stonewall Jackson.

    Jackson got the nickname from the battle of Manases (sp).

  17. Red Ryder says:

    whoops. My bad. Andrew is NOT Stonewall. I read my history wrong. I have a good memory, it’s just awfully short.

    I don’t know how Stonewall got into this debate anyway. Newt commented about Andrew Jackson. And, I agree with him about killing our enemies.

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