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The Wolves Will Become Sheep | Opinion

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1/20/2022 Newt Gingrich
U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during his weekly news conference December 5, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. © Alex Wong/Getty Images U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during his weekly news conference December 5, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

When some people acquire power, they act like wolves. They take whatever savage actions are needed to win and dominate. They turn their opponents and critics into sheep, who learn to be quiet or face vicious attacks and destruction.

Think of Joseph Stalin killing his rivals. Think of the Castro brothers torturing, imprisoning and exiling political opponents. Consider the decay of Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe, as political opponents were imprisoned, killed and exiled. Recall the ruthlessness of Hugo Chavez in taking over Venezuela. He destroyed or exiled middle-class opponents. Meanwhile, the militia was cheerful about using force to destroy the middle class, which had created a successful, wealthy Venezuela.

The United States has had relatively few bouts of wolf-like behavior, because the separation of powers woven into the constitutional fabric of our federal government, as well as the federalism that exists between the federal and state governments, have made it impossible to sustain wolf-like behavior. The American people routinely reject overreaching politicians, the U.S. Supreme Court limits the ability of the executive branch to overreach and the states retain so much power and independence that their leaders can limit the ability of Washington wolves in overreaching.

We are currently living through a moment of delusion among Democrats, who seem to think they can behave like wolves and destroy and intimidate their Republican opponents. The wolves who currently dominate the Democratic Party think they will be permanent wolves. They are wrong. The 2022 midterm election will turn the Democratic wolves into sheep—and the power to shear the sheep will be handed over to House Republicans.

Watching the increasingly vicious and destructive actions of the House Democrats—along with the handful of Republican enablers on the January 6 Select Committee—combined with the astonishing viciousness of President Joe Biden's speeches at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and in Atlanta on January 11, as well as Attorney General Merrick Garland's speeches and actions, has been the most sobering period in my more than 60 years in public life.

We now have a president and an attorney general who see at least half the country as their enemies. They are focused on attacking, smearing and defaming fellow Americans with whom they disagree. More frighteningly, the attorney general has the power to direct the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Offices to frame people and put them in jail on the most trivial of charges.

The January 6 Select Committee is in the process of potentially bankrupting scores of Americans who worked for or supported President Trump. They face financial ruin defending themselves against the committee's attack. The legal costs of fighting subpoenas and the further cost of legal counsel if put under oath by a hostile congressional committee creates a real burden. That financial burden is compounded by the psychological stress of being under assault by the House Democrats—and potentially also the FBI.

House Republicans owe it to the Constitution and the American people to defeat the wolves and return them to sheep status.

This is not about revenge. This is about reinforcing the principle that in America, political wolves who viciously destroy their fellow Americans—and violate the rule of law to do so—will not be tolerated. This is about restoring the core principles of American self-government.

First, House Leader Kevin McCarthy and his leadership team should send a letter to every member of the Select Committee, the staff of that committee, the staff of House administration and the staff of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. This letter should warn them that they must keep all emails, notes, records of all meetings and communications, so that on January 4, 2023, they can all be reviewed by the new Select Committee on Congressional Dishonesty and Abuse of Power.

Second, Leader McCarthy and his leadership team should send a letter to the U.S. attorney general, select U.S. attorneys, the head of the FBI and such other executive branch officials engaged in persecuting Americans for their political views. This letter, too, should lay down the same marker of keeping all records and being prepared to answer for their behavior on January 4, 2023.

Third, Republicans should take note of Speaker Pelosi's extraordinary, tradition-breaking assumption of control over Republican committee membership. In the same tradition, Republicans should prepare a "Wolves-to-Sheep Committee" as a holding pen for vicious, dishonest smear artists such as Rep. Adam Schiff, whose willingness to lie and deceive the American people extends from the Steele Dossier to the present. After years of lying to everyone while serving as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (and thereby having the presumption of secret knowledge to back up his lies), Schiff should not be allowed to serve on any committee with legislative jurisdiction. He and a handful of other destructive, dishonest members should be bundled into a new committee with no staff, no legislative jurisdiction and no honor. It would be the equivalent of the ancient Greek punishment of ostracism.

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Let me be clear: House Republicans should devote 90 percent of their energy to hearings and legislating on positive, historic efforts that will guarantee America's safety, prosperity and freedom (see my previous column on this).

However, House Republicans owe it to the defense of the Constitution, our freedoms and the integrity of the House to have a wolf-to-sheep conversion project—for the House itself, the Justice Department and any other agency that has threatened innocent Americans in an effort to censor and destroy those Americans' political views.

For more of Newt's commentary, visit Gingrich360.com.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.

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