February 25, 2011 at 6:38 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Gingrich wants House to retaliate against Obama over DOMA

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Friday that President Obama’s decision to no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court could lead to a constitutional crisis and called on House Republicans to take steps against him.

“I believe the House Republicans next week should pass a resolution instructing the president to enforce the law and to obey his own constitutional oath,” Gingrich said, “and they should say if he fails to do so that they will zero out [defund] the office of attorney general and take other steps as necessary until the president agrees to do his job.”

Asked by Newsmax TV directly whether President Obama could be subject to articles of impeachment, Gingrich said, “Clearly it is a dereliction of duty and a violation of his constitutional oath and is something that cannot be allowed to stand.”

Gingrich suggested that if Sarah Palin had taken a similar action as president, calls for impeachment would follow.

“Imagine that Governor Palin had become president,” he said.”Imagine that she had announced that Roe versus Wade in her view was unconstitutional and therefore the United States government would no longer protect anyone’s right to have an abortion because she personally had decided it should be changed. The news media would have gone crazy. The New York Times would have demanded her impeachment.”

Gingrich reportedly said Obama campaign in favor of DOMA and is “breaking his word to the American people.” Gingrich’s assertion is incorrect. Obama called for full repeal of DOMA during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“Second,” Gingrich said, “he swore an oath on the Bible to become president that he would uphold the Constitution and enforce the laws of the United States. He is not a one-person Supreme Court. The idea that we now have the rule of Obama instead of the rule of law should frighten everybody.”

A Gingrich spokesperson reportedly clarified after the interview that the former House speaker doesn’t believe the country is currently in a constitutional crisis and said Gingrich isn’t calling for the direct impeachment of the president. His statements, according to the spokesperson, were meant to illustrate the hypocrisy of the left and the mainstream media.

Gingrich is widely speculated to be considering a run for the Republican nomination to become the next president and has said he’d announce his decision on whether he’ll pursue the office in the next two weeks.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • I love when the opponents of Marriage Equality say…”If passed who is going to pay for all the benefits like SSI survivor benefits and the tax breaks?”…answer finally WE ALL WILL! Straight people have been getting a free ride on the backs of gays for years. Generally we make more money and are better educated contributing far more money to all the rights afforded not able to access most of them. For the most part we dont have children but pay for your schools, we do not enjoy SSI survivor benefits but pay into SSI with every paycheck. If our husband or wife is in the Armed Forces and is killed in battle no widow/widower benefits. Not to mention the other plethora of benefits afforded married straight people. If you arent interested in affording homosexuals the same rights…fine…then we should not continue to pay any portions of the unfair advantages that you reap from our contributions. Fighting this is pointless…the cat is out of the bag…this ship has sailed…this bell has been rung…Marriage Equality is GOING to happen…what will be remembered…is who was on the right side of history and who was on the wrong side.

  • Oh yeah, like Gingrich has any credibility about the sanctitity of marriage. He dumped his first wife while she lay in the hospital suffering from cancer. Another Republican self righteous hypocrite.

  • Well Newt Gingrich is desparate for an issue to run on. It is sad that this much married adulterer would sink to the gutter to find one.

  • Peter, the gutter is all Newt knows. But the quick “clarification” is amusing. He is a political arsonist yet he can’t stand his ground for one news cycle. He attacks the President over DOMA yet cannot get his facts right about Obama’s position on it either in 2008 (when he called for full DOMA repeal) or now (which he said he will continue to enforce Section 3, just not defend it). He may think the facts don’t matter, and maybe they wouldn’t if more people were as hysterical on this subject. But Newt has stirred one too many mob. A friend suggested last night that Obama is goading the radical right to lure them way out on a rickety limb, and he may be right.

  • I prefer to judge people based on their views of the issues rather than their individual private lives. When I am perfect, then I’ll cast the first stone. The issue for me is not the constitutional validity of DOMA. The constitution provides a proper way to deal with that. The issue here is whether the executive branch is usurping the judiciary. I stand in disagreement with Newt when his spokesperson reports that he doesn’t believe the country is currently in a constitutional crisis. If the President’s infringement on the judiciary is not addressed and acted upon by my congressional representatives as improper, to the highest degree, then I will seek new representation through future elections.

    • perhaps you should re-read (maybe a few times so it sinks in) the part where it says that the administration will “enforce the law” just not defend it’s constitutionality.. reading comprehension is your friend.

  • Actually the President is not infringing on the judiciary. DOMA has already been declared unconstitutional in 2 federal courts. Pres. Obama is merely cutting expenses by not wasting money to pay lawyers to defend a law that is destined to lose. Just because Congress passes it does not ever mean that it passes constitutional muster. Congress has had lots of its laws overturned by the court because it tends to overstep its bounds and get WAY too full of itself. Obama is NOT the first President to have refused to defend a law on the belief that it was unconstitutional. Trust me if Gingrich or any other Republican were President then they would be refusing to defend the Affordable Health Care Act as if their life depended on it. It has just been made out to seem new, different, foreign and horrible when it is Pres. Obama objecting to a piece of socially conservative legislation (which is typically unconstitutional because it almost always discriminates against one group of people or another)

  • Well Cheryl, truth be known, and you know it too, this was Bill Clinton’s D.O.M.A. I’ve always wondered how his adulterant ass had the nerve to mention anything related marriage in ear shot of Hillary. I’m as surprised that Newt can even form the word marriage as well. Two cheats at both ends of this debate.

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