Heil Newt. First he wanted to fire Supreme Court justices that didn’t meet his political muster, now your average federal employee has to watch their back if we end up under a Gingrich presidency. Some interesting comments from Newt during Saturday’s debate in SC hosted by Mike Huckabee. (TPM):

Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich suggested at a Fox News forum hosted by Mike Huckabee in South Carolina on Saturday that it would be a good idea to fire federal employees for being too liberal. Federal law, on the other hand, says Gingrich’s plan would be illegal.

“I think an intelligent conservative wants the right federal employees delivering the right services in a highly efficient way and then wants to get rid of those folks who are in fact wasteful, or those folks who are ideologically so far to the left, or those people who want to frankly dictate to the rest of us,” Gingrich said in response to a question from a federal employee at the forum (emphasis ours).

Um…wow. So we get a taste of Dictator Newt again. It’s too bad the purportedly intelligent candidate in the GOP Clown Car forgot that this kind of strongarm political witchhunting is illegal. The Office of Special Counsel would investigate.

Generally stated, § 2302(b) provides that a federal employee who has authority over personnel decisions may not:

(1) discriminate against an employee or applicant based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicapping condition, marital status, or political affiliation;

But, given the kind of political hijinks perpetrated under Bush II, Newt probably would sleep like a baby at night while lefty Fed employees were persecuted because of their political beliefs. This kind of pandering to the ultra con vote in South Carolina is completely off the rails. Does Newt really believe this is a mainstream position?