Newt Gingrich, who gave us the “Contract With America,” which America was not asked to sign (hard to find a room in which we all could fit), now gives us the label, “secular-socialist” to describe President Obama’s administration:
And as the video shows, he pretends to regard the threat of a secular-socialist machine as great as that of Nazism and Stalinism. Bored, Chris Wallace can’t quite bring himself to sell the scene in which he pretends to be shocked, shocked that Gingrich would make such an outrageous comparison.
In addition to label-flashing, Newt digs into his old bag of rhetorical tricks: he breathlessly lists four widely dispersed, unrelated examples [two are from states house, one from a judge Obama didn’t appoint] to create the effect of mounting evidence of an attack on God. Having linked Obama with Godless socialism, he then says Obama runs the country like a Chicago machine. I suppose he hopes we won’t notice that Chicago, “city of big shoulders” (Sandburg), is a fiercely capitalistic city. Why, Obama is as socialistic as the Daleys!
It shouldn’t astonish me, but it does astonish me that Gingrich has been running the religion scam for so long. He’s about as religious as Al Capone (to stay with the Chicago trope), is really a bit of a portly rake, right out of Hogarth. But the thuggish side of the GOP has, for at least two decades, been able to align itself with the Christian Right Wing, which doesn’t seem to mind aligning itself with the thuggish side (represented better by Limbaugh than by Gingrich, arguably). That is to say, what exactly is Christian about the way Gingrich and Limbaugh behave, talk, trick, and judge?
No one, however, blended both sides of the GOP as supremely as Bush II.
At the same time, President Obama is successfully practicing his own sleight of hand, sometimes portraying himself as Left of Eisenhower, when he isn’t.