It takes a special kind of 3-D hyperbole to curl your eyelashes and simultaneously drop your jaw. Newt Gingrich's declarations produce an Andy Kaufman type of discomfort, where I don't know if what I'm hearing is brilliant, offensive or intentionally comedic.
"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asked Americans to ponder last month. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."
Wait, so who's pro-colonial? Weren't the Founding Fathers "anti-colonial?"
Gingrich's schtick is Scorched Earth meets Straw Man. He not only incinerates the hypothetical Straw Man - he also verbally salts the soil where the Straw Man's make-believe family lives after razing their made-up home.
So, if you're imaginary - meet your worst nightmare: Newton Leroy Gingrich, former Speaker of the House, now testing the waters for a 2012 presidential bid.
In the '90s, while beating the drum of morality against President Bill Clinton for his affair, Gingrich brazenly had his own extra marital affair with a congressional staffer. And now because he's a man of principle, he's pictured next to his third wife on his new DVD, "America at Risk." No, he's not selling burglar alarms as the slogan would lead you to believe. He's warning us about people who aren't him - who aren't us - "others."
What others? The Obama Administration. Sure, Gingrich did tour with Al Sharpton last year at the request of the White House. It was surely a Machiavellian attempt by the president to ruin the Gingrich's Republican purity street cred. Their five-city tour was aimed at bridging the achievement gap for minorities on the 55th anniversary of Brown vs. The Board of Education. Well, Obama is foiled again! Because Gingrich has moved beyond that bi-partisan experiment he had in school. Now he knows who he is! He's perfect to point out the moral weakness of phantom unknowns. More than anyone else you could imagine, he's ready to take down anyone he imagines.
One has to admire the bravery it takes not to navel gaze about your own personal failings and former Sharpton associations. While I want to shrink into the fetal position for three days after making a typo on Twitter, Gingrich is out there - candid Wikipedia entries and all - among the people.
More specifically, he spoke at the Values Voters Summit last month. What pressing issue did Gingrich decide to take a hard stance against? "I am totally opposed to any effort to impose Sharia on the United States," said Gingrich to the enthusiastic crowd. "And we should have a federal law that says under no circumstance...will Sharia be used in any court to apply to any judgment made about American law. And we should make clear to Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan, who both seem confused on this topic, that no judge will remain in office who tries to use Sharia law to interpret the American Constitution."
But we have that law: the First Amendment, ratified in 1791. Done.
And yes, Gingrich called out two Jewish justices for allegedly trying to impose Islamic law in the U.S. Which is like declaring North Dakota needs to respect its border with Florida. Yes, we agree, and we are so grateful you pointed out the urgency of the issue.
To add a nice twist to this very twisted tale: Politico is reporting this week Republicans are going on record saying Gingrich sometimes goes "too far." This is shocking! In 2010 when the first black U.S. president-as-a-Nazi is so ubiquitous it's a cliché, and the word "socialism" is used as punctuation on right-wing media outlets - there's still such a thing as "too far!" Congressman Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) told Politico Gingrich "has a tendency to go one stop further than he should."
Cole clearly doesn't see the things that Gingrich sees. In fact, it's safe to say most of us don't.
Who else has the leadership and resolve to take a firm position on something that doesn't exist and no one is actually FOR? It just proves Gingrich is a visionary! Or at least having visions.