QUOTE OF THE DAY…. Over the weekend, disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told National Review that the best way to fully appreciate President Obama’s decisions is to “understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”
David Frum explains that what Gingrich wants Americans to believe is, “[A]t his deepest personal level, what Barack Obama really wants to do is strip white property owners of everything they possess.” Frum added:
When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral.
I wish I’d come up with that one.
In any case, it’s interesting to see a few Republicans starting to distance themselves from Gingrich’s rhetoric today. Andy Card this morning described himself as “disappointed” with Newt’s crazy remarks, while Joe Scarborough asked incredulously of Gingrich, “What is he doing?”
It’s hard to know when racially-charged rhetoric from high-profile Republicans will become problematic — alas, it’s not as uncommon as it should be — but it’s at least mildly encouraging to see Gingrich catch some flak for his latest lunacy. Ideally, it’d be a lot more intense, but we engage in political discourse that we have, not the discourse we might want or wish to have at a later time.
There are two other angles to keep an eye on. The first is that Gingrich’s ugly language almost certainly won’t affect his standing as a media darling. The man who was driven from power by his own party, and who hasn’t held office at any level in more than a decade, is still treated as credible by major media outlets. I’m guessing his deranged, racist attitudes towards the president will have no bearing on this whatsoever.
The second is that the Democratic base, listless and uninspired, often responds in the face of Republican hatred. I can imagine the DNC, for example, going with this message to rank-and-file Dems: “Newt Gingrich thinks Obama is engaged in ‘Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.’ Newt Gingrich is going to vote on November 2. Newt Gingrich hopes you don’t.”