Friday, September 17, 2010
This is how news gets made. Conservative writer Dinesh D'Souza writes a piece for Forbes pimping his new book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." During a National Review interview, former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich gushes over the piece and calls it "the most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama" as it reveals the "Kenyan anti-colonial" thinking that motivates Obama.
The left-wing Media Matters group pounces on Gingrich and releases an overblown list ostensibly detailing Gingrich's "history of making bigoted and offensive statements." Pundits follow. Maureen Dowd opines, "(T)he smear artists are claiming not only that the president is a socialist but that he suffers from a socialism gene."
The problem with this whole process: Like the Newter himself, it takes Gingrich and his pronouncements way too seriously. Gingrich always did talk like a blurb writer: Every subject he touches warrants hyperbole, and he has no attention span. It's wrong to respond to anything Gingrich says as if he thought about it.
This year, Gingrich is playing to the tea party crowd. He and his wife are about to release a new movie, "America at Risk" on national security threats. As a tea party courtier, he rails against carbon taxes. His political action committee has raised $250,000 from an Oklahoma natural gas and oil producer, and $100,000 from Arch Coal of St. Louis, Politco.com reported.
Two years ago, however, the Newter was seated on a loveseat next to Speaker Nancy Pelosi starring in TV ads for Al Gore's global warming campaign. Quoth Gingrich, "We do agree, our country must take action against climate change." And: "If enough of us demand action from our leaders, we can spark the innovation we need."
Consider Gingrich to be the right's Jerry Brown. Like the former and would-be next California governor, Gingrich talks big, but has no loyalty to his ideas. He was for tax cuts before he was against them. He supported a $35,000 congressional pay raise and leaner government.
Like Brown, Gingrich's real skill has been in seeing a trend early and jumping on it, unencumbered by any past positions.
Then armed with a trendy vocabulary, Gingrich blusters on. During the National Review interview, he asserted Obama is "authentically dishonest." Authentically dishonest? If anyone should know what that means, it's probably Gingrich.
America is at risk, he warns. Of course, the last time Gingrich set out to save America, he ended up burning his career. He taught a college course called "Renewing American Civilization." That would not have been a problem except that this modern-day John Adams felt the need to raise $300,000 and $450,000 to bankroll his discourses on American "core values." That's a long pricey schlep from the log cabin.
Later, he was forced to admit that he had given "inaccurate and misleading" information to the House Ethics Committee -- resulting in a $300,000 fine. Presumably Gingrich was "authentically" inaccurate and misleading.
In his new movie, Gingrich has a new co-host -- not Pelosi this time, but wife Callista whom Gingrich was dating while married to the airbrushed-out wife No. 2. Gingrich always has gotten by on the forgetfulness of strangers.
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See Other Commentary by Debra J. Saunders.
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