Gingrich comments pander to extremists

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went too far in recent comments about President Obama telling National Review Online that the president has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview.

Gingrich, who is considering a run for the presidency in 2012, appears to be trying to grab headlines by making a series of extreme comments.

Gingrich recently compared backers of the Ground Zero mosque to Nazis and has said if Republicans take back Congress in November they should consider a government shutdown over the budget.

Gingrich’s recent remarks on Obama came in reference to an article in Forbes magazine by conservative Dinesh D’Souza, which suggests that the president shares an anti-colonial ideology with his father, a Luo tribesman from Kenya who Obama barely knew.

Gingrich’s comments are part of the storyline that is being pushed by conservatives that tries to portray Obama as someone who is outside the American mainstream.

It is a storyline that also seeks to appeal to those who believe that Obama was not born in the United States.

The irony is that Obama is a mainstream politician whose presidential candidacy was backed by not only a large part of the Democratic Party establishment but also supported by Wall Street, corporate CEOs, independents and even some moderate Republicans.

Since becoming president Obama has advanced a moderate domestic and foreign policy agenda.

Obama is no radical. If he were, he would not have been elected president—which an astute politician like Gingrich very well knows.

The former House speaker is simply pandering to fear and ignorance.

Gingrich’s rhetoric is so extreme it even makes some conservatives uncomfortable.

“It’s (Gingrich’s) mission now to present himself as the most ferocious right-winger in the race,” said conservative commentator and former speechwriter David Frum. “Here is a racial animus, unconcealed and unapologetic, and it is seized by savvy editors and an ambitious politician as just the material to please a conservative audience,” said Frum in reference to Gingrich and the D’Souza article. “That’s an insult to every conservative in America.”

Frum is partly right.

Gingrich’s remarks are not only an insult to every conservative in America but are also an insult to the intelligence of all Americans.

(Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune.)

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