“In America, religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite trying to create a secularized America, in which God is driven out of public life.”
Never imagine that any kind of scurrilous, scumbag, divisive politics is beneath a Republican. Newt Gingrich has found Jesus. Just in time for 2012. Do even fellow Republicans buy this? Does anyone in the Republican Party ever acknowledge that the movement itself would be better off if it sounded a little less cynical and opportunistic?
Is there anything more that anyone needs to know about Newt Gingrich than that he is willing to stand in front of a crowd of Republicans and make the statement he made above, (at a gathering of the Ohio Right to Life) February 28, 2011?
Nobody can seriously believe that Newt actually believes this. If he does, America is far worse off than even I imagined. But it does magnify something that has become more apparent since 9/11: he doesn’t even care if you believe he believes it or not. It doesn’t matter.
How does one avoid being rude when observing what should be obvious but obviously isn’t? That New Gingrich, ready to make another run at the presidency, studied the polls and decided that Americans– actually, Republicans who vote in the primaries– want a leader with genuine religious convictions so, all right, we can do that. Here’s how: you say “In America, religious belief is being challenged by a cultural elite trying to create a secularized America, in which God is driven out of public life.” You say this in front of “Ohio Right to Life”. Just drink in the applause. Ahhhh. Feels good. It’s so easy. And the money keeps rolling in. And James Dobson is already behind you, on his knees, lips puckered.
It’s like “fiscal responsibility” and “no new taxes” and “strong military” and anything with “America” in the title, on a book– not that anyone will actually read it. They just need to know that you, like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee and everyone else out there on the right, has not only read at least one book in your life but has also written one. Something like “Fighting for America”. Or “Finding the Real America”. Or, “America– the America of Americas”. Or “God and America”. Or “How Immigration is Ruining America” by Nancy McDougal and Sid Hofstetter.
Not that you could actually have ever been bothered to actually write the book. Gosh, that’s not time well-spent for God’s appointed leaders– that’s hack work, for what’s-his-name– the elite intellectual snob we hired just for this kind of work.
But conservatives don’t give a flying leap about whether you actually wrote a book you “authored”. That’s for those effeminate, liberal, snobbish eastern elites. People like Al Gore and Barack Obama. No, by God, a real leader just puts his name on it. Nor do they seem to give a damn about the rankest hypocrisy imaginable (see sidebar).
I suppose people should be reassured that Gingrich has discovered, thrillingly, if belatedly, that 2+2=4. We all look forward to the next miracle: how he will balance the budget, cut taxes for the rich, and increase military spending, without cutting any programs.
Aside from all that, isn’t Gingrich more or less openly saying that America should become a Christian Theocracy? If not, then what is he saying?
It’s really the Christians who have fallen down on this. Where are the church leaders who have any real religion? They would be standing up now, declaring that Christianity should not be exploited and tricked out in this way, and that politicians like Gingrich do more harm than good to real spirituality.
A lot of harm
Do Republicans ever hold any of themselves accountable for anything:
He [Newt Gingrich] also acknowledged having an extramarital affair with Callista Bisek, then a House staff member, while leading impeachment proceedings against Mr. Clinton for lying about his own sexual transgressions. NY Times, 2011-02-28
I don’t think they do hold themselves accountable. I think they believe they are special, touched by god, with wisdom so sublime and transcendent that mortal men cannot even begin to apprehend the audaciousness of their wisdom.
When you think you are so right that those who disagree with you are not mere political opponents but enemies of the state– nay, enemies of God!– foreigners, and subversives, consistency is truly the hobgoblin of little minds.