He deals in boogeymen — menacing abstractions such as “left-wing radicals,” the “secular socialist machine” and “gay and secular fascism,” all of which (or some of which) represent “as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” The purplish mixing of homosexuality and fascism is both breathtakingly wrong and breathtakingly tasteless. No one was more anti-gay than the Nazis. They killed ’em.
This core dishonesty is what separates Gingrich from the rest of the Republican presidential candidates, committed or not-quite-yet. Some of the others say things that are untrue — Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” for instance — but these untruths spill out of the mouths of ditzes. Not so with Gingrich. He is a former history professor with a doctorate, someone who knows his way around the stacks. He talks in neon, using gaudy words such as “socialism” not because they’re true but because they’re ear-catching. He employs the ugly language of demagoguery not because he is oblivious to its history but on account of it. He mimics. He was, however, brilliantly original in explaining to the Christian Broadcasting Network why he had committed adultery. It had to do with “how passionately I felt about this country” — a genuine contribution to the annals of sexual fibbery....
There is more than a little Richard Nixon in Gingrich — the same lack of place, the same keen intellect, the same petty fights and imaginary enemies, the same hallucinatory grievances, the same willingness to lie, exaggerate and smear. On a given day, Newt Gingrich could be a brilliant president. On any night, he could be a monster.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
One Nauseating Candidate
Newt Gingrich is such a nauseating candidate for the Presidency, with demagoguery and hypocrisy seeping out of his very pores. WaPo columnist Richard Cohen agrees: