ormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich says the best way to understand President Obama is as a "con" artist motivated by a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview he inherited from his father. Gingrich, a presumptive 2012 GOP presidential candidate, says he found this "stunning insight" in an article in Forbes by Dinesh D'Souza. Is Obama in fact too Kenyan, thanks to the influence of a father he barely knew, or is Gingrich flirting hard with the political fringe? (Watch an MSNBC discussion about Gingrich's comments)
What's Kenya got to do with it? Gingrich and D'Souza are proof that "Obama Derangement Syndrome" is now "as brain-devouring as Bush Derangement Syndrome was," says Tim Cavanaugh in Reason. D'Souza's thesis is just dumb — Obama is stumbling because he's a boring "New Deal leftist," not some exotic Kenyan anti-colonialist. And Gingrich's embrace of it shows why he's the "master of the politics of personal self-destruction."
"D'Souza puts Obama on couch, discovers male Elektra complex"
"Crazy Town" isn't a liability on the Right: Gingrich has clearly been pushed "to the point of sputtering, incoherent rage" by his "unbridled hatred" of Obama, says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, but he won't face "any consequences for this kind of abject stupidity" — the fact that the GOP and the "media establishment" treat Gingrich "as a sane, credible visionary" tells you everything you need to know about Washington today.
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D'Souza's unhinged, but Gingrich knows what he's doing: "Some of D'Souza's article is nativist trash" — from a guy who grew up in India, no less, says David Weigel in Slate. But Gingrich isn't giving "a wink at any conspiracy theories," like "birtherism." He's a shrewd politician who wants to make sure D'Souza's "heretofore crazy-sounding idea... gets discussed by serious people." And now it is.
"What was Newt Gingrich talking about?"
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