Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Newt Gingrich: The Crap Historian and His Friends

Not a historian of crap, I can respect them. But Newt Gingrich, who claims to be a man of knowledge and thought, has proven himself just that a crap historian. I won't comment on his alternate history fiction, as I have never read it. But in dealing with politics he seems to deal with yet another alternate reality. He should leave it in the fiction isle.

But he does not, he peddles it at podiums, on TV, and in the papers. He is so quickly to throw out comparisons to Nazis. Beck does to, but he is an acknowledged twit. Gingrich likes to play as the better man of conservatism.

Gingrich: “The Secular Socialist Machine Represents As Great A Threat To America As Nazi Germany”

Wallace: You also write this on the screen: “The secular socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” Mr. Speaker, respectfully, isn’t that wildly over the top?
Gingrich: No, not if by America you mean….Just listen to President Obama’s language. He gets to decide who earns how much. He gets to decide when it’s too much.

This is all just crap. Obama decides how much you or I make? Bull. Maybe he's worried about the bonuses of those poor BP execs. Maybe he is scared for the owner of the Massey mines, and his estate. Maybe he is worried about having to pay his own taxes. Pathetic playing up of fears.

And secular socialist? The two chimes of our modern conservatives. Evil secularist, not good Christians. Socialist, not true Capitalist Conservatives. Oh, those banes on us all.

Really, Newt? This is what you peddle. What a sad weasel he is.

PZ Myers has some good thoughts on this lot. Read the quote he has from Sinclair Lewis. It is amazing how apt it is in comparison to today.

The book can be summarized in this misattributed quote (Lewis didn't actually say it, but it is a perfect description of our situation):

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.
Look at America today, and we're seeing this phenomenon in progress: think tanks, ideologues, and religious fanatics are insistent that we are a Christian nation — when we are most afraid of external threats, what do they do? Entangle the country deeper in the web of the sacred. ...

A wrapped in the flag, with a cross over the shoulder? That is Newt, that is Beck, that is O'Reilly, that is Hannity, and so many others. They cry out for their Christianity, their Christian nation, and their Christian god.
They do harp on and demand special respect for it all...for the sake of all Americans. And when the other is acknowledged, or when faith is not heralded is just the right manner, it is a true state offenses. Ridiculous. And also not new.

Also I like that Myers notes the history that goes along with this religious fervor. Like with the National Day of Prayer, God on money, etc. It is of interest to me as so often I see the pious seek to talk about the various presidential proclamations or Congressional declarations requesting prayers goings back through the centuries. And it is true, these request have been made. But the National Day of Prayers, and other pushes to acknowledge Christianity have come from the likes of the Cold War terror and paranoia, not the wishes of the Founding Fathers, despite some wishes that it were otherwise. These choices made in government during the middle of the 20th century were wrong, made in error and out of fear. Lines were crossed. And for some pious it is a fear they hold as they lay down for the night...the lines may be recrossed...and the country may truly be a secular one, that won't put there interest over that of the whole.

No comments: