The real dividers

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President Obama has been criticized for rarely engaging the county on matters of race but, seeing the nasty reaction from GOP presidential candidates to his benign comments on the Trayvon Martin case, it’s easy to understand why he tends to abstain.

“Is the president suggesting if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn’t look like him?” Gingrich said Friday on Sean Hannity’s radio show. “That’s just nonsense. I mean, dividing this country up, it is a tragedy this young man was shot.”

In a separate radio interview Friday, Santorum had a similar reaction.

“What the president of the United States should do is try to bring people together, not use these types of horrible and tragic individual cases to try to drive a wedge in America,” Santorum said.

And they wonder why the GOP has trouble attracting black voters.

Manufactured outrage du jour

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Two ridiculous examples of fabricated indignation from the right:

1.)

Last night at an Obama fundraiser Robert DeNiro quipped, “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?”

Mr. Gingrich was not amused, demanding the president apologize.

“It is exactly wrong, it divides the country,” the former House speaker said. “If people on the left want to talk about radio talk show hosts, then everybody in the country ought to hold the president accountable when somebody at his event says something as utterly, totally unacceptable as Robert De Niro said last night, and I call on the president to apologize for him.”

Regrettably, the first lady’s press secretary apologized, saying the joke “was inappropriate.”

2.)

A Republican Jewish group is demanding an apology from senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod after he referred to Mitt Romney’s ad campaign in Illinois as “the Mittzkrieg.” …

“At a time when there is so much talk about the need for civility in political discourse, it is disturbing to see President Obama’s top campaign adviser casually throw Nazi imagery around in reference to a Republican candidate for president,”  the group said in a statement. “Holocaust and Nazi imagery are always inappropriate in the political arena. Axelrod should apologize for his offensive language.”

I trust the Republican Jewish Coalition has lodged similar complaints with every sports announcer who’s ever termed a pass rush a blitz.

By the way, Axelrod is Jewish.

Dispatches from the traveling circus

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GULFPORT, Miss. — Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich says a new ABC television series is evidence that the entertainment industry harbors anti-Christian bias.

Gingrich is criticizing the comedy-drama “GCB,” which has also been called “Good Christian Belles.”

But Gingrich is referring to the series by the name of the 2009 novel that inspired it, “Good Christian Bitches.”

The series began airing last Sunday. ABC’s website describes the series as a “funny, sassy and heartwarming drama.”

The former House speaker says no network would run a show with such a title if the word “Muslim” were used in place of “Christian.”

Is Newt proposing a fatwa against ABC? And could his campaign be any sillier?

The dumbing down of conservatism

Some “highlights” from the CPAC convention:

*Severe conservative Mitt Romneytron was programmed to liberally repeat the word “conservative” and did so more than two dozen times. Chasing the wind, as he’s wont to do, The Anchorman said he “will fight for an amendment to our Constitution that defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.”

Because the central tenet of conservatism is Washington knows better than the states.

*Next, flavor of the week (vanilla) Rick Santorum touted his fundamentalist bona fides.

Santorum criticized the Obama administration’s health care regulation that would require Catholic hospitals and universities to provide birth control and morning-after pills to their employees as part of their health care coverage.

“It’s not about contraception,” Santorum said. “It’s about economic liberty; it’s about freedom of speech; it’s about freedom of religion. It’s about government control of your lives and it’s got to stop.”

Freedom of speech? Isn’t it funny how some conservatives are suddenly embracing the separation of church and state in wake of the Obama contraception imbroglio.

*Then came Newt, who managed to out-hyperbole Santorum.

If Obama is reelected, “he will wage war on the Catholic Church the morning after his reelection,” warned Gingrich, a convert to the Roman Catholic faith, standing before large video screens displaying likenesses of his “dream team” of prominent supporters, including former GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Fred Thompson.

Don’t forget Chuck Norris and Todd Palin, whose wife delivered CPAC’s keynote speech.

Trump this: Newt secures coveted Gallagher endorsement

Gallagher, following lead of Rick Perry, Todd Palin and Chuck Norris, endorses Newt

Self-proclaimed comedian Gallagher announced Friday he is endorsing Newt Gingrich for president.

Gallagher said the former speaker shares his concerns about America’s cultural drift.

“Like me, he’s opposed to people naming their girl-children Sam and Toni instead of acceptable names like Evelyn and Betty: Just give her some little lesbian tendencies!” Gingrich would re-open Guantánamo Bay except this time “we’ll be allowed to torture all the way,” Gallagher said. “We had to half-torture—that’s nothin’ compared to what Saddam and his two sons OOFAY and GOOFAY did.”

Defending traditional marriage is another of Gallagher’s concerns. “Newt knows like I do there’s two types of lesbians — the ugly ones and pretty ones.” He’s also suspicious of “people like Cher’s daughter—figure that out. She wants a penis, but she has a big belly. If you can’t see your dick, you don’t get one.”

Most importantly, Newt doesn’t speak French, Gallagher said. “They ruin our language with their faggy words.”

Mitt Romney’s campaign shrugged off the Gallagher endorsement. “We’ve got Carrot Top,” said a top Romney adviser.

(quotes lifted nearly verbatim from a 2010 profile of Gallagher by The Stranger)

Never trust a sanctimonious egomaniac

Via Politico:

After nearly a week on the defensive, CNN’s John King reports tonight that Newt Gingrich’s claim about offering witnesses to ABC News in his defense — to rebut the network’s interview with his second wife, Marianne Gingrich — was not true.

“Tonight, after persistent questioning by our staff, the Gingrich campaign concedes now Speaker Gingrich was wrong — both in his debate answer, and in our interview yesterday,” King said on tonight’s edition of John King USA. “Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond says the only people the Gingrich campaign offered to ABC were his two daughters from his first marriage.”

Why is this man laughing?

Meet Pastor Rodney Harold Browne, the latest boob to endorse Newt (along with Todd Palin, Chuck Norris and Rick Perry).

Actually, “boob” is too kind a description for this con man:

When the Holy Ghost Bartender (who also refers to himself as the Holy Ghost Hitman) arrived at my seat, he began threatening to have me thrown out of the sanctuary. “I’m telling you right now,” he hissed, “you’ll drop dead if you prohibit what God is doing!” Dramatically he gestured toward the crowd and warned them that those like me, who would dare question that what he was doing was of God, had committed the unpardonable sin and would not be forgiven in this world or the next.

The following day he crowed, “The last time I had a confrontation like that…was…with a bunch of Mormons… you could see their spirit, y’know…just a really religious, pharisaical spirit, that’s what it is. Amen?…And I smelt it — y’know, I can smell them religious devils from about a hundred yards —- I could smell them blindfolded, man….You could see, last night we meant business.” He labeled his critics “idiots” and warned that they were about to experience either “riot or revival.”

Browne introduced Gingrich Monday at a rally in Tampa. Somehow, he refrained from laughing.

‘The most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson’ doesn’t understand the 1st Amendment

Professor Newt demonstrates a fundamentally profound misunderstanding of Amendment 1.

“We’re going to serve notice on future debates,” [Gingrich] told Fox. “We’re just not going to allow that to happen. That’s wrong. The media doesn’t control free speech. People ought to be allowed to applaud if they want to.”

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the media paid for those microphones and can impose whatever code of conduct they choose.

The humility of Newt

Some fundamentally profound quotations attesting to the transformational grandiosity of Newt (via the Romney oppo research team):

  • “I Am Essentially A Revolutionary.” (Adam Clymer, “House Revolutionary,” The New York Times, 8/23/92)
  • “I Have An Enormous Personal Ambition. I Want To Shift The Entire Planet. And I’m Doing It. … I Represent Real Power.” (Lois Romano, “Newt Gingrich, Maverick On The Hill,” The Washington Post, 1/3/85)
  • “I First Talked About [Saving Civilization] In August Of 1958.” (Robert Draper, “He’s Baaack!” GQ, 8/05)
  • “Because I am much like Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, I’m such an unconventional political figure that you really need to design a unique campaign that fits the way I operate and what I’m trying to do.” (Jim Acosta, “Newt Gingrich Back From The Brink,” CNN.com, 11/16/11)
  • “I am the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson.” (John Pitney, “Five Myths About Newt Gingrich,” The Washington Post, 11/22/11)
  • “I think Henry Clay’s probably the only other speaker to have been a national leader and a speaker of the House simultaneously.” (William Welch, “Gingrich: I’ll Go Down As Leader, Clinton As Tragedy,” USA Today, 8/30/99)
  • “Remember Braveheart? These people want somebody who plants a flag in the ground, gives a speech and yells ‘Charge!’ That is, someone like him.” (Susan Page, “Rising From The Pack, Gingrich Invites Scrutiny,” USA Today, 11/21/11)
  • “I am asking you to embark with me on a voyage of invention and discovery,” he said, “to be as bold and as brave as the Wright brothers.” (Jason Horowitz, “Newt Gingrich Draws Contrast With Romney,” The Washington Post, 12/1/11)

Zsa Zsa for president

The right is already making excuses for Newt. “Psychiatrist” Keith Ablow, writing for Foxnews.com, does them one better, arguing that Gingrich’s serial adultery will make him a better president.

1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.

2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.

3 ) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.

Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.

4) Two women—Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives—have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.

Conclusion: I can only hope Mr. Gingrich will be as direct and unsparing with the Congress, the American people and our allies. If this nation must now move with conviction in the direction of its heart, Newt Gingrich is obviously no stranger to that journey.

Newt’s lame mea culpa

In the Christian tradition forgiveness requires sincere confession. Here’s how Newt acknowledged his sins:

“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.