It doesn’t get much slimier than this: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, the GOP’s resident senior statesman, told the National Review Online late Saturday that President Obama’s actions might be “beyond our comprehension” — unless “you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”
To be fair, Gingrich phrased it as a hypothetical — “what if” Obama is incomprehensible except as a Kenyan radical. But he went on to state affirmatively that this is “the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” He also said that Obama’s 2008 presidential victory was the result of a “wonderful con” job convincing Americans that he was like them — that is, a regular American and not a stealth African revolutionary.
Gingrich was speaking in praise of a bizarre, breathtakingly dishonest thesis laid out by Dinesh D’Souza in the September issue of Forbes. D’Souza goes into elaborate detail about Obama’s supposedly inheriting the anti-colonialist worldview of his father, a drunken, polygamist, wife-beating African “tribesman” (never mind the fact that Obama met his father once and was raised mostly by his Kansas-bred grandparents). The diagnosis is based largely on an article Obama senior wrote in 1965 (which, D’Souza notes ominously, the younger Obama “remarkably” has “never mentioned”), coupled with some ludicrous caricatures of Obama’s policies, finely seasoned with ominous quotes from Frantz Fanon and Edward Said.
Thus, for example:
Item: Obama Senior’s writings explain why the president from his early years “learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction.”
Item: Obama’s drunken tribesman roots also explain why he secretly admires the Lockerbie bomber (which we know because a British newspaper reported on a memo from Washington to London grudgingly accepting the bomber’s release from prison on condition that he remain in Scotland, which he didn’t).
Item: Perhaps most outrageous of all, the Mumbai-born D’Souza writes that Obama “spent his formative years — the first 17 years of his life — off the American mainland, in Hawaii, Indonesia and Pakistan, with multiple subsequent journeys to Africa.” Never mind that 13 of those 17 “off the American mainland” years were spent in the state of Hawaii — deep in the dark heart of that terrifying jungle called Honolulu. Oh, heaven spare us from that 50th state. (And where did you say you grew up, Dinesh? Topeka?)
Are we having fun yet? There’s lots more, but my keyboard is starting to feel slimy. So let’s move on.
Back to Gingrich (we were talking about him, weren’t we?). He gushes in response that D’Souza’s screed is the “most profound insight I have read in the last six years” about Obama. (Ellipses that follow are NRO’s, not mine.)
“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” “This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,” Gingrich tells us.
“I think Obama gets up every morning with a worldview that is fundamentally wrong about reality,” Gingrich says. “If you look at the continuous denial of reality, there has got to be a point where someone stands up and says that this is just factually insane.”
You’re half-right, Newtsie. There’s a factually insane denial of reality going on, but it’s not in the White House.
Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).