So it’s his mission now to present himself as the most ferocious right-winger in the race. Confident (over-confident) that he can best Sarah Palin among business-minded and ideas-minded Republicans, he wants to deny her or some other Tea Party style challenger any footing to attack him as a compromise-minded moderate. Calling President Obama a Kenyan fits into that strategy.
As for the underlying D’Souza article that inspired Gingrich, what is there to be said? When last was there such a brazen outburst of race-baiting in the service of partisan politics at the national level? George Wallace took more care to sound race-neutral.
Here’s the question, though, for the rest of us: Why do Forbes (which presumably has many choices of cover material) and Gingrich imagine that such a message will resonate with their conservative audience? Nothing more offends conservatives than liberal accusations of racial animus. Yet here is racial animus, unconcealed and unapologetic, and it is seized by savvy editors and an ambitious politician as just the material to please a conservative audience. That’s an insult to every conservative in America.
Conservatives object to the Obama administration as too expensive, too regulatory, too intrusive, too beholden to Democratic special interest groups, and too apologetic about America’s role in the world. It’s a libel to claim that we object to the administration as too black or too alien. Bad enough when the libel is issued by liberals. Much worse when it is heard from our own writers, from magazines that speak to us, from political leaders who would speak for us.
Monday, September 13, 2010
David Frum is absolutely right about George Wallace. Wallace was very careful about his use of racial language. But it's a crazy time and Newt Gingrich may be more powerful: