03 February 2011

Newt Gingrich is an idiot

Once the smartest man inside the Beltway, the former Speaker's stunning descent into the deep end of Palinesque egghead populism continues.

Today, when asked his opinion of the Obama administration's response to the upheaval in Egypt, Gingrich said "I don't think they have a clue. It's very frightening to watch this administration."

I can't imagine a place on the internet more bitingly critical of President Obama's domestic policy and his assaults on civil liberties than this site. But to say that he's operated in a "frightening" manner is just plain demagoguery.

To this point, the administration has carefully avoided both extremes -- calling for Mubarak's immediate ouster (which would raise the ire of King Abdullah of Jordan and the Saudi royal family -- both enormously important American allies, and create a huge power vacuum that, as Gingrich and many others on the Right have noted, might be filled at least in part by the Muslim Brotherhood) and standing with Mubarak due to his relative passivity toward Israel (which would throw the Arab street into an anti-American uproar). Obama has done plenty wrong thus far in his presidency, but he has thus far managed a delicate balance between expressing support for both the protesters publicly, and a besieged American ally privately.

As Daniel Larison correctly noted, Egypt is a sovereign nation of more than 80 million people. Exactly how much do administration critics think Obama can accomplish by meddling in its affairs?

If Gingrich is going to criticize Obama's conduct, then he has to tell us what he would do instead.

He can't. That's the problem. Since he reemerged on the political scene a few years ago, Gingrich has done little other than critique and demagogue. Does he have the capacity to do anything else?

As if cheating on his second wife while railroading President Clinton through impeachment proceedings and calling a sitting president a "Kenyan anti-colonialist" weren't enough, Newt Gingrich has given voters yet another reason to ignore his laughable case for the presidency.

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