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Monday 13 September 2010

Newt Suffers Heatstroke

No, this isn’t about former London mayor Ken Livingstone and his supposedly favourite pets, but the wayward musings of an ostensibly mainstream politician in the USA. Newt Gingrich, who is thought to be ready to make a pitch for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination, has been talking to the National Review Online. And he’s not making sense.

Gingrich, an ultimately polarising politician, has taken to nay-saying the Obama presidency whenever and wherever he gets the opportunity. The NRO piece therefore contains plenty of routine abuse – he asserts that the Prez is out of touch, dishonest, and an opportunist – but goes further, when he suggests that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview”.

Anti-colonial? Just what was it that brought the USA into being? So is he praising Obama? Well, no he isn’t, not if he’s pitching the term “Kenyan”. There’s only one reason to go down that particular road, and that is to enter the wacky world of birtherism. Obama’s father was Kenyan, and the birther movement holds that the Prez was born there, not in the USA.

Unfortunately for the birthers, no credible story has been put together to show how the Obamas managed to get their son into the USA and secure a birth certificate for him, nor why they would want to do so, given that the only job that Kenyan birth would disqualify him for would be the Presidency. Perhaps there is a time machine in there somewhere.

Apart from appealing to that part of the GOP which believes the birther argument, there is little reason for Gingrich to move onto this ground. Perhaps he is trying to position himself even further to the right than Sarah Palin. Perhaps he has thought this one through. But I suspect he’s fallen before the race even starts.

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