Two recent stories have a connected theme:1. Which Newt is the true Newt?
First, Newt Gingrich attacked President Obama for not establishing a "no fly" zone in Libya. In fact, he said that the U.S. should step in and "get rid" of Ghaddafy.
Now that Obama has intervened in Libya, Newt says that he would not have done so.
I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces. 2. Sharia gonna getcha, if you don't watch out!
As I've noted on a few occasions, America was far less anti-Islamic on September 12, 2001 than it is today. This remarkable piece
by Sarah Posner exposes what she calls the "Shari'ah Conspiracy Theory Industry." Once again, the Newtster is in the thick of it:
During the uproar over Park51, Newt Gingrich, who last week launched a presidential exploratory committee, gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute warning of “this comprehensive political, economic, and religious movement that seeks to impose shari'ah—Islamic law—upon all aspects of global society.” Then, at last year’s Values Voters Summit, Gingrich called for a federal ban on shari'ah law, an effort that coincided with the release of his film, America At Risk: The War With No Name, produced by Citizens United. Gingrich’s current film is not only anti-Muslim, but decidedly anti-Obama who, Gingrich claims, either doesn’t grasp the enormity of the threat or is deliberately hiding it from the American public.
Here's a wrinkle that fascinates me. The anti-Islamic furor is so strong as to override Reagan's famed 11th commandment. Some Republicans have now turned on other Republicans -- specifically, on those members of the Bush faction who had established ties (even tangential ones) to the Arab world. The major attack mechanism here would be Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy, yet another one of those propaganda operations disguised as a "think tank."
For Gaffney, though, the conspiracy’s tentacles even extend to his fellow conservatives. He has claimed that CPAC has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood because the board of the American Conservative Union—CPAC’s host organization—includes Muslim Suhail Khan and because another board member, and conservative powerbroker, Grover Norquist (who is married to a Palestinian American) has advocated for Republicans to reach out to Muslim voters.
All of which leads me to the larger question: Do the righties really believe
this nonsense? Or is it pure opportunism?
In Newt's case, I think we can safely vote for "opportunism" -- his Libya switcheroo pretty much proves the point. But for people like Gaffney and Pam Geller...
God help us all, but I fear that they are sincere. Which means that they are scarier