Monday, May 11, 2009

Newt Gingrich Unplugged

Via Steve and Huff Post, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused the Obama administration of “McCarthyism” on Fox News this weekend.

In an interview that was fiery even by his standards, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused the Obama administration of coddling terrorists, tarred the idea of investigating the Bush administration as modern day “McCarthyism,” and falsely charged that the Democratic-controlled Congress never tried to outlaw torture.

And then, for those who are unsure of just what McCarthyism is, Mr. Gingrich gave a very good example of it:

Sitting down with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Gingrich claimed that the former firm of Attorney General Eric Holder had represented 17 alleged terrorists on a pro-bono basis. “For no fee,” he added, for good measure. “It is the largest single thing they were doing for free, defending Yemenis.”

Firms like Holder’s Covington & Burling, of course, have represented alleged terrorist under the notion that everyone deserves a legal defense, not out of some shared ideology or political sympathies. But context and clarification weren’t Gingrich’s order of business on Sunday. There was, he claimed, a “weird pattern” of Democratic administrations “defending alleged terrorists,” as opposed to Bush officials, who “defend[ed] Americans.”

He didn’t stop there; he went on and on about putting terrorists “on welfare” and helping “abortionists to kill babies still alive.”

To his credit, he didn’t include the kidnapping of the Lindbergh child or the possibility that Mr. Obama was seen in a stroller on the grassy knoll in Dallas in November 1963, but he’s saving that for his interview with Sean Hannity.