The Republican hopefuls for 2012 are just digging themselves deeper and deeper lately, aren't they? What with Donald Trump being, well, Trump. And Michele Bachmann being, well, you know, nuts. This week, it's Newt Gingrich opening mouth and inserting foot, and being a generous sort, he's taking Bachmann for the ride. Oh goodie, this ought to be fun!
See, the one-time speaker of the house will be speaking in front of a bunch of folks "proud to be members of a hate group." Gingrich issued an invitation to "join me and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in rediscovering God and the vital role of faith and family in our American freedoms" at the Minnesota Family Council’s annual “Reconnecting Faith, Family, and Freedom” fundraiser. Seems Newt never learns. Not over a series of years, not over a series of weeks.
Take the words "faith and family" in light of his own extramarital affair during the Clinton administration that outed Newt as a complete hypocrite in his indictment of the former president. Now ignore them. That's just the tip of the iceberg really.
Because that was years ago. Enough time so that he's hoping America has forgotten about his indiscretions. With the way the tabloid covers change, he might be right. But hopefully Americans can still remember back to, oh, a week ago? When Gingrich was faced with the news that people actually NOTICED he had provided $125,000 to the American Family Association Action (AFA), an anti-gay activist organization? Gingrich was reminded publicly by Think Progress that the Southern Poverty Law Center has officially marked the AFA as a "hate group" that's tried to blame Adolph Hitler's atrocities on homosexuality and has launched a campaign to keep Muslims from serving in the U.S. military. Naturally, the AFA hates the promiscuous too ... but they'll take Gingrich's money.
Gingrich's simple response was that he just didn't feel like believing they're a hate group. At least not right now, while he's running for president. Der!:
You’ve just made a whole series of assertions that I’m not going to automatically accept your description of an organization that has a million and five hundred thousand members or more .... The only thing I’ve done, which I was perfectly happy to defend, is I did help raise resources for a campaign to defeat three judges in Iowa.
He even went so far as to say he's "not in favor of criminalizing homosexuality." Sounds good; just blame it all on some crossed signals, and we'll call it a day. Except how are you going to back out of this week's announcement?
See, Barbara Anderson, founder of the Minnesota Family Council, flat out admitted her group is seething with hate late last year in a radio interview with Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (yup, another hate group!), stating, "It’s becoming perhaps a badge of honor to be called a hate group." This is the same interview where Anderson noted, "I think the greatest threat to our freedom and to the health and well-being of our children is from this radical homosexual agenda which is just so pervasive.”
That's hard to get out of, isn't it? It IS a hate group. AND it hates homosexuality. Geez. Can we really call it mixed signals when this is the way the founder describes it? Looks like Newt is in the mix this time!
I'd say it's time for Gingrich to make up his mind -- does he want to be a hate-spewing 'merican or a guy who just panders to the hatemongers to get their vote, then tries to play the other side? -- but it's more fun letting him dig himself a trench.
Do you see Gingrich getting any smarter?
Image via Getty Images/Brendan Hoffman/Stringer