In March 2011, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) reflected on his fears about the nation’s future. Speaking at a church in Texas, Gingrich imagined a future United States in which his grandchildren “will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists.”
The Republican did not try to reconcile the hilarious contradiction. In fact, Gingrich ignored it altogether: he simply expected his far-right audience to believe it’s possible for a secular atheist country to be dominated by radical Islamists.
This was a classic of the genre, but Republicans have occasionally pushed similarly self-defeating lines. Former President Barack Obama was an apathetic bystander, content to watch events pass him by, and a tyrannical dictator, desperately seizing power. Vice President Kamala Harris is both too far to the left and too centrist to be trusted by those on the far-left.
All of this came to mind this morning, watching former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo make his case against the Democratic Party during a Fox News interview this morning.
“I think the Democrat Party [sic], I think they have been captured on the left by a group of people who see socialism as just a step away from communism, and they see each of those two things as something that they say, ‘Well that just makes people a little more equal.'”
To be sure, this is familiar red-baiting nonsense, peddled by lazy partisans. But note the argument the Kansas Republican pushed in the next breath:
“We saw when the Wuhan Virus came around, we saw when the Chinese Communist Party foisted this virus on the world, we saw big American companies, with big financial interests in China, refuse to do the right thing and begin to disengage in a way that they needed to from the Chinese Communist Party. Those same big, el