Gingrich: Obama doesn’t understand America

posted at 6:00 pm on July 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Newt Gingrich makes a similar argument to Charles Krauthammer’s in yesterday’s Washington Post, which is that Barack Obama really doesn’t get America. That’s not to argue over origins, because as Gingrich also points out, a cadre of American elitists fall into the same trap. While the majority of the country opposes the federal lawsuit against Arizona, the ivory-tower academics are really the only group enthusiastically cheering it on. It speaks to a fundamental disconnect from the American mainstream, and that spells trouble for Obama that goes far beyond this lawsuit:


An apocryphal quote had New Yorker magazine film critic Pauline Kael claim to be surprised by Richard Nixon’s landslide re-election, saying that no one she knew voted for him. That quote gets pulled out on occasion to demonstrate the cluelessness of media and academic elites about the nature of the American mainstream. The actual quote was somewhat more damning:

“I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

In other words, it’s not an accidental cluelessness, but deliberate snobbery.  That seems to be the case for this administration as well.  The lawsuit against Arizona appears to be an attempt to lecture the American mainstream about how Obama and his circle demand us to think, not an attempt to right some egregious wrong.  If that were the case, then Obama would have filed suit against Rhode Island last year for doing the same thing, and would have ended the BIET program that encourages state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law and refer violators to ICE.

Barack Obama seems to have a bad case of Kael Syndrome, in one sense or the other, and the American mainstream has begun to discover it.

Update: Kael wrote for the New Yorker, not the New York Times. Thanks to Kevin S for the heads-up.


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Well, neither do you Newt.

hawkdriver on July 11, 2010 at 10:28 AM

When I see Newt bloviating, he reminds me of the Andy Griffith episode where Goober goes off hunting for a week and grows a beard. Goober comes back thinking that his opinions carry great import because his beard makes him look like an intellectual.

Newt is part of the problem, not the solution. He still carries the stain of Dede Scozzawhatever.

NoNails on July 11, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Gingrich needs to go away. He wants to build a Dede Republican majority.

PrezHussein on July 11, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Kael Syndrome.

Heh, I first read that as Kal-El Syndrome.

stefanite on July 11, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Zero understands America. Problem is, he hates it about as much as Bin Laden.

The same for most of his freak show cabinet, Supreme Court and czar selections. Worse still is sleazy Eric Holder who has a definite problem with anything lawful and anything whitey. Holder was trained in perdition by Janet Reno; the only Attorney General to get away with a massacre.

viking01 on July 11, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Well, Obama “gets” a small part of America. He just doesn’t understand that all the rest of America isn’t like the part of South Chicago that he “gets”.

crosspatch on July 11, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Gingrich is the Jekyll and Hyde genius of the Conservative movement. One moment his experience and refined perspective is enlightening and based in a wisdom that comes from years as history’s student, the next he is a Washington insider slipping into the worst kind of political establishment mentality.

His sell outs with Dede and global warming ads leaves one to wonder whether principled conservatism or beltway love is his biggest priority.

Newt truly is the thinker that the media wishes and tries to portray Obama as, though….

The only reason Id enjoy seeing Newt as the 2012 Republican Nominee is the complete BEATING he would put on Obama in the debates. I dont know if there is another Republican out there with the knowledge base and ability to use it as Gingrich. Unfortunately, sometimes i think he out thinks himself.

The country could do so much worse than listening to Newt Gingrich, though, people.

alecj on July 11, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Both Barack and his fugly wife told us what they were going to do. Who listened? Why should he care what the majority of the country wants? If you want to get pissed at someone, get pissed at Congress. They pass the laws and hold the purse strings. Obama just signs them and takes the credit.
I guess it’s easier to direct your ire at one POS instead of a healthy chunk of 535 of them.

Extrafishy on July 11, 2010 at 1:49 PM

For all his hugely regrettable mental holidays associating with the likes of Pelosi, Sharpton & Scozzafava — when Newt is right, I appreciate him a lot.

His primary strength is a well-considered, historically-based sense of America’s special place in the world as the world’s greatest true republic.

His conservative remarks in support of the republican (small r) approach to government are often insightful and cogent.

He is regrettably far too prone to his join-Pelosi-on-the-couch-type gaffes for my taste.

Frankly, such moves just baffle me about him, and for someone who is so often insightful, he can be such a stooge.

But he’s absolutely right in this case, and Newt sure does “get it” a whole hell of a lot more than the Pretender in the Oval Office does.

Edouard on July 11, 2010 at 1:56 PM

“Your college degree notwithstanding I think you are making stuff up in your fantasy for something bad to happen to the President.
You are a “reporter” yet report on feelings and not facts. Sorry but your post seems a little too gleeful at the thought of some violent act befalling the president.
You do realize that if you hear threats, as a responsible citizen you should report them?
I live a few hours north of you and don’t “feel” any of the atmosphere as you described it.
As far as Mexicans it is pretty much the Black and White demographics that make up most of the population in the northwest corner of the state and certainly in New Orleans which has a 95% combo of the two. Where are these waves of Mexicans and how do you know they are indeed Mexican? Do they tell you as they run by?

Bradky on July 11, 2010 at 5:58 AM”

——

I highly resent your ignorant and libelous post. Ignorant from start to finish. The very reason I took care to post three times in succession was to try to break down what I was saying in no uncertain terms so that incompetent readers like you would not have the exact knee-jerk response that you did.

First – screw you and the horse you rode in upon for saying that I have a “gleeful” “fantasy” about something bad happening to Obama. That’s accusing me of advocating something that I never advocated. You better think twice about before you print that about another poster. So screw you to the max on point one.

Second – you say by implication that I have heard threats against the president and have not reported them. You are basically accusing me of conspiracy. Read the post again. I was talking about the “coffin corner” that the president has been painting his presidency into and how it has set up a very volatile situation and how the mood is very bad. If the mood isn’t bad in the northwest corner of the state, as you claim, then maybe you are not getting your balls broken by the drilling moratorium. You can have fun with your Haynesville shale deposits, while we coastal people are watching the economy start to crumble due to the arbitraruy dictates of the Obama administration. If I heard any threat against the president I would report it. So screw you to the max a second time for printing this.

Third – your own de-facto admission that you live in the Shreveport area disqualifies you from correlating the mood in Shreveport with the mood on the Gulf Coast. You basically live in South Arkansas and you know it. I wasn’t talking about South Arkansas. So your point is not germane.

Fourth – if you deny the Mexican invasion of south Louisiana – especially of New Orleans, but also Baton Rouge and Lafayette – since Katrina, then you are talking out of your hat. New Orleans has NOT had a 95% Black/White split since Katrina. That was a glib and ignorant statement on your part. I saw a statistic somewhere that 40% of new New Orleans residents are Hispanics, and that of that number, SEVENTY PERCENT are illegals.

Leave South Arkansas and go down to New Orleans and Baton Rouge and see what you see. Stay for awhile and keep your eyes open and see that that statistic doesn’t look too far off, and report back on your false and ignorant statement, trumpeted here as fact.

I would submit that your false accusations against me personally, and your fantastical and bad data on the Mexican population would make YOU the one with the non-fact-based comment.

And again, screw you for your accusations.

cane_loader on July 11, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Someone already beat me to it but I’ll repeat it. Newt you don’t understand America. Vammoose…….Skidaddle..

steelman on July 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Obama is a foreigner, therefore he cannot understand America. It’s not his fault; blame his parents.

Birtherology 2.0

Palin quite clearly gets America, and Obama, just as clearly, doesn’t.

Chris of Rights on July 11, 2010 at 9:59 AM

It must be because he’s a Muslin.

Down here on the Gulf Coast, the mood is ugly. I would wager that it probably is so in Arizona, as well.

I fear that he physically may not survive his presidency. And, if Obama does not cease performing what, by media accounts, appears to some to be an intentional Egypt-Air-990-style crashing of the American “plane,” this will be a tragic and chaotic consequence for America.

I fear we are on a razor’s edge. God help America if someone does something stupid – because the beauty of America is in its peaceful transitions of power.

I pray nightly that events will begin trending in a better direction – and, despite my prayers for peace, I do not rest easy this summer. To paraphrase the haunting refrain from 1963, “Mr. President, don’t go to New Orleans. Don’t go to Phoenix.”

Straighten up and fly right. God bless you, Mr. President. America doesn’t need more turmoil.

cane_loader on July 10, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Your post is absurd and dripping with the same putrid-elements of implied violence that you find in the ugliest corners of the Web.

You will need to lay the faux-concern a bit thicker to hide your darker thoughts behind your words.

Also, “reporter” sounds like a stretch based on your statements and style. Give me one detail that would make me believe you’re a reporter. Writing a letter to the local fish-wrapper does not count.

The Race Card on July 11, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Someone already beat me to it but I’ll repeat it. Newt you don’t understand America. Vammoose…….Skidaddle..

steelman on July 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Actually, I think Newt does get us. He’s just such smarmy, hack that it is impossible to take anything he says seriously. How many different ways can you sell out Newt?

The Race Card on July 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Neither do Gingrich and the Republicans understand America… DD

Darvin Dowdy on July 11, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Newt was on O’Reillys show last week and bill said if you one of the smartest men when comes to political things did not know how left wing Obama was before the election .Then how could the rest of us have known?Well Bill and Newt Rush ,Hannity,Levin, and a lot of us knew and were screaming has loud as we could.We want him to fail.Remember fools you called all of racists and mean spirited.

thmcbb on July 11, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Race Card-

In my opinion you’re a troll, and so I am not surprised at your snarky tone.

But to answer you civilly:

A bachelor’s in newspaper journalism and past employment at several newspapers in several functions, including as an investigative reporter at a daily.

Reporting can also be editorial reporting on an aggregate mood, bolstered by anecdotal content, both first- and third-person. This would fall under the ambit of commentary opinion. It is not hard news, but is reporting nonetheless.

Cf: National Review, Victor Davis Hanson, etc.

Not comparing myself to them in quality and output, but we are performing the same function.

Good day to you.

cane_loader on July 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM

“What Barry doesn’t understand” is a pretty broad topic.

Like pretty much everything.

Let’s narrow it down to “What Barry understands”.

Let’s see, there’s shameless self-promotion, hawking unreadable, untrue, ghost-written biographies, reading speeches written by other mediocrities and being an utterly worthless jackass 24X7.

I’m not sure, but I don’t think any of the things Barry understands is going to help him be President.

Maybe the people who voted for him should have thought about that.

NoDonkey on July 11, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Please resist the temptation to cue up “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who. Instead cue up Tomoyasu Hotei’s “Battle Without Honor or Humanity.”

J_Crater on July 11, 2010 at 5:26 PM

One November day that now seems so long ago
When I was not so smart you know
A smooth talking man came to me
And spoke of all the things he would do for the country
He would chase away all the blue
It seemed like such a dream
It seemed like he knew just what to do
I never even suspected it was all just a scheme
“Come vote for me!” he said with such a smile
“Just get high on my hope and change for a while”
But now I understand
Now I understand
He’s nothing put a golfing destructo man.

Cheshire Cat on July 11, 2010 at 7:34 PM

Gingrich: Obama doesn’t understand America.

Well, Kenya beat that?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on July 11, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Reason #1 why Reps do poorly in CA.

Newt is primary speaker to LA County Republicans this week. Sigh. On the bright side; at least we have a speaker.

Caststeel on July 11, 2010 at 8:54 PM

cane_loader on July 11, 2010 at 2:12 PM

As much as I despise the President, on an ideological level, I pray that what you describe does not come to pass.

He is a role model for black families.

He married a woman he (apparently) loves and has stayed true to her and his children unlike an unfortunately large number of his male black peers. As someone else noted he appears to be a warm and loving father.

Just not the kind of politician that I’d agree with.

SgtSVJones on July 11, 2010 at 10:17 PM

Gingrich needs to go away. He wants to build a Dede Republican majority.

PrezHussein on July 11, 2010 at 12:45 PM

OK, people. Let’s take it to its most basic.
If by some strange confluence of events Gingrish is the Republican candidate for Prez in 2012 versus Obama, WHO are you voting for?

(Particularly if it means walking away and not voting until 2016 means the death of the USA as we all knew and loved it.)

Shirotayama on July 11, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Well, neither do you Newt.

hawkdriver on July 11, 2010 at 10:28 AM

That was my first thought.

MadisonConservative on July 12, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Ed — you are so right it drills to the bone. Keep ‘em coming.

November 2 we check this Obama regime. 2012 check mate.

shades_of_gasden on July 12, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Newt, incredibly intelligent, but clueless.
None of these elites understand middle America, which is why people keep going back to Sarah Palin…

right2bright on July 12, 2010 at 9:08 AM

Go away Newt.
You are telling us things we already know.
Those that don’t know don’t listen to anything you say anyway.
I respect your talents, but you lost me when you were dicking around on your wife & supported AGW.
You are dead to me.

Badger40 on July 12, 2010 at 9:30 AM

In my opinion you’re a troll, and so I am not surprised at your snarky tone.

As long as snarky does not mean faking concern about a sitting POTUS dying I’m okay with that. You can call me names but you are here on record pushing that softball-extremism.

As for adult males calling each other “trolls,” I’ll pass. Do you play with Barbies too?

But to answer you civilly:

You do civil well. You should work at the Post Office.

A bachelor’s in newspaper journalism and past employment at several newspapers in several functions, including as an investigative reporter at a daily.

Reporting can also be editorial reporting on an aggregate mood, bolstered by anecdotal content, both first- and third-person. This would fall under the ambit of commentary opinion. It is not hard news, but is reporting nonetheless.

As a journalist you have my empathy and condolences . Big press is tanking for many local and metro markets. The Web is fun…if you’re making money. Don’t get me wrong, there are great opportunities for writers, talkers and other opinion-hustlers in the quasi fact-driven Webosphere. But all this opinion-letting has not been good for journalism. It has not had the effect any good capitalist would hope for — to drive mainstream and blog entities to produce better reporting.

That has not happened. Stereotypically-speaking, bloggers have not learned crap about journalistic-ethics, writing, copy-editing, interviewing, etc. Conversely, big-newsers still can’t seem to handle giving credit to blog-scoops or user-driven interactivity/feedback. Bloggers have that part down cold, typically.

So on and so forth. Like I said, my condolences.

The Race Card on July 12, 2010 at 10:15 AM

When you dangle your modifiers…

As a journalist you have my empathy and condolences .

you should not criticize others for their lack of copy-editing skills.

Stereotypically-speaking, bloggers have not learned crap about journalistic-ethics, writing, copy-editing, interviewing, etc.

Disturb the Universe on July 12, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Obama doesn’t understand sh1t from shinola. If he did, he might figure out why he’s always surrounded by flies.

Daggett on July 12, 2010 at 10:53 AM

The lawsuit against Arizona appears to be an attempt to lecture the American mainstream about how Obama and his circle demand us to think, not an attempt to right some egregious wrong.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/56_oppose_justice_department_challenge_of_arizona_law_61_favor_similar_law_in_their_state

Per Rasmussen, 56% of Americans are OPPOSED to the Obama lawsuit against Arizona, and 61% favor a similar law in their own state.

Obama is fighting clear majorities of the American people with this lawsuit, based on his own experience growing up in Indonesia and Hawaii. This is the Democrat way–if you can’t win elections, use an unelected judge to force your will on the “stupid” people.

Steve Z on July 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Americans do not want to understand Obama.

ploome on July 12, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Obama knows exactly what he is doing.

ploome on July 12, 2010 at 3:44 PM

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/naacp-tea-party-civil-rights-group-considers-resolution/story?id=11144640

The rhetoric coming out of the WH regarding the TP movement is heading down a very dangerous path. With the black panthers calling for the death of white people and their babies; with no leaders of the black community stepping forward to condemn such behavior; with Michelle Obama declaring the Tea Party movement as racist thugs; with black Americans across the country stating that the Tea Partiers are going to “get theirs…..

We have a rumble in the makings, and nobody seems to want to address this.

Keemo on July 12, 2010 at 6:00 PM

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