Like others round these parts, I’ve been reviled as a Rino squish and Romney shill for expressing a few misgivings about Newt, so credit where it’s due: One thing I like about him is that he knows so much more about so many more things that once in a while he can’t help blurting out something that no poll-tested, focus-grouped, finger-in-the-windy frontrunner would ever say in a thousand years. For example:

Senior Palestinian leaders on Saturday strongly criticized comments by Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich that the Palestinians are an “invented” people, calling the comments ignorant and racist.

I wouldn’t disagree with that – “Palestinian” as a national identity is entirely invented – and it’s heartening to have it said out loud. But the Palestinians are hopping mad:

Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the Gingrich remark was “the most racist statement I’ve ever seen…”

An executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Hanan Ashrawi, said Gingrich has “lost touch with reality.”

The statements show “ignorance and bigotry” and are “a cheap way to win (the) pro-Israel vote,” Ashrawi told Voice of Palestine radio, in comments reported by the Palestinian Authority-controlled WAFA news agency.