By Matt Welch
Does Newt Gingrich speak for either Republicans or tea partiers? If the former, I hope the wilderness gets even colder. If the latter, it's a matter of time before the currently popular governance-less anti-big-government movement fractures along some of the same idiot lines that helped shrink and divide the GOP coalition in the first place. Here's Newt on Fox News talking about the divided loyalties of the Obama administration:
"I believe what you have is a group of people centered in the Justice Department and the Attorney General, whose law firms all gave pro bono support to terrorism," the former House Speaker told Fox News host Bill O'Reilly Monday. "They start every day with a presumption that the rights of terrorists are more important than the lives of Americans."
An incredulous O'Reilly replied that Gingrich's statement was "impossible to believe" and asked, "Why would any rational person want to extend protections to a terrorist than their own family?"
"You interjected the word 'rational,'" Gingrich responded.
Most likely, Newt Gingrich speaks just for Newt Gingrich. But one reason why the anti-big-government tent has been growing recently after years of heavy shrinkage is that the ascent of an even bigger-government party in Washington, coupled with a basic loss of GOP power/responsibility, has allowed the putative Leave Us Alone Coalition the luxury of not arguing over sharply divergent views on foreign policy and militarism. But there's nothing like a little national security freakout to get the Zell Miller choir singing again. And that's a group I never want near the levers of power again.
By Matt Welch