Monday, September 13, 2010

The Source Of Gingrich's Insanity

Yesterday, I noted Newt Gingrich's racist Tourette's outburst. Today, I come across Adam Serwer's account of the source of Gingrich's insane blather. It wasn't just "an article" in Forbes. It was, in fact, the cover article, which means that Forbes has jettisoned any pretension as a serious periodical.
It may seem incredible to suggest that the anticolonial ideology of Barack Obama Sr. is espoused by his son, the President of the United States. That is what I am saying. From a very young age and through his formative years, Obama learned to see America as a force for global domination and destruction. He came to view America's military as an instrument of neocolonial occupation. He adopted his father's position that capitalism and free markets are code words for economic plunder. Obama grew to perceive the rich as an oppressive class, a kind of neocolonial power within America. In his worldview, profits are a measure of how effectively you have ripped off the rest of society, and America's power in the world is a measure of how selfishly it consumes the globe's resources and how ruthlessly it bullies and dominates the rest of the planet.

For Obama, the solutions are simple. He must work to wring the neocolonialism out of America and the West. And here is where our anticolonial understanding of Obama really takes off, because it provides a vital key to explaining not only his major policy actions but also the little details that no other theory can adequately account for.

Serwer dismisses this nonsense succinctly:
[T]here's no need to parse the ethnic origins or political philosophies of Obama's parents to understand the ideology of Barack Obama. He is a center-left Democrat who supports mainstream Democratic policies. But some conservatives don't want to talk about policy. They are unable to engage an argument with liberalism on substantive terms, they know only argument by epithet. They want to talk about the fact that our blackety black president is blackety black. It has been two years since a black man was elected president of the United States, and for a group of conservatives clinging to their cultural superiority, this was a moment of apocalyptic existential crisis, a moment that refuted all they had come to know and understand about themselves, about black people, and about this country.

I am not suggesting that every person opposed to the President is racist. I am saying that there is enough of this kind of thing floating around on the right to be safely counted as a major source of conservative rage and opposition. Those on the right who refuse to acknowledge it, and call it what it is, well, isn't that telling us an awful lot about them?

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