Posted by: The Last Liberal Gwinnettian | June 11, 2009

At the Very Least, Newt’s Good for a Laugh

Not too terribly long ago, Newt Tweeted himself into the hotseat by announcing to some 40,000 followers that Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor is a racist (read our take on that here). When even his fellow Republicans backed away from such statements, Newt reduced his Twitter activities in what I had hoped was an attempt to be less stupid.

 Nope.

 Last week, Newt switched gears from politician to preacher (although I’m quite sure he thinks those two occupations are one in the same). An excerpt from his sermon:

 The ACLU is a hateful, anti-religious system designed to drive God out of America….

We are in a period when we are surrounded by paganism. And paganism is on offense. And that’s why our first great challenge is spiritual. To reignite in people an understanding that the heart of your life is subordination to God, the heart of your life is seeking God’s will and that you — that all of us are weak and vulnerable, all of us make mistakes, but that all of us are welcomed by a loving God….

 Go ahead, take a moment to giggle at Newt’s paranoid fear of a pagan uprising (personally, I visualize sky-clad Druids chasing him through DuPont Circle).

 Apparently paganism is an offense in a country with no state backed religion and guaranteed religious freedom. Interesting. And the American Civil Liberties Union – an organization devoted entirely to defending the First Amendment rights of Americans – is really run by Satan. Also interesting.

One would hope that this speech does not represent Newt’s potential political platform, should he choose to run for president in 2012, because I have to be honest – I really don’t think America’s biggest challenge is spiritual. I highly doubt that prayer is going to help us out of a recession, reign in global warming, settle those wars going on in the Middle East, or make North Korea less of a pain in the neck. Someone really needs to tell Newt that a politician and a preacher are not the same thing. In the meantime, at least it’s mildly amusing to hear him spout such ridiculous hatred.

But that’s not all.

Newt has also decided that America is not part of the world. In his speech at the GOP fundraiser last week, Newt made this enlightening announcement:

Let me be clear. I am not a citizen of the world! I think the entire concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous.

My immediate reaction to reading this statement was, “Good, then go back to whatever planet you came from!” A co-worker’s reaction was, “Yeah, the world revoked his citizenship when he left his cancer-stricken wife.” At least I’m not the only one joking about Newt’s lovely little moments of stupidity.

I laugh, but I am still worried about these statements. Unfortunately, while I and many others find Newt good for little more than a laugh, he is apparently the second most listened to Republican in the nation at the moment. There are widespread rumors that Newt will run for president in 2012. This is a man who could potentially (though I’d say the odds are heavily against it) run one of the most influential countries in the world – a world that he apparently doesn’t belong to.

Let’s also examine the charge that believing oneself to be a citizen of the world, as President Obama does, is “intellectual nonsense.” Yes, it is highly intellectual (read: egg-headed) to recognize the fundamental facts that the United States is, in fact, on the planet Earth; that the current atmosphere of political and economic globalization requires our interaction with nations that share this world; and that a national leader must be able to survive in a community of international leaders. And, of course, it is nonsense to believe that perhaps cooperating with others might actually be a good idea.

Newt will always be good for a laugh…but too many people actually listen to what he has to say. And they aren’t laughing – they’re nodding in agreement.

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