Since retiring from Congress, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has split his time between heading a health care lobbying firm, leading a pro-drilling front group with “resources” from the oil industry, advising current GOP leaders, and providing frequent conservative commentary on Fox News and other right-wing media. Now, he is promoting his new book, To Save America, which argues repeatedly that the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress are a “secular-socialist machine” that “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.”
Gingrich has repeatedly defended this claim, telling both NBC’s Meredith Vieira and Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he truly believes that the Obama administration is an equivalent “threat” to America as brutal dictators like Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin:
VIEIRA: Can you honestly compare what’s going on with the Democrats with Nazi Germany?
GINGRICH: No it’s not a question of how evil they were. Nazi Germany was terrible, Stalin’s Russia was terrible, Mao’s China was terrible. It’s a question of finality. Had we lost either of those contests, we would have become a radically different country.
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WALLACE: So — but you compare that to the Nazis and the Communists?
GINGRICH: I compare that as a threat.
In reaching to make his case, Gingrich repeatedly tries desperately to connect the Obama administration with Nazi Germany. The index of Gingrich’s book cites Nazi references eight times, many of which are attempts to compare Obama and progressivism to totalitarianism (view a screen shot of the index below):
— pp. 48-49 Gingrich quotes David Horowitz arguing that the great atrocities of the modern era, whether from Nazis or Communists, were committed by people who believe in a “future that would save mankind.” Gingrich uses Horowitz’s quote to draw a comparison to “the current leaders of the Democratic Party.”
— pp. 295-296 argues that “the Left” is pursuing an “international strategy to take away” Second Amendment rights to own firearms. Gingrich writes that if Hitler had not disarmed “Jews and other anti-Nazi groups,” then the “Holocaust would have been virtually impossible to implement.”
— pp. 268-269 says that “Marxism, Nazism, and Fascism” each “required the use of a powerful, centralized state authority” where “those who resisted were eliminated,” “religion was enemy number one,” and “religious texts” were replaced with “nationalist propaganda in schools.” Gingrich then writes that “there are many parallels between the anti-religious governments of the twentieth century and the anti-religious elite of the United States in the twenty-first.”
While Gingrich’s book is laced with these Nazi comparisons, he also rehashes other absurdities, like a defense of Palin’s “death panel” charge and an argument that there are actually too many regulations on offshore oil exploration. Gingrich — who has repeatedly backed establishment Republican candidates like Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) and Dede Scozzafava over tea party challengers — seems to be trying to establish his credibility within the fringe base of the conservative movement by touting Nazi comparisons popularized by Glenn Beck and other hate radio personalities.
While Gingrich hopes that social and religious conservatives will forget that he left his wife, who was recovering from cancer surgery, to be with another woman, it is unlikely that Gingrich will be able to deceive tea parties with his Beck-like Nazi rhetoric.