As ThinkProgress has noted, Newt Gingrich’s latest book, To Save America, 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 defended his assertion in recent media appearances, saying that “it’s a question of finality” and “if the secular socialist machine wins, we are going to be in a country which no longer resembles America.”
Gingrich’s comments have already elicited outrage from those outside the conservative echo chamber. On Monday, former GOP congresswoman Susan Molinari called his Nazi comparison “outrageous” and “crazy.” On Morning Joe today, former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough and his guests unleashed on Gingrich for making the “sick” and “shameful” comparison:
— “That’s sick. I hope you sell books. I hope you apologize for that shameful remark,” said Scarborough.
— “This is pure wingnuttery. It’s the worst thing about it is you know that Gingrich is extremely scholarly, highly educated historian. So it’s even more lamentable if he starts to revert to this kind of rhetoric,” said The Daily Beast’s Tina Brown.
— “The fact that the speaker has to go and defend something, which is indefensible. He himself is a historian,” said Time Magazine’s Richard Stengel.
Gingrich’s comments were also condemned yesterday by a national Jewish organization. The American Jewish Committee released a statement calling on “the Republican leadership” to “say clearly that such analogies are unacceptable.” “By invoking the current Administration in the same breath as two murderous totalitarian states, Newt Gingrich has drawn a foolish and dangerous analogy,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Gingrich’s linkage not only diminishes the horror of the Holocaust, it also licenses the use of extremist language in contemporary America.”