Tim Rutten: Newt's Tea Party

Roundup: Media's Take

[Tim Rutten writes for the LA Times.]

...[Newt] Gingrich, a onetime history professor, always has had a fondness for big ideas and checklist politics, as evinced in his famous Contract with America. The overarching idea in his new book is that, "for the first time since the Civil War, we as Americans have to ask the most fundamental question possible: Who are we?" That existential dilemma, the former Georgia congressman contends, has been forced by a relentless and intricate conspiracy of "secular socialists" that includes Democrats, big business, most of the academy and nearly all of the media. "And that's why saving America is the fundamental challenge of our time," Gingrich writes. "The secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."

He argues: "In the 20th century, hundreds of millions of people were killed by the totalitarian ideologies of Marxism, Nazism and fascism" for whom "religion was enemy No. 1 and the first to go.... There are many parallels between the anti-religious governments of the 20th century and the anti-religious elite of the United States in the 21st."

That is absurd, of course, as is the notion that the Obama administration has embraced a socialist economic program, but what's significant in this kind of talk-show discourse is the evocation of every theme sounded by the tea party movement....

Read entire article at LA Times

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