By Luke Brinker
Throughout his presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich has made not-so-thinly veiled appeals to racists, condemning President Obama’s “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, labeling Obama a “food stamp president,” and pointedly addressing African American debate moderator Juan Williams with a condescending, “First of all, Juan …“
The days when a presidential candidate could openly disparage “the nigger race” have long since passed, which is why Gingrich has to resort to dog whistles. Likewise, increasingly tolerant attitudes toward gays and lesbians mean the public would recoil at crude homophobic language. (Although it didn’t stop Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum from winning the Iowa caucuses.) That’s why Gingrich is saying this like this:
Said Gingrich: “She lives in a San Francisco environment of very strange fantasies and very strange understandings of reality. I have no idea what’s in Nancy Pelosi’s head. If she knows something, I have a simple challenge: Spit it out.”
(Hat tip: Political Wire)
“Very strange fantasies,” huh? Whatever could Gingrich mean? The former Speaker of the House left enough room for semi-plausible deniability (“I’m only making a commentary on San Francisco’s wild-eyed liberalism!”), but Gingrich’s linkage of “very strange fantasies” and a city the public associates with libertine lifestyles and homosexuality is nothing if not sordid gay-baiting.