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Smart v. Stupid

Gingrich offers a moron test to America’s Christians

Hey Christians! Newt thinks you're stupid

Unannounced presidential candidate Newt Gingrich rolled out yet another intelligence test – this time aimed at US Christians. It’s a simple test with just two, true-or-false questions:

  1. Would you believe that Newt Gingrich’s serial philandering is caused by his love of America?
  2.  Does your belief in a “forgiving God” require you to accept that Gingrich is morally qualified to be president?

If you think the answer to either of Gingrich’s questions is “Yes,” I recommend that you defer all important decisions to your spouse. If you answered yes to both, stop reading and go find yourself a legal guardian. You may not even be competent enough to pick a spouse.

Like other intelligence tests, though, the exact questions were somewhat obscured. Here’s the transcript:

There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God.” (Christian Broadcasting Network video in sidebar)

Now here’s the translation. Newt wants real Christians to believe:

  1. Noble, patriotic motives made me cheat on my wife. When I was banging an aide on my office couch or enjoying oral sex in the back of my limo, well, it was because I love America.
  2. My philandering was not the same as those godless liberals who imagine it’s OK to cheat. Mine was rooted in good, old fashioned sinning. It was religious philandering, not atheist philandering, OK?
  3. God forgives us anyway, so if I’m OK with God who are you to say otherwise?

This is not the first time that Gingrich has shown his utter disdain for the intelligence of fellow Americans. He recently asked white America to accept the notion that behavioral science predicts President Obama is pathologically driven to destroy America.

“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

The comment follows a common pattern by Gingrich—make a ridiculous and un-provable claim, then throw in some science words like “predictive model” to make your outrageous argument sound legitimate. His statement is neither “predictive” nor a “model.” There is no relationship to actual behavioral science.

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The use of the term “anti-colonial” is interesting too. Is it because it sounds more sinister than “pro-independence?”Last I checked, we Americans were for independence from England. If I remember correctly, we even created a nation based on that idea.

Gingrich’s disdain for our collective intelligence also extends to American small business. If you are a small to midsized business owner, it’s likely that you’ve gotten the letter saying you’d won the “Gingrich Award” and inviting you to the awards banquet. In it, you were called innovative, insightful, patriotic and entrepreneurial. (Full and comical disclosure: I was offered this award.) If you sent back the reply card you got another letter indicating you’d need to send a big check for attending the awards dinner—$5,000 big. That’s one heck of a lot of foie gras in truffle sauce.

In the end, Newt Gingrich is nothing more than a jargon bandit. He misappropriates insider terminology for dishonest purposes. He makes an outrageous statement and throws in a couple of science words to make the preposterous seem legitimate. He invokes Christian decency in order to make his own indecency seem less so. And he uses the language of entrepreneurship to trick hard-working business people out of their money. The man takes faking an accent to a whole new level.

Newt makes his living running for president. In between elections he covers his expenses by hoodwinking small business owners. The con artist thinks Americans are stupid. I think he’s dead wrong.

Jimmy Zuma splits his time between Washington, D.C. and Tucson. He writes the online opinion journal, Smart v. Stupid. He spent 5 years in Tucson in the early ‘80s, when life was a little slower, swamp coolers were a little more plentiful, Tucson’s legendary music scene was in full bloom, and the prevailing work ethic was “don’t - unless you have to.”

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Mar 14, 2011, 8:42 pm
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Jimmy Zuma = Voice of Reason

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