Newt Gingrich was shocked by the racism of conservatives on his Facebook entry on Nelson Mandela's death. But what about Gingrich's own complicated history with Mandela?
December 8, 2013

First rule of Beltway media punditry: protect your own.

So when newly minted CNN host Newt Gingrich is asked on to CNN's State of the Union to clutch his pearls and act completely shocked---shocked, I tell you---by the hateful, nasty comments left on his Facebook post honoring the life of Nelson Mandela, Candy Crowley conveniently ignores Gingrich's own very complicated history with the great civil rights leader.

While it is true that Gingrich was part of a very noteworthy percentage of Republicans who went against Ronald Reagan and overturned his veto of sanctions against the apartheid government, Gingrich also voted against a (admittedly non-binding) resolution asking the South African government to signal its readiness to negotiate by freeing Mandela from prison.

Still, I'm willing to credit Gingrich with mostly being on the right side of the issue of apartheid and his response to the ugliness on his Facebook timeline was equally praiseworthy.

But come on, how disingenuous is the shock at the abject racism of conservatives? You know, I might be more willing to accept it if Newt didn't play into racist dogwhistles all the time -- a trait you will NEVER hear brought up by colleague Crowley. Chez Pazienza:

Really, Newt? You’re “surprised” that your supporters out there in the American conservative wasteland are a bunch of ill-informed, reactionary assholes who can’t see Mandela as anything more than a “commie terrorist?” Seriously? This shocks you? Who the hell do you think perpetuated this kind of thinking among them and who’s profited from their blind, incoherent rage and clueless provincialism? These are your people. This kind of stupidity is your bread-and-butter. Without it — without them — you’d have no career. You exist solely because of them and therefore serve at their pleasure.

As someone who’s both encouraged and benefited from the hate, bile, and rank stupidity of this nation’s dwindling demographic of terrified white conservatives, you don’t even get to pretend to be surprised that this is how it reacts to your praising of Nelson Mandela.

Although maybe there is something to be said for these people’s ferocity in calling you out for such naked hypocrisy.

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