This has to be one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen from a senior figure in the GOP. According to Newt Gingrich's Twitter Timeline, the former Speaker of the House is using Twitter to push GOP talking points about Sonia Sotomayor being a "racist" while he is visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp memorial--where millions of people were killed and imprisoned as a result of real racism.
Let me repeat that: Newt Gingrich, touring a memorial of the perils of actual racism, using his Blackberry or cell phone (not sure which) to tweet GOP talking points--from Auschwitz--about Sonia Sotomayor being a "racist."
There is a serious sickness in the GOP when this kind of thing shows up on Newt Gingrich's timeline:
According to his timeline, Gingrich began filming in Auschwitz and Krakow on May 26 for a film project called "9 Days That Changed the World." The film is about Pope John Paul II and seems like a reasonable enough project.
On May 26 at 9:20am, Gingrich posted the following tweet:
Weare filming 9 days that changed the world http://dwarfurl.com/... in krakow and auschwitz today. Krakow is beautiful Auschwitz horrifying - 9:20 AM May 26th from TwitterBerry
So, Gingrich has his Blackberry with him and was heading off for a day of filming--noting, as many American tourists to Poland often do, that Krakow is a beautiful town, while Auschwitz is horrifying.
About a half our later, Gingrich then followed up with this post:
We just went through a gas chamber & crematorium at auschwitz. Everyone should see it and think of the evil which stalks the world today - 9:56 AM May 26th from TwitterBerry
There he is in the gas chamber and crematorium at Auschwitz 1, which would be the reconstruction, I presume, rather than the actual bombed out gas chambers in the more difficult terrain of Birkenau.
Visiting the gas chamber at Auschwitz is a soul rocking experience. It is an experience whereby one walks into the fiery pit of what happened when an insane strand of biological racism took over Europe. Millions of people were killed, imprisoned, and brutalized within an inch of their humanity within the massive camp.
Most people break down when they visit this part of Auschwitz. They just cannot take it.
When I visited on a research field trip many years ago, I was able to hold on to my emotions for a bit, but not for long. Contemplating what happened in Auschwitz while standing there felt like a giant pit had opened up beneath my feet, swallowing me up. It is hell on earth. Worse: it is hell on earth with a gift shop and a parking lot.
Less than 24 hours later, I presume Gingrich was still within emotional range of his visit to Auschwitz if not actually still filming in the camp, and this is what he posted to Twitter:
Imagine a judicial nominee said "my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman" new racism is no better than old racism - about 1 hour ago from TwitterBerry
That post indicated that Gingrich had seamlessly switched gears from visiting ground zero of murderous racism--to echoing the GOP talking point strategy to smear Sonia Sotomayor as a "racism" in order to derail her nomination to the Supreme Court.
But he did not stop there.
Within seconds of that initial political post, Gingrich hit Sotomayor again on the same false charge of racism:
White man racist nominee would be forced to withdraw. Latina woman racist should also withdraw - about 1 hour ago from TwitterBerry
While most human beings would have paused to reflect on the human consequences of what happened in Auschwitz, Gingrich seems to have been left untouched by it.
Even if he was not physically within the boundaries of the camp when he posted the GOP talking points with his blackberry, the conclusion we draw is disturbing: Score political points using fabricated and illogical pseudo-definitions of "racism" no matter where you are, no matter what moral juxtaposition you may embody.
Even as he is walking out of a death camp, Newt Gingrich takes the time to parrot the GOP talking points out of fear that he will not be able to join the right-wing fetish for accusing an African-American President and his Latina Supreme Court nominee of "racism."
This, America, is the exact kind of politics that Americans voted overwhelming to reject in November of 2008. And this is the kind of politics that--if it persists--will plummet the GOP to the depths of irrelevance.
I would certainly hope that the media and other senior members of the GOP leadership have the courage to stand up to Newt Gingrich and demand an apology for his disturbing cynicism.