Gingrich’s anti-Semitic code words, too

New Gingrich has used racist code words for a long time, before the current food stamp and no-work-ethic mantras. Now he’s onto something new with a “Saul Alinsky radical” drumbeat. Here he is from last night in South Carolina:

The centerpiece of this campaign, I believe, is American exceptionalism versus the radicalism of Saul Alinsky [chants of “USA! USA!”] … We are going to argue American exceptionalism, the American Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, the American federalist papers; the founding fathers of America are the source from which we draw our understanding of America. He draws his from Saul Alinsky, radical left-wingers and people who don’t like the classical America.

Here he is in a December debate on Fox:

Who is Saul Alinsky? And what kind of first name is “Saul,” anyway? Jewish. And who Googles “alinsky”? I don’t know for sure, but I do know that whoever they are, they live in the same states as people who Google “obama citizenship” at a correlation of .73:

Some other searches that have the highest correlation  with “Alinsky” across states (all .68 or better):

  • charles krauthammer
  • conservative blogs
  • drudge
  • fairness doctrine
  • greta van susteren
  • health care bill text
  • hr 1388
  • mccain for president
  • national firearms act
  • natural born citizen
  • presidential order
  • trilateral commission

My guess is that hardly anyone in Gingrich’s intended audience knows who Saul Alinsky is. But I think he’s giving them enough information to know what kind of person he is. In December he put it this way:

…if you look at his background, he’s really a lot more Saul Alinsky and radicalism than he is anything to do with the traditional American models.

FYI, this morning someone removed the description of Alinsky as Jewish from the opening line of his Wikipedia entry, which was added in December.

9 thoughts on “Gingrich’s anti-Semitic code words, too

  1. Interesting finding, though it’s also important to note that in your above list, Charles Krauthammer (Jewish himself) and McCain are both vocal supporters of Israel. Greta van Susteren works for perhaps the most vocally pro-Israel news organization in America. While this is certainly not to argue that one can/cannot support/not Israel, it also seems to weaken a bit the idea that Gingrich is trying to appeal to anti-Semitic audiences.


  2. The apocalyptic visions of the rapture seeking American Right leads them to be both pro-Israel and anti-semitic. Israel is their ticket to the End of Days. No Jews need apply to their Rapture. Pro-Israel, anti-semitic.


    1. No Jews need apply to their Rapture.

      Except that no anything *but* Christians need apply. That makes it radically different from anti-semitic.


      1. @Ron: The Rapture bit alone is not what makes the Christian Right anti-semitic; it’s their barely-concealed bigotry against Jews and other semites that makes them so. But you are right that they don’t stop with semites — they hate anyone anyone who doesn’t fit into their vision of “classical America” — which would be, for example, most of the population of New York City.


      2. they hate anyone anyone who doesn’t fit into their vision of “classical America”

        “Hate” is an awfully strong word. It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve met fundie-evangelicals who *hate* Jews, though naturally I’m only familiar with my little corner of the country.

        The most common form of anti-semitism is the envy-respect parodied in “When You Wish Upon a Weinstein”.

        Anyway, this blog post seems more anti-semitic than Newt, since it implies that *all* Jews are like Alinsky.


  3. The importance of Alinsky to the right, and his connection to Obama, is not the Jewish thing, it’s the community-organizer thing. Never mind that Alinsky got his start organizing a white ethnic community (Back of the Yards) — the demographic that hates the Kenyan socialist and Alinsky too. But Newt is strongly pro-Israel and gets big money from Netanyahu-ite American Jews, even though lots of his voters may be at least suspicious of rich Jews if not outright anti-Semitic. Makes you wonder how Kristol and Krauthammer and the others feel about promoting candidates who are are also the darlings of the America-is-a-Christian-nation crowd.


    1. OK, that can explain why Gingrich brought up Alinsky in the first place, but what percentage of primary voters who hear this line have any idea who Alinsky is? None of the press I saw of the quote describes who he was. And assuming that percentage is really low, why mention him by name instead of explaining it? Why not just say: “Obama comes from a tradition of community organizing that undermines our core democratic values”?


      1. what percentage of primary voters who hear this line have any idea who Alinsky is?

        Since Alinsky is (was?) really high on Glenn Beck’s “scary dudes” list, and all the Republicans in SC are FNC drones (that’s the prevailing myth, isn’t it?), then they’ve all heard of him and his impact on BO, George Soros, etc.

        Tsk tsk for doing a modicum of research before screaming “anti-semitism!”


      2. During the 2006 elections, why didn’t democrats running for congress say that their opponents had ties to “a law-breaking lobbyist” rather than constantly using “Abramoff” as a code word?

        I doubt many Gingrich supporters know who Alinsky is. But, as you’ve proven, they make it a point to learn. Good for them.

        When you say the press doesn’t describe him, are you inferring that the press is going along with passing along the “code word”?


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