Last Thursday on “The O’Reilly Factor,” comments made by Newt Gingrich fueled a battle between host Bill O’Reilly and New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg. Ginfrich defended his comments thus:
If you go back and look at what I said, it was a very narrowly focused reference to people who were invading churches and in one case surrounding a 65-year-old person and harassing her about wearing a cross. Now, in my judgment, people who do that are fascists. And whether they are fascists on the right or fascists on the left, they’re fascists, because they believe in imposing their views on you.I love that "narrowly focussed reference." I'd love to know what Gingrich thinks the central tens of fascism are and why Prop 8 demostrators strike him as embodying them. A preference for the petite-bourgois? The primacy placed on ties of blood and nation? A foreign policy based on radical belligerence? A totalitarian cult of personality surrounding their non-democratically appointed leader? Gingrich means none of these things, of course. He is simply using "fascist" to mean "argumentative". Sigh.