Gingrich: 'Liberal fascists' moving us towards 'political dictatorship'
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Published: Thursday March 26, 2009

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President Barack Obama has been in office just over three months, yet former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is already forecasting a looming "political dictatorship."

In a televised interview with Fox editorialist Sean Hannity on March 25, Gingrich cited Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism as reference for what he sees Democrats in Congress and the White House pushing for.

"I think [Goldberg] ought to reissue it as sort-of an introductory guide to how the left is thinking this year," said Gingrich. "We are seeing the biggest power grab by politicians in American history.

"... The idea that they would propose the Treasury can intervene and take over non-bank, non-financial system assets, gives them the potential to basically create a dictatorship. You don't do what they want, they take over your company.

"... It absolutely moves you toward a political dictatorship," he said.

"Is something missing here?" asked David Oshinsky in the New York Times's Sunday book review, part-way through his critique of Liberal Fascism. "Goldberg races from Wilson to Roosevelt to Kennedy and on to Bill Clinton with barely a glance at what happened in between. The reason is simple: for Goldberg, fascism is strictly a Democratic disease."

And for Gingrich, the same is apparently true.

"We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship," wrote Scott Horton in Harper's. "The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it."

Gingrich, though a longtime antagonist of the Bush political dynasty, never called George W. Bush's presidency fascist or dictatorial.

"As has been demonstrated time and again, the right wing has nothing to offer but demonizing attacks on progressive policies," noted Think Progress blogger Ben Armbruster. "Seeing that Gingrich has escalated the game to 'dictatorship,' what will be next?"

Asked that very question -- "What's next?" -- Gingrich told reporters earlier in March that he may run for president in 2012, but only "if it's necessary."

Gingrich was House Speaker from 1995 until January 1999. Gingrich had tried to exploit President Bill Clinton's personal woes during the election season, but the tactic backfired as Republicans suffered one of their worst electoral performances in years.

This video is from Fox's Hannity, broadcast Mar. 25, 2009.

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