Michelle Goldberg has a post up on The Plank about Newt Gingrich’s current foray into the right-wing culture war:
As I was walking out the door yesterday evening, the phone rang. On the line was a woman from something called the National Committee for Faith and Family, contacting people, she said, on behalf of Newt Gingrich. She asked me to hold for a message from the great man, I dutifully agreed, and was treated to a recording of Gingrich hawking a full-length documentary called Rediscovering God in America. Then the woman came back on, saying, “Do you think we need to stop the momentum of anti-God liberals and Obama?” She wanted a donation of $35 to distribute the movie, which claims that the United States was founded on religious principals, and that separation of church and state is a myth fostered by devious subversives.
“There is no attack on American culture more destructive and more historically dishonest than the relentless effort to drive God out of America’s public square,” Gingrich says in a trailer for the documentary on his website. Among the program’s talking heads is David Barton, a former math teacher and Texas fundamentalist who has fashioned a career as a prominent revisionist historian, reinterpreting the American past along theocratic lines. Barton started out on the fringe–in the early ’90s, he was a speaker at white supremacist Christian Identity conferences–but in the modern GOP, he’s hardly an extremist. Indeed, in 2004, the RNC hired Barton to give get-out-the-vote speeches to groups of clergy nationwide. What’s surprising is not that Gingrich would associate with Barton, whose work he’s been praising for years. What’s surprising is that, at a time of serious collapse on the right, Gingrich is hitching his bid for renewed relevance to the most exhausted culture war tropes.
Of course, Gingrich and Barton have been selling their “Rediscovering God in America“ shtick for over a year now, with Barton showing up to promote it during last year’s Gingrich-centric “Solutions Day” events and has been appearing around the county at various “Rediscovering God in America” events ever since.