When a pol does terrorism’s bidding

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks before introducing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the Sharonville Convention Center, Wednesday, July 6, 2016, in Cincinnati.  John Minchillo | AP

It hard to know exactly where to start with Newt Gingrich’s suggestion yesterday that Muslims be deported from the United States.

There’s obviously the lack of knowledge about the Constitution of the United States. Or the fact the comments come from a former speaker of the U.S. House, second in the line of succession for the presidency. Or that he was — according to reports — close to being on the ticket in the race to be the next president of the United States.

Or that our long, campaign-fueled decent into the dark abyss is desensitizing us to the anti-Americanism of it all.

Or that so many people in a country that regularly pats itself on the back for its insistence on rights and freedoms are nodding and saying, “makes sense.”

“So let me start with where I’m coming from, and let me be as blunt and direct as I can be,” Gingrich said.

Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization.

Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia, glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door. We need to be fairly relentless about defining who our enemies are.

Anybody who goes on a website favoring ISIS or al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, that should be a felony, and they should go to jail.

He didn’t stop there.

“Let me be very clear. You have to monitor the mosques,” Gingrich said. “I mean if you’re not prepared to monitor the mosques, this whole thing is a joke. Where do you think the primary source of recruitment is? Where do you think the primary place of indoctrination is?”

It’s hard to see how the perpetrators of yesterday’s attack in France aren’t gleeful that people like Gingrich are giving them exactly what they had hoped for.

“When former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggests that American Muslims be subjected to an Inquisition-style religious test and then expelled from their homes and nation, he plays into the hands of terror recruiters and betrays the American values he purports to uphold,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.

Related: Newt Broke Politics—Now He Wants Back In (The Atlantic)