February 10, 2010 3:19 a.m.

Classic moment last night on The Daily Show when Newt Gingrich explained that it was okay to mirandize “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and not Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab because Reid, unlike Abdulmutallab, is a US citizen.

Only, of course, Reid is a British citizen. Watch the video here.

What was so classic about this to me isn’t that Gingrich got a fact wrong. That happens, though to some more than others. But it was a larger illustration of how much Republicans are flailing to find any ‘fact’ to plug in to explain why the Abdulmutallab arrest was an outrage even though it went down just like every other arrest of a terrorist on American soil in like forever.

Reid’s a US citizen, had a lot of facial hair, used his shoes not his underwear, had an easier to pronounce name, didn’t have federal holiday miranda exception. Just anything you can come up with. Toss it against the wall, see if it sticks.

Masthead Masthead
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