Following the serial claims by right-wing pundits that former Vice President Al Gore is mentally ill -- which came in the wake of Gore's May 26 speech about America's Iraq policy -- on June 4, FOX News contributor and former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich purported to diagnose both Gore and "what's happening with the Democratic Party" during Gingrich's guest appearances on Sean Hannity's June 4 radio program and on Hannity & Colmes. "[I]t's almost like a form of dementia," Gingrich said of "the Left." Referring to Gore's speech, Gingrich said, "I think this is closer to a mental health problem than to a political problem." On Hannity & Colmes, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter, co-host Hannity, and even FOX News political analyst Susan Estrich (who was filling in for show co-host Alan Colmes) joined Gingrich in purporting to assess Gore's psychiatric state.
From the June 4 broadcast of The Sean Hannity Show:
HANNITY: What do you make of what's happening with the Democratic Party? You've got Soros and -- and comparing the Iraqi prison scandal to 9/11. You got Howard Dean, another unhinged screech of him. Al Gore absolutely unhinged. You got the Left, it seems, just going absolutely bonkers. What -- what do you make of that right now?
GINGRICH: Well, I think that it is -- it -- it's almost like a form of dementia. ... I think that there's a -- we're seeing the reemergence of the kind of self-hatred and self-loathing which the Left had during the Vietnam war, where, you know, Ho Chi Minh could do no wrong and the United States could do no right.
GINGRICH: [Referring to Gore's May 26 speech] I think this is closer to a mental health problem than to a political problem.
From the June 4 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes:
GINGRICH: Well, I think in Gore's case, something snapped. And I don't know when it snapped. I think Gore is a guy who never came to grips with the fact that he wasn't president, and I'm really surprised. I mean, I've known Al Gore for many years and the level of bitterness in his last couple of speeches are just, they're over the top.
ESTRICH: He's [Gore's] off the deep end.
HANNITY: You can't get that kind of hate out of my show because I don't deliver that. That is insane. Al Gore has lost his mind.
COULTER: [Referring to the "Take Back America" conference and to Gore's May 26 speech] But I just -- it's just so absurd. I don't think what liberals were saying is supposed to be taken rationally. This is the insane wing of the Democratic Party.
It's been funded by George Soros, who has now spent $15 million in order to get money out of politics. This is just the insane wing of the Democratic Party.
(Estrich, a professor of law and political science at the University of Southern California, served as national campaign manager of Democrat Michael Dukakis's ill-fated 1988 presidential campaign; currently, she is a "pundit" for right-wing news site NewsMax.com and a syndicated columnist.)