Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 21, 2009

GINGRICH KEEPS INVITING TROUBLE.... Newt Gingrich's aggressive criticism yesterday of President Obama's handshake with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was so ridiculous, it's tempting to think Tulane may ask for its PhD back. The more the former House Speaker popped off, the more his attacks drew scrutiny, and the more Gingrich's comments were exposed as absurd.

This may seem hard to believe, but Gingrich is on even weaker ground discussing issues related to families.

Somehow or other the conservative movement has gotten so intellectually bankrupt that the lunatics running the asylum think that Newt Gingrich is an intelligent and canny man. Consequently, he's snagged himself a situation where he's in the news constantly offering apercus like "The Democratic Party has been the active instrument of breaking down traditional marriage."

Ah, yes, Newt Gingrich and the breakdown of traditional marriage. It's an issue he knows very well.

[T]he most notorious of them all is undoubtedly Gingrich, who ran for Congress in 1978 on the slogan, "Let Our Family Represent Your Family." (He was reportedly cheating on his first wife at the time). In 1995, an alleged mistress from that period, Anne Manning, told Vanity Fair's Gail Sheehy: "We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.'" Gingrich obtained his first divorce in 1981, after forcing his wife, who had helped put him through graduate school, to haggle over the terms while in the hospital, as she recovered from uterine cancer surgery. In 1999, he was disgraced again, having been caught in an affair with a 33-year-old congressional aide while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton.

Please, Newt, tell us again about how important it is for Republican leaders like you to protect traditional marriage.

Expertise like this is so hard to find.

Steve Benen 9:50 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

Well, if thrice-married cross-dresser Rudy Giuliani can spearhead opposition to gay marriage in NY, then anything is possible.

Posted by: Unca Paul on April 21, 2009 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

That's not just rich, that's Gingrich.

Posted by: JayDenver on April 21, 2009 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

That's why Reagan is such an iconic figure for them: he only notched one divorce.

Posted by: Dennis-SGMM on April 21, 2009 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

I laugh when I hear Gingrich talking about the sanctity of the family or Giuliani opposing gay marriage. But I think having these guys talk about it might actually be a savvy calculation. Remember that the people they want to reach are not super-virtuous puritans. They are conservative people, often quite religious, but just as often having gone through divorce themselves, and maybe an affair r two and whatever. In short, fellow sinners.

What they want to be told is that it is OK to have been divorced or to have cheated on your wife/husband. We all are weak. That you can have done these things and still oppose gay marriage or whatever other social issue is up for discussion. So if the messenger is someone as personally flawed as Gingrich, that my, in a way, give him even MORE credibility in the eyes of his intended audience. Obviously the risk is that he will be seen as SO flawed that he comes off just as a hypocrite. But if he is merely seen as a "flawed sinner just like me," then he becomes a good messenger.

I think we witnessed this with the Palins. It seemed insane that Republicans would accept a family with an unmarried teen daughter. But for so many people, that just humanized Palin and showed she had to deal with the same tribulations they did.

(I think it is a bit more excusable in Palin's case--after all, she didn't get her daughter pregnant--than in Gingrich's case, where he personally has acted like a scumbag to his wives over and over again.)

Posted by: RWB on April 21, 2009 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

RWB beat me to it. It's the misunderstood parable of the Prodigal Son. The more their heroes sin, the more they are revered in the movement as paragons of morality.

Never forget that for the freakazoids, hypocrisy is NOT a sin; it's actually proof of jayzus' love and forgiveness.

It's also what you say, not what you do. Gingrich opposes gay marriage, social justice, economic equality and all that other librul shit, so he's morally upright, no matter how immoral his private life.

Obama's sterling private life, however, matters nothing in the face of his support for commie/nazi policies like universal health care.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on April 21, 2009 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

"the conservative movement has gotten so intellectually bankrupt that the lunatics running the asylum think that Newt Gingrich is an intelligent and canny man."

Relatively speaking, he is. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Posted by: Jon on April 21, 2009 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Newt didn't want to cheat. The Democratic Party made him do it. Look it up. It's in a rider attached to a bill rammed through Congress in 1966 by LBJ as part of his Great Society program. All male Republican politicians must cheat on their wives or face fine or imprisonment.

Ol' Newt, being such a morally righteous man and all, didn't want to break a federal law.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on April 21, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Newt is a festering pus filled scumbag and a blot on western civilization.

Thats all

Posted by: John R on April 21, 2009 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

So with the Republican base, sexual hypocrisy is not a flaw, it's a feature?

Posted by: Nothing But the Ruth on April 21, 2009 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or have you noticed Newt Gingrich beginning to resemble Jabba the Huht more and more as he accepts these sour grapes gigs on good ol'FOXNEWS? Just wondering! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 21, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Please don't leave out my favorite Gingrich marital nugget--that his first wife was his high school math teacher. Bonus--Guiliani's first wife was his cousin.

Keep talking about marriage Newt and Rudy. It's a laugh riot.

Posted by: BerkeleyMom on April 21, 2009 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Gingerich's questionable morality goes beyond his marital issues. His attempt to make the Susan Smith case into a pro-Republican campaign issue is one of the most despicable acts in recent politics.

Posted by: qwerty on April 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if thrice-married cross-dresser Rudy Giuliani can spearhead opposition to gay marriage in NY, then anything is possible.

Perhaps he can explain why, during his last marital difficulties, he chose to stay in the home of two friends who happened to be gay men in a committed relationship. These gentlemen plan to be married in Connecticut soon.

Giuliani also told them that, if gay marriage were legal in New York, he would officiate at their wedding.

Posted by: DJ on April 21, 2009 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Practice makes perfect?

Posted by: beep52 on April 21, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think you forget that the salamander's, I mean newt's recent conversion to Catholicism wiped out his prior sins according to the Church. He is reborn and innocent as a baby. Now he can be the first to throw stones.

Posted by: CDW on April 21, 2009 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Just because the conservative movement has spokespeople who are liars, stalkers, adulterers, drug addicts, sex tourists, draft dodgers, and problem gamblers doesn't mean it lacks all moral authority.

Call it "life experience".

Posted by: 2Manchu on April 21, 2009 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Remember their motto:

Pro-life
Pro-war
Pro-torture
Pro-Republican

Guliani has 3 of 4 -- so who cares if he's got skeletons in his closet. Gay? They don't care as long as you don't talk about it openly. (See: Foley, Craig, Brooks ... and many others.)

Posted by: Cool on April 21, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing wrong with humoring the little guys. The eagle does not do battle with the fly. Might be cathartic for the Latin leaders to spout some venom, much of which is probably justified.

The big danger is the corruption in Washington that is Latinizing our nation. Governments reflect the culture of the people, and Latin culture is patriarchal, so eventually we'll be electing strongmen like Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

Posted by: Luther on April 21, 2009 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

"We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her.'"

i've heard this jazz before. what i want to know is, did he eat her pussy, or was he just collecting the odd blow job until the coast was clear?

your pal,
blake

Posted by: blake on April 21, 2009 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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