There are three things you should always remember about Newt Gingrich:
Let’s start from my secular humanist position on the personal lives of politicians: Essentially, I don’t care what elected officials do with consenting adults when it comes to their sex lives—infidelity, homosexuality, bondage, whatever. It’s their personal business. No one can get inside a marriage of another person. I believe information of this nature is nobody’s business, and reporters should consider it off limits, as they once did.
That leaves no room for coercion, child molestation, work place sexual harassment or anything else that’s against the law. Those acts should disqualify candidates. While I didn’t care to hear about Ginger White’s consensual 13-year affair with Herman Cain, I believe that the Pizza King had already disqualified himself by being accused of sexual harassment by four separate women. That’s a lot of smoke.
The one case in which a politician’s consensual sexual relationships with other adults is a matter for media and public scrutiny is when candidates condemn what they themselves are doing. Thus the demise of Senator Larry “Wide Stance” Craig, a secret gay who publicly persecuted others of his sexual predilection.
Thus the hypocrisy of Newt Gingrich, a married man engaged in an affair, who harried the President of the United States for engaging in an affair while married. As history has shown, Clinton worked on his marriage, while Newt dumped his wife for his mistress, and then dumped the mistress for another mistress who is his current wife. If Newt wants to be a master of serial monogamy, that’s his affair (or affairs), but he should refrain from critizing others for doing the same thing.
Number 1: Let’s not forget that Newt Gingrich is a hypocrite.
Some pundits call Newt the intellectual in the race because he has a PhD. It is true that up to now, only Woodrow Wilson, considered to be an intellectual even by those who called him a fool, was a presidential PhD. Let’s not forget, though, that many have been doctors of law, which is the legal equivalent of a PhD without the original dissertation.
But just because Woodrow Wilson was an intellectual doesn’t mean Newt is. Wilson taught at Princeton, which was and still is one of the most important intellectual centers of the United States. Wilson published a number of well-respected scholarly articles and books. Newt taught at a fourth-rate institution and never published anything of scholarly merit. Newt’s thought processes and patterns of expression are more fitting a middle Georgia car salesman, but he delivers them with the prissy superciliousness that actors such as Monty Woolley, Clifton Webb, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Parsons and others have used to characterize comic versions of intellectuals throughout the history of American mass culture. Gingrich’s historical allusions are often inaccurate or half-baked. If he wins the nomination and debates Obama or has to go mano-a-mano against an educated Republican like Mitt or Huntsman, we’re going to see that Newt the intellectual is a fraud, a contemporary version of Twain’s Duke and King.
Number 2: Let’s not forget that Newt Gingrich is not an intellectual, he’s a pseudo-intellectual.
The third thing we should never forget about Newt Gingrich: Other than Ronald Reagan, he has done more to create the politics that the Republican Party now follows than any other person. He masterminded the first use of the bag of unethical tricks on which the Republican Party has come to rely in campaigning and pursuing its agenda in Congress. His “Contract with America” cemented the partnership between those wanting to lower taxes for the wealthy and those expressing right-wing social views. His shutting the government down, although it led to the demise of his Speakership and the reelection of his arch foe, showed the Republicans how to score points with their base through intransigence.
Against a much weaker president than Bill Clinton, Republican threats have worked and they haven’t had to resort to the atom bomb. Keep in mind, though, that when they bullied Obama about continuing temporary tax cuts for the wealthy, cutting money for jobs and linking the debt ceiling to more cuts, all Boehner, Cantor and the rest of the Republican intransigents were doing was following the Gingrich game plan.
And number 3: Let’s not forget that Newt plays hard and dirty.
Imagine if Newt wins the nomination and the election. He will declare open season on ethics laws and practices. Cronyism will invade the White House even more than it did under the two Bushes. We’ll return to the days of Warren G. Harding or Ulysses S. Grant, when the President’s inner circle put a price on every piece of land, natural resource, government function and other government assets. You know, those good old days when government considered its sole duty was to do whatever the corporate masters commanded.
The thought of the Professor of Cronyism achieving the presidency is almost enough to make one want to contribute to the Romney campaign…
Almost, but not quite.