CNN’s North Carolina Republican Party debate healed on January 19th, revealed Newt Gingrich at his very best, and is widely credited for winning him that state’s Republican nomination two days later. Kicking off the debate was a question from CNN’s John King about the latest allegations made by Newt’s second wife, Marianne, about her ex-husband’s infidelity and his desire to either have an open marriage with her or leaver her for the woman he was having an affair with, Callista Bisek , who subsequently become Newt’s third wife. Elegantly side stepping the brunt of this question, Gingrich delivered his devastating counter-attack, winning back the crowd and wailing about the evils of the main stream media, which, he claims, makes it “harder to attract decent people to run for public office.”
Wait a minute – did he just say “decent people”?
Close your eyes for a moment and try to imagine a 16 year old student having a sexual relationship with his high school geometry teacher, culminating with this unlikely couple getting married three years later. Now imagine how, unsurprisingly, this teenager soon tires of his wife (seven years his senior) and begins to have various extramarital affairs. Imagine how he then chooses the auspicious opportunity of his wife recovering from cancer surgery to inform her that he is planning to divorce her in order to marry the woman with whom he was having the affair (who happens to be 10 years his junior). At this point, it would be quite easy to imagine this man cheating on his second wife as well, and tactfully informing her on the phone, right after she was diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis, that he is leaving her too in order to marry yet another woman with whom he was having an affair (who happens to be twenty three years his junior).
Now open your eyes and behold Newt Gingrich – the man who not only holds himself up as a conservative Christian, but the person who was perhaps most vocal about Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs in the 90s; at the very same time HE himself was busy jumping between numerous extramarital partners. A comic writer would have struggled to come up with such a parody of a political figure. The script of Gingrich’s life almost begs to be played at double speed with the theme music of The Benny Hill Show.
Regarding the above mentioned shenanigans, Newt has indeed tried to portray himself as a changed Christian man who has asked for forgiveness. But one should not mistake forgiveness for past misconducts for trust in future endeavors. One could indeed choose to forgive a person who had betrayed them in the past, but in light of the hypocritical consistency of Newt’s betrayals, ever trusting this person again would constitute a fatal lack of judgment. Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
I will not attempt to equate adultery to any real crime, but could you imagine if every defendant who has ever stood trial would express society’s need to not dwell on his past misconducts in order to focus on a brighter future for America? Is it, therefore, any surprise that Gingrich has recently allied himself with the Catholic Church, which happens to be the world’s leader in apologizing for its past crimes in an attempt to move forward and claim infallibility all over again? It is interesting to note, by the way, that Gingrich only “converted” to Catholicism in 2009 after claiming to have simply glanced at the current Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, during his 2008 US visit. Gingrich had later said that “Catching a glimpse of Pope Benedict that day, I was struck by the happiness and peacefulness he exuded. The joyful and radiating presence of the Holy Father was a moment of confirmation about the many things I had been thinking and experiencing for several years.” Consider, just for a moment, that Gingrich expressed these feelings about the person who, as cardinal, had lead the Catholic Church’s international cover-up campaign of the tens of thousands of children who had been raped and tortured by clergymen. Consider how merely glimpsing this silk draped gold encrusted old German had caused Gingrich to profess a literal belief in such ludicrous ideas as the transubstantiation; to say nothing of the infallibility of this highly overrated mammal that would have us believe he is the Vicar of Christ on earth. If absolutely no reason or evidence, beyond a simple glimpse of Joseph Ratzinger, can finally convince Gingrich that Catholicism is the one true way to win the good graces of an iron aged tribal Middle Eastern deity called Yahweh, then anyone can convince him of anything.
There seem to be only two possibilities regarding Gingrich’s faith based declarations: He either literally believes what he is saying; in which case I would strongly recommend he seek some professional psychiatric help, or he is simply lying about it in order to gain the trust of many eligible voters, who, if convinced by this, should themselves seek psychiatric help.
Perhaps Newt’s fiery response to CNN’s John king ironically revealed more about him than he had intended. Not unlike the common criminal who blames the legal system for pursuing him, perhaps he should have stopped to consider how incriminating it is to accuse a constitutionally protected free press, for simply asking a question. It appears to have been a self incriminating slip on Newt’s part to have thundered about how hard it is for any decent person to run for public office. Draw your own conclusions, therefore, about newt’s decency as he easily ascends to the top of this public office race.