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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Give it up, Newt

I never thought that Newt Gingrich was much of a threat for the 2012 GOP nomination, but the details in Esquire from his first two wives should be enough of a killer of those vain hopes. Not only did he propose to his second wife, Marianne, while his first wife was in the hospital recovering from uterine cancer, but he did something similarly sleazy when he dumped Marianne for his third wife. And then he cheated on Marianne just when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. And while the impeachment scandal was going on. And while he was giving speeches about family values. Quite a guy. He may not be able to live with the opportunities lost, but he's yesterday's news and would just embarrass himself if he truly threw his hat into the ring for 2012. It's probably all self-hype to try to get reporters to pay attention to him but it's clear that his time has passed. He can go around giving speeches and launching his own little think tanks, but he will never be a major political figure again. He had his chance and he blew it. And he has his own personal foibles to blame.


Locomotive Breath said...

So how does it work exactly that Newt's behavior ends his political career but Clinton's behavior doesn't end his?

Brad said...

It's really simple - politics.

The left will use any weapon available to damage its opponents. Because (generally) Republicans champion "family values", any Republican who talks one way and lives another is going to be charged with the unforgivable sin - "Hypocrisy."

The charge appeals to Democrats because it allows them to feel morally superior (which they crave almost as much as other people's money).

Independents care about it some because they want to trust the people they vote for - and someone who preaches "moral living for thee but not for me" is hard to trust.

It hurts with Republicans who care about such things, especially when it fits within a pattern. Once might be just a "bad situation" & Newt gets the benefit of the doubt (maybe); multiple times & people conclude "It's Newt."

Now, why doesn't it matter when it's a Democrat?

1) Hypocrisy is a charge of convenience; the people making the charge (generally) really don't care about the charge itself, they just like that it hurts a political opponent. Absent a desire to damage the person involved politically, there's no reason to make the charge.

2) By & large, Democrats oppose "family values" - you can say Clinton, Kennedy, etc. are/were moral degenerates, but you can't charge them with being hypocritical about it.

tfhr said...

Locomotive Breath,

Rhetorical questions only work against Republicans. Clinton, disbarred for perjury, a probable sex criminal and confirmed workplace sexual harrasser, is immune because when they say "It's just about sex.", they mean women should just accept their fate when the predator is a lefty favorite.

Stan said...

Always be leery of a Republican politician. People who tend to vote for the GOP (whether libertarian or conservative) generally do not see govt as a solution. Someone who makes a career of politics as a Republican is out of step with his supporters in at least one fundamental way.

We need more people who have succeeded in the real world -- Reagans, Thompsons, Frists (in terms of work background, not necessarily ideas), Coburns, Corkers. Fewer Specters, Gingriches et al.

Gingrich finished his education in 1971 (history PhD), taught in college and ran for Congress the first time in 1974. Not much of a grounding in the real world.

tfhr said...


Good points. I do see Gingrich as a source for interesting ideas, at times, but your observation on careerism, "grounding in the real world" and "govt as a solution", really cut to the chase.