Immoral Values Republican
HOW THE HELL IS HOLIER-THANTHOU HYPOCRITE NEWT GINGRICH STILL A KEY PLAYER IN THE GOP?
by Robert Scheer
There’s hope yet for Larry Flynt. If a total sleazebag like Newt Gingrich can be embraced by the so-called Christian Right the way he has been in the Republican primaries, then a mere pornographer like Flynt should easily attain salvation or at least have a credible run for the Presidency. Even in his heyday, Larry may have been truly decadent, but he wasn’t ever the outrageous hypocrite that Newt—the darling of the “family values” Republicans— represents.
Can you imagine the gall of a politician, who claims to fear the judgment of the Almighty, going to the hospital to tell his cancer-stricken wife Jackie that he’s leaving her for another woman? Then, after 19 years of marriage to that other woman, demanding—as second jilted wife Marianne Ginther told ABC News in that famous January 2012 interview—that she consent to an open marriage so he could go on fornicating with one of the young Congressional staffers who was working for him during his reign as Speaker of the House? And then having sex with that much younger aide, Callista Bisek, in the very bed he had shared with wife Marianne, at the very time he was condemning the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) for merely getting a blowjob in the White House?
Gingrich has the arrogance to blame his infidelities, as he did in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, on his love not of women but of country: “There is no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard, and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.” That’s one Clinton should have used to explain away his more muted dalliance with an intern.
At least Clinton stuck by his wife, as scripture dictates, but not so for Gingrich, who looked to marry arm-candy as a way of distracting from his own terminally frumpy appearance. Then he sought to shroud that sordid affair with the sanctity of the Roman Catholic Church by seeking an annulment of his marriage to Marianne to wed the never-married Callista in a Catholic house of worship.
You can just hear Newt telling some archbishop, “Hey, she’s a heterosexual adult. And anyway, if you give me a hard time, I’ll tell my Republican buddies in Congress to go after your tax-exempt status.”
The issue is hypocrisy. If Gingrich hadn’t built a career on being holier-than thou and blasting secular liberals for destroying the moral fiber of the nation, I wouldn’t give a rat’s ass about his extramarital affairs. But to have this guy in the public eye—for decades!—blaming everything from the depressed state of the economy to our inability to win unwinnable wars (that he supported) on our loss of religious values represents the deep rot of this moralizing demagogue.
What better cover than to embrace the Catholic faith of his latest squeeze? Newt claims to have been deeply moved by the church’s teachings while he accompanied his mistress to Mass during the six years that he and Callista were having extramarital sex. Gingrich deems Catholicism important as a source of morality not because it might compel him to stop shtupping his mistress but rather because of “the crisis of secularism” that he maintains the Roman Catholic Church fought against as it swept through Europe and which now threatens the moral fiber of the United States.
To listen to the pope, you would think that the crisis was manifested precisely by the high rate of marital infidelity and divorce of which Gingrich was an avid devotee. But Newt is adept at turning history to his advantage, particularly when it involves those “elites” that fail to celebrate him.
In April 2011, as Gingrich was preparing to run for President, he delivered these words at a National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in the nation’s capital: “The American elites are guided by their desire to emulate the European elites, and as a result, antireligious values and principles are coming to dominate the academic, news media and judicial class in America.”
Even though Gingrich and others of his ideological ilk have dominated the selection of judges in recent decades, he singled out the “coercive secularism dominating our courts” as a major source of America’s downfall. The message must be that if only the Southern Baptist Church— to which Gingrich belonged for the first 66 years of his life—had been freer to erect crosses in public places, he could have been saved from his own sinful behavior.
Newt, a product of decades of hoary Baptists preaching on sin, needed to turn to Catholic priests for a sterner example of sexual restraint? Or is it that he just had to get it on with a blond chippy half his age, and the Roman Catholic Church is so besieged by criminal and civil lawsuits over its own sexual transgressions that its hierarchy was more than eager to whitewash this powerful politician’s sins so that he could have a shot at the Presidency?
Before serving almost 30 years as a Los Angeles Times columnist and editor, Robert Scheer spent the late 1960s as Vietnam correspondent, managing editor and editor in chief of Ramparts magazine. Now editor of TruthDig.com, Scheer has written such hardhitting books as The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America and his latest, The Great American Stick-Up: Greedy Bankers and the
Politicians Who Love Them.