Saturday, January 21, 2012

Message for Newt: Honky, Please ...

My late daddy only ever had an inkling of like for two Republicans, and those two, he always said should have been Democrats. Coincidentally, the first one was George Romney, father of Willard, who's ten times the man Willard can only ever hope to be in his dreams. During his own Presidential campaign of 1968, Romney Sr remarked that the US was wrong to go into VietNam and that we'd all been brainwashed about this war.

I remember my dad's reaction was, "Well, that's him thrown under the goddamned bus for common sense."

The other was Nelson Rockefeller. Every time Rocky would mount a Presidential campaign, my dad would shake his head and muse, "Eeeeeh Lord, running again. That sonofabitch is divorced. A man who cheats on his wife will cheat on his country if he's in charge of it."

Of course, we all know that Saint Ronald Reagan was elected, and that Saint Ronnie married Holy Mother Nancy when she was pregnant with the immaculate child (who later posed nude for Playboy and is a Democrat today for her sins).

Yes, America is evolving. We're more tolerant now of a lot of things which twenty, thirty or sixty years ago, wouldn't have washed. Bill Clinton's popularity increased when it was revealed he got a blow job in the White House. A majority of Americans are now comfortable with the idea of same-sex marriages. More and more of us are openly secular.

Maybe we are ready for someone who in any other country would be called an open libertine. Would the Europeans poo-poo the idea of someone like Newt as the leader of a country? Well, Gerhardt Shroeder, the German Chancellor in the 1990s referred to as Herr Clinton Blair during his tenure, was on Wife Number Three when he took the helm and was a known bon vivant.

I think those cosmopolitan and sophisticated Europeans would object more to the fact that Newt left his first two wives by the wayside when they were suffering from serious illnesses, as well as his tendancy to hide behind the hypocrisy of his so-called religious conversion, than his libertine history.

The fact that Newt dipped his toe in the waters of race-baiting some sixteen months ago when he branded the President a Kenyan anti-colonialist - aren't we all descendents of anti-colonialists, Newt? I know I am - found the waters to his liking and invited the rest of the Republican party to come in for a swim, speaks volumes for the sad fact that these days, racism is the new black.

As Bill Moyers reminded everyone on Friday's Real Time, Goldwater and Reagan couldn't get elected today because they would be too moderate. Newt, being a Southerner and as slippery as the animal whose name he bears, knows how to use the coded language which would re-awaken all the racial doubts and fears which, for the most part, lie inanimate deep within the spiritual bowels of some people in the Deep South - and a fair few in the North, if truth be told.

The race-bating is obvious, and we can deal with that.

The hypocrisy regarding his amorality is another thing.

He left one wife, who was eight years his senior and the mother of his two daughters (and his high school geometry teacher, no less) when she was on a sick bed recovering from cancer; whilst married to his second, and much younger wife, he carried on an illicit liaison with an even younger staffer, in the marital home in Washington, asking the second wife for an open marriage before leaving her when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

In speaking of his second wife, he has remarked that Callista will let him do anything. So does that mean we'll have more intern sedcuctions in the Oval Office this time around?

The brilliant Gail Collins in today's Times does a great takedown of Newt and his marital manoeuvres.

Voters very seldom penalize politicians for sexual misbehavior — unless it’s of a type that suggests the pol in question is a little ... off. (See: sexting pictures of your underwear, having tickling parties with your young male aides, telling your staff you’re going on a hike and then flying to see your girlfriend in Argentina. Really, when you look back, we have been through a lot.)

Beyond the hypocrisy of this sort of behavior from a guy who wants to protect the sanctity of holy matrimony from gay couples, there also seems to be a streak of almost crazed self-absorption that runs through the Newt saga. Who would ditch a spouse of 18 years in a phone call? Shortly after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis? And, of course, he broke up with his first wife while she was battling cancer. Do you see a theme developing here? This is the same guy who proudly announced “I think grandiose thoughts” during the last debate.

Campaigning after the ABC News interview broke, Gingrich said: “Callista and I have a wonderful relationship. We knew we’d get beaten up. We knew we’d get lied about. We knew we’d get smeared. We knew there would be nasty attack ads. And we decided the country was worth the pain.”

Poor helmet-haired Callista. She's the schmuck. I would direct her to a famous remark made by the very wealthy and failed late British Conservative politician Sir James Goldsmith. Goldsmith was a bon vivant who had a habit of getting his mistresses pregnant, then divorcing his current wife in order to marry the mistress.

"When a mistress becomes one's wife," Goldsmith opined, "One suddenly finds one has a particular situation vacant."

Still, Callista lets Newt do anything. She'll share him with the country.

Lucky us.

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