Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's the Hypocrisy, Stupid (part 1 of a series)

Like a herpes sore that just won't go away, news of Newt Gingrich's sex life has burst forth yet again. Now personally, I don't care about Newt Gingrich's sex life. In fact, I find the idea of Newt Gingrich having sex with anyone or anything appalling. The times being what they are, I'm sure there is a subset of pornography that features pasty, flabby, old men having sex with mentally deficient women, though I can't imagine that it's very popular. But then "de gustibus non est disputandum" as the ancient Romans used to say. (And most of them were bent in ways we can't even begin to comprehend.)

No, what I care about is the disturbing fact that there are some people who still pay serious attention to Newt Gingrich. Why? When has he been right about anything? When has he added anything worthwhile to the national debate? For instance, has he ever suggested maybe cutting the defense budget just a little bit? No, better to hunt down and "reform" a few "welfare queens" than go after the trillion dollar gorilla.

Gingrich's big moment was shutting down the government. Wow, there's an achievement! I'm sure that bulging pustule Grover Norquist was very proud. But a funny thing, when you shut down the government everybody suddenly realizes--including the people who think they hate government--how much they really rely on government. So tip o' the hat to you on that one, Newty.

(His second biggest moment was the impeachment of Bill Clinton. That he was schtupping a woman other than his wife at the same time he was attacking Clinton's morals wasn't a problem for Gingrich, who has, like so many Republicans, what one might charitably call "flexible" ethics. This is not the behavior I expect from the man who wrote that timeless spiritual classic "Rediscovering God in America.")

In the past, politicians who miscalculated as badly as Newt Gingrich had the decency to disappear into the night, never to be heard from again. But those were nobler and simpler times. Being catastrophically wrong just isn't enough these days. In fact, the reverse seems to be true, at least for the Republicans. Now being wrong over and over again about a variety of things gives you a certain gravitas. Throw in a large dose of moral hypocrisy and you've got the perfect Conservative talking head. And so we're repeatedly treated to Newt's thoughts on, well, everything. And the constant threat and/or promise that he will run for President. The Democrats would certainly welcome that. Picture it: Newt and whatever number wife he's on by 2012 up against Barack and Michelle Obama. The smart money says he gets his cracker ass stomped. Oh well, just one more debacle to add to an already impressive resume.

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