BY WILLIAM C. HENRY “Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The phoniest, pettiest, most hypocritical politician to ever ply the trade has proclaimed he wants to become your President.” Such is the headline that should have blazed across the front page of every newspaper and online news source in America on May 11, 2011, the day Newt Gingrich became convinced that the passage of time had obscured his true persona to the point that he just might be able to pull off a run for the highest office in the land. And, although the aforestated somewhat uncomplimentary hyperbole could probably attach to an all too forgettable number of elected representatives past and present, Newt appears to be the only one considerate enough to have left a veritable treasure trove of incontrovertible proof behind for us to savor. So, without further ado, I present the career highlights of an altogether lowlife who deems he should be king (and, yes, this is the same guy that 24% of Republicans currently say they want to see seated in the Oval Office):
The MORALS thing: Newt claims that the reason he decried Clinton so for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was that the President lied about it under oath. Obviously all such scruples went out the window when it came to lying to his God and especially his conservative Christian constituency about his own adulterous affairs: a) sleeping with his then to be second wife while still married to his first, and, b) playing house with his then to be third wife while still married to his second. Who knew that “love of country” was such an aphrodisiac?!
The AIR FORCE ONE thing: Back in ‘95 Newt found himself seated in the rear of Air Force One on a trip to Israel as part of the delegation selected to attend the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin. He didn’t like the view. Said Clinton passed by seat and barely said a word. Final straw was having to exit through rear door upon return to Washington (it’s the wee hours of the morning, you’re seated in the back of the plane, you exit through the rear door, get it?). Triple whammy. Went into deep funk. Decided that such a “snub” was more than sufficient reason to shut down the government. That really happened. Later confided that his behavior was brought on by “chafing from a soiled diaper.” That’s probably just a rumor.
The ETHICS thing: By early ‘97 most of his fellow Congressmen had finally had enough of their Speaker’s “ethics.” He’d been flouting the rules for years to such an extent that they hit him with $300,000 fine and severe reprimand. It was the first time in 208 years that anything even approaching that had been forced upon a Speaker of the House. By late ‘98 Newt’s “ethics” had become such a millstone around the neck of his party that he was forced to resign from not only the Speakership but, for all intents and purposes, Republican politics in general. To put it bluntly, no one wanted anything to do with him. But, hey, this is America, land of opportunity. Relieved of the limelight but knowing none the less how to pick a political pocket or two, our Mr. Gettingrich was about to get a whole lot more so “teaching” Fat Freddie Mac some table manners.
The HISTORICAL CONSULTANCY thing: For months Gingrich has been harshly critical of those who worked with or for Freddie Mac, the semi-autonomous federal mortgage giant who was up to its thieving teeth in the financial meltdown and, like the rest of its ilk, required a healthy government bailout. A $72.2 billion dollar one (and counting) to be precise. In fact, Newt even went so far as to say that Democrats like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd (who he said were close to lobbyists for Freddie) should be jailed. Whoops! Turns out it’s none other than the happy hypocrite himself who’s been Freddie’s highly paid go-to man in Washington for years. $1.8 to $2 million high actually. And, it’s OK, because he’s not a real lobbyist, he just plays one on TV!
The FAITH thing: It has always amused me how a guy who flaunts his religiosity so often and so intensely can so regularly and so disdainfully throw basic tenets to the wind. Be it his remarks about gays, women, blacks, Muslims, a rather special Latina, children, or the poor, Newt has been pretty much the poster child for two-faced faith proponency from the beginning. But it’s his stated feelings about who’s is the “true” religion in a Constitutionally mandated freedom-of-religious-choice (or entirely not, if one so chooses) distinctly-separated-church-from-state nation such as ours that should give everyone real pause when it comes to installing a man like Gingrich at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Here in his own carefully couched words delivered to the faithful at John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church is an oppressor in the making: “I have two grandchildren–Maggie is 11, Robert is 9. I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.” He went on to hold up his own Catholic faith as proof of his own undying patriotism. He lashed out at the college professors and mainstream media he says are seeking to wipe out the Founding Father’s Christian values. And he also targeted judges who he charges are effectively re-writing the Constitution. Never forget that one of the most proudly professed Presidential pray-ers of the modern era got 4,801 of our bravest young Americans needlessly dead, and 32,200 severely wounded. So, all things considered, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, maybe it’s not a duck. Maybe it’s a newt.
And maybe you can tell a lot about a political party by the company it keeps. In any event, it’s a very sad state of affairs indeed when you learn that this man plus a chronic panderer, a blathering idiot, a sexual harasser, an anarchist, and a serial killer–can you guess who’s who?–are the very best the one with the elephant logo has to offer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.
1,845 = The number of Americans killed in action in Afghanistan
18,342 = The number of Americans wounded in Afghanistan
0 = The number of financial industry kingpins indicted for having committed the most massive FRAUD in American history and wrecking the global economy, plunging untold millions into lives of misery and deprivation.