A savage look at Newtonian hypocrisy

I really shouldn’t quote Savage Love letters in their entireties, but this one‘s just too delicious to pass up.

Congrats, Dan. It looks like you’ve got your first high-profile “monogamish” public figure: Newt Gingrich. You must be so proud.

Dan Savage

For anyone who spent last week under a rock: Newt Gingrich, brave defender of traditional marriage, was still married to his second wife—and still fucking the consecrated host out of his “devout Catholic” mistress—when he asked his second wife to agree to an open marriage. Newt had been fucking Callista, his devoutly Catholic mistress, for six years when he made the big ask. Newt’s second wife wouldn’t agree to an open marriage, according to Newt’s second wife, which is how she became Newt’s second ex-wife and Newt’s mistress—the devoutly Catholic Callista—became Newt’s third wife.

That’s not monogamish, SCUM. That’s CPOSish. And lumping honest nonmonogamists—people who don’t lie or cheat—in with the likes of the Gingriches and Schwarzeneggers of the world, which whiny and insecure monogamists (who are not to be confused with reasonable and secure monogamists) are always doing, is simply unfair. Newt, like Arnold before him, didn’t succeed at nonmonogamy, he failed at monogamy.

Newton Gingrich

Zooming out for a moment: The Gingrich campaign has presented the holesome story of Newt and Callista’s courtship as a redemption narrative: Newt is a better man today thanks to Callista, he’s better suited to be president thanks to Callista, and he’s better prepared to defend traditional marriage thanks to Callista. She’s been described as a “devout Catholic” in every profile written about her—so devout that her love brought Newt to the one, holy, Catholic, apostolic, and ever-more-rabidly anti-gay church. So it seems to me that it’s fair to ask if Callista knew in advance that Newt was proposing an open marriage to his then-wife and approved of the arrangement. (It might be more accurate to say that Newt informed his second wife that she was already in an open marriage and asked if she wanted to remain in it.) Did Callista know about Newt’s open marriage proposal? Did Newt bounce the idea off his devoutly Catholic mistress first? Maybe right after he finished bouncing himself off his devoutly Catholic mistress?

Would the devout Catholic still be Newt’s mistress today if the second Mrs. Gingrich had agreed to remain in the marriage that Newt had already opened?

Callista Gingrich

This news alters the redemption narrative that the Gingrich camp set before the voters. So questioning Callista about the open marriage proposal—what did the mistress know and when did she know it?—seems like an entirely legit line of inquiry to me.

Callista Gingrich, like her vile husband, doesn’t believe that gays and lesbians should be equal under the law because, as a good Catholic, she believes that homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals should remain celibate. Well, the Catholic Church considers adultery, divorce, and birth control sinful, too. Someone in the liberal media really ought to ask Callista to explain why her faith should place limits on my sexual expression but not her own. (emphasis mine)

And let’s not forget that Newton did the same damned thing to wife #1, except that he kinda left out the “can I cheat on you with your blessing?” part.

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For this, I’d have Maureen Dowd’s baby

From one of her recent NYT op-ed pieces, Ms. Dowd drove the nail in with one whack:

Newt Gingrich’s mind is in love with itself.

It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker.

His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior.

He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

“Part of the question I had to ask myself,” he said in a 1985 Wall Street Journal piece about war wimps, “was what difference I would have made.”

Think about that, Newton-heads, the next time you see a “forthright, straight-shooting” candidate in that wizened little gnome.

The Incredible Chootz-pah!; or, Just How Stupid Must You Be to Be a Politician?

We all have events and deeds in our lives that we’re ashamed of. Many committed youthful indiscretions are chalked up to “he’s being a kid” or “she just needs to grow up a little” or (my least favorite) “boys will be boys”.

Most of us learn from those events and deeds and grow up a bit and don’t repeat them.

However, it would seem that many politicians, already full of hubris (or because of hubris), just don’t absorb those lessons well.

  • California governor Arnold Schwarzeneger not only had a years-long affair with his children’s nanny, but actually fathered a child by her and kept her in his employment — and all of this before he ever ran for governor! He had to know that news of his actions would eventually leak. (Schwarzenegger and his wife are now in divorce proceedings.)
  • U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner made a habit of sending unsolicited pictures of his genitalia to women. He had to know that news of his actions would eventually leak. (Weiner resigned his seat in the House.)
  • Former House Speaker Newton Gingrich, now running for the highest office of the most powerful country on Earth, cheated on his (sick with cancer) first wife, divorced her, married his paramour, and then cheated on her, divorced her, and married his new paramour. (Gingrich continues to run for President.)
  • Married businessman Herman Cain, also running for the highest office of the most powerful country on Earth, not only had four different women file complaints about his unwanted sexual advances (and no one knows how many more that didn’t file), but continued to have a years-long affair with a woman that he “thought was a friend”. He had to know that news of his actions would eventually leak. (Cain is reportedly “reconsidering” his campaign.)

All of these politicians (and many, many others) knew what they had done, knew that they were pursuing a career where (at least nominally) moral fiber is looked upon as a desirable attribute, and yet continued to flash, adulter, and procreate outside societal bounds.

Did they really think they’d get away with it? Did they really think people were that blind and stupid? Did Michele Bachmann really think she could simultaneously 1) claim that “big government” was giving away too much money, and 2) accept annual 5-figure farm subsidy payments for a farm that produces nothing, and 3) deny that she’s getting farm subsidies despite tax returns that give proof to the contrary?

Why the HELL would you want to vote
for people like that?

“Don’t you think? Or don’t you?”

The current crop of Republican presidential candidates all seem set to put the screws to the poor and middle class by cutting back on government programs designed to prop up the social safety net when it fails.

The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) provisions for ensuring health insurance for those who cannot afford it is a prime example of that safety net. You’d think that supporting legislation that guarantees that everyone has access to at least minimal health care would be a good thing.

According to Ron Paul, whose 2008 campaign go-to guy Kent Snyder died just weeks after the end of that campaign, it’s charity to the rescue. Snyder died of complications due to pneumonia, and had no health care due to preexisting health conditions. The ACA would have helped prevent that death. (Paul gave not one dime to the effort to raise money to help Snyder’s mother pay the bills.)

During the CNN-sponsored Tea Party candidate “debate”, Newt Gingrich suggested that the uninsured look to charity for help with medical bills:

Michele Bachmann recently told an Iowa woman essentially the same thing:

With the number of uninsured Americans having risen above 50 million last year, there is no way for charities to raise the money to pay for expensive medical procedures.

You’d think that Republicans would flock to the idea of attracting millions of votes by actively supporting a program that would diretly benefit the uninsured.

You’d think the idea of helping prevent 45,000 needless deaths would be an attractive one.

You’d think.

One politico + one Christian “school” = one screwed-up mess

The late Jerry Falwell’s legacy and Newt Gingrich, in one lovely package:

Liberty University is an institute of “learning” where pre- or extra-marital sex will get a student tossed out, where women cannot wear shorts or skirts that expose too much leg, and where chapel attendence is required.

It is also a “school” in whose law classes you can fail for claiming that “God’s laws” (Levitican law? Christian law? They’re very different.) don’t take precedence over civil code–you know, kinda like Muslim Sharia. Keep in mind that the ABA has given full accreditation to this law “school”.

Poor Newt would be convicted of the “crimes” of divorce and adultery in a court that follows through on the religious wackadoodleness taught at Liberty’s law school.

“I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Sometimes I get tired enough of the corruption in Washington that the above quote from Aliens sounds like a reasonable course of action.

It seems there is a less honest reason why Newt Gingrich and his current wife Callista managed to snag an interest-free, $500,000-limit credit account with Tiffany & Co., the high-end jewelry retailer.

Ms. Gingrich, formerly among the collection of women Mr. Gingrich bedded while married to wives #1 and #2, used to be a high-level staffer with the federal Department of Agriculture; the DoA oversees federal mining concerns, and Tiffany & Co. mines for silver within the United States.

How convenient.

Anyone still want to vote for this man?


“Can you say hy-po-cri-sy? I knew you could.”

Isn’t this lovely?

“Judge Walker’s ruling overturning Prop 8 is an outrageous disrespect for our Constitution and for the majority of people of the United States who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife. In every state of the union from California to Maine to Georgia, where the people have had a chance to vote they’ve affirmed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Congress now has the responsibility to act immediately to reaffirm marriage as a union of one man and one woman as our national policy.”

This is from Newt “we’re losing our civil rights!” Gingrich, the ex-House Speaker who abandoned his first wife while she lay in a hospital bed dying of cancer so that he could boff the woman whom he ended up marrying, and then cheated on the second wife with his third. And let us all not forget Gingrich doing his “You dirty adulterer!” rhetoric shtick about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

Oh, and Newt? DOMA was recently struck down on the basis of the 10th Amendment, so any bullshit about Congress defining marriage at the federal level will soon be a dead duck.

UPDATE: Thanks, Hemant, for pointing us all to this: