One definition of a newt: A small, slender-bodied amphibian with lungs and a well-developed tail, typically spending its adult life on land and returning to water to breed.
The political Newt we’ve come to love or hate — depending on which side of the political spectrum you follow — doesn’t need water to breed. But, from his own admission, we know he prefers engaging in extramarital trysts on dry land.
As a matter of fact, Gingrich admitted to engaging in an adulterous affair years after the Clinton impeachment proceedings, for which he was quite judgmental.
Once again, the conservative wing of the Republican Party that pompously parades family values as its core philosophy ever since President Bill Clinton got caught with his pants down in the White House, chooses to ignore the moral dilemma of its current favorite son.
In some circles, marital transgressions are tolerable, but those who preach and promote family values, obviously turn the other cheek when they have a black sheep — or, in this case, a white knight — in the fold. Nor do they care that Gingrich was forced from Congress after he breached their ethics, also.
After a last minute surge before the recent South Carolina primary, it was clear that self-righteous, holier-than-thou conservatives preferred former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the next president, rather than Mitt Romney, the more liberal ex-Massachusetts governor. And this, despite Gingrich’s philandering, can only mean that as long as a presidential candidate touts a few cherished conservative issues, violating marriage vows gets a free pass.
Fueled by fiery debate performances and assisted in part by his Southern roots, Gingrich’s double digit victory in the South Carolina primary catapulted him into the top tier of White House GOP hopefuls.
But Gingrich was visibly upset at the start of a debate before the SC primary when questioned about an ABC interview in which his second of three wives claimed he asked her to participate in an open marriage after she discovered he was cheating with a mistress, who is his current spouse, and wanted to prolong the affair.
Gingrich insisted he offered witnesses to counter to his ex-wife’s claim, yet told CNN weren’t offered was “just plain baloney.”
However, a Gingrich campaign spokesperson later admitted they only offered the speaker’s two daughters from his first marriage, who were both part of ABC's report.
Not only is he hypocritical, but while ranting at CNN debate host John King, he lied to defend his outrage; just like politicians often do when cornered.
When he saw his support fall in the wake of the South Carolina vote, Gingrich ignored the decline and said “polls are good, votes are better.”
And who can forget Gingrich’s “consultant” position with Freddie Mac for which he received over $1.5 million. For a while Gingrich claimed he was their “historian,” but with that large a payday, it sounds more like a lobbyist, as Romney has repeatedly noted.
As we’ve seen in his current quest for the Republican presidential nomination, we need to keep a sharp eye on what he does — or has done — not what he says. After all he strongly endorsed the unfair Defense of Marriage Act and we know too well his resume on that matter.
But what else can we expect from a man who has failed to live up to the principles he parades and his party regularly and eagerly advocates?
Above all, let’s not forget that hypocrisy in politics has no boundaries. Double standards, unlike political debates and issues, are bipartisan. However, it sometimes seems that those who demonize the most often and the loudest tend to be the most hypocritical.
In politics, the Biblical quote, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone…” should always be on the mind of those who point fingers. After all, those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
While few believe politicians are squeaky clean — who of us is — some might argue that over the last three presidential elections GOP merely stands for “Grand Ol’ Phonies,” after a handful of Republican politicians have been involved in sex or other scandals.
Incidentally, at the outset of the 2008 race, all but one of the current GOP presidential contenders admitted to or was linked to extramarital trysts or divorce. Not exactly conventional family values. Despite the South Carolina outcome, it was, for the most part, just another chapter in the escalating tome of hypocritical politicians who publicly express what they believe constituents want to hear, yet privately follow a different drummer. Yet, intolerant conservatives blindly support them as they clearly pay no heed to the biblical proverb; do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
The political party that preaches morality in red states, ‘til it’s blue in the face, is again flush with double standards as another skeleton emerges from the closet of hypocrisy.