Newt Is Anything But New
Just when you thought the Republican slate of presidential hopefuls couldn’t get any more bizarre (courtesy of Donald Trump), more boring (thanks to Mittens Romney and Tim Pawlenty, yawn) or just plain old more idiotic (the ladies have this one tied up, thanks to Sarah “I can see Russia from my bedroom window” Palin and Michele “carbon dioxide has never been proven to be harmful” Bachmann), enter stage right Newt “Mr. American Values” Gingrich and his mistress of 6 years turned wife number 3, Callista Bisek Gingrich. Gingrich, who just yesterday announced his candidacy for the nation’s highest post, will be attempting a return to elected office after a 12-year hiatus. A hiatus that was really more of an I-better-get-the-hell-out-of-here-type retreat that Gingrich was forced to make after his 6-year affair, with the then 32 year old Bisek, was made public back in 1999.
Now some of you are likely scratching your heads and asking, “Isn’t this the same guy that ranted and raved about President Clinton’s infidelity with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, went on and on about how such immoral conduct was a disgrace to the office of the President and jump started the call for Clinton’s impeachment?” Yes, yes it is. Others among you may be further querying, “Is this the same fellow who pressed his first wife to sign divorce papers while she was lying in bed recovering from breast cancer related surgery?” Yes, yes it is.
But listen folks, this is America where we let our politicians’ bygones be bygones and where we somehow believe that a leopard can change his spots. You see, we are now getting the new and improved Newt. The quintessential Christian, the ultimate family values man, the vessel by which God’s anointing of America as being exceptional, distinct from and above all other nations, will be propagated and fulfilled. If you are thoroughly confused and don’t know what the heck we’re talking about, you clearly haven’t read or watched enough of candidate Gingrich’s plethora of self-authored books and DVDs. Gingrich Productions, also known as Newt, Inc., is masterfully run by Gingrich and his ever-present, ever-smiling, never-a-hair-out-of-place wife and seems to serve as the means for Gingrich’s incredible total image make over. A quick perusal of the site exposes one to a bafflingly large number of pictures of Gingrich and his wife with perma-smiles etched on their faces. But more concerning than the weird picture collection, are the numerous books and DVDs that Gingrich has crunched out in support of his half-baked, pseudo-religious American Exceptionalism thesis.
According to Gingrich, God specifically anointed American citizens, via the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, with the right to supreme sovereignty over their own affairs, thus making America an exceptional country. In his words, it is therefore “illicit for the government to get between the citizen and the worship of God.” He further extrapolates that it is also therefore God’s desire that government be limited to nothing more than a civil framework that allows each of us to pursue his or her own desires, unfettered by government regulation. He has used these theories to disingenuously deride President Obama and to draw less than subtle comparisons between the Administration and Nazism and Communism: ‘The secular socialist machine [President Obama's Administration] represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” While we are not biblical scholars, we are pretty sure none of Newt’s religious “pearls” appear in any reputed version of the bible that is in common usage.
Alas, it seems to us that there really is nothing new under the sun and that a leopard can’t change his spots. Newt may be shiny and new, but his message reeks of the same old ultra conservative/libertarian themes dressed up in right-wing Christian zealotry that we have all heard before. And, while Newt’s chances of winning are slim to none, his message is sure to inflame the jingoistic and Ralph Reed types into an enthusiastic frenzy (leading them to flood Newt’s site and to frantically click way at the “buy” button) and to leave the rest of us scratching our heads.