Thursday, December 15, 2011

Meghan Daum on Newt's Marital History: A Hot Mess

A follow-up to what I wrote earlier today about Thomas Peters' absolutely incredible attempt to spin the Newt as a good Catholic candidate strong on marriage issues: here's Meghan Daum's take in the Los Angeles Times

Look what's happening on the political stage. With Newt Gingrich, a hot mess of a public servant, suddenly leading the polls, many are wondering just how much personal wreckage voters are willing to accept. There is, for starters, the well-known narrative about his pressing his first wife on the terms of their divorce while she was in the hospital fighting cancer, and later, divorcing his second wife after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and he was having an affair.
Then there's his penchant for relentlessly trying to bring down his opponents for transgressions eerily similar to his own. Gingrich's ethics charges against Democratic Speaker of the House Jim Wright in 1988 started with a campaign finance/book deal imbroglio not unlike the campaign finance/college course shenanigans that led to his own historic reprimand. Gingrich's hammering of another hot mess, Bill Clinton, over the Monica Lewinsky scandal coincided with his own extramarital affair. 
It gets better. For instance, the fact that Gingrich's first wife had been his high school geometry teacher and that, according to a 2010 Esquire interview with his second wife, the relationship began not when he was 18, as he's previously claimed, but when he was 16 and the teacher was 25.

As I said earlier, I really can't imagine in what universe a Catholic (or evangelical) who would find this hot mess of bed-hopping marital infidelity a "strong" witness to family values lives.  If this saga in any shape, form, or fashion exemplifies "strong" family values and "strong" witness to marriage, I'll eat my hat--with a mess of turnip greens on the side.

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