Thursday, January 26, 2012

Amanda Marcotte on the Newt as the Living Id of the Republican Party: Entitlement and More Entitlement

Amanda Marcotte offers insightful analysis of the double standard used by American conservatives (and the mainstream media and religious right) to assess the sexual infractions of political leaders: if he's a rich, powerful white man with right-wing views, adultery and serial marriages don't matter at all, even if he's mouthing pieties about traditional family values while cheating on a string of wives:

Gingrich doesn’t live by the strict sexual rules laid out by conservatives, because those rules are meant for other people. Sex is a weapon being used against all those classes of Americans they don’t like: non-white people, gays, non-Christians, liberals, Democrats, people who have to work for a living, poor people, Democratic politicians.  
With rising levels of pious posing amongst Republicans, there has been some half-hearted attempts to pretend that they hold everyone to the same standards, which helped created the spectacle of Gov. Mark Sanford’s resignation. Gingrich represents a tossing-away of that feigned concern for fairness and a return to what conservatives really love best, a pedal-to-the-metal defense of straight white male privilege, especially that of wealthy white men. He’s the living id of the Republican Party: a spoiled brat who takes what he wants without apology, and then dresses down perceived inferiors for their supposed lack of morals and work ethic. 

A wealthy white man who's the living id of the Republican party, a spoiled brat who takes what he wants without apology, and then shamelessly postures about the intrusiveness of the media if anyone asks him about the huge gap between what he preaches and what he practices: Marcotte is right, it seems to me.  And, given the craven, chastened-puppy way in which John King let Gingrich lecture him the other evening when he dared to raise a question about Newt's hypocrisy, I don't think we should expect the media to pursue the question of Newt's infidelity and serial monogamy with anywhere near the ferocity with which they pursued Clinton at Newt's urging. 

Glaring double standards at work here.  When it's a rich, powerful white Republican man, he's just doing what men do and have a right to do.  If he's anybody else, he's a threat to the strong moral values of the nation God has set atop a hill.

(P.S. I see that the Gene Lyons article I recommended yesterday about the Newt's particular appeal to the neo-Confederate wing of the Republican party has now appeared in Salon.)

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