[reprinted from Margaret and Helen. I don't mean to pick on Newt, but this was just too much fun. Helen writes:]
The Passion of the Newt
Margaret, let me see if I get this right. The political party that brought us Family Values now gives us Newt Gingrich? South Carolina likes to say that they elect presidents. They also elected to keep the Confederate battle flag above their statehouse until this millennium so I kind of question their judgment… or lack thereof.
Let me tell you a little bit about the man who won the hearts and votes of South Carolina’s predominately born-again-evangelical-Republican-family-value voters:
Leroy Newton Gingrich was a Lutheran when he married his high school teacher at the age of 19. He was a Southern Baptist when he divorced her 18 years later while she was in the hospital recovering from surgery. A former staff member said that Newt felt she was a political liability because “she’s not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer.” Very good reasons I am sure, but I bet the affair he was having with Marianne Ginther had something to do with it as well. Newt “married” Marianne in 1981. I used quotes around that word because according to Marianne, Newt wanted an “open marriage” which is to say his divorces were getting kind of expensive. Instead of 7 years, Newt’s itch comes around every 18 years because that’s how long he was married to his high school teacher before he had the affair with Marianne, and that’s also how long he was married to Marianne before he began his affair with House of Representatives staffer Callista Bisek. I assume she asked him to become Catholic because they don’t believe in divorce.
Now she’s a pretty one that Callista. She is 23 years younger than Newt and so pasty white you can almost see through her, which makes her the perfect wife for a Republican president. They married in 2000 so Callista probably needs to find a lawyer in about 6 years. That means if Newt gets elected he’ll be well into his next affair and his next religion in time for his re-election campaign.
Of course all this really is Newt’s private life and I am probably “despicable” for even bringing it up. But Margaret, I find it odd that Newt takes offense to being asked about his private life when the Republican Party spends so much time worrying about my uterus and your nephew’s gay marriage. Maybe they should care a little more about what’s going on with all the uteruses (or is it uteri) in Newt’s bedroom and leave the rest of us alone.
To be honest, Newt recently took a pledge to “uphold personal fidelity to [his] spouse”. He explained that his earlier infidelities were – and I quote – “partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country…” Margaret, I ask you: Is that some good bullshit or isn’t it? Makes you wonder about Herman Cain’s claim that it was the color of his skin and not where he hid his pepperoni that knocked him out.
But we don’t have to stick to Newt’s private life to find the bullshit. The man who screwed women because he was passionate about his country, also screwed his country while acting as Speaker of the House. Eighty-four ethics charges were filed against Gingrich during his term as speaker. After extensive investigation and negotiation by the House Ethics Committee, Gingrich was penalized $300,000 by a 395–28 House vote. Talk about bipartisanship. It was the first time in history a speaker was disciplined for ethical wrongdoing.
So here’s how it all stacks up, Margaret. Herman Cain goes out because he played Newt Gingrich in blackface. Then Michele Bachmann dropped out because Jesus told her he missed their quiet moments together. Jon Huntsman dropped out because we already had one Mormon in the race. Rick Perry didn’t mean to run in the first place. Ooops. Ron Paul might still have a pulse – somebody check. But Rick Man on Animal Santorum won Iowa. And Mitt Today Pro-Choice Tomorrow Pro-Life Romney won New Hampshire. And now Newt Does This Tie Go With My Religion? Gingrich won South Carolina.
Three states and three winners so on we go to the land of the hanging chad. This year’s Republican Primary has a very good chance of winning next year’s Golden Globe for Best Comedy. I mean it. Really.
Helen, dear, the only thing I know for sure is Newt Gingrich will be one challenging role for that Meryl Streep to play.