Daily Archives: March 10, 2007

“‘Comeback’? Oh how I hate that word! It’s a RETURN!” cried Norma Desmond. And it’s obvious from today’s news that Newt Gingrich feels the same way. For the Republican Party’s most celebrated ideologue has announced his intention of announcing his intention to run for POTUS by cozying up to the Fundie “base” via one of its most important leaders, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, making a rather tardy act of contrition in the process.

“Newt Gingrich’s admission of an extramarital affair as he pursued President Clinton’s impeachment in the Monica Lewinsky scandal has won praise from another conservative Christian leader: the Rev. Jerry Falwell.
It’s also helped to gain Gingrich an invitation to deliver the commencement address at Falwell’s Liberty University. Gingrich is considered a possible Republican presidential contender, although he has not announced any intention to run.”

Oh come on, Newt — INHALE ALREADY!

“In an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson that aired Friday, Gingrich admitted to the affair in 1998. In 2000, he divorced his second wife, Marianne, after his attorneys acknowledged his relationship with Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide now his wife.”

CALLISTA?

Well we’re obviously talking about a different Callista. The one on Brothers and Sisters is also having an affair with a Presidential wannabe, played by Rob Lowe.

Obviously no one’s going to mistake Newt (despite his undoubted reptilian charm) for Rob Lowe. Moreover TV’s Calista and her politico amour are unmarreid, and therefore not adulterous.

Naturally this conflicts with the Republican obsession with abstinence. But then so does the Republican obsession with gay porn star “escorts” and underage male congressional pages.

Happily that’s not Newt’s pecadillo.

“He has admitted his moral shortcomings to me, as well, in private conversations,” Falwell wrote in a weekly newsletter sent Friday to members of the Moral Majority Coalition and The Liberty Alliance. “And he has also told me that he has, in recent years, come to grips with his personal failures and sought God’s forgiveness.”

Really? And what did God have to say on the matter?

(crickets chirping)

“Gingrich, 63, a former Georgia congressman who served as Republican speaker of the House after leading the party to its first House majority in 40 years, has been married three times. He has supported a family-values agenda as a candidate, and his two divorces have sparked reports of extramarital affairs as well as charges of hypocrisy from critics.”

Three times?!!

How Giulianiesque.

“He abruptly resigned from Congress in 1998 after Republicans faired poorly in midterm elections. He also was reprimanded by the House ethics panel in connection with using tax-exempt funding to advance his political goals.”

IOW, Standard OperationalBeltway Behavior.

“Clinton’s impeachment by the House was driven by charges of perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from sworn statements about an affair with Lewinsky while she was a White House intern. In the Dobson interview, Gingrich argued that he should not be seen as a hypocrite and suggested he had an obligation to pursue the charges against Clinton.
Falwell, in his newsletter, said he has usually been able to tell when a man who has experienced “moral collapse” was genuinely seeking forgiveness. “My sense tells me that Mr. Gingrich is such a man,” he wrote.”

(cough) Ted Haggard (cough)

“I well remember the challenge we evangelicals faced in 1980 when our candidate, Ronald Reagan, was the first presidential candidate who had gone through a divorce. We wisely made allowance for God’s forgiveness and America was the beneficiary of this historic champion,” Falwell added.

Not to mention the many fans of Reagan’s stellar cinematic swan son The Killers.

The invitation to speak at commencement is not an endorsement of Gingrich, Falwell said.

Yeah, right.

Note how cleverly the Reverend hedges his bets. For after all —

Another potential GOP contender, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, spoke at Liberty’s commencement last year. McCain’s appearance followed a reconciliation with Falwell, who had been at odds with McCain during the 2000 campaign for the Republican nomination

And we know how that turned out.

Needless to say the crash and burn of the “Straight Talk Express” (that most beloved of “mainstream” media free-lunch wagons) is why Newt is running in the first place.

As for Newt’s , un “morals” (and that of all Republicans for that matter) Cliff Schecter cites the always invaluable
Richard Hofstadter who wrote of clay-footed ideologues —

“The sexual freedom often attributed to him, his lack of moral inhibition, his possession of especially effective techniques for fulfilling his desires, gives exponents of the paranoid style an opportunity to project and freely express unacceptable aspects of their own minds.”

And to think, that was penned decades ago.

EXTRA ADDED ATTRACTION: AN OPEN LETTER TO TIM RUTTEN

Dear Tim Rutten:

In today’s column you claim: “It’s worth giving a dozen Tim Russerts or Judy Millers a get-out-of-jail-free card to protect the ability of reporters like Priest and Hall to do their job. That’s the real lesson of the Libby trial.”

No it’s not.

The real lesson of the Libby trial is that unnamed “sourcing” is the Bush administration’s mot important means of disseminating lies and disinformation.
What Priest and Hall prove is that REAL journalism does not require unnamed “sources” at all.

This was my point several years back when I wrote this article for the “L.A. Weekly”

But it’s obvious that it needs to be repeated, over and over and over again.

Cheers,

David Ehrenstein
Los Angeles, Ca.

Now you can put that light back where it belongs, hog-eye.