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A View from the Altar / Marianne, Millard, and the Grinch
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Marianne, Millard, and the Grinch

The uproar du jour over Marianne Gingrich’s spitting mad expose’ of Newt is fast becoming a case study in missing the point. Newt has all along admitted that he’s got personal baggage. He did some folly and now confesses he was wrong.  “God has forgiven me,” he says.

And yay for forgiveness.  But forgiveness isn’t the point, never was, and one suspects Gingrich, canny guy with a Ph.D., knows it.  Pleading forgiveness suggests something like, “If God has forgiven me, then who are you to…?”  And people who aren’t thinking tend to back down.

But the issue isn’t whether God forgave Newt nor whether you’ve got the bile to impose upon Newt more exacting standards than God Almighty.  There are actually two real issues.  On the practical level, can Newt and his baggage defeat Barack Obama in the general election?  Second, if Gingrich won the general election, does he have the judgment and character to be leader of the free world?

What matters, then, is whether Gingrich can see the real issue (he can), face it head on (likely), speak to it humbly and publicly (less certain), and then change course so a persistent character problem doesn’t keeping popping up everywhere else like peccadillo whack-a-mole.  Think of Bill Clinton whose character tainted nearly everything he did as president.  Clinton is a man of great energy, almost-great intellect, and possessed arguably the best knack for political gamesmanship in American history.

But it was all poisoned with ego and lust.  I see no evidence that he ever came to understand how personal integrity has any bearing on one’s fitness to rule.  Who needs a Republican clone of that?

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And there’s the media angle.  The Gingrich divorce is about 12 years old.  The public already knew about it.  In fact, the public already knew Gingrich marriage number two finished nasty with Newt in the starring role as a cad.  So there is quite literally no news here.  None. Zero, zip, zilch, nada.

And yet here is a first-string, three-letter media outlet, garments rent, prophesying woes about it.  Why are they doing this?  No, cancel that.  Why are they doing this now?  Next they’ll announce Saddam Hussein has been captured?

The unavoidable answer is that the lefty media wants Romney to be the GOP nominee using logic nauseatingly similar to that of conservatives.  That is, if we can’t have the guy we really want, then Romney is the next-least-worst thing we could live with. Conservatives want a president who knows the Constitution and is committed to upholding it.  But if they can’t have one, then they’re willing to hurl into airsick bags, then vote for Romney just to prevent another four years of Obama.  For their part, the news media are in their fifth year of arousal with a giant man-crush on Obama.  Because Obama is cool, and what more could anyone ask for in a president?  But just in case Obama gets defeated, they want the GOP nominee to be not a constitutional conservative.  That means they want a northeastern liberal on the Republican ticket, so Romney is the man.

This is good news and bad news for Mr. Romney.  It means he’ll likely be the GOP nominee, that is, if the leftist media can help him pull it off.  It’s bad news for Romney because he’ll be the most unwanted president since Millard Fillmore, and like Fillmore, he probably won’t get a second term.

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And finally there’s a pastoral angle to this.  Marianne Gingrich, she of scorn and fury, was Newt’s second wife.  Published reports say she began consorting with Newt when he was still married to his first wife.  Every father, and every pastor, should gently point this out to the kids they’re responsible for.  If you’re cheating with a cheater, don’t be surprised when the cheater cheats on you.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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