I have not been able to come to Dkos on a daily basis, no matter how much I want to. A new position at my company has me isolated in a no-internet, no-phone, no nothing-that's-digital area for much of the day. If someone has already done a diary like this, feel free to let me know.
I just find it amazing that the Rethuglicans are, once again, about to nominate an adulterer for the nomination. I want to ask opinions of this community on two things:
1) What this means for Gay Americans and 2) will Callista Gingrich get mauled in the next few months?
To begin with, I know a large percentage of Kossacks do not care a whit about a candidates personal life, (and also many of you are not Christian)but humor me: When I speak here, I'm speaking in the terms of the GOP and their fundamentalist followers.
When it comes to adultery, the rules are quite clear: both parties, no matter which one is married, are both sinners in the eyes of God. (Of course, to expand on that, ALL sex that is not in the bounds of marriage is a no-no in the Bible)
The GOP -- the party of FAMILY VALUES, the only party that honors God, The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit -- is seemingly, for the second presidential election in a row, going to nominate, not only a man who admittedly committed adultery BUT also the woman who he committed it with.
John McCain admittedly had a host of physical and mental problems after returning from captivity in Vietnam and his marriage was falling apart. He fell in with the 18-years younger-daughter of a rich beer magnate and then divorced his wife.
Now, a lot of that got swept under the rug in 2008 and maybe deservedly so: this is the early 70s when this happened, McCain was not in office at this time, and was not in the best of mental shape when he came back from Vietnam having suffered horrors most of us can't even imagine. Plus, McCain was never a Bible-thumper or moralist prig like some of his GOP colleagues. So this is not something that was harped on too much by other primary opponents, except in passing.
So OK, fine. But soft, let us turn our attention to one Newton Leroy Gingrich:
He cheated on Wife #1 with Wife #2. He cheated on Wife #2 with current Wife #3, and he was doing it while Speaker of the House and therefore leading the charge on Bill Clinton's Impeachment Trial. This is not ancient history. This is 13 years ago. Military Derferment-Blessed Newt Gingrich's excuse? The long, long hours he was putting in and the passion he felt for his country led him to it.
Now of course, we have to couple this with the GOP's rabid, rabid, anti-gay stance which encompasses zero-tolerance on gay marriage. Their stance on this is largely Bible-based, but, because we happen to have a little thing called Freedom of Religion in this country, they have had to resort that nebulous "The Sancticity of Marriage" deal.
My ultimate point is that if Newt Gingrich is nominated, you can compound that with McCain's nomination and the conservatives will have basically poured gasoline on TSOM. They will have NO moral high ground to stand on as far as that issue is concerned.
(Oh look at this!Newt has just signed on the No-Adultery Pledge. For the FOURTH time. He's lucky that one is not under Grover Norquist's jurisdiction.)
Oh, don't get me wrong, they'll still play the Gods, Guns and Gays card, (hey, gotta have something to distract from the fact that --at heart -- you're the party of the Rich) but it'll be a blunted attack. Sure there's such a thing as forgiveness, and heaven knows Democratic male politicians are no saints, but I just don't see how you nominate adulterers two elections in a row and maintain your self-righteousness. (1) I believe that this is something that should be pounded on by us if Newt is indeed the nominee.
When I say we should pound on that, I mean we as in activists and bloggers especially in any shouting matches you get into with any Conservatives friends you may have. In absolutely no way do I advocate Barack Obama doing what Mitt Romney is doing, i.e., using his stable marriage in an ad campaign. We really DON'T care about marriages and such; there's far too many pressing policy issues to get into that. Newt's policy positions are so fucking scary it's not like Plouffe and co. need to get into the personal stuff.
But those of you reading this? Knock yerselves out. Every chance you get, you should make this point: three out of the last three Democratic nominees were men with stable marriages. Two out of the last three Republican nominees were serial adulterers. And the third was George W. Bush, which, let's be honest, is much, much worse.
And I want to talk about Callista Gingrich. She is going to be a target if Newt gets the nomination, and that's somewhat regrettable. Take this passage from Powerwall today:
Callista's Prissy Style Problem
Mrs. Gingrich's grooming is distractingly impeccable. In an era of relaxed dress codes and wash-and-go hair, her style is painstakingly starched from head to toe. If she were to slouch, she just might crack
Personally, I think that's uncalled for(2), but that's reality. We are now fully in the internet age, and every woman in the public eye is subject to the barbs of bloggers and "the make a comment" blank space.
For years, there was a been a distinct mold to First Ladies: Pat Nixon, Rosalyn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Laura Bush. Hair imported from the Eisenhower era, impeccable societal manners, sensible, but non-overwhelming in both their makeup, clothing and opinions.
Jackie Kennedy, Hilary Clinton and Michele Obama were groundbreakers for their time, but again, Republicans are different. They want good little Stepford Wives.
Did Callista Gingrich ever think that Newt's presidential aspirations would ever get to this point? Did Newt? Maybe, maybe not, but if it happens she's in for major scrutiny. For starters, as stated, she has been "the other woman". (Expect to see lots of bloggers assign less-polite, street-slang upon her like "jump-off" and "First Side Chick").
Secondly, she's 22 years younger than Newt. Ouch! Kids, that's a generation. That's OK if you're Mick Jagger or Rod Stewart, but when you're seeking the highest office in this country it's a tad...unseemly. (3)
And then there's the whole Tiffany's thing, which will weigh around her neck far more than any pearl necklace.
Now they say that we don't vote for running mates, and we don't vote for wives. But STILL, both of those people are important to a presidential campaign. Just like one has to visualize this person as the President of the United States of America, you have to be able to visualize his/her running mate as the same. And there's also a visualization of the first lady.
Can anyone -- visualize Callista Gingrich in that role? What about Republican women? Any woman who's been cheated on (by a husband, boyfriend, whatever) would instantly get their dander up whenever they see her on TV or at the RNC convention. But not just that -- what about any woman who's ever been passed over for a promotion while someone younger and prettier moved ahead at their job? What about the average woman who watches anorexic bottle-blondes dominate on magazine covers and TV shows?
I cannot fathom how they will look at Callista Gingrich and say, "yes, I feel comfortable voting for him and her." I could be wrong. Anyone with a differing opinion is welcome to chime in.
All in all, I'm optimistic about a Newt candidacy; His chances of beating Barack Obama are slim, but beyond that, it also gives us a chance to tar and feather the moralists in the GOP more than usual in suport of civil rights for all. It's an opportunity that we should not waste.
PS: I realize that this Diary has mentioned Newt Gingrich and sex in the same paragraph several times. I deeply apologize for that.
(1) - HAHAHAHA! Did I just say out loud that I wonder how the GOP maintains it's self-righteousness?!?! HAHAHAHA!
(2) -Of course, comparatively worse has been said about Hilary Clinton over the years to be sure.
(3) - Then again, so much about Newt Gingrich is unseemly...