There is something unique about Fox News, most notably, never knowing which one of their self-promoting, book selling, commentators and/or contributors will say something that can only be chalked-up as being totally off the wall and irrational. But as sure as I'm sitting here, that is a common occurrence at Fox News.
One such recent incident involves the controversial psychiatrist and Fox employed, Keith Ablow. To wit - Ablow feels that Newt's infidelity could be of great benefit and even make him a better president. And as stupid as that may sound, Ablow based that conclusion upon Gingrich's way of telling his wives the "incredibly painful truths" that he no longer loved them and was leaving them for other women - which could mean that he would be equally, brutally direct with America about whatever issues he had with the entire country.
Well, I suppose that if you live long enough you are bound to hear damn near everything - but now, I think, I've about heard it all.
I guess my only response to that reasoning would be to ask if Keith Ablow also believes in that typical Southern Conservative Evangelist's stereotype of "sin - repent - and then repeat the process as many times as necessary until the people buy into the hypocrisy" routine too? After all, there must be a reason why so many God-fearing Conservatives stand on their bully pulpits deriding man's sinfulness only to fall victim themselves to the Devil's influence. And then there is the other question of how many times does Ablow believe that a devout Southern Christian can sin and still be considered a "reborn" role model for his holier than thou and righteousness followers?
Of course I am not suggesting that I believe in those stereotypes, as I have many friends who just happen to be Southern, Conservative and Evangelist. My experiences have shown me that these are truly good people who try to lead good lives and, most importantly, follow the tenets of their faith. But we are all human, and as such, we must accept the fact that we are not a perfect species. We will all make mistakes.
Still, as much as I accept our human condition for what it is - I have also learned that there are some really bad people out there. People who are either incapable or unwilling to modify their behavior. Sometimes bad is just plain bad. But what do you do with that realization when it presents itself? Do we give up or do we hope that a change is right around the corner? It is a tough call for some and yet, for others, it becomes a matter of principle that certain things just aren't acceptable in society.
Many have said that what Newt Gingrich, for instance, does in his personal life are his own business. Well, I have to disagree because once he chose to enter the public arena that expectation disappeared. And once he decided to run for President of the United States, well, the questions of character become just as important as where he stands on public policy.
Despite what Keith Ablow thinks, Newt Gingrich's repeated acts of adultery should be of a concern to people. The bond between two people in a relationship are not only a matter of trust, but one of mutual respect. And so far as I am concerned, if a person lacks respect for his/her partner - then how could they have respect for the highest office in the land, much less themselves?
At the same token, though, I do understand that people can fall out of love and get divorced. That, in and of itself, doesn't make a person unworthy. My concerns, though, are the manner in which Newt Gingrich has conducted himself thus far. First, he allegedly, had gotten involved with his 25-year old teacher at the age of 16. Even though Newt did the honorable thing by marrying her later, the fact is that their actions were inappropriate from every level of decency and perhaps legal lines. But hey, shit happens, right? Still I would be concerned about his so-called knack for giving "hard truths." Consider when he split with Wife #1 - he did it as she lay in a hospital bed battling cancer. Hmm, perhaps what Ablow views an attribute is really a lack of compassion? Then again, it just sounds downright cruel.
Naturally, Newt's fidelity was stretched again after Wife #2 allegedly refused to go along with his request for an "open marriage." Of course Gingrich was already engaged in adultery with now current wife Callista at the time and used that opportunity to dump Marianne with another of those "hard truths." Meanwhile, Keith Ablow said he was impressed with the fact that three different women were willing to spend their entire lives with such a dynamic Newt Gingrich.
Hmm - three women with what sort of character qualities exactly? After all, didn't all three engaged in what most would consider, uh, questionable?
So I wonder, then. What if Newt Gingrich were to win the White House - what do you exactly call a First Lady who was neither first nor particularly a lady? I mean would we need to come up with some sort of a new title? Just a thought.
Truth be told, though - the real problem with Newt Gingrich goes way beyond his infidelities. One should not forget that Newt is the ultimate Washington Insider and has made a fortune in the process.The fact that we cannot get a straight answer regarding how he made that $1.6 million from Freddie Mac while housing markets were collapsing should be of great concern to people. Newt claims he was either a historian or a consultant. Well, okay - which one then? Besides if either / or were true how could he have missed that there was trouble on the horizon for the housing markets? Did Newt Gingrich have a direct hand in the housing collapse as some suggest? Whatever the association with Freddie Mac was, US Taxpayers just didn't get their money's worth from Newt!
Newt Gingrich wants Republicans to believe that he is the new Conservative Savior of the GOP. First of all there is nothing new about Newt and lastly there is just no verifiable track record to substantiate that he is anywhere near being a true conservative. As a matter of fact, that is exactly why he crashed and burned as Speaker of the House and was eventually ousted by his party. Naturally, it didn't help that Newt Gingrich had to be disciplined for an ethics violation in 1997. He did, however, was able to avoid a full hearing. I suppose that the condition for that action was in exchange for his disgraceful resignation from the House.
Oddly, Keith Ablow praises Newt Gingrich for his abilities with women but misses a pattern of behavior which sees Gingrich first taking up with a much older woman - then moving on to one nearer his age - before finally completing the cycle by taking on a younger woman. Seems to me trying to decipher what makes Newt tick on that part of his life alone would be a psychiatrists dream come true.
As for me? Well I think I have to agree with Rod Dreher of The American Conservative: "Ablow's argument represented "shamelessness cross[ing] the line from character defect to psychopathology."
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