8 GOP Primary Moments That Would Make Jesus Weep
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Newt then married his second wife, Marianne Ginther, six months after his divorce was finalized. Newt and Marianne divorced in 2000, as Newt admitted he had been having an affair during their marriage with Callista Bisek, a former House staffer who also happened to be 23 years younger than Newt. I guess it took poor Newty a while to find someone young enough and pretty enough to be worthy of his over-sized head, but he apparently found her in Callista since they’ve been married for more than 11 years now.
While no man is perfect and Newt’s past infidelities aren’t unique, his explanations for them sure are. When Newt was interviewed by David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, he said that he cheated on his wife because he was “driven by how passionately I felt about this country” and thus “worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.” That is, to quote the late George Carlin, what’s known as being stunningly and embarrassingly full of shit.
Which brings us to another of Newt’s un-Christlike traits: His incredible ability to spew bullshit about anything and everything. When it was revealed that Gingrich made at least $1.6 million lobbying on behalf of government-sponsored entity Freddie Mac, Newt simply claimed that Freddie had paid him all that money to learn his unique perspective as a historian on the housing market.
And what was Newt’s historical advice, you ask? Well, Newt says that he warned Freddie execs they were buying up far too many risky mortgages. Which sounds all well and good until you read a 2007 interview with Newt posted on Freddie Mac’s Web site in which he says that conservatives ought to be supportive of government-sponsored entities because they’ve done such an amazing job in expanding home-buying opportunities for so many Americans.
“The housing GSEs have made an important contribution to homeownership and the housing finance system,” Newt said a mere year before Fannie and Freddie collapsed and were taken over by the federal government. “We have a much more liquid and stable housing finance system than we would have without the GSEs. And making homeownership more accessible and affordable is a policy goal I believe conservatives should embrace.”
Oh, and have I mentioned Newt’s self-idolatry? Because there’s lots and lots of that as well. In 2009, for instance, Newt mused about his potential for a political comeback by comparing himself to Charles de Gaulle. In 1999, right after he had been run out of his job as House Speaker by his own party, Gingrich said he would go down as the most significant Congressman since Henry Clay in the 19th century since “Henry Clay's probably the only other speaker to have been a national leader and a speaker of the House simultaneously.” And when Gingrich received criticism for his poor political strategy back in 1996, the former Speaker responded by pointing out that people used to criticize the Duke of Wellington as well.
At any rate, if Newt is actually elected president, I pledge to become a born-again evangelical Christian since praying every night for the Rapture would be better than dealing with reality.
7. Ron Paul’s bigoted newsletters.
Before I get into this, I should note that Ron Paul is the rare Republican candidate who doesn’t want to plunge the United States into a series of ruinous wars in the Middle East. So, good job on that. Jesus will bless him in that regard.
The Prince of Peace will be less pleased, however, by Paul’s history of releasing bigoted newsletters that trashed black people and homosexuals while spouting loony-toons conspiracy theories about the Trilateral Commission that would make Glenn Beck blush.
How bad were these newsletters? Consider a 1992 issue that said riots in Los Angeles only ended “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. ... What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided.” Another 1992 newsletter said that “Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage” and thus cause rioting.
Paul’s newsletters also attacked homosexuals as deviant disease carriers who only have themselves to blame for contracting HIV. A 1994 newsletter explained that “those who don’t commit sodomy, who don’t get blood a transfusion, and who don’t swap needles, are virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay.” Another newsletter similarly said homosexuals were to blame for contracting HIV as they “don't really see a reason to live past their fifties” since “they are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners.”
For his part, Paul claims that he didn’t write the letters that bore his name. And, you know, sure. I’m trying to imagine how the Irish Taoiseach will react when he receives a letter in President Paul’s name informing him that “the Irishmen have reverted to their traditional roles as Europe’s brawling drunks after having a brief period of economic prosperity. Only an ample supply of Guinness and potatoes will be able to stop the Irishman from rioting and looting his British superiors in the months ahead.” Will the Irish chief of state really buy the president’s explanation that the letter was written by a rogue Secretary of State?