Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newt Wanted a Chevy

But he was married to a Jaguar.

Basically, we all know that Newt Gingrich is the sort of politician who makes a lot of noise about virtue, honor and family, while living lives of vice that bring shame to their families. Anybody who has followed Newt's career already knows that he is a serial adulterer, and humiliator of wives, in the Giuliani mold. But where Giuliani simply despises the teachings of the church in which he was raised, Gingrich has actually chosen to enter the Roman Catholic church, as if to highlight his lifelong mockery of its moral teaching.

But for those who doubted, his second wife, Marianne, has given an interview to Esquire. It's woven into a long and unflattering portrait, well worth a quick read, but a few choice bits deserve to be shared.

For example, the relationship between Gingrich and Bill Clinton:

[Newt recalls:] "Clinton and I used to talk like it was a graduate-school session," he says. "We both like books, we both like ideas, we both like exploring language and exploring concepts and trying to find solutions."

But then in 1998, Monica Lewinsky exploded and war broke out between the parties. Of all the ironies in Gingrich's paradoxical career, this was certainly the most bitter — at the very moment when he tried to rise above the ugly partisanship he had done so much to foster, it dragged him back down. ...

One night, Marianne says, Bill Clinton called from the White House. She answered the phone and the president asked if he could please speak to her husband. Could the Speaker come over immediately? After he hung up, Newt summoned his driver and went in the back door to the Oval Office. During that meeting, he would tell her later, Clinton laid it out for him: "You're a lot like me," he told him.

Whatever else happened at that meeting, Newt Gingrich was muzzled in the critical run-up to the '98 midterms.

Someday, that late-night meeting will make a great scene in a TV movie.

But the part that grips us, from our clerical perspective, is the picture of the couple as their marriage dissolves, and they seek pastoral counseling:
She called a minister they both trusted. He came over to the house the next day and worked with them the whole weekend, but Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. " 'I can't handle a Jaguar right now.' He said that many times. 'All I want is a Chevrolet.' "

He asked her to just tolerate the affair, an offer she refused....[But he] told the press that he and Marianne had an understanding.

"Right," Marianne says now.

That was not true?

"Of course not. It's silly."

During that period, people would come up to Marianne and tell her to settle, that she was hurting the cause.

All of this simply proves some awfully common folk wisdom. This one: Politicians are lying cheating dogs. Or this one: If, like Marianne, you are having an affair with a married man, and he says he'll leave his wife for you, one of two things is true: (a) he won't; or, (b) he will, and then he will leave you for the next one. Or maybe this one: Newt Gingrich is a dirtball with no place in American public life.

1 comment:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Well, he didn't leave off being governor half way through a term. That's a plus. But yes, I wouldn't trust him. Then again, I don't trust anybody who has supported these silly Republicans of the last 10 years. Sometimes I hear an OLD Republican from Minnesota on a radio show and then I remember why I had voted Republican back then.