Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gingrich Smackdown

The Republican Debate opened with a question to Newt Gingrich regarding his ex-wife’s claim that he had asked her for an open marriage, and I think this may be the first time in my life that I have ever been on Newt’s side or agreed with anything that he said. He replied to the question with,

“I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office. And I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that,” Gingrich told the CNN moderator.

He added, "I am frankly astounded that CNN would take trash like that and use it to open a presidential debate." And then continued,

“Every person in here knows personal pain. Every person in here has had someone close to them go through painful things. To take an ex-wife and make it two days before the primary a significant question for a presidential campaign is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine."

I do think the “go through painful things” was more than a bit disingenuous. Perhaps “been put through painful things” would be more accurate, with Newt as the putter, so he’s trying to slide past the issue that he was being accused of some pretty slimy behavior. Still, while I disagree with that particular phrase, the topic had nothing whatever to do with his fitness for the office being contested, was nothing more than scandal mongering, and I agree with the rest of what he had to say.

The moderator tried to bail out of his faux pas by claiming that, “As you noted, Mr. Speaker, this story did not come from our network. As you also know, it is a subject of conversation on the campaign. I'm not -- I get your point. I take your point.”

Give me a break. And he calls Newt “Mr. Speaker” which Newt has not been for 13 years. What’s with this “elected to office for life” that we seem to have adopted in this country lately? A person is entitled to the honorific only for so long as he/she holds that office. The exception would be judges who are appointed for life, but we only have one Speaker of the House.

Newt promptly engaged in smackdown number two, and I agreed with him for the second, and probably the last, time in my life.

"John, it was repeated by your network. You chose to start the debate with it. Don't try to blame somebody else. You and your staff chose to start this debate with it."

Whatever else Newt may or may not be, he knows how to kick ass.

He then went completely off the rails, and returned me to my comfortable position of regarding him as a complete asshole; finishing his smackdown of the media by saying that he is “tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.”

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