Monday, May 16, 2011

The Talented Mr. Gingrich

In the upcoming New Yorker, my buddy Hendrik Hertzberg presents us with his comment Off And Running, wherein he discusses the emerging Republican presidential field. Without question, the clear frontrunner in entertainment potential is Newt Gingrich. Hertzberg first notes the "violence of [Gingrich's] political language."
Twenty years ago, he was urging Republicans to describe Democrats as sick, pathetic traitors. More recently, he has accused the Democratic Party of “behaving exactly in the spirit of the Soviet tyranny,” of being responsible for “the greatest political corruption ever seen in modern America,” and of advocating “euthanasia.” Obama is “the most radical president in American history.” His foreign policy is rooted in “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.” His Administration “represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did” and aims, oxymoronically, to turn the United States into “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists.”
Hertzberg goes on:
Then there’s the matter of “personal baggage,” which in Gingrich’s case is a steamer trunk of Titanic proportions. Republicans are strong believers in man-on-woman marriage, so it makes sense that three of their most prominent Presidential possibilities—Daniels, Trump, and Gingrich—have married eight times. (Only seven wives, though: Daniels married the same woman twice, with a Grover Cleveland-like four-year interval during which she left him to marry someone else.) Gingrich stands out, for hypocrisy (daily demanding Clinton’s impeachment while carrying on his own extramarital affair with a subordinate), brutality (dumping his first wife while she was in treatment for cancer), and chutzpah (attributing his adulteries to “how passionately I felt about this country”).

We can only hope that Newt stays in the race for a good long while.

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