Moments in the Life of Newt Gingrich from the 1990s:
On September 8, 1995, then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told a crowd of 4,000 believers at the Christian Coalition's "Road to Victory" conference in Washington, D.C. that he "got married when I was very young. And we have two wonderful daughters by that marriage. And I got divorced. Later on, I got remarried. And we have a marriage which has a fair amount of stress, and it's difficult. And I think that's fairly typical of a lot of families. It takes a lot of work, a lot of prayer."
The "stress" he was talking about was that, for two years, he had been putting his penis into the vagina and possibly the mouth and anus of Callista Bisek, a woman who is 23 years younger than him and 14 years younger than his then-wife Marianne.
Gingrich continued, justifying his sexual betrayal as fitting in perfectly with one way of looking at family values. He told his daughters that "we know precisely because it's been hard why you should emphasize family values. Because even when you're emphasizing them, it's hard."
The audience, who by then must have known the whispers about Gingrich's relationship with Bisek, which had been swirling, applauded and cheered. Ralph Reed, head of the Christian Coalition, later said, "[O]ur members are not looking for someone who is perfect...They are looking for someone who will stand up for what they believe in."
The audience also knew that a British woman had said she had given him a blow job during his first marriage, back in 1976. If you ever wanted to know why Gingrich didn't run for president before, it's because he needed plausible distance from his affairs as a demonstration of his redemption.
In talking about marriage, Gingrich told the gathered Christians, "I start with the premise that all of us are sinful and that's why we need to seek salvation through faith because we're never going to earn it because we're inadequate." See, when it comes to marriage, the Rude Pundit starts with the premise that, if you're a man and you get married, you shouldn't be shoving your dick in the orifices of others, especially if you asked your wife for an open marriage so you could do so without a scintilla of conscience and she said, "No." But he's old-fashioned that way.
That's the brilliance of Gingrich, by the way, shining even brighter than the delusional hypocrisy of anyone who ever bought the "family values" bullshit lie. See, where others heard "marriage" and "family values" and thought, "Oh, he means 'fidelity' and 'being good to kids,'" what Gingrich really meant was "Families and marriages are fucked up and, boy, so am I." Really, the entire course of the 1990s would have been changed if the right had been clear on that.
And that doesn't even get into the Clinton impeachment matter, where Gingrich was actually as smart as possible and refused to talk about it as being about sex precisely because everyone knew it was about sex. He demanded that no one in the House Republican caucus speak about it in terms other than as "obstruction of justice." Still, everyone knew it was about hummers in the Oval Office and jizz on a dress.
But also, back in the 1990s, Gingrich used to rail against the "liberal elite media" who he believed sought to downplay President Clinton's transgressions.
So when Gingrich went all angry chimp on CNN's John King at last night's GOP South Carolina debate over a question about Marianne Gingrich's interview with ABC, it wasn't only unexpected. It's what he does. He's always the victim. When he said, "I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans," you could have put Bill Clinton in there.
Oh, wait. Here's Gingrich in June 1996 in the Washington Times: "[T]here is no president in modern times more systematically protected by the elite media." (Indeed, one could go through much of the way Gingrich has attacked Obama and find almost verbatim antecedents in his attacks on Clinton, Gore, and Kerry.)
In December 1994, Gingrich was congratulating the House Republicans for their victory in the midterms. After talking about his family, he said, "I want to ask all of you to join me in -- (pauses) -- I'm trying to think. It's a little difficult to say. In thanking the person who has endured more from the media and more from the process than anybody should have to for me to be here, my wife Marianne." Callista Bisek, who was a House staffer, was probably there for that rally. Maybe she was a little uncomfortable as Gingrich introduced his wife since the Speaker had been fucking Callista for a year already.
No, there's no issue about a sociopathic character flaw here that might be of interest to the voters.