The big buzz today after last night’s yet-another-GOP debate is how Newt Gingrich opened a can of whup-ass on John King of CNN for having the nerve — the nerve, sir — of asking a question about his ex-wife.
“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.”
When Mr. King tried to explain the question, arguing that it was a major news subject of the moment, Mr. Gingrich had none of it.
“John, John,” he interjected. “It was repeated by your network, you chose to start the debate with it. Don’t try to blame somebody else.”
Mr. Gingrich added, his voice pitched in anger, “I am tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama by attacking Republicans.” He received a standing ovation from the audience.
You can debate whether or not Mr. King should have brought up the question as the first one in the debate, and you can even debate whether or not it’s a fair question to ask. Given the way the current crop of Republicans is intent on telling other people how to live their private lives and who they can or cannot marry or whether or not they can use contraception during sex, it seems like a legitimate question to ask them about their support of “traditional” marriage: one man, one woman, until death do you part, etc. But there’s one thing that’s breathtakingly clear: John King wouldn’t have asked the question if Newt Gingrich hadn’t been screwing around on his second wife in the first place. So for Mr. Gingrich to get on his high horse, act mortally offended, blame the media (and Barack Obama indirectly) and whip up the crowd to a standing-ovation frenzy, is defense, deflection, projection, and denial in its purest form and just the latest example of many that Newt Gingrich doesn’t have the character or the maturity to be anywhere near the Oval Office.
When the news broke yesterday that the former Mrs. Gingrich was going on Nightline to tell the world that Newt Gingrich was a toad, his two daughters by his first marriage came out with a letter to defend their father:
Our father is running for President because of his grandchildren – so they can inherit the America he loves.
A noble sentiment, to be sure, but is that really the only reason he’s running for president… for his grandchildren? I’m sure they meant it metaphorically — we are all Newt’s grandchildren — but it does make the point pretty clear that the only reason he’s in this race is because he’s too ugly to be a movie star celebrity so he feeds his giant ego by running for president and getting a lot of gullible and easily-frightened white people to send him money and buy his snake oil. He doesn’t really give a flying rat’s ass about you or me or anyone else: it’s all about him. In his mind, Newt Gingrich is the only person in the world with the judgment, brains, and awesome powers of Jesus and God’s blessing to be the leader of the free world. We should all be on our knees and kissing the hem of his garment in abject worshipful thanks that he has deigned to come down from on high and bless us with his touch — oh, we are so not worthy.
As much attention and applause that Mr. Gingrich might get for his righteous outrage at being asked an impertinent question by a lowly minion of the liberal media and his ex-wife for committing lese-majeste by revealing his views on traditional marriage as it applies to him only, the strong sense is that the rest of the voters in America are lying in wait for him to actually run in the general election so that once again they can express their disgust that such a person would think that they would fall in love with him and beat the metaphorical crap out of him and send him back to the exile that he so richly deserves.
I hear Elba is really nice this time of year.
By the way, Digby reminds us that back in 1998 when Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House and someone else was playing the horndog, he had a different view on whether or not it was anybody else’s business.
The Speaker once again pledged to say during every public appearance that Americans have the right to know the truth about the Lewinsky matter and that the president is not above the law.
Those were the days, my friend.