So Newt Gingrich ran away with the South Carolina Republican primary on Saturday and now he’s on everyone’s lips — including those of his ex-wives. Just two days after Newt’s second ex-wife Marianne Gingrich dropped the bombshell that her husband asked for an open marriage to carry on his affair with (now-wife) Callista. And per Newt’s routine with wives, he divorced her right after she was diagnosed with MS.
Now that’s keeping it classy — and focused on the family!
Speaking of classy — Marianne points out in her interview that at the same time that Newt was asking for an open marriage, he was also the leader of the Clinton Inquisition. As I recall, family values and morals played a big role in the media blitz that surrounded that whole circus, with Newt proudly out front as the self-appointed, pontifical ring-leader. But, naturally, Newt is asking us not to pay any attention to that history behind the curtain.
Last March when asked on Fox News about the glass house he might be living in these days he said:
“I thought to myself if I cannot do what I have to do as a public leader, I would have resigned,” he said. “Now, look, I think you have to look at whether or not people have to be perfect in order to be leaders. I don’t think I’m perfect. I admitted I had problems. I admitted that I sought forgiveness.”
Well, Newt, you’re right — you are not perfect.
But just for giggles, I have been pondering this truly amazing spectacle of narcissism and hypocrisy. I was struck by a thought: What if Newt’s desire for an open marriage actually represents a progression along the feminist continuum? I mean, if Newt represents an absolute zero of feminism, any amount of growth he has in a feminist way would be practically a miracle! I’ve got to investigate this idea further!
On the one hand, we have a man who clearly loves sex. He has demonstrated that he is not ageist — his first wife had been one of his teachers in high school(!). But he did leave her because she was not pretty enough to be First Lady (definitely not because she had cancer). And he’s definitely pro open-marriages, which if true is a paradigm shift from the hetero-normative “man+woman=marriage” thinking normally supported by staunch Republicans. Could this be the kind of “non-tradition” thinking that Wonder Woman creator and bondage enthusiast William Moulton Marston lived by (he was in an open marriage, too)? Well… that’s probably a generous take on the situation. Even a sex-positive, feminist approach to open marriages has to start with equality of all participants — and their willing participation, which we know Newt did not have.
Now that I think about it, Newt’s pattern of adultery and, basically, disposing of wives is a sign of his deeply entrenched beliefs that women have no value and are merely a commodity (aka looking good on a podium) and there to serve men’s needs (aka sexy time). Let’s look at the record: Newt’s policies as Speaker of the House in 1990s was atrocious for women. He voted against women’s issues and to eliminate Title X funding as often as possible (72 out of 74 voting opportunities)!
Clearly, Newt hates his wives. He hates marriage. And he hates women.