Newt Gingrich has promised to do everything in his power to prevent same-sex marriage and civil unions in this country. He claims that committed gay and lesbian couples are selfish and unprincipled and deserve none of the approximately 1100 rights and benefits granted to heterosexual couples. But perhaps it's the word "committed" that makes this career politician and probable presidential contender strive to keep the institution confined to upstanding citizens like himself. In a taped interview at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition this week, Gingrich told CBN's David Brody:
"There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God's forgiveness. Not God's understanding, but God's forgiveness." (Keep your barf bags handy, Pups. This will undoubtedly be a recurring refrain when Newt officially tosses his hat into the ring.)
Over at Huffington Post, Jason Linkins snaps the leash: I think it's absolutely first-rate that Gingrich didn't demand understanding from God, given that this is all very hard to understand. All Gingrich can tell you, about that time he left his cancer-stricken wife for another lady who became the multiple sclerosis-stricken wife he left for his current mistress-turned-wife is that he "was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them," possibly because he "worked too hard" because he felt "passionately ... about this country."
Think about that, America: Newt Gingrich did all of those things because he loved you so very much! And when things got tough for America, he didn't leave us for New Zealand or Ecuador or Portugal, as if we were some woman. Gingrich stuck by America, and if the pressure of our demands got to be so great that it forced him to philander from time to time, then maybe we need to take responsibility for that.
Will members of the Religious Right accept Gingrich's mea culpa? Absolutely. As was the case with Pampers-wearing, prostitute-using Louisiana Senator David Vitter, Christian zealots will always welcome him into the fold because he is one of them. His sins of the flesh are considered "normal." His deceit and bald hypocrisy mirror their own. Anti-gay Bible thumpers who cheat on their spouses (with a person of the opposite sex) tend to stick together like corrupt cops, negligent physicians, and child-abusing priests. It is the way of the world.