Stop twisting Newt Gingrich’s words, you’re making us look bad instead of him.

I was going to tweet this but it was too long so I decided to make it a blog post instead. I am getting really annoyed with people mocking Newt Gingrich and twisting his words to say his cheating was inspired by a passion for our country.

I am no friend of Newt Gingrich, but that clearly is not what he said. What he said was, “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,” It is obvious to me that he’s saying that because he loved his country (which in this case essentially amounts to his job) he worked very hard, likely to the point of being overworked and that it strained his marriage to the point where he found himself cheating. That isn’t the same thing as saying he cheated on his wife because he loved his country so much. Come on. You’re making us look like a group of people who are illiterate and irrational and completely oblivious to the point (isn’t that what we’re always accusing republicans of, anyhow?).

Yes, he did something bad and he deserves to feel bad, and no, I am not an advocate of cheating, but let’s be reasonable. This is not unique to Gingrich, it is a common problem in lots of marriages, and it plagues republicans and democrats alike. Furthermore, I see a great hypocrisy in being up in arms whenever a conservative talking head twists the words of our democratic politicians but then we turn around and do the same to them with such delight. It is obvious that that is neither what he said nor what he meant, and by distorting his words we’re also shifting the focus away from the real underlying issues, such as the fact that men are encouraged to work to the point where they become estranged from their wives.

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17 Responses to Stop twisting Newt Gingrich’s words, you’re making us look bad instead of him.

  1. Edward says:

    >This is odd. Are you really buying into his excuse? I cheated because I'm a hard worker!? He cheated because he was a horn dog in power. If people are making fun of his "excuse" it is because it's a lame and transparent attempt to turn a failing of low character into evidence of an all American virtue.Stop falling for Newt Gingrich's spin.

  2. >Sorry. I'm guilty. Although I know that he doesn't really believe it, I just had this joke come to mind and wanted to say it."Newt says his infidelity was from a strong passion for the country. That explains why Lee Greenwood concerts always end up in orgies."It's only been RT'd once, so I don't feel guilty enough to delete the tweet.

  3. >Nowhere did I say I condone what he did or think he deserves to be excused for doing it.

  4. >The coffee must've not taken effect yet, in my previous comment, I meant to say that I'm guilty of spreading the statement that Newt blamed his cheating on enthusiasm for 'Merica.But I still wanted to tweet a joke about it, because the image of people getting all caught up in Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" so that they orgy it up, amused me.So, I guess I would say that some of us know that Newt didn't make the connection between infidelity and patriotism, but we're mocking it anyway. Or in my case, mocking the whole "manufactured patriotism" thing.

  5. >I get the joke Chris, and at first glance it was funny to me, but when I think about it longer I just don't like it. I don't like making fun of people when their marriages fall apart, whether it was their fault or not, whether I even LIKE them or not. I don't like Newt Gingrich at all. I just don't think this is the appropriate way to frame the situation.

  6. >Also FWIW this wasn't directed at you specifically! I probably should have mentioned that. I've seen a ton of people repeating the joke all over social networks and MSM.

  7. >Ah gotcha. I guess I didn't see my joke (or similar jokes) as directed towards Gingrich's infidelity, as much as it (or they) were towards his appeal to tribalism/patriotism. And I think we see this act by politicians so much, that we specifically lock in on it for ridicule, and put up our blinders to the other parts. This is the first time I've commented here. I wish now it'd been on a more important topic (and with a more important comment/question). I enjoy the blog very much.

  8. Edward says:

    >I guess we're talking past one another. I read your post as a literal defense of Gingrich's answer to the question as though his answer was a honest response the substance of which is both reasonable and defensible. I see it as none of the above. Specifically, I see his answer as a canned response to a question he and his advisors were well aware would be asked. I find it calculated, manipulative, deceptive and insulting, and thus entirely worthy of sarcasm. The sense that your defense suggests you don't regard his rhetoric with a similar level of contempt and skepticism is disappointing.

  9. Razib says:

    >edward, you just want to hear yourself talk. you misunderstood what seems a plain reading of the post. you admit that, but continue to prattle on based on your original assumption.

  10. Edward says:

    >The post, and I've read it a number of times very carefully at this point, still reads like an argument for taking politicians at their word, even when what they're saying (selling) is utterly ridiculous and contemptible. The point of sarcastically walking Newt's tortured justification a bit further down the path he set us on with his answer is to fully highlight just how absurd his excuse is. It's not about trying to fool anyone; it's about being in on the joke.

  11. jeremy says:

    >Edward needs to read The Human Stain. It's revealing that people care so much where Newt Gingrich puts his penis.

  12. Edward says:

    >jeremy needs to look up the term "Hoist with his own petard." Then maybe he'll appreciate why Newt's penis is fair game.

  13. jeremy says:

    >It's not a matter of fair game; it's a matter of "the tyranny of propriety," of self-righteous conformity masquerading as gentility, throwing stones in a glass house.Were you equally scandalized by Bill Clinton's peen?

  14. Edward says:

    >I guess I'll have to baby-talk you through it (feeling old). I don't care about Newt's indiscretions except as they serve to illustrate his hypocrisy. I'm guessing there's a generational difference that is preventing you (kids) from detecting the vintage sarcasm we old school liberals are dusting off to poking fun at Newt. See Parody.

  15. jeremy says:

    >Do you frequently condescend as an ageist to people you don't know or is this another brilliant parody?

  16. Edward says:

    >jeremy needs to read his own comments before presuming to chastise others for taking a condescending tone (read: you started it).Nevertheless, I trust we've corrected your mistaken assumption that I–someone you don't know–was genuinely concerned with the disposition of Newt's penis. So glad we cleared that up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    >I was going to post a joke about how, if we could all just get over our opposition to cheating, we could save a lot of strife in public life. But then reading these comments, I was reminded why I stopped trying to engage people about politics–because so often the demonization is honest. Pathetically honest.

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