Sunday, February 18, 2007

I'm looking through you

While the Republican candidates for President on '08 mill around trying to establish an identity, there's one who already has one, and is proud to share it with Fox News:
The House OKs its non-binding resolution opposing the president's Iraq War plan. Now what?

We will speak with Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House

In cas anyone has forgotten, that's this Newt (from wikipedia):
As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party's dramatic success in the 1994 Congressional elections and subsequently was elected Speaker. Gingrich's leadership in Congress was marked by opposition to many of the policies of the Clinton Administration, culminating in the impeachment of President Clinton shortly after Gingrich resigned as Speaker (the House was technically leaderless at this time, as Gingrich's chosen successor Robert Livingston of Louisiana also stepped down before he could be elected Speaker). After resigning his seat under pressure from several sides, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst and consultant and continues to write works related to government and other subjects, such as historical fiction. He has expressed interest in being a candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for the Presidency.

Sounds OK so far. Let's dig a little deeper. Why, as mentioned above, did he resign as Speaker?

The Republicans expected big gains from the 1998 Congressional elections. In fact, Gingrich predicted a 30-seat Republican pickup.[citation needed] Instead, the Republicans lost five seats, the poorest results in 64 years for any party not in control of the White House in a midterm election. Having led the GOP to focus on the impeachment project as a principal strategy, Gingrich took most of the blame for the defeat. Facing a rebellion in the Republican caucus, he announced on November 6 that he would not only stand down as Speaker, but would leave the House as well. He had been elected to an 11th term in that election, but declined to take his seat. According to Newsweek, he had lost control over his caucus long before the election, and it was possible that he would not have been reelected as Speaker in any case.[14]

Gingrich's role as master GOP strategist ended with his departure from the House, but his legacy in Republican leadership remains.

That last sentence says a great deal. A fallen master GOP strategist, yet a Republican leader. "There's no success like failure". He put all his eggs in the impeachment basket, when polling at the time said the American public was against that. Sound familiar, George?

Here's Newt's background on family values:
It was the third marriage for Gingrich, 57, and the first for his 34-year-old bride. Gingrich was divorced from his second wife, Marianne, in December 1999 after 18 years of marriage. He divorced his first wife, Jackie, his high school geometry teacher, after 19 years.

So? Well, consider this:
Gingrich has been married three times. In 1962, Gingrich married, Jackie Battley, with whom he had two daughters. He left Battley in the spring of 1980; moreover, he finalized the divorce details while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery in the fall of 1980. Gingrich married his second wife, Marianne Ginther, in the fall of 1981. [4] They divorced in 1999 amid rumors Gingrich was having an affair. A year later, he married the alleged subject of his affair, a House aide 23 years his junior [5] named Callista Bisek. [6]

Nice. So on top of failed strategist, we have a heartless bastard (IMHO).

Here's more on his ethics:

Gingrich was accused of hypocrisy and unethical behavior when he accepted a $4.5 million advance as part of a book deal, in light of his previous role in the investigation of Jim Wright. Following the accusations, Gingrich returned the advance.

Including charges related to the book deal, Democrats filed 84 ethics charges against Speaker Gingrich during his term, including claiming tax-exempt status for a college course run for political purposes and using the GOPAC political action committee as a slush fund; see Joseph Gaylord. All charges were eventually dropped following an investigation by the Republican-led House Ethics Committee. However, Gingrich admitted to unintentionally giving inaccurate information to the House Ethics Committee during the course of the investigation. The committee did not indict him on charges of intentional perjury.[11] The matter was settled when he agreed to reimburse the Committee $300,000 for the cost of prolonging the investigation. The payment was described as a "cost assessment" and not a fine by the Committee.[12] He also agreed to not "spin" the story in the media, but admit publicly to his transgressions.

Heck, just go read the whole wikipedia, and all the cites at the bottom. And then wonder at a Party that considers Newt a viable leader.

Oh wait: Nixon. Kissinger. GWBush.

Never mind.