Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Republicans Turn to Newt for Salvation

Michigan Republicans are stuck in the past, Saul Anuzis is stuck in the past, and so is Saul's new boss - Newt Gingrich. I'll let Matt Yglesias explain:
Somehow or other the conservative movement has gotten so intellectually bankrupt that the lunatics running the asylum think that Newt Gingrich is an intelligent and canny man. Consequently, he’s snagged himself a situation where he’s in the news constantly offering aper├žus like “The Democratic Party has been the active instrument of breaking down traditional marriage.”

Far be it from me to say that Newt Gingrich’s 1981 decision to ask his first wife for a divorce while she was in the hospital recuperating from cancer should bar him from commenting on the value of traditional marriage. But six months after the divorce was finalized, he married a new woman, Marianne Ginther, which suggests there was some infidelity involved. Then in 2000 he divorced Ginther and married a third woman with whom it turns out he’d been having an affair. That, I think, is a bit much. Then after that, he became a Catholic!
Seriously, does Newt really want to go down that road? Several high-profile Republicans have histories of being maritally challenged. Talk about hypocrisy.

As for Newt's recent conversion to Catholicism:
At a moment when the role of religious fundamentalism in the party is a central question for reformers, Gingrich, rather than making any kind of case for a new enlightenment, has in fact gone to great lengths to placate Christian conservatives. The family-values crowd has never completely embraced Newt, probably because he has been married three times, most recently to a former Hill staff member, Callista Bisek.
The religious right didn't embrace Newt, so now he'll try to kiss up to Catholics. He recently tweeted, "It is sad to see notre dame invite president obama to give the commencement address Since his policies are so anti catholic values."

He was also recently interviewed by Christianity Today magazine. Their article started off by saying, "As the Republican Party searches for a future leader, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich pops up on the short lists."

Newt can't manage to stir up controversy with the religious right anymore, so he's aligning himself with right-wing Catholics.
But the growing movement to stop Obama's visit isn't your ho-hum sort of Catholic League media dust-up, where Bill Donohue harumphs on television and then goes away. It's part of a well-funded lobbying effort by a group of right-wing Catholics to run liberal Catholics, and dissenting doctrine, out of the church, and to recruit the remainder of the faithful for the GOP.
Newt's alliances may be new, but the tactics are the same and still out of touch with mainstream Americans. Someone should tell him and other old school Republicans that 59 percent of Catholics still think Obama is doing a good job, and a recent Gallup poll finds Catholics are actually more liberal than other Americans on the so-called moral issues.

Pay attention, Republicans!


K. said...

Right-wing Catholics. Ugh. Politics makes strange bedfellows, but the spectacle of Bill Donahue aligning himself with the likes of James Dobson -- whose constituency has a streak of anti-Catholicism going back to the 19th C. and further -- is nonetheless pathetic.

As for welcoming Newtie into the fold, well, not wanting to turn anyone away doesn't mean that you should welcome someone into your home who will poison the well.

K. said...

P. S. I think you will like my post today.

Kathy said...

K, your point about not poisoning the well is valid, and it's one reason so many people get turned off by religion. Someone pointing at the speck in the other person's eye when they have a log in their own is pretty hypocritical. If they want their religion, political party or organization to be seen as credible, they need to clean up their well first.

(Caught your post. You're right, it was great.)

abi said...

It will be great news for Democrats if Republicans dig up that old dinosaur for 2012.

Kathy said...

Abi, it's looking that way so far. Even if these old-timers get muscled out, who do they have to fall back on? Palin? Sanford? Perry? They're even worse.

Lew Scannon said...

There isn't a group around that Gingrich hasn't found a way to splinter.