“According to the Supreme Court, Money Is Now Speech and Corporations Are Now People. But When REAL People Without Money Assemble to Express Their Dissatisfaction with the Political [System], They’re Treated as Public Nuisances and Evicted” - Robert Reich
DES MOINES, Iowa — At an emotional two-hour forum focused as much on the candidate’s personal and spiritual lives as on their policies, six Republican candidates spoke at length Saturday about their faith but skirted direct discussion of misconduct by either twice-divorced Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain, who has faced allegations of sexual harassment. SOURCE
The attempt by the GOP to put a humble spin on people like Gingrich is understandable considering some of his multiple “sins”, but it masks a more serious flaw with the man. Gingrich will say whatever it takes to persuade the voting public, even if his actions don’t reflect the values to which he addresses. This characterization was revealed by his 2nd wife, Marianne, shortly after Gingrich filed divorce papers with her to marry a younger woman.
Following Gingrich’s unfaithfulness to Marianne she asked Newt how he could parade around the country speaking about family values during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and be in violation of such values. Deluded with his own sense of exceptionalism, Newt told Marianne that “It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
In a dialogue with conservative wordsmith Frank Luntz, Gingrich told the audience that he had “been very blessed”.
Callista and I have a wonderful marriage,” he said, going on to describe his closeness to his children. “But all of that has required a great deal of pain, some of which I have caused others, which I regret deeply. All of which required having to go to God to seek both reconciliation but also to seek God’s acceptance that I had to recognize how limited I was and how much I had to depend on Him.”
This kind of faux christianity is a perfect example of why I have disassociated myself with the faith years ago and remain adamant in this conviction. Gingrich oozes here about the pain he suffered and how lacking in moral character he was, which might portend that he had gained some sense of humility. But when talking about the Occupy Wall Street protesters we see nothing of compassion and humility as he feeds the audience the red meat they want.
While mischaracterizing the movement as one that basically assumes that “we all owe them everything”, he depicts them as deadbeat, smelly bums with the denigrating comment that they all need to “go get a job right after [they] take a bath”, to which the audience broke out in a vigorous applause to.
This kind of bogus stereotyping of the OWS movement is typical of the extremist element within the GOP. It comes as no surprise that it is presented in front of moderator Frank Luntz, CEO of Luntz Research Companies that offers “Strategic Consulting and Message Development.” The message development aspect of Luntz’s company is the Orwellian use of terms that have positive meanings for conservative wish list items and negative imagery for those issues they want to demonize. The intent is to get the best bang for the buck on impacting voter perceptions that favor GOP wins. It doesn’t have to be 100% accurate. It just needs to have a hint of truth and feed off of people’s preconceived notions. “It’s not what you say”, Luntz boasted. “It’s what they hear”. I would qualify that by saying it’s what you want them to hear.
Gingrich plies this tactic and plays the audience with his fabricated Christian creds then forgets that by condemning those whom he neither fully knows or likes for their views on government cronyism toward corporate lobbyists, he is violating the ninth commandment – “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Naturally he wouldn’t see it this way but then most narcissists and hypocrites are incapable of such introspection. His compassion is also missing by mocking those who are jobless in an economy where there have been as many as 5-6 applicants for each job available. Clearly some are going to remain jobless until this crisis is corrected and some of those people may indeed be rightfully associated with OWS.
He further mocks their efforts by ignoring the fact that the private financial sector, which much of the discontent of the OWS is aimed at, was responsible for the current high jobless rate when they engaged in unethical practices that sent the economy into a downward spiral. And this falls on the heals of the recent revelation that Gingrich was profiting from Fannie Mae as this crisis was looming.
The “smelly” part of his comment was just an added dig to further demean the character of these people who have forced themselves to forego the luxury of a bath they are accustomed to in their determination to stand and be recognized for their popular views.
Gingrich’s mean-spirited comments do not reflect the Christ-like virtues of reaching out to the less powerful and disenfranchised groups. He is the man with a log in his eye criticizing others. Missing is the “mercy” mentioned in Matthew 5 that christians are expected to extend to “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”.
Pretending to be the victim who has earned millions as a former lobbyists, Gingrich would depict as undesirables those who would also like the opportunity to access the great wealth he has attained. To him though they are merely trying to steal what he has gained from his connections as a Washington insider. Gingrich is part of that coterie that benefits from a “revolving door that shuffles former federal employees into jobs as lobbyists, consultants and strategists just as the door pulls former hired guns into government careers”, gaining privilege, power and money.