FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Newt’s Principles

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

Earl of Sandwich: “‘ ‘Pon my honor, Wilkes, I don’t know whether you’ll die on the gallows or of the pox.”

Wilkes: “That must depend, my Lord, upon whether I first embrace your Lordship’s principles, or your Lordship’s mistresses.”

John Wilkes, Sir Charles Petrie, The Four Georges

Newt Gingrich is like a computer-there’s always a newer version. In the case of computers, others create it for them. Newt does it for himself. His proposed visit with John Hagee who is about to become Newt’s new best friend will surely involve a disavowal at some future time.

For many years Newt has been criticized by those who remember that to arrive at his present state of marital bliss to Catholic chorister, Callista Bistek, he had to jump over two other wives. Jackie Battley, his first, was his high school math teacher to whom he confided his plans for a divorce so he could marry Marianne (with whom he was sleeping), as Jackie lay in hospital recovering from cancer surgery. Some years later he came home to Marianne, after he had given a speech on family values in Erie Pennsylvania. Marianne, knowing of an affair he was then having with soon to be wife number three, Callista, asked him: “How do you give that speech and do what you’re doing?” “It doesn’t matter what I do,” he replied, “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.” They were divorced and he married Callista. Now we are informed that his failed marriages were not due to design flaws in Newt but to an excessive love of country.

In an interview with The Christian Broadcasting Network, he said: “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.” That takes care of infidelity. And if it weren’t enough, he also converted to Catholicism in 2009, which is a bit like putting icing on the cake. In an interview with Dan Gilgoff in God and Country, Newt described a number of things that precipitated his conversion such as seeing how happy Pope Benedict looked when he visited the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, describing him as “a very loving, engaged, happy person.” Concluding his interview he said in further explanation for his conversion: “And part of me is inherently medieval. I resonate to Gothic churches and the sense of the cross in a way that is really pre-modern.” If it’s pre-modern he wants, he’s found it in John Hagee, (a preacher who has ideas that pass most understanding) with whom Newt plans to meet in order to burnish his credentials among religious conservatives.

 

 

The Catholic Church has historically been one of John Hagee’s targets. In his book, Jerusalem Countdown he says that “[M]ost readers will be shocked by the clear record of history linking Adolf Hitler and the Roman Catholic Church in a conspiracy to exterminate the Jews.” (According to one report he has since apologized for that passage.) In 2008, when John McCain briefly courted Mr. Hagee, Catholic League President, Bill Donohue described Hagee as an “inveterate bigot” for calling the Catholic Church “the Great Whore, an apostate church” among other things. Mr. Donohue and Mr.Hagee have now made peace. Mr. Donohue said that “As far as I’m concerned, Hagee and I are on friendly terms today. . . . I’m convinced that he turned the corner.” Knowing that Mr. Donohue thinks Mr. Hagee has gone around the corner should give Newt comfort since as a newcomer to the church it would be unseemly for him to so quickly embrace someone who has consistently vilified it. The Church has not been Mr. Hagee’s only target.

 

After Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Hagee was interviewed by Terry Gross on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air. In that interview he observed that Hurricane Katrina arrived on the very day that a group of homosexuals had planned to have a parade in New Orleans. He told Terry that: “I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God, and they are-were-recipients of the judgment of God for that. . . . And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.”

Of course, Mr. Hagee is not without a whimsical side. In a fundraiser that his church conducted in 2006 to sponsor a trip for students, the fundraiser was announced as a “slave sale. The students were to auction off their services to parishioners. The announcement said: “Slavery in America is returning to Cornerstone (Hagee’s church)” and concluded with a teaser saying: “Make plans to come and go home with a slave.” In an interview he apologized but attributed the commotion to pressure to be “politically correct.”

I’m sure Newt has an explanation for why he’d seek the blessing of someone who attacks his new spiritual home and otherwise seems to be devoid of common sense. It probably has to do with how “passionately he feels about this country” and how badly he wants to be its president. As with the rest of his life, principle won’t stand in his way.

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail