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March 9, 2007 1:54 AM   Subscribe

Gingrich Had Affair During Clinton Probe. "There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards. There's certainly times when I've fallen short of God's standards." Thus Newt Gingrich 2008 Republican stealth candidate for U.S. president. Gingrich described by J. William Lauderback of the American Conservative Union as "the intellectual cornerstone of our modern conservative movement" has a closet filled with skeletons which should cause anyone to question his commitment to family values. (more inside)
posted by three blind mice (263 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Members of CPAC "appreciate his decidedly conservative approach to government [and] his substance" although it is well-known that Gingrich, who frequently campaigned on family values issues, divorced his second wife, Marianne, in 2000 after his attorneys acknowledged Gingrich's affair with his current wife, Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide more than 20 years younger than he is. His first marriage, to his former high school geometry teacher, Jackie Battley, ended in divorce in 1981. The Cato Institute records that Gingrich "famously visited Jackie in the hospital where she was recovering from surgery for uterine cancer to discuss details of the divorce. He later resisted paying alimony and child support for his two daughters, causing a church to take up a collection. For all of his talk of religious faith and the importance of God, Gingrich left his congregation over the pastor's criticism of his divorce."
posted by three blind mice at 1:56 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can we finally say, "goodnight, Newtie?"
posted by psmealey at 2:00 AM on March 9, 2007


Hypocrisy in politics?
I'm shocked....shocked like Captain Renault in Casablance.
posted by GavinR at 2:02 AM on March 9, 2007


The amazing thing is that right wing anti-conservative family values movement has managed to turn the left wing into sex police as well. When the right wing does it is "controlling our sex lives" and when the left wing does it it is "exposing hypocrisy". You're only playing their game. Newt and the other republicans are all replaceble cogs in a machine and they are more than willing to sacrifice them to acheive their ends. The values you have given up by meeting them on their terms are not as replaceable. You're now deputized into the sex police.
posted by srboisvert at 2:20 AM on March 9, 2007 [11 favorites]


Srboisvert, you're right of course. I guess the hope is that either politicians will eventually not do the bidding of the "family values" movement, or else the voting populace will fatigue of the "politics of personal destruction" and it will go away entirely. The latter would be my preference, but I don't see it happening, at least not withinin my lifetime.

For now, though, I'm certain that such this kind of thing discourages otherwise skilled and able people from going into politics. As a result we end up with half-witted egomaniacal hypocrites like Gingrich, or clean-as-a-whistle extremist haters like Rick Santorum.
posted by psmealey at 2:42 AM on March 9, 2007


You're now deputized into the sex police.

You can keep your badge, srboisvert. I ain't joining your posse. Sex is good. I be all for it. Sexual infidelity, on the other hand, is wrong regardless of what political stripe you wear.
posted by three blind mice at 2:43 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


A pig named Newt. How weird is that? 'nuff said?
posted by Goofyy at 2:56 AM on March 9, 2007


You're now deputized into the sex police.

I would pay that price if it gets people to understand how ridiculous Clinton's impeachment was, and gets them to finally call for Bush's own impeachment hearings.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:56 AM on March 9, 2007


Sexual infidelity, on the other hand, is wrong regardless of what political stripe you wear.

Someone else feels that way about sexual orientation. And another person, belief in God.

We don't want hypocrites? We demand hypocrites, by insisting that every politician live up to our own personal standards of choice and morality, which we probably violate regularly ourselves but hey, we're not politicians.

At what point do we just start paying attention to ability to govern and forget the rest of the bullshit?
posted by dreamsign at 3:02 AM on March 9, 2007


If only everyone could be perfect like me.
posted by liquorice at 3:13 AM on March 9, 2007


At what point do we just start paying attention to ability to govern and forget the rest of the bullshit?

So anything goes as long as it does not impact one's "ability to govern"? Is it not a liberal "value" to prevent men from using positions of power to extract sexual favors from female employees (as both Clinton and Gingrich might be accused of)? Does a history of sexual harassment have no bearing on one's ability to govern? Or is this an arbitrary "personal standard of choice and morality" that has no place in public service?
posted by three blind mice at 3:21 AM on March 9, 2007


It's good news, I was glad to see it.

But you have to admit it's funny, what news comes out when. That is to say, this can not be a surprise to many people - I won't believe Naughty Newt was perfectly discreet - yet it comes out now. Slow news day? We all (that is, Americans and fans of America) could have used this during Clinton's impeachment (I still can't believe that whole thing - the press, I believe, is most guilty for that crazy, stupid shit. Without their pandering to the soundly depraved K.Starr (what was his patron's name again?), it was a story that should have come and gone.

The press gave it an undeserving amount of weight.

So, why Newt now?
posted by From Bklyn at 3:26 AM on March 9, 2007


So, why Newt now?

He makes Giuliani look clean and decent, comparatively?
Gingrich is even worse, family-valueswise.
posted by amberglow at 3:28 AM on March 9, 2007


Isn't this pretty ancient news? This story was in the news almost ten years ago. Are we going to have a constant stream of the political hit piece posts for the next two years? I have nothing good to say about Mr. Gingrich but this is just as lame as the "Gore lives in a big house" post. This sucks.
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 AM on March 9, 2007


dreamsign writes: At what point do we just start paying attention to ability to govern and forget the rest of the bullshit?

Eggs ackley.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:42 AM on March 9, 2007


When the right wing does it is "controlling our sex lives" and when the left wing does it it is "exposing hypocrisy".

That is a very big difference. Exposing the hypocrisy of the sex police on the right is intended to confront and mock sex-policing conservatives. I don't see the motivations as equivalent here, and not to engage these motherfuckers with everything on the table is not an option.

Exposing hypocrisy is defending the truth.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:44 AM on March 9, 2007


Man, I haven't been this startled since Lance Bass told us he's gay.

Help. Oh, help. The fundaments of my worldview are collapsing. Stop the world. Oh, mercy, help. Give me a donut ot something.

No, seriously. Are you going to eat that?
posted by loquacious at 3:45 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


And while we're at it, yet another Reich-wing poster boy for the evils of liberalism, Cpl. Matt Sanchez, ex-Marine and Columbia University student (at 37), who claims he was disparaged for his military service by his classmates and who is a darling of the CPAC-crowd, turns out to have been a major-league gay porn star and male escort." (I'm surprised no one has FPP'd this one -- it has shade of the great Ted Haggard brouhaha all over it.)

They never quit coming at us. What choice is there but to call them what they are?
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:48 AM on March 9, 2007


fourcheese, that needs its own post--i put it at the end of the Coulter stuff but it's bigger than that or this.

...Newt has some of the same problems Giuliani does; in fact, he may be the only candidate with a personal history displaying more sadism toward his former wives than Rudy. We all know the stories -- served his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery, had an affair with a young aide (now his third wife) while married to the second wife. But as we know, that stuff doesn’t matter much -- what’s more important is whether you can assure conservatives that you’re on the right team when it comes to the culture wars (see Limbaugh, Rush; Bennett, Bill; etc.). And nobody does hippie-bashing with more gusto than Newt. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:05 AM on March 9, 2007


more, Rudy-related, but totally applicable to Newt too: ...we already know how this will be handled by Rudy and the right wing. They will follow the Cheneys gay daughter formula. If anyone brings it up, Rudy and his followers will immediately growl in the impudent reporter's face about the invasion of privacy, even if the kids and the ex are out there stumping for Hillary. They will further go out and condemn any Democrat who brings it up saying "this is not a gooood man." The press will be flummoxed and drop it. So will the Democrats. The wingnuts and the Christian Right will ignore it just as they self-servingly ignored Cheney's glaring hypocrisy about his daughter.

The Republican base does not really care about social conservatism. It just hates liberals. This is something people have not yet come to terms with. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:11 AM on March 9, 2007


Sexual infidelity, on the other hand, is wrong regardless of what political stripe you wear.

Someone else feels that way about sexual orientation.

These are completely different. Infidelity is nonconsensual. I.e. you are hurting someone. Sexual orientation, whether it is natural or a choice or whatever, is your own problem.

I don't think I would see much blowback for saying that lying is generally wrong. Sexual infidelity is a specific form of lying. Which of the basic sins is "sexual orientation" an example of?
posted by DU at 4:14 AM on March 9, 2007


That is a very big difference. Exposing the hypocrisy of the sex police on the right is intended to confront and mock sex-policing conservatives. I don't see the motivations as equivalent here, and not to engage these motherfuckers with everything on the table is not an option.


You destroy people's lives for your cause. You make people feel they have to hide their personal lives and live in fear for your cause. You will drive all homosexuals, adulterors and human beings out of the republican party and replace them with ascetic monks filled with religious fervor for your cause.

WTF is your cause again?
posted by srboisvert at 4:16 AM on March 9, 2007


That aside, what saddens me is that New is considered an important thinker by his conservative friends...
posted by Postroad at 4:24 AM on March 9, 2007


You destroy people's lives for your cause.

My cause is destroying the lives of people who would destroy other peoples' lives because they are gay, have non-vanilla sexual tastes, or have been unfaithful to a partner. Damn fucking right it is.

Live by the sword, die by it. It was ever thus, and turning the other cheek just gets you slapped on both sides of the face.

Where is your righteous indignation coming from? Do people like Gingrich and Ted Haggard, who have made careers out of exposing and demonizing gays and adulterers, deserve better than they gave? I'm glad I don't need to count on you in a fight.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:24 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


WTF is your cause again?

Stopping legislation criminalizing and demonizing us and permanently making us 2nd-class citizens. Attaining full equality as the law and Constitution mandates.

The GOP platform is itself anti-gay, and calls for a US Constitutional Amendment. The party uses homophobia and bigotry to get elected, while preaching godliness and family values.
posted by amberglow at 4:28 AM on March 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Or as they say, it's the hypocrisy, stupid.

People are people. They're sexual, and imperfect. In any crowd of people some will be adulterers, some gay, some into non-vanilla kink, and none will be perfect.

But some people claim to be better than others, and use shame and humiliation to build careers based on the claim of perfection.

Such people are usually hypocrites, if not always. Time and time again we learn that the "Christian" church is crawling with closeted gays, adulterers, and people with unusual sexual tastes. We learn the same thing about a republican party that has made "family values" a club to beat "liberals" with for decades. Learning this is an inherent good. It means people are less likely to believe the mendacious and evil things these people say in pursuit of power. No one has an expectation of any consideration they aren't willing to extend to others.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:29 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And neither Gingrich nor Giuliani nor Foley nor Haggard nor Gannon/Guckert nor Schrock nor all the others--nor Dirty Sanchez-- lives are destroyed by the truth being pointed out.

It's a crock of shit to say so. If they're part of a machine that destroys and hurts us and wants laws changed to do so, speaking truth does not destroy--it's sunlight.
posted by amberglow at 4:31 AM on March 9, 2007


Anyway, Newt outed himself as an adulterer in this case, though everyone knew it all along. I'm actually a little bit impressed, though I still think he's a halfwit posing as an intellectual and fooling fellow stupid people with the act.

And Sanchez was a gay porn star. What part of being a gay porn star is so private and personal that it shouldn't be discussed publicly when you appear on a CPAC stage as a soldier prop for someone who calls John Edwards a "faggot"?
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:34 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dirty Sanchez?
posted by matteo at 4:37 AM on March 9, 2007


And hey, Amberglow, I'm not going to FPP Sanchez because I don't have time to follow the 1500-post thread that would ensue right now. But someone really should get that party started. Hint, hint.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:37 AM on March 9, 2007


Matteo: Dirty Sanchez.

It's just swelling into a throbbing member of a story now. It's a busy news week so this hasn't yet cracked the surface of the ice. It will.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:39 AM on March 9, 2007


(google it matteo) ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:40 AM on March 9, 2007


"The heart has reasons of its own that reason knows nothing of." Or maybe he was just horny. I'm not crazy about his politics, but G*d'll forgive him this, I will too. But yeah, I wish the political types and the latter-day Pharisees would get a clue and stop trying to boss consenting adults around concerning who can put what where when how.
posted by pax digita at 4:47 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I always thought the Sex Police were pretty cool, myself.
posted by TedW at 4:49 AM on March 9, 2007


...Ever notice that conservative interest in combatting racism, sexism and homophobia begins and ends with protecting the members of “their team”? You’d almost think that their attitudes about racism, sexism and homophobia correlate strongly to their racist, sexist, and homophobic policy proposals.
Oops, I mentioned the naughty. When accusing someone of racism, sexism, or homophobia, you’re not supposed to actually look at their politics for fuck’s sake. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:52 AM on March 9, 2007


It's a crock of shit to say so.

Bullshit. Sanctimonious righteousness destroys lives on both sides. The whole point of this LOLNewt shit is that it is damaging politically. You are trying to hurt the republican party based on what they do with their genitals. Gary Hart was taken down for a romp. Clinton was politically crippled by a blow job. Now the left is turning on Newt and Guiliani hoping that sex will be their undoing.

It's like you are pouring gasoline all over your enemies and lighting it and then only after the flame jumps from them to you will you realize how stupid this tactic is. You can't control the religious right. When they see the hypocrisy what do you think they do? Do you think they say "Oh! I guess we were wrong." I bet what they think is "That's good to know. I am not voting for him. He isn't religious enough" and they move their votes to someone even more willing to control your sexuality.

You want people to leave you alone to lead your life however you like but the example you are providing is that sex is a political tool that you, like the religious right, are willing to wield with righteous glee.

You've become them.

I felt really uncomfortable about all the page scandal stuff in the last election because it really seemed like the left had suddenly abandoned its principles and seized on playing up the homophobia of the right in order to win an election.

Live by the sword, die by it.

Precisely. Nice to see that you've picked up on the war metaphors of the right as well. Perhaps you can come up with some sort political hypocrisy shock and awe campaign next in order to get to a mission accomplished photo op.

I'm glad I don't need to count on you in a fight.

With us or against us? Who the hell are you? GWB? Fortunately, it isn't my fight not being in America. But no you can't count on me in a fight because politics isn't a fight. It isn't a war. It isn't a life and death struggle. It is living with your neighbors, compromising, getting along in a civil society but then as a Canadian I am rarely convinced that I am absolutely right. I only know when something, like this, feels very wrong.
posted by srboisvert at 4:55 AM on March 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


and from there: Note to mouth-breathing conservatives: Speaking a truth without judgement isn’t hateful. Saying that so-and-so was a gay porn star or so-and-so is a lesbian is no more inherently hateful than saying that so-and-so has blonde hair and likes to wear red. By hyperventilating at the mention of these facts, you are revealing more your own homophobia than the homophobia of someone who mentions the truth without passing any particular judgement about it.
posted by amberglow at 4:55 AM on March 9, 2007


sr, you leave us with both hands tied behind our backs in a real fight hurting real people and families. We should be angels and never mention sex or sexuality or infidelity or their glaring hypocrisy while they legislate against us, using church and state???? No.
posted by amberglow at 4:57 AM on March 9, 2007


Sex is a political tool and weapon--they made it so. We use these things to point out to their own voters that they live in glass houses. We don't see infidelity as a dealbreaker--they do. We don't see being gay as a dealbreaker--they do. We don't see those things as inherently evil and to be eliminated--they do.
posted by amberglow at 4:59 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


When the right wing does it is "controlling our sex lives" and when the left wing does it it is "exposing hypocrisy". You're only playing their game.

oh for fuck's sake. Can we really not tell the difference between these? If someone is going to condemn people for certain actions which they then commit themselves, it is centrally important to point this out. The whole point of government is to establish law, which is meant to be applied universally, not according to preference. Obviously government is flawed, but the way to keep things in check is to constantly point out the flaws - our gov't is far less corrupt than it would be without a free press, etc. So condemnation of others must include condemnation of oneself for the same actions, for any member of the government. It does not matter what the act is or whether you believe it ought to be condemned; the first issue is consistency. Inconsistent application of judgment is the basis of corruption ('favors for friends' etc).

Comparison of adultery and homosexuality is also poorly thought out - consensual polyamory is comparable, and should be considered an aspect of sexual freedom, but adultery is specifically the breaking of a contract, so it shouldn't be endorsed. That doesn't mean an affair in itself should be investigated as a public issue, but it's still crappy behavior.
posted by mdn at 4:59 AM on March 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Sanctimonious righteousness destroys lives on both sides

There is nothing sanctimonious about pointing out someone cannot live by his own moral standards. At least as the word is defined in the dictionary.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:02 AM on March 9, 2007


I'm not shocked. I am, however, disappointed, as his mistress-at-the-time-who-is-now-his-wife (for now) ain't that hot.

(Course, neither is he).
posted by Kibbutz at 5:04 AM on March 9, 2007


Oh, I dunno, Kibbutz, she seems to wash up right nice in that photo, although it's from 2000. Gingrich ain't that bad-looking a guy, but then, I noticed a while back that the less TV I watch, the more realistic my standards concerning physical beauty.
posted by pax digita at 5:17 AM on March 9, 2007




Regarding "Dirty Sanchez" - I'm having a hard-time thinking that the recent brouhaha over the left's online "incivility", and Coulters F*word, the spin around Cheney's "assasination attempt" and blood-clot (and the "outrage" over Bill Maher), and Newt's infidelity while impeaching Clinton while lying about infedility, plus the rights attempt to simultaneously maintain the Clinton's impeachment for lying is warranted and whilst Scooter's conviction for lying is a travesty is mere coincidence. (Also, there's a lot of "liberals are anti-semetic stuff flying around too...)

If I were a movement Conservative, I'd be trying to negate the influence of the liberal blogosphere (thier obscene, plus hypocrites and bigots) and try to knock the liberals down (look, there just as bad as us, but we like lower taxes!) to the same moral and ethical level as Conservatives.

On preview - the ironing is delicious.
posted by rzklkng at 5:19 AM on March 9, 2007


There are times that I have fallen short of my own standards.

Spoken like the silver-tongued sociopath that he is. To paraphrase that old classic: "Contrition--if you can fake that, then you've got it made!"
posted by mondo dentro at 5:19 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Related: ... "The Republican Party comes along every four years and whispers in our ears and, when the election is over, tells us to go away and to not bother them," said Mark Crutcher, founder and president of Life Dynamics, a Texas-based anti-abortion group who called the coalition "a functionary of the Republican Party."
Crutcher said he expects to be "stabbed in the chest" by Democrats, but it's getting "stabbed in the back by Republicans" that really angers him. ...

posted by amberglow at 5:25 AM on March 9, 2007


It is standard CIA procedure to compromise someone with sex, straight or gay. Once you have them via shame, you own them. Think about Gannon, the White House Call Boys, Foley's conversion from Democrat to Republican in 1984, Jeff Gannon-cum-James Guckert, Duke Cunningham, and the Maddam who is under "gag-order" not to disclose he "little black book" - prolly for national security reasons... read up on honeypots.

It makes sense why we culturally make a big deal about human trafficking, the immorality of homosexuality, and child pornography... it's an effective reinforcer of control.
posted by rzklkng at 5:26 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


We demand hypocrites, by insisting that every politician live up to our own personal standards of choice and morality

There's only one of my own personal standards I expect politicians to abide by, that if they stand up on a platform and promote (and try to legislate) one behaviour as the only acceptable one then I expect them to abide by it. If they can't do that then they have made themselves hypocrites, I haven't done the job for them.
posted by biffa at 5:29 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Republican base does not really care about social conservatism. It just hates liberals. This is something people have not yet come to terms with. ...

Not only do they hate liberals, they hate themselves for living like liberals.
posted by disgruntled at 5:35 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Not only do they hate liberals, they hate themselves for living like liberals.
It's true--there's enormous self-loathing and cognitive dissonance.
posted by amberglow at 5:36 AM on March 9, 2007


Also, it's hysterical that his criminal acts and ethics probes don't even really come up in the interview. Being a criminal is ok, apparently.
posted by amberglow at 5:40 AM on March 9, 2007


Gingrich richly deserves every criticism he gets. He's the typical conservative fakir that talks one game and walks another.

Remember, too, that he was the architect of the present hyper-partisan approach to government. Remember the Contract With America? Brook no dissent, take no prisoners, no compromise.

He fucked America as badly as he fucked his secretaries.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:42 AM on March 9, 2007


sr, you leave us with both hands tied behind our backs in a real fight hurting real people and families. We should be angels and never mention sex or sexuality or infidelity or their glaring hypocrisy while they legislate against us, using church and state???? No.

I simply cannot see how you can fight for sexual freedom and personal privacy by using other people's personal lives as your ammunition. It isn't a war. If you are right then you persuade people by showing them how you are right. This tit-for-tat retaliatory stuff smacks of partisan team play independent of any actual principles. You want to have weapons in your quiver because they have them and at the same to take them out the other side's quiver because it is wrong for them use them.


Sex is a political tool and weapon--they made it so. We use these things to point out to their own voters that they live in glass houses. We don't see infidelity as a dealbreaker--they do. We don't see being gay as a dealbreaker--they do. We don't see those things as inherently evil and to be eliminated--they do.


You don't 'have' to do anything Ameberglow. You choose to. So if someone in a glass house is throwing stones you think it is okay for you to throw stones back at them and take down their house? Is that the metaphor? It's nicely old testament. Eye for an Eye and all that. I am sure there is some sort of satisfaction of seeing a glass house come crashing down. What exactly does that achieve though? While you may achieve your objective of eliminating glass housed politicians from the other side you've also just sanctioned stone throwing for the sake of enforcing moral standards and further reduced the diversity of lifestyles on the other side. You are drumming out and scaring out of the republican party the very people who are most likely to be converted at some point. If this man had been outed as hyporcrit for being a member of an antigay republican party with a gay daughter prior to nomination for his spot would he have been able to give his speech? Would he have still wanted to?

The group you are trying to persuade (or at least I assume you are trying to persuade) gets a different take home message from this than the one you want to send. Your stones don't magically turn into bolts of enlightened consciousness. They remain the triggers for moral opprobrium of their base that you knew they would be when launched at your targets. Every take down only makes politicians on the right less likely to be open about their lives and more likely to be hypocrites who go along with a base that feels emboldened by what they see as exposing and punishment of sinners.

I think the view of American politics as war is only too appropriate given the way people act. I see a country that is tearing itself apart with an emphasis on partisan politics that are so ridiculous they are divorced from the underlying ideologies that used to be a play. It isn't conservatives versus liberals anymore. It is simply us versus them and anything goes. It is OK for us to do things and it is wrong for them. It no longer matters whether something is right or wrong simply whether they have done it before or if it will help us win. I'm pretty socially liberal but I am getting disgusted with a lot of the tactics I see being adopted by what is supposed to be my side (likewise I have disgusted for a long time by the tactics of the other side). You don't fight fire with fire unless you want to destroy everything. You extinguish the fire with its opposite.
posted by srboisvert at 5:43 AM on March 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


This is my suprised face.
posted by contessa at 5:45 AM on March 9, 2007


Can we finally say, "goodnight, Newtie?"
Doubtful. Extremely doubtful.

It's been well known for a long time, for example, that Gingrich has been married three times, the first two being ended by divorce. That he cheated on his second wife with his (future) third wife. That his mistress-cum-third wife is something like twenty years younger than him. That he visited his first wife in the hospital while she was recovering from cancer surgery to talk divorce.

How is this different?

The rabid, vocal, hate-filled throngs that back the current incarnation of the Republican party only care about the things that they loudly rail against when it suits them.
posted by Flunkie at 5:53 AM on March 9, 2007


That interview with Sanchez is priceless:

JMG: Do you consider yourself gay?

SANCHEZ: Boyfriends: 0 Fiance: 2 Wife: 1. I'd say I'm pretty bad at being gay.


Gosh, that sounds awfully familiar.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:58 AM on March 9, 2007


What I find really interesting is srboisvert's POV of this. He says "This isn't a war"...and my first reaction was that "yes, it is. how can you not see that?" but then I took a step back...

Maybe he's right, maybe we're right. I don't have enough perspective to know, but honestly, srb...I'm interested in hearing more about your suggested tactics.

You mention "converting" the ones that live more liberal lives. I don't honestly know how that would go about, although I can picture one of them going to press and announcing the dirty little secret and the attempted conversion and the second would swamp the first.

I say all of this with no attempt to condemn or convince. I say it as someone who, for the first time in a long time, realized that maybe the entreched ways aren't ever going to work.
posted by Brainy at 6:10 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe he's right, maybe we're right.

Maybe you're both right.

Conceptually, I agree with him that engaging in these tactics doesn't do anything to raise the discourse (which is so badly needed), and that it transforms the whole of politics into one distracting sideshow after another. Having said that, after the trashing that the left has taken for the past 20+ years from such people, it would be suicidal to in essence "turn the other cheek" and not call these bastards out as the hypocrites they are when the moment arrives.

At some point you have to fight back. The left has lost so much ground since the 1980s that losing any more would be unacceptable. For everyone.
posted by psmealey at 6:22 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


You extinguish the fire with its opposite.
I am not fully on board with your analogy in the first place - reducing the complexities of human interaction to "fire is extinguished by water" strikes me as facile. But even taking it at face value, it's flawed:

How you put out a fire depends upon the fire. For an extremely large fire with an essentially unlimited source of fuel, for example an oil well that is on fire, a common method of extinguishing it involves intentionally causing a large explosion (via nitroglycerin, for example). If all goes well, the oil and gas is temporarily blown away from the point of ignition, and the point of ignition itself is deprived of enough oxygen to remain on fire.

So, again, although I'm not on board with your analogy in the first place, let's take it at face value, and continue it in its actual direction:

Sometimes fires are so huge that the best way to put them out is with more fire.
posted by Flunkie at 6:23 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


If someone is doing detrimental things in their life because they are misguided, or confused, or just plain wrong then, I agree, show them love and offer help.

But if someone is mandating that others have to live by their rules (especially when they hold the reins of power), and privately acts incongruently, then let them have it with both barrels. Rhetorically, of course.

The only way to fight hypocrites is with the truth and a mirror.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:32 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Strangely enough, in the store above this one, Tim Gill says that one of the reasons gay marriage was voted down was because of the "gay ick" that voters felt when faced with Haggard and Foley. Instead of driving people towards accepting gays, it drove them away.


I think the differing viewpoints might be concurrent strategies.
We have a Typhoid Mary type in Newt, Haggard, etc who are going around spreading their particular strain of conservitism. Sure, removing them so they can no longer spread it is a good idea...but what about all those already infected? Is this like all those vampire movies where killing off the head vampire cures all those half-transformed heroines? It never cures the other full vampires.

Attacking the people is not the same as attacking their ideas. If people believe in a policy, what difference should it make to them who else believes -- or created -- that policy? Nobody is going to think infidelity is okay just because Newt did it. They're just gonna oust him and say, "well, this guy didn't cheat and we're sure of that so now we're even better off! Thanks for convincing us that $sextype is even more relevant an issue than some of us thought and helping us find a less blemished leader"
posted by Brainy at 6:36 AM on March 9, 2007


We shouldn't be allowed to point out hypocritical behavior. That would be wrong. We must turn the other cheek and lockstep willingly into the ovens. Resistance is futile.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:43 AM on March 9, 2007


I don't think I would see much blowback for saying that lying is generally wrong. Sexual infidelity is a specific form of lying.

It's funny how we think they should keep out of our bedrooms, but theirs are fair game. Well, not funny ha-ha.

srboisvert said it better:

I simply cannot see how you can fight for sexual freedom and personal privacy by using other people's personal lives as your ammunition.

Well, you can, but we're willing to overlook our own hypocrisy, apparently.
posted by dreamsign at 6:57 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Newts Platform: Do as I say, not as I do.
posted by kjs3 at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2007


Someone has to say this:

IOKIYAR
posted by nofundy at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was actually thinking IOKIYAD, but we're pretty much on the same wavelength.
posted by dreamsign at 7:04 AM on March 9, 2007


Well, you can, but we're willing to overlook our own hypocrisy, apparently.

I honestly can't fathom that argument. Where is the hypocrisy in this:

I believe in personal freedom. I have a sex life, don't care what other consenting adults do, and absolutely have no wish to dictate others' lives. Newt dictates from on high what I'm allowed and not allowed to do, but lives in contradiction to his proclamations.

He started the fight. He made the rules for the fight. He drafted me into a fight I wouldn't have started. But I will do what I can do to end it. No hypocrisy - righteous indignation.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:10 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


BTW, news "resurfacing" like this is supposed to get the chattering classes, well, chattering... see HuffPo. I definitely suspect this is an ad-hoc campaign against bloggers.
posted by rzklkng at 7:15 AM on March 9, 2007


It's not a war.

Why, sir, it is a war -- it's a literal war with Americans dying right now.

I simply cannot see how you can fight for sexual freedom and personal privacy by using other people's personal lives as your ammunition.

Actually, we're fighting for a lot more than that. We're fighting to stop the war. We're fighting against a totalitarian government with spies on every phone line. We're fighting against the possible destruction of the planet through filth and drowning.

I don't believe the seriousness of our war means that we can use any means no matter how foul. But our opponents stand up and say, "These things you do are evil." Do we not have a right to say, "No, you do them too"?

What's particularly reprehensible about your post is that you have no suggestions on what we should do. As far as I can see, you think we should simply shut up and do nothing.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:28 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


srboisvert: Precisely. Nice to see that you've picked up on the war metaphors of the right as well. Perhaps you can come up with some sort political hypocrisy shock and awe campaign next in order to get to a mission accomplished photo op.

Hey srboisvert . . . you're the one who is fucking warlike in this thread.

You want to roll over and take it, be my guest. If you don't see the difference, morally, between what the right does when they attack sexual minorities or invade private lives, and what the left does when it turns the hose back on the right, that's *your* fucking problem.

If turning the other cheek is the way to go, why don't *you* give it a try and stop trolling.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:37 AM on March 9, 2007


Because otherwise, the right wing wins. Have we not learned that already? You cannot fight fire with spit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:38 AM on March 9, 2007


So if someone in a glass house is throwing stones you think it is okay for you to throw stones back at them and take down their house? Is that the metaphor?

No. The metaphor is "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." We're not taking down Newt's house. He did it himself, and we're pointing it out.

"Live by the sword, die by the sword" is an anti-war metaphor, by the way.

(And, in order to move this into the realm of pedantry, these are adages, not metaphors.)

Look, sex gets everyone worked up. Try thinking of a similar situation with a less inflammatory topic. Suppose a prominent senator was pushing a bill to end the funding of public libraries, huge drains on the federal budget that they are. And suppose we found out that the same senator had several Harry Potter books checked out. If I accuse him of being a hypocrite, does that make me anti or pro library funding?
posted by hydrophonic at 7:57 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


The amazing thing is that right wing anti-conservative family values movement has managed to turn the left wing into sex police as well.

She turned me into a Newt!

...but I got better.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:05 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


So - is Gingrich a cornerstone, or a replaceable cog, or just another amphibian?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:21 AM on March 9, 2007


I'm warlike and particularly reprehensible because I disagree with the political strategy of outing peoples personal lives under the pretense of pointing out hypocrisy while hoping for the political gains of religious right's disapproval of the very behaviors you want them to butt out of?

I'll say it again. You are becoming the thing you hate.

We're not taking down Newt's house. He did it himself, and we're pointing it out.


No you are not just pointing it out and that has been my point all along. You're painting a scarlet letter on him and jeering. But that is okay because he is a hypocrite and on the other side and they did it first. Of course they will do the same thing and so on and so on and so on. Who wins?
posted by srboisvert at 8:25 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]



You don't 'have' to do anything Ameberglow. You choose to. So if someone in a glass house is throwing stones you think it is okay for you to throw stones back at them and take down their house? Is that the metaphor?


I can't live in a house with broken walls that's continually being attacked both verbally and legislatively--no American can. If their hypocrisy (which is all public record, by the way) needs to be shown to them over and over, that's not war nor a metaphor. It's fact, unlike the demonization of me they use to legislate and raise money off of and bring people to the polls with, etc. They peddle in lies, while we're only bringiing up facts.
posted by amberglow at 8:26 AM on March 9, 2007


And politics is not a tea party nor cotillion. It's dirty. If you don't like it, don't participate. They've been playing dirty for years now--don't you dare say we can't point out some hard truths.
posted by amberglow at 8:27 AM on March 9, 2007


And again srboisvert--it's not their personal lives--this is all public record stuff. No one is in their bedrooms the way they're in ours. No one is legislating their sex lives the way they do to ours. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:29 AM on March 9, 2007


you know I caught a snippet at the corner of my eye while getting drunk at a bar the other day, something about some politician coming right out and saying he used to pose for playgirl or something?

Anyway, that got me thinking how much better politics would be if we took out all the personal shit that doesn't matter one bit and only concentrated on direct issues. It boggles my mind that people clearly see their "moral" leaders fall at every test that has been presented to them, never following what they preach. Then I realized that this will never happen because these type people are way too concerned about what their neighbor is doing than what really matters in life. It's so much easier for these people to close their eyes and ignore reality and never directly confront or believe that the people they follow are capable of being human, and that fallacy is inherent to mankind.
posted by evilelvis at 8:30 AM on March 9, 2007


after the Starr report and Monica, where they used the Government to impeach over a blowjob, questioning our methods is hysterical.
posted by amberglow at 8:31 AM on March 9, 2007



Anyway, that got me thinking how much better politics would be if we took out all the personal shit that doesn't matter one bit and only concentrated on direct issues.


Except they turned "personal shit" into constitutional amendments and laws all over the country. They themselves are the one who made all this stuff fair game by doing so.
posted by amberglow at 8:35 AM on March 9, 2007


s the rights attempt to simultaneously maintain the Clinton's impeachment for lying is warranted and whilst Scooter's conviction for lying is a travesty is mere coincidence.
posted by rzklkng at 8:19 AM EST on March 9

The spin from Charles Krauthammer today is that "Bill Clinton" (note the absence of any honorific) lied under oath but Scooter Libby was not deliberately lying, he just "forgot."

It's funny how we think they should keep out of our bedrooms, but theirs are fair game. Well, not funny ha-ha
posted by dreamsign at 9:57 AM EST on March 9

Try this on for size: It's funny how they think we should keep out of their bedrooms (daughter's bedrooms, mistress's bedrooms) but ours is fair game.

We (liberals, Democrats, etc.) are not the one's writing legislation as to what may or may not go on in the bedroom...with or without a vibrator. If you are legislating about sex or prosecuting others for their sex lives, then you better make damn sure your bedroom activities can be scrutinized.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:41 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I always knew he was a filthy hypocritical douchebag. Part of the reason I so hate the GOP these days is because of crap like this. They publicly vilify someone for something they just haven't been caught doing yet. And they couldn't care less about the direction of the nation, they just want to keep hold of the reins of power for as long as possible.

Fucking bastards.
posted by fenriq at 8:47 AM on March 9, 2007


If turning the other cheek is the way to go, why don't *you* give it a try and stop trolling.

He disagrees with your tactics so he's trolling? Besides some ideology, how are you different then them? srboisvert is right, you are just a "with us or against us" ideologue, aren't you? Is anyone who disagrees you in anyway your enemy?

He started the fight. He made the rules for the fight. He drafted me into a fight I wouldn't have started. But I will do what I can do to end it. No hypocrisy - righteous indignation.

We shouldn't be allowed to point out hypocritical behavior. That would be wrong. We must turn the other cheek and lockstep willingly into the ovens. Resistance is futile.

You want to roll over and take it, be my guest. If you don't see the difference, morally, between what the right does when they attack sexual minorities or invade private lives, and what the left does when it turns the hose back on the right, that's *your* fucking problem.

It's fact, unlike the demonization of me they use to legislate and raise money off of and bring people to the polls with, etc. They peddle in lies, while we're only bringiing up facts.


So, how's this tactic working out for you? Lotta success?

after the Starr report and Monica, where they used the Government to impeach over a blowjob, questioning our methods is hysterical.

Yeah, and see how well that worked for them. Yeah, cost Gore the populare vote, it did. People really supported that impeachment, yeah. Huge effect on the voting populace.
posted by Snyder at 8:55 AM on March 9, 2007


Anyway, that got me thinking how much better politics would be if we took out all the personal shit that doesn't matter one bit and only concentrated on direct issues.

evilelvis, I'm not disagreeing with you, but: What, exactly, are "direct issues"?

For many folks, it's a "direct issue" that I live with another man in a more-or-less domestically partnered relationship. To my mind, that's "personal shit," but lots of people in the US (and elsewhere, but the US is where I live, so that's what most immediately affects me) think that it's their goddamn business.

A large subset of those people think that I and my partner (and any other same-sex partnered relationship) should be punished.

Another subset of that subset actively raise money and engage in political activity to make sure that laws are passed to ensure that such punishment will occur. That's their right, of course.

But the line between "personal shit" and "direct issues" is not as clear as it may seem.

That's why, as much as I disagree with the idea of outing or flaming for the sake of outing or flaming, I don't think it's wrong to (for example) point out what a complete and utterly amoral creature the Newtster is -- and what a blight he and his ilk are on our political landscape.

He's a public figure and has been one for many years. If he can't take the heat, he can retire from public life and from public scrutiny.
posted by blucevalo at 8:58 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]




Yeah, and see how well that worked for them. Yeah, cost Gore the populare vote, it did. People really supported that impeachment, yeah. Huge effect on the voting populace.

Snyder, you seem not to think that the impeachment had any effect, but Democratic presidential candidates in 2008 -- ten years after the fact -- will still have massively effective television ads run against them paid for with money raised at GOP fundraising dinners where Topic A of conversation is, and always will be, Bill Clinton's blowjobs in the Oval Office.
posted by blucevalo at 9:02 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


the only thing funnier than "dirty Sanchez" is the usual suspects here who argue for the unilateral disarmament, leaving the Right able to do as they please -- it worked so beautifully for John Kerry in '04, why lowering oneself to fight back the Swift Boaters, really? Soooooo much better to lose the election, buried under an avalanche of lies, yessir.

Dukakis, too -- why bother to respond to the Willie Horton and Boston Harbor shit?

apparently, some people think that winning is for lamers.
posted by matteo at 9:06 AM on March 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


So, how's this tactic working out for you? Lotta success?

Hard to say, since we've been bullied by cowards into playing the "be nice" strategy, with obvious results.

Maybe calling people on their bullshit will finally change things for the better. Can't be any worse than sitting around and doing nothing while the ReichstagRome burns, which is what we have been browbeaten to do now.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Besides some ideology, how are you different then them?

amberglow doesn't want to criminalize consensual sex, and doesn't want to deny people civil rights on the basis of who their partner is.

This is like asking "besides some ideology, how are you different from Pol Pot?" or "besides not being a mollusk, how are you different from a squid?"

So, how's this tactic working out for you? Lotta success?

Some. You might have noticed that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker now.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:21 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is awful news. Even as a conservative republican, I think that Newt should immediately resign as Speaker of the House and should decline to run for reelection.
posted by Slap Factory at 9:21 AM on March 9, 2007


blucevalo

You are right...after I posted that I realized that what I consider direct issues differ apparently from what a lot of people in the US think. To me, gay people getting married is a non issue. Legalizing drugs is a non issue. What consenting adults, or adults and a consenting chimp do in their bedroom is their business not mine. Apparently to many, that's more important than thousands of people being incarcerated for what they decide to put in their bodies without affecting other people or wars or energy independence. I don't see how they can think like that but apparently they do. Short term immediate issues that are knee jerk emotion reactions apparently are easier to deal with than having to think. I don't think this is a left vs right wing thing either...I certainly don't feel I identify with either "side". It's just made into that.

As always, life is just not black and white. I just wish the majority of humans had a bit more spiritual enlightenment. Then again to many of these people I am the one clearly lacking in that department. :)
posted by evilelvis at 9:22 AM on March 9, 2007


Hard to say, since we've been bullied by cowards into playing the "be nice" strategy, with obvious results.

You've been bullied by cowards? Dosen't say much for your backbone then. What do you do when faced with real opposition, and not people who disagree with you on tactics?

(Please, "bullied by cowards"? Can you get more melodramatic and self-important?)

ROU_Xenophobe: I was refering to fourcheesemac, and his polarising and demonization specifically.

Some. You might have noticed that Nancy Pelosi is Speaker now.

I think that has more to do with the war, and quality of life/civil libirties issues, then sex scandal politics. The way to win is to be tough on issues, to attack political hypocrisy (ie, Bush's "support the troops"/cut VA benefits thing,) and in the case of smears, to not neccessairly respond in kind, ("I cheated? Well, you did too!") but to attack, vigoursly, the concept of the smear in the first place. ("I cheated? Who the fuck are you, my wife? What do you care? Can't defeat me on the issues, huh?")

matteo:The only thing funnier than what you mention is that you show up, as usual, and then fail to comprehend the discussion and attack anyone who dosen't fulfill your little dream of a "true leftist." People are sure to see the error of their ways from an Italian who is a self-selected expert on American politics.
posted by Snyder at 9:54 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The issue of "why now" is an interesting one indeed. Gingrich has been making somewhat of a comeback as a pundit/talking head recently; perhaps one of the official candidates heard rumors about Newt thinking about running for Prez and got a few journo friends to scuttle that candidacy in advance. I can't really see why this would be in the news otherwise -- everyone knew that Newt was a cheating little shit already.
posted by clevershark at 9:55 AM on March 9, 2007


As always, life is just not black and white. I just wish the majority of humans had a bit more spiritual enlightenment. Then again to many of these people I am the one clearly lacking in that department.

Spiritual enlightenment is a wonderful thing. I agree with you that it would be great if more humans were more compassionate. But that's another argument.

Getting tangled up in the "religious" angles ("moral" is often used disingenuously) of problems that face our government flies in the face of what America was founded on. Our country was designed as a secular one. Freedom was/is understood to be the natural condition. Equitability and process are the only legitimate issues of our government. Anyone that justifies inequality from a "moral" standpoint deserves to be called on it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:56 AM on March 9, 2007


The way to win is to be tough on issues, to attack political hypocrisy (ie, Bush's "support the troops"/cut VA benefits thing,) and in the case of smears, to not neccessairly respond in kind, ("I cheated? Well, you did too!") but to attack, vigoursly, the concept of the smear in the first place. ("I cheated? Who the fuck are you, my wife? What do you care? Can't defeat me on the issues, huh?")

Snyder, "the way to win" that you specify is exactly what has not worked for the Democrats for the past 10 to 12 years in US politics (their recent win in Congressional elections notwithstanding). And precisely the opposite strategy -- the art of the smear and the mastery of sleaze -- is what has kept Republicans in office for the same length of time.
posted by blucevalo at 10:00 AM on March 9, 2007


(Please, "bullied by cowards"? Can you get more melodramatic and self-important?)

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:02 AM on March 9, 2007


You're now deputized into the sex police.

Sweet! Finally, an excuse to wear my chaps in the halls of government.
posted by RakDaddy at 10:04 AM on March 9, 2007


There is nothing sanctimonious about pointing out someone cannot live by his own moral standards. At least as the word is defined in the dictionary.

and

We (liberals, Democrats, etc.) are not the one's writing legislation as to what may or may not go on in the bedroom...with or without a vibrator. If you are legislating about sex or prosecuting others for their sex lives, then you better make damn sure your bedroom activities can be scrutinized.

These are pretty much the crux of the entire argument for me. If your own life can't hold up to the spotlight you'd like to shine on everyone else's, then you have no right to flip the switch.

I am sick and tired of these hypocrites proclaiming the eeeeevilness of ordinary people who happen to disagree with them, then trying to legislate those people and their rights out of existence. If they were a little more live and let live, I would have a problem with pointing out their own moral failings, but -- surprise -- THEY'RE NOT!

And so until they get their hands out of my girl-parts, their laws out of my gay friends' live and their As Seen On TV(tm) religion out of our personal lives, they can pretty much get bent.

Bring it on, outers. I want to hear about every gay White House press corps prostitute and divorced cancer-having ex-wife. I want everyone to hear how fucking atrocious these slimepigs are. I want it pounded into the public's heads until they finally come to the realization that "gosh, they really are asshats, aren't they? why, it makes that openly gay congressperson in the district next door who's been with his partner for 30+ years look positively angelic by comparison."

'Course, I also want a magical pony that's glitter-colored. But let a girl dream...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:12 AM on March 9, 2007 [8 favorites]




Well, a problem is when the issue is sexuality and trying to hunt down every last little "deviation" and snuff it out via force of law... while enjoying other deviations under the protection of an elected position, I think that does become a political issue.

I mean, when someone stands up and preaches about how sacred marriage is and how it must not be sullied by those goddamned faggots while screwing someone who is most certaintly not your spouse. Is it not taking their ammunition pointing out their own contradiction by asking the question why is adultery acceptable but homosexuality evil?

I thought that was the entire neocon movement in a nutshell, basically they're more righteous and holy than those vile, immortal liberals and that's why they're much better leaders.
posted by Talanvor at 10:19 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Bring it on, outers. I want to hear about every gay White House press corps prostitute and divorced cancer-having ex-wife."

"Live by the sword, die by it. It was ever thus, and turning the other cheek just gets you slapped on both sides of the face."

"Sometimes fires are so huge that the best way to put them out is with more fire."


Enjoy your scorched earth!
posted by banshee at 10:28 AM on March 9, 2007


I thought that was the entire neocon movement in a nutshell, basically they're more righteous and holy than those vile, immortal liberals and that's why they're much better leaders.

As an immortal liberal, I am compelled to clarify:
  • Neocons: amoral, areligious, worships Wall Street, into world domination, possibly S&M
  • Religious Rightists: worships childish God of Old Testament, Jesus only valid as instrument of end times vengeance, judgemental, hates gays, mexicans, women, soccer

posted by psmealey at 10:33 AM on March 9, 2007


William Burroughs was right:

"The old hop-smoking rod-riding underworld has a name for it: 'a member of the Johnson family.' Wouldn't rush to the law if he smelled hop in the hall, doesn't care what fags in the back room are doing, stands by his word. Good man to do business with. They are found in all walks of life. The cop who slipped me a joint in a New Orleans jail, for instance. Or when I was pushing junk in New York back in 1948, the hotel clerk who stopped me in the lobby: 'I don't know how to say this, but there is something wrong about the people who come to your room.' (Something wrong is putting it softly; ratty junkies with no socks, dressed in three boosted suits puffing out, carrying radios torn from the living car, trailing wires like entrails. 'This isn't a hock shop!' I scream. 'Get this shit out of here!' Regaining my composure I say severely, 'You are lowering the entire tone of my establishment.) 'So I just wanted to warn you to be careful and tell those people to watch what they way over the phone ... if someone else had been at the switchboard ...'

And a hotel clerk in Tunis; I handed him some money to put in the safe. He put the money away and looked at me: 'You do not need a receipt Monsieur.' I looked at him and saw that he was a Johnson, and knew that I didn't need a receipt.

Yes, this world would be a pretty easy and pleasant place to live in if everybody could just mind his own business and let others do the same. But a wise old black faggot said to me years ago: 'Some people are shits, darling.' I was never able to forget it.

Mexican druggist throwing a script back at me: 'We do not serve dope fiends.' It's like Mr. Anslinger said: 'The laws must express society's disapproval of the addict.'

Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can't mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has."

-- from "My Own Business"

posted by digaman at 10:34 AM on March 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


banshee writes "Enjoy your scorched earth!"

The earth was scorched a long time ago. It's surprising that you haven't noticed.
posted by clevershark at 10:35 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, neocons have no problem getting into bed with the Rightists when they need the votes, so they pander to that base. (FFS GWB says God talks to him!)
posted by Talanvor at 10:42 AM on March 9, 2007


And politics is not a tea party nor cotillion. It's dirty. If you don't like it, don't participate.

and then on election day, people wonder why a sizable proportion of the population don't vote

would that children getting shot and bombed with american arms get one half the outrage what people do in their bedrooms does

would that how your fellow americans are exploited and marginalized economically get one-TENTH the outrage what people do in their bedrooms does

but what else should we expect from a self-centered, narcissistic generation of people who care more about their "lifestyles" and who stuck what genital in what orifice in which washington bedroom, than they do about limbless children, grinding poverty, homeless hopelessness and rapacious business as usual?

but as you said -

And politics is not a tea party nor cotillion. It's dirty. If you don't like it, don't participate.

that's an invitation to apathy - or revolution

Enjoy your scorched earth!

i fear the whirlwind we will be reaping
posted by pyramid termite at 10:45 AM on March 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


I can totally understand where srboisvert is coming from. The idea of not using their tactics back against them certainly has some appeal from the moral high-ground standpoint.

Unfortunately, I believe that in some cases, it needs to be done. From this day forward, any time Newt opens his mouth in public and espouses any kind of family values nonsense or tries to press for legislation based on religion, someone needs to stand up and say;

"No. You don't get to play that card any more. You broke the 7th commandment and Florida law, you have been kicked off the high ground."

And for the record, shouldn't religious folk be more up in arms about this? I mean he broke one of the big 10. That's got to be waaay more serious than some obscure passage in Leviticus, right?
posted by quin at 10:48 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


digaman, I love your William Burroughs quote. Awesome.

And yes, some people are shits. Pity so many of them are running around polluting the halls of the Capitol these days.
posted by blucevalo at 11:09 AM on March 9, 2007


psmealeysaid: For now, though, I'm certain that such this kind of thing discourages otherwise skilled and able people from going into politics.

It does, it does. I was going to run for office until someone reminded me that there were pictures of me doing things that I would be hard pressed to explain to the religious right. (Hell...most of my life would be hard to explain...)

As to Nasty Newtron, he's absolutely fair game, after everything he's said and done to legislate the morality of the rest of the country.

Here's where there's a difference. If someone has changed/tried to change public policy such that certain activities are verboten/punished/allowed to be used as the basis for discrimination...then that same person shows a distinct lack of "moral uprightness", then that person can be justifiably called on their lack of morality.

The Righties claiming that faggots are the downfall of our culture, while boinking secretaries and divorcing wives with cancer and sending their children into charity/public welfare...well, ya know, those people deserve to be unmasked as the lying pusillanimous pretenders that they are.

Bill, bless his erect little heart, never claimed to be a moral arbiter. NastyNewt *does* claim to be a moral arbiter, and thus his lack of absolute morality is a justifiable topic.

Suggesting that we who are legislated against, because sex legislation is always *against* someone and not *for* anyone, should have no moral ground upon which we can criticize those who write and enact the legislation is absurd.
posted by dejah420 at 11:42 AM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, this world would be a pretty easy and pleasant place to live in if everybody could just mind his own business and let others do the same.

I knew there was a reason I loved William Burroughs. Damn. (Currently reading his biography Literary Outlaw, too. He sounds a lot like both of my rather rakish grandfathers... you know, if they'd been gay junkies).

Listen, the earth's already scorched. And the liberals weren't the ones with the matches. We had to sit on our hands while these asshole fake conservatives impeached a sitting president over a blowjob, then let 9/11 happen, then "lost" a billion dollars under the watchful eye of Paul Bremer and his moron squad in Iraq. We've had to watch these religious whackjobs pass laws against gay marriage that end up penalizing straight people in domestic abuse cases.

It's time to fight back, and if it means exposing their hypocrisy and lies, then what of it? It's like a bully on the playground. They're gonna keep poking you and poking you and poking you until you haul off and break their nose. Neocons are bullies with a soft marshmallowy center. Put them in the microwave and press "start," they'll blow themselves up if we keep on their case for a while.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:56 AM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


You are trying to hurt the republican party based on what they do with their genitals.

Oh frigg'n BULLSHIT.

We are trying to EXPOSE the Republican Party by what it does in violation of it's own PRINCIPLES.

If they, and we, actually were held accountable to our mutual principles then we wouldn't have this thread. If fact both parties could then actually be fit to govern - the differing philosophical approaches would actual compliment each other.

Three Blind Mice is obviously running afoul of the holier than thou MetaFilter Finger Wagger Brigade. TBM you too are now WORSE THAN ANN COULTER! Enjoy your new powers.
posted by tkchrist at 12:05 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"It isn't a war."
It is a fucking war.
posted by 2sheets at 12:09 PM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


that stuff doesn’t matter much -- what’s more important is whether you can assure conservatives that you’re on the right team when it comes to the culture wars

And Flip Romney is flopping like a live goldfish on a hot tar driveway in the middle of August trying to establish some street cred with the wingnuts.

Poor Mitt.
"A group of Massachusetts Republicans is planning to launch a Web site on Monday that highlights flip-flops in the record of their former leader, presidential contender Mitt Romney.

The so-called Massachusetts Republicans for Truth is also pledging to run radio and television ads across the country as Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, seeks the 2008 GOP presidential nomination."
posted by ericb at 12:16 PM on March 9, 2007


I don't care that Newt has been married three times, or even really that he cheated on at least one wife - that's between them and their lawyers. I don't care that Sanchez used to make gay porn. I don't care that Ted Haggard had his bit of boy on the side.

I do care that all of these folks seem to take such an interest in my life, to the extent of wanting to legislate my rights out of existence.

Pointing out of the hypocritical actions of a public figure is not "destroying" their lives. No one forced them to run on a "family values" platform while cheating on their wives/hiring rentboys/making porn. No one forced them to run for office at all. It is my duty as a citizen to keep an eye on these guys because they work for me. If they are doing a bad job it is my duty to point it out. (The fact that sometimes it's fun is beside the point.) If you had an employee who made it his business to tell everyone else in the office that a particular task must be done in a certain way, but he never does it that was himself, and if this were causing strife in your workplace, wouldn't you talk with him? Wouldn't you ask him to either butt out, or to walk his talk?
posted by rtha at 12:25 PM on March 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Flip Flop?

Nah. nobody will care about that. they will more likely want to know if Mitt thinks black people get turned white when they die and go to heaven.

I know this: The Hot Trend in 2008 is going to be Mormon. Who are these Mormons? What do the wear? If I was Mormon would I get my own planet?

It started with the Sundance Film Festival and then Big Love's and Chloë Sevigny mad it sexy. Now Mitt. Mormonism. It's going to be hip.

Everybody is going to want special underwear and a magic hat that interprets Aramaic. And then in 2009 will come the fashion back-lash. It's going to be awesome.
posted by tkchrist at 12:29 PM on March 9, 2007


between Newt and Rudy McRomney, they're fielding quite a team of slimeballs. Of course, this is the party that loves Coulter and Limbaugh, so who can be surprised?

and then on election day, people wonder why a sizable proportion of the population don't vote

would that children getting shot and bombed with american arms get one half the outrage what people do in their bedrooms does ...


We vote and fight against those things too--it's not zero-sum. Should we not care about what they do that affect our lives directly? Is our government about us first or not?
posted by amberglow at 12:32 PM on March 9, 2007


No one forced them to run for office at all. It is my duty as a citizen to keep an eye on these guys because they work for me. If they are doing a bad job it is my duty to point it out. (The fact that sometimes it's fun is beside the point.)

Well put. Not only do they work for me (and you, and the other Americans in this thread), but they're using my money to do things that I find particularly abhorrent. So hecks yeah, I'm going to hold their feet a little bit closer to the fire than I would some jerkoff neighbor or store clerk with objectionable views.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:32 PM on March 9, 2007


So, how's this tactic working out for you? Lotta success?

So hows any other tactic working? Hmmm? Lotta success?
posted by tkchrist at 12:37 PM on March 9, 2007


"I bet what they think is "That's good to know. I am not voting for him. He isn't religious enough" and they move their votes to someone even more willing to control your sexuality."

Who is likely to be even less appealing to the general public. Doing this causes schisms.

And, yeah, this might be because I'm one of those people who sees a legitimate political use for war, so I'm more willing to abide a little brutality in the service of a greater cause, but I am sick of being told by nancies on my "side" that I need to keep bringing a knife to a gun fight.

But I've also got no problem calling out "my side" when they're hypocritical fuckwads either.
posted by klangklangston at 12:39 PM on March 9, 2007


Snyder, "the way to win" that you specify is exactly what has not worked for the Democrats for the past 10 to 12 years in US politics (their recent win in Congressional elections notwithstanding). And precisely the opposite strategy -- the art of the smear and the mastery of sleaze -- is what has kept Republicans in office for the same length of time.

I disagree, inasmuch I don't believe the Dems have been doing that. In any direct confrontation, Dems back down. Repubs and right-wingers have the pseudo-direct confrontation thing locked down with Fox News and talk-radio, and the Dems have nothing similar going for them. So they have to call out, and be directly confrontational in debates, not just in the standard, "civil" way of the present, but in the "Your a goddamned liar and war profiteer," way.

It's not I have some huge moral issue with calling out hypocrisy, it's just that I think is bad tactics, and is rooted more in revenge and one-upmanship then political strategy. People in this thread have already discussed some reasons why it's a bad idea, the elimination of corrupt with incorruptible ideologues, from those who want to limit your rights for political expediancy to those who want to limit your rights because they really, really want to. Not only that, I think that the ultimate effect will be simply result in driving people away from the polls.

No one to the left of Hillary Clinton will vote for people like Gingrich and Santorum, so you're not really preventing and crossover votes, and the base will either find a more honest fascist or paper over any problems (they'll do a lot for their tin gods, see Haggard,) and the neocons/warmongers/true believers will simply not care. There are some who will turn away from that candidate, but there is zero guarantee they will vote for your candidate, and may simply just not particiapte, seeing politics as a dirty game, with dirty players all around. All it will do is drive otherwise capable, but flawed people away from politics, and further entrench the strategy of digging into private lives and bedrooms as legitimate poltical tool.

Blazecock:You called people who disagree with tactics bullying cowards. You don't have the high ground.
posted by Snyder at 12:50 PM on March 9, 2007


Shit.

"...the elimination of corrupt with incorruptible ideologues..."

should be:"...the elimination of corrupt politicians and replacing them with incorruptible ideologues."
posted by Snyder at 12:52 PM on March 9, 2007


The way to win is to be tough on issues, to attack political hypocrisy

Get it through your head. This IS attacking political hypocrisies.

Family values are policy issues because the GOP made them so. Especially when criminalizing "deadbeat" dads, consensual sexual behaviors, and banning equal rights to marry are all on the GOP "Values" platform. They are the ones defining what is supposedly destroying the American family unit.
posted by tkchrist at 12:56 PM on March 9, 2007


Good thing we were focused back then on Clinton’s blowjob and not, y’know, finding Osama Bin Laden. I mean politics and obsessive media coverage completely occluded what was, in retrospect and the aftermath of 9/11, a very critical issue.

Of course, y’know, it’s not like that today.

“...The laws must express society's disapproval of the addict...they have no business of their own to mind...” - digaman (from Burroughs)

“Attacking the people is not the same as attacking their ideas.” - posted by Brainy

Well said.
I think the danger lies not in using the Rovian tactics of smearing the messenger, but rather that the message itself is forgotten in all the sound and fury.

It becomes about winning and pandering to the audiance instead of principle.
If you deliver a reasoned cogent response to a given issue and someone says “Yeah? Well you’re a fag!” and you then uncover the fact that he’s a homosexual as well - the issue has been lost. The focus is on the politics not on getting anything done.

This is not to say a given group can’t devote some resources to dealing with the methods of the opposition. But merely that this can lead to an overwhelming of the process and push actual work off to the side.
As was clearly done in the Clinton era.
Two wrongs don’t make a right (since we’re indulging in cliche’).
Of course, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Eh, principle is principle. If it’s wrong to do it, it’s wrong to do it.
But the subtitution of Rovian in-fighting for doing the country’s business is troubling - no matter whose fault it is or who started it.
Don’t make me come back there. I’ll turn this car around right now and we’ll go back home.

Actually I think the general degradation of discourse and promotion of cynicism is by design. Lower voter turnout, lowered expectations of tangible results beyond playing politics, all that, favors the fanatics. Consider - Joe Public isn’t going to much care that Senator X is a hypocrite for smearing Senator Y with a scandal. He’s just going to think they’re both bastards. So even if he does vote he’s going to figure the game is to be as self-serving as possible.
Which by appearances it is.
And the trope from the GOP has been the whole ‘elite/get rich’ thing - vs. the Dems ‘everyman/save the planet’ thing.
So guess who that environment of cynicism favors?

Meh, latter bits are just speculation on my part really. A lot’s been said better than I could say it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:58 PM on March 9, 2007


So hows any other tactic working? Hmmm? Lotta success?

Well, the general Dem strategy, over the past 8-12 years has been crappy, so obviously not that, as I think we can agree upon. I just don't think the small smear attempts that have been attempted by the left recently have really gotten any traction.

And, yeah, this might be because I'm one of those people who sees a legitimate political use for war, so I'm more willing to abide a little brutality in the service of a greater cause, but I am sick of being told by nancies on my "side" that I need to keep bringing a knife to a gun fight.

But I've also got no problem calling out "my side" when they're hypocritical fuckwads either.


Fuckin' a. If someone is ripping strategies out of the Repub playbook, regardless of how they jibe with their own beliefs and ethics, I think I can call them on it, and still want to dump this faux civility that dominates national politics in America.
posted by Snyder at 1:01 PM on March 9, 2007


how's this tactic working out for you?

Tactic, schmactic. Pointing out hypocrisy in public officials is the right thing to do. Whether their behavior in itself is disagreeable to you or not, hypocrisy itself is a bad thing, and shouldn't be tolerated in the people we've chosen to run our government. Hypocrisy is lying, plain and simple.

I have absolutely no problem with Newt's infidelity, in itself (although I don't think it's an admirable thing to do, it's none of my business). I have absolutely no problem with $GOP_ADVOCATE_GAY_PORN_STAR_OF_THE_WEEK's having been a gay porn star, or escort, or whatever. What I dislike, to put it mildly, is that they think they need not abide by the rules they want to impose on us. I dislike that, at the very moment that Clinton was being hounded for adultery by Gingrich and his minions, Gingrich had no problem doing the same thing. Aside from whatever you thought about Clinton, this was a massively expensive exercise that practically paralyzed the government. I would like to see Gingrich foot the bill for it.

You are trying to hurt the republican party based on what they do with their genitals.

No, based on what they do with their mouths. If they weren't flapping them about what I can do with my genitals, I wouldn't give a shit about them. I honestly don't know why you're having so much difficulty understanding this quite obvious point.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:02 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can someone please answer for me why Conservatives hold Liberals to a higher standard than they hold themselves?

This IS a war. And you go to a rhetorical war with the weapons you have, not the weapons you want. The Republicans, with all their framing, hot button issues, pandering, and focus groups have defined this battle. We will fight it on their grounds.

Playing the nice guys doesn't work. You look weak, and are weak. It was Kerry's mistake in 2004 - taking the "high-road" against the Swift Boaters. They only people who are crying about the incivility and the hypocripsy are the ones with something to lose. It's time to push back.
posted by rzklkng at 1:03 PM on March 9, 2007


I think that the ultimate effect will be simply result in driving people away from the polls

People keep saying this. But there is no proof that THIS is what drives people away from the polls. This is a false conventional wisdom.

People don't vote becuase they are either lazy or too stupid to understand why they SHOULD vote. Maybe we don't want those people voting anyway.
posted by tkchrist at 1:03 PM on March 9, 2007


Haha. Probe.
posted by oaf at 1:05 PM on March 9, 2007


I just don't think the small smear attempts that have been attempted by the left recently have really gotten any traction.

Okay. I think this is the problem. It isn't the tactics of hypocrisy. It's SEX.

If we were talking about a candidate who drunk drove all the time and had 20 drunk driving conviction but wanted to make sure all drunk drivers got the death penalty I think we would all want that exposed. Right?

But becuase this whole thing is either directly or tangentially related to sex, and thus our duplicitous idiot attitudes about sex, we feel it should be taboo. Even those of us that think of ourselves as "progressive." becuase somewhere deep inside we feel guilty about sex ourselves.

The problem is Sex is a fundamental human thing. It is about reproduction. It is at the root of the human family. It gives us as individuals identity. It is a political issue. It is a rights issue.

That this fundamental thing is on the political landscape is a given.

That we should debate and fight over who is control of our sexuality, or families, or marriages, is important.

Ans so far the right has dominated this discussion by claiming some sort of moral authority over the issue. Authority they DON'T have.
posted by tkchrist at 1:13 PM on March 9, 2007


Get it through your head. This IS attacking political hypocrisies.

No, it's personal hypocrisy. I couldn't give a shit if someone is cheating on their wife or whatever, their policies are important to me. If their hypocrites, well, it dosen't garner my vote, but their policies are what win me. If some person running for Congress supports equal rights for homosexuals, but privately shuns them and finds them disgusting, I'm not going to not vote for him because he's a hypocrite, but I might vote for him because he supports a policy I want. Gingrich's ideas of "family values" are crap on a crap, they don't get worse because he's a philanderer, and they don't get better if he's never had an impure thought in his life.

People keep saying this. But there is no proof that THIS is what drives people away from the polls. This is a false conventional wisdom.

How about this, the Dems already have a hard time getting me to the polls because of mealy-mouthed stances on issues, if they try to remedy their weakness by becoming Rovian smearers, I'm going to make a hell of less effort to go, because they'll seem worse than creativly bankrupt, they'll seem creativly bankrupt and slanderers.
posted by Snyder at 1:22 PM on March 9, 2007



...they move their votes to someone even more willing to control your sexuality."


Like this pig, perhaps? (he's supposed to be one of the "good" ones, too)
...Kansas Republican and conservative presidential hopeful Sam Brownback made a cringy, racy and potentially problematic crack at today's congressional hearing on black male unemployment. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:29 PM on March 9, 2007


No, it's personal hypocrisy. I couldn't give a shit if someone is cheating on their wife or whatever, their policies are important to me. If their hypocrites, well, it dosen't garner my vote, but their policies are what win me.

And as a rule, the jerks with the personal issues are the ones trying to push the most obnoxious legislation. Why isn't that crystal clear? Let's not forget that while you might agree with their position on Issues X and Y, after you elect them based on that, they're voting on Issues A, B and C which end up sucking, hard. So yes, their personal views DO matter. Their personal hypocrisies DO matter. They color their perspective on everything.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:33 PM on March 9, 2007


How about this, the Dems already have a hard time getting me to the polls because of mealy-mouthed stances on issues, if they try to remedy their weakness by becoming Rovian smearers, I'm going to make a hell of less effort to go

Whoa. Brother.

There are these thing called third parties you could vote for... there is no authority or stand in NOT voting. That makes no sense.

Pointing out a policy hypocrisies - and sorry but cheating on your wife with a younger aid and not paying child support while your incouraging impeachment of a president trumping up THE same sorts of charges - is policy hypocrisy is no way a smear. These are facts we are pointing out.

A smear is a distortion of facts OR an outright lie.
posted by tkchrist at 1:36 PM on March 9, 2007


And as a rule, the jerks with the personal issues are the ones trying to push the most obnoxious legislation. Why isn't that crystal clear? Let's not forget that while you might agree with their position on Issues X and Y, after you elect them based on that, they're voting on Issues A, B and C which end up sucking, hard. So yes, their personal views DO matter. Their personal hypocrisies DO matter. They color their perspective on everything.

I'm confused. Are you saying that politicians will vote in alignment with their secret selves? I don't think that's happened, and the argument here has been hypocrites voting for "thee and not for me." And that we should be digging up dirt, on say, Edwards or Obama, people that most mefites (and me) or more likely to vote for over, say, Romney or McCain?

And, isn't this one of the rationals for that whole Kenneth Star and impeachment thing? That secret hypocrisys are/will be indicitive of political stances?
posted by Snyder at 1:46 PM on March 9, 2007


Gingrich Had Affair During Clinton Probe

This screams for some sort of fanfic, like Bill was actually gay and was having some long term affair with Newt, but then got interested in Monica, which pissed Newt off, who sicked Starr on him, because Starr has been hot for Newt for years and will doing anything for his soulmate. Meanwhile Bill and Hillary become closer after years of distant due to Hillary realizing that her and Bill can share Monica, since she always hated Newt after that accident at the swearing in sex party.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:51 PM on March 9, 2007


There are these thing called third parties you could vote for... there is no authority or stand in NOT voting. That makes no sense.

Well, yeah, I could and have voted 3rd party, but, as it stands now, 3rd parties have little to no representation, and many third party candidates are ones that I would not prefer to vote for anyway. If I have to vote for someone who I do not wholly support, I usually vote for someone who has a better chance of winning against someone I dislike.

A smear is a distortion of facts OR an outright lie.

Ahh. I see a smear as something that, while perhaps true, is an attack on the character of someone that is irrelevant to the subject at hand. I'm not pretending it's going to go away, or we should ignore any and all pecadillos, (like what happend with Foley, I don't really consider that a smear, not entirely,) but it's something I think undermines democacry more than enchances it.
posted by Snyder at 1:54 PM on March 9, 2007


We vote and fight against those things too--it's not zero-sum.

actually it is ... there's only so much public space for issues ... there's only so much public attention that can be given ... there's only so much time in the day and pages in the newspaper ... there's only so much time in the evening news

every time a "guess who slept with who?" story hits the body politic a more worthy issue gets shoved out of the limelight

Should we not care about what they do that affect our lives directly?

rhetorical questions are so hard to answer, aren't they?

Is our government about us first or not?

newt gingrich is not currently in our government, he is not currently running for office ... he is a mere commentator on the body politic, as is you, or me

seeing as mere commentators must now expose their private lives to public inspection before they can be taken as sincere and unhypocritical, i am obliged to ask you the following questions

how many people/animals/rubber dolls have you had sex with?

did any of these incidents involve "cheating"?

please provide notarized affidavits of witnesses with signatures and/or paw prints to testify thereof

when your application is processed and verified, you will then be an accredited non-hypocritical political commentator and we will be able to take your views as serious and sincere

thanks,

your pal at the new offshoot of america's favorite supermarket tabloid, the washington enquirer
posted by pyramid termite at 1:58 PM on March 9, 2007


"he is not currently running for office ..."
Actually, according to this he is.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:08 PM on March 9, 2007


Blazecock:You called people who disagree with tactics bullying cowards. You don't have the high ground.

Snyder, as so many in this thread have demonstrated admirably, you don't have a clue in the world. And I'm through chasing your troll bait: Good luck finding someone else to hook, I'm going back to ignoring you again.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:11 PM on March 9, 2007


I see a smear as something that, while perhaps true, is an attack on the character of someone that is irrelevant to the subject at hand.

Doing something in secret that you publically condemn, that you attempt to ban through legislation, that you punish in others, is not irrelevant.

newt gingrich is not currently in our government, he is not currently running for office ... he is a mere commentator on the body politic, as is you, or me

Newt Gingrich made this public revelation himself, appearing on Dobson's pseudo-Jesus hate-fest. Unfortunately, we didn't get to learn about this while he was busy persecuting the president on the taxpayers' dime. Tony Blankley, a former Gingrich minion, noted on Diane Rehm this morning that Gingrich might be making this public now in preparation for a 2008 presidential campaign; presumably, it may have been discovered later, but now will be considered "old news" during a campaign.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:13 PM on March 9, 2007


then, me & my monkey, he is another public confessional narcissist, which is reason enough not to vote for him, isn't it?

i trust everyone understands that i think newt is a loathsome creature ...
posted by pyramid termite at 2:18 PM on March 9, 2007


Newt Blames The Victims of Katrina

Such a lovely man.
posted by homunculus at 2:28 PM on March 9, 2007


There are these thing called third parties you could vote for

Not voting is easier, and has the same ultimate result.
posted by oaf at 2:37 PM on March 9, 2007


then, me & my monkey, he is another public confessional narcissist, which is reason enough not to vote for him, isn't it?

I don't think he made this admission purely from narcissism. Where was this narcissism when he was dragging the country through the hugely expensive witchhunt of the Clinton impeachment?
posted by me & my monkey at 2:41 PM on March 9, 2007


Snyder, as so many in this thread have demonstrated admirably, you don't have a clue in the world. And I'm through chasing your troll bait: Good luck finding someone else to hook, I'm going back to ignoring you again.

Oh, poor misunderstood you. I guess calling you out on your loudmouth, combative, and black & white world view is trolling. Why don't you try arguing in good faith sometime, you might see a different point of view. Although that dosen't seem to be a draw for you. Have fun in your echo chamber.

me & my monkey:
It's irrelevant inasmuch as it does not refute the legislation.
It's an ad hominem, it has nothing to with the value of any political stance. We all know (or should know,) that the Al Gore electricty thing, even if it was true, is irrelevant to the truth of global climate change. Most people are aware that a speakers character is irrelevant if what they say is a verifiable truth. This is especially true when people already believe/want to believe what the speaker is saying. Smears, attacks on hypocrisy, what have you, only really effect undecided people, and then, not always in the way you want.
posted by Snyder at 2:41 PM on March 9, 2007


Gingrich had an affair with Clinton?
posted by mazola at 2:46 PM on March 9, 2007


Yeah, it was three way with Monica.
posted by Skygazer at 2:48 PM on March 9, 2007


eeewww!
posted by hojoki at 3:05 PM on March 9, 2007


It's irrelevant inasmuch as it does not refute the legislation. It's an ad hominem, it has nothing to with the value of any political stance.

I don't know where you're from, but here on planet Earth, it's neither irrelevant nor an ad hominem attack. If a statement of fact is an attack, we could sure use more attackers around here. If you make it your business to legislate the morality of others, you make your own morality a target for others.

When Al Gore attempts to pass a law stopping me from doing whatever he's doing, let me know.

Smears, attacks on hypocrisy, what have you, only really effect undecided people, and then, not always in the thway you want.

Your conflation of smears and "attacks on hypocrisy" is a mistake. Can't you see the difference? If Gingrich weren't in the business of legislating morality, if he hadn't spearheaded the Ken Starr fiasco, if he weren't trying to fellate the conservative evangelical movement en masse, then pointing out his infidelity would be a smear, I suppose. It would be irrelevant, and I'd be ok with it being his business. Once he crosses the line of telling me what my business is, using his legislative power to constrain what I can do, he exposes himself to criticism.

And again, attacking hypocrisy isn't a tactic, it's the right thing to do. I don't care whether it wins this or that election. Officeholders feel that they're above the law; that they don't have to live by the rules they set for the common man. That is an exceedingly dangerous condition for the common man.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:05 PM on March 9, 2007


"When Al Gore attempts to pass a law stopping me from doing whatever he's doing, let me know."

As far as I know, Newt hasn't proposed any laws against having affairs or being skeevy.

The point about Al Gore is a good one, frankly, and I realize that my answer to it would be fairly subjective (I tend to think that Newt's hypocricy WAS political, insofar as the prosecution of Clinton was almost purely political).
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 PM on March 9, 2007


As far as I know, Newt hasn't proposed any laws against having affairs or being skeevy.

He did vote to impeach Clinton for lying about having an affair. That strikes me as an unsupportable action for someone who was, at the time, having a secret affair. Had it been public knowledge at the time, do you think the Clinton prosecution would have taken place?
posted by me & my monkey at 3:22 PM on March 9, 2007


If you deliver a reasoned cogent response to a given issue and someone says “Yeah? Well you’re a fag!” and you then uncover the fact that he’s a homosexual as well - the issue has been lost.

These guys aren't calling names. Or, they're not only calling names. They are trying to legislate away my rights while engaging in the behaviors they condemn and legislate against. I could give a flying fuck if the Ted Haggards of the world call me a dyke. I don't really like it if they insist that all homosexuals are child-molesting marriage-destroying perverts who are about to bring Western Civilization to its knees (ha!), but I'm really not going to turn the other cheek or roll over or whatever other metaphor we're using right now when they want to keep me from living and working where I want, and having sex with whatever other consenting adult(s) happen to consent, ESPECIALLY when they're all on the DL. I'm not the one destroying the political process by pointing out that they're hypocrites: they undermine the process by being hypocrites in the first place.

Tell me, what should we do about elected official-type hypocrites? Ignore them? Pretend it doesn't matter? Sometimes it doesn't, sure. But when it does matter - then what?
posted by rtha at 3:32 PM on March 9, 2007


The very idea of Newt Gingrich doing something in a sexual context has me nauseated.
posted by Sukiari at 3:57 PM on March 9, 2007


Why don't you try arguing in good faith sometime, you might see a different point of view.

I'm sorry, which part of arguing in good faith involved you saying something about you doing my mom? At least you apologized for it, I'll give you that much — but really, knock it off.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:57 PM on March 9, 2007


newt gingrich is not currently in our government, he is not currently running for office ... he is a mere commentator on the body politic, as is you, or me

That's not the case.

Newt Gingrich is a public figure, making lots of bucks making big fancy speeches and writing big fancy articles about the body politic and how much cleaner it would be without certain substandard groups of people in it -- and he's raising plenty of money for politicians who create laws to legislate the very morality that they (and Gingrich) then flout.

Saying that Newt Gingrich is a mere commentator "as is you, or me" is like saying that Rupert Murdoch is a mere gadfly.

There are such things as money, power, and influence, believe it or not. I have none of those things. Newt Gingrich has plenty of all of them.
posted by blucevalo at 3:58 PM on March 9, 2007


A lot of people here can't seem to discern a valid argument from a smear. Maybe this will help:

Candidate A campaigns on the following: " I am a skeevy perv. I like to have sex with women other than my wife without my wife knowing. I fellate lobbyists in the back room of my office and snort coke when everyone's gone home." If he gets caught doing any of those there is no argument because he didn't pretend anything otherwise.

Candidate B campaigns on the following: "Sexual affairs are immoral, and any leader who engages in them besmirches their office and needs to be reprimanded severely. Also, gay sex is immoral, as is drug use, and I will do everything in my power to see that the American public cannot legally engage in these behaviors." If he gets caught engaging in a tryst, or snorting coke off a page's stiffie, then there's a logical (and deserved) argument to be made. Not a smear, an argument.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:58 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, and Newt's been making plenty of racket about wanting to run for President in 2008 if the circumstances are right (i.e., if his vanity is stroked by his fanbase enough for him to feel messianic enough to run), so he may not be a "mere commentator" for very much longer.
posted by blucevalo at 4:00 PM on March 9, 2007


He did vote to impeach Clinton for lying about having an affair.

under oath

That strikes me as an unsupportable action for someone who was, at the time, having a secret affair.

did he lie about it under oath?

look, the whole thing was sleazy and unnecessary, a waste of time, money and brain cells, but clinton's as much to blame for the mess as gingrich was ... because he was too prideful to admit messing around with an intern he committed perjury

you know ... the same kind of crime everyone's so happy scooter libby got convicted for?

why is one form of perjury ok and the other isn't? ... (and yeah, you can argue that endangering a cia agent is more important than a blow job, but please recognize that it's a utilitarian argument, not a moral one being made)

seems to me there's more than one form of hypocrisy at work here ... and it certainly seems to me that all but a few of us in this thread have forgotten the good of the body politic as a whole for tactics that will simply increase partisan warfare and bitterness

we are WAY past the point where the negatives outweigh any benefits you're going to get with this compulsive pecking party that's going on

if you don't realize that, then you are part of what's wrong with politics these days
posted by pyramid termite at 4:02 PM on March 9, 2007


ps we now see where the old 70s phrase "the personal is political" has gotten us ... and god, does it SUCK
posted by pyramid termite at 4:04 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


look, the whole thing was sleazy and unnecessary, a waste of time, money and brain cells, but clinton's as much to blame for the mess as gingrich was ... because he was too prideful to admit messing around with an intern he committed perjury

Not that Bill Clinton's any kind of saint, but he's been called on the carpet a million times over for his indiscretions, his perjuries, and his other real and imagined failings.

When has Newt Gingrich ever been called on the carpet for any of his?
posted by blucevalo at 4:07 PM on March 9, 2007


Uh, yeah, pyramid termite, but you were making a legal argument vs. a moral one to distinguish Clinton from Gingrich. Oh bla di, oh bla dah.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:10 PM on March 9, 2007


I am so fucking sick and tired of the whole "Clinton lied under oath" thing, when the correct question question is why was it anybody's, and especially the government's (tax-funded) business?

That it even got that far is a national disgrace.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:12 PM on March 9, 2007


And it's not Clinton's fault that it was a national disgrace.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:14 PM on March 9, 2007


but you were making a legal argument vs. a moral one to distinguish Clinton from Gingrich.

last time i checked, we were a nation of laws, not morals ... obviously

I am so fucking sick and tired of the whole "Clinton lied under oath" thing

i'm so fucking sick of people who won't accept facts that don't go along with what they want to believe

deal with it
posted by pyramid termite at 4:16 PM on March 9, 2007


i'm so fucking sick of people who won't accept facts that don't go along with what they want to believe

I didn't say I didn't accept with the facts. I do. It was a shithead thing for Clinton to do.

That still doesn't make the result any less lame. L-A-M-E.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:20 PM on March 9, 2007


That still doesn't make the result any less lame. L-A-M-E.

never claimed anything else, if you'd bothered to read and not just react ... they are both L-A-M-E ... they are both so 90s

fuck both of them and fuck hilary, too ... this is 2007 ... how about we deal with 2007?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:26 PM on March 9, 2007


last time i checked, we were a nation of laws, not morals ... obviously

Actually, we're neither of those -- anymore.

Obviously.
posted by blucevalo at 4:27 PM on March 9, 2007


Many here seem to be blaming the left for digging into Newt's sex life, but in this case Newt is outing himself. He wants to run for president and is trying to immunize himself from attacks by the Christian right by declaring his contrition in advance. I don't see what this has to do with the Democrats.
posted by JackFlash at 4:28 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know what this country needs? Rabid paparazzi for politicians. We need photographers and reporters who go after those in public office with the same zeal and passion that they normally reserve for Hollywood starlets.

I want to see a world where if you plan on getting into public office, you know up front that every facet of your life will be documented and on the news the next day.

Gone will be the days of secret trysts or back-room dealings with lobbyists.

And just for fun, and because they are employees of the people, I think we should institute random monthly drug testing, performed by an impartial third party group.

Hey, they want to be in public office? They think they have the right to pry into our private lives? Then they don't get to have secrets anymore.
posted by quin at 4:28 PM on March 9, 2007


And I'm always surprised when people look to Newt as some sort of public intellectual. When I see him giving a lecture on CSPAN he reminds me of one of those serious, earnest folks who get on the public access channel at 2 AM. You listen to their rant for a full 10 minutes before you realize not a single thing they have said makes any rational sense and that they are actually crazy.
posted by JackFlash at 4:34 PM on March 9, 2007


And just for fun, and because they are employees of the people, I think we should institute random monthly drug testing, performed by an impartial third party group.

You know what's funny (and not hah hah)? The government probably could not get away with drug tests, because the testees (perfect name for congresscritters, BTW) could argue that they are protected from self-incrimination. Corporations can demand drug tests but the government probably couldn't.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:35 PM on March 9, 2007


did he lie about it under oath?

No, unfortunately he was not given that opportunity.

look, the whole thing was sleazy and unnecessary, a waste of time, money and brain cells, but clinton's as much to blame for the mess as gingrich was ... because he was too prideful to admit messing around with an intern he committed perjury

you know ... the same kind of crime everyone's so happy scooter libby got convicted for?


I am far from being a fan of Bill Clinton, or an apologist for his behavior. I think he should have resigned. That said, there's a world of difference between lying about your own personal sexual behavior, and lying about what is arguably treason. I also didn't see Clinton, or any Democrat since, spend millions of dollars investigating the personal behavior of any Republicans. See, there's that hypocrisy thing again.

and it certainly seems to me that all but a few of us in this thread have forgotten the good of the body politic as a whole for tactics that will simply increase partisan warfare and bitterness

IT'S NOT A TACTIC! How hard is that to understand? This has nothing to do with partisanship, and everything to do with our acceptance of hypocrisy from our elected officials.

how about we deal with 2007?

I think part of dealing with 2007 is to make sure that Gingrich doesn't get away with this crap in 2008.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2007


Re: the whole Clinton-lying-under-oath thing... Lying under oath may be the pretext for the whole thing, but the blowjobs are a big part of it. If it had been about "I did not hold that woman's, Miss Lewinsky's, hand and smile politely", I really doubt a federal case would've been made of it.

I'm really glad this style of politics hasn't jumped across the border into Canada yet. Although it might've been fun to see how many heads would spin at the idea of an ex-priest politician who used to be an underaged man-whore in leather bars.

That said, even though the whole Game is stupid, the right-wingers shouldn't bitch and moan when their genitalia-policing and morality-card-playing comes back to bite them.
posted by CKmtl at 4:49 PM on March 9, 2007


IT'S NOT A TACTIC!

of course it is ... just because you say it doesn't make it so

This has nothing to do with partisanship

no, it's just a coincidence that the democrats rat out the republicans and the republicans rat out the democrats, right?

and everything to do with our acceptance of hypocrisy from our elected officials.

and my viewpoint has everything to do with my utter rejection of the puritanism of left and right in this country

any one who embraces puritan tactics in the service of sexual freedom is a hypocrite and might as well join the moral majority for all the good they're going to do

it's two sides of the same coin and to hell with it

I'm really glad this style of politics hasn't jumped across the border into Canada yet.

most intelligent comment in this thread
posted by pyramid termite at 5:01 PM on March 9, 2007


One thing I forgot to say before: when a politician legislating against gay rights is enganging in secret gay sex, then outing him is hardly allowing the issue to get lost.

any one who embraces puritan tactics in the service of sexual freedom is a hypocrite and might as well join the moral majority for all the good they're going to do

I really don't see this as an issue of sexual freedom, although I've been working from that framework because I'm a dyke. For me - and for a lot of people here - it's an issue of hypocrisy.

Let's say there's a politician who wants to pass a law mandating that everyone drive an SUV (and only, ever, an SUV). Let's say that once a week, this politician dons a disguise and rents a Prius from City Carshare, because he secretly loves driving a hybrid and watching the mpg creep up and up as he drives around. Someone - a journalist, a pol from the opposing party, whatever - finds out about this hypocritical behavior. Is it out of bounds to make this public? Why?
posted by rtha at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2007


For me - and for a lot of people here - it's an issue of hypocrisy.

then you may as well do away with government, because you're never going to find people who live up to those standards

to my mind, the question is no longer who is worthy to run our government ... but whether WE are worthy to have a good government in the first place

this thread is another data point in an answer that says, "no, we're NOT"

if you want a government with higher standards that include keeping its nose out of your bedroom affairs, you have to start by practicing a politics that keeps YOUR nose out of other people's bedroom affairs

there is no other way ... if you do not act as a citizen of the government you want, you will not get the government you want
posted by pyramid termite at 5:19 PM on March 9, 2007


of course it is ... just because you say it doesn't make it so

And, just because you say it is, doesn't mean it is. Take, for example, the Ted Haggard affair. Here's a guy whose exposure may actually have hurt the cause for gay rights in Colorado. I'm willing to live with that, because I think that pointing out the hypocritical behavior of the people trying to force me to live by their rules is worth the price. I think it's simply the right thing to do.

any one who embraces puritan tactics in the service of sexual freedom is a hypocrite

OK, then. It's a good thing I'm not embraciing puritan tactics. I'm not trying to legislate his right to do these things away from him. Instead, I'm trying to keep him from doing that to me.

you may as well do away with government, because you're never going to find people who live up to those standards

Actually, my standards are pretty low. If you're trying to limit my freedoms, I expect you to live by the same rules that you're trying to impose on me through the power of law. If you're not trying to limit my freedoms, I'm perfectly ok with your private behavior. This has nothing to do with their genitals, and everything to do with their mouths.
posted by me & my monkey at 5:31 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's a good thing I'm not embraciing puritan tactics.

public shaming isn't a puritan tactic? ... nathaniel hawthorne thought otherwise

If you're trying to limit my freedoms, I expect you to live by the same rules that you're trying to impose on me through the power of law.

and the only way to ensure that is to enforce those rules by legal or public sanction

If you're not trying to limit my freedoms, I'm perfectly ok with your private behavior.

in short, privacy is for your political friends and not your opponents ... that is the same kind of hypocrisy that you are fighting

by this logic, the death penalty for murder is ok, because if you haven't killed someone, the state is perfectly ok with letting you live

if you do not act as a citizen of the government you want, you will not get the government you want
posted by pyramid termite at 5:49 PM on March 9, 2007


LYNCHBURG, Va. - Newt Gingrich's admission of an extramarital affair as he pursued President Clinton's impeachment in the Monica Lewinsky scandal has won praise from another conservative Christian leader: the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

It's also helped to gain Gingrich an invitation to deliver the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University...
posted by taosbat at 5:51 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


furthermore, as taosbat just showed us, it just isn't going to fucking work

"He has admitted his moral shortcomings to me, as well, in private conversations," Falwell wrote in a weekly newsletter sent Friday to members of the Moral Majority Coalition and The Liberty Alliance. "And he has also told me that he has, in recent years, come to grips with his personal failures and sought God's forgiveness."

me and my monkey, do you really think that you or anyone else in this thread are capable of this sort of mendacity? ... anything they do will be forgiven as long as they repent

anything YOU do will be outlawed because you're not willing to repent for it

you can't out them as gay or as adulterers and make it stick because they will do their "swaggart act" ... "ohhhh, loooorrrd, i have siiiiiinnnnnnnd", crying and pleading on national tv while the saints pat them on the back and say, "there, there, it's ok" and the people you're trying to persuade to your side will EAT IT UP

you, on the other hand, are going to be wailing and gnashing your teeth in the outer darkness of liberalism

you cannot beat them at their own game

you have to beat them at YOUR game
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2007 [1 favorite]




public shaming isn't a puritan tactic?

He should be ashamed of his hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is lying. I don't see why you're ok with that. If I hire someone, and they lie to me, I fire them. Gingrich is a public servant. He lied to the public. He did it right in the middle of persecuting a sitting president for lying to the public! He deserves to be shamed; not for his private behavior, but for his public behavior!

And your comparison of being criticized with being put in stocks is some pretty impressive hyperbole, to say the least. It's not like Newt is no longer welcome in polite society; one time a few years back, he stepped on my foot in the Kennedy Center opera house.

in short, privacy is for your political friends and not your opponents ... that is the same kind of hypocrisy that you are fighting

No, privacy is for people who are not in public service. If you are in public service, you should expect your private life to be scrutinized. My wacky right-wing coworker was having an affair, and you know what? It was none of my business. If he decided to run for office on the platform of family values, it would then be my business. Can you not see the difference?

And let me tell you now, Clinton was not my political friend. I despised him. I hated him for his political triangulation, I wasn't happy with his actions, and I was glad to see him go. If I'd only known who'd replace him, I probably would have been less happy, but there you go. Despite all that, I despised the Republicans more for pursuing impeachment over a blowjob. I didn't think his private behavior was any of my business, because he wasn't trying to tell me what my private behavior should be.

If you're going to legislate from a platform of "family values," you'd better live by those values while you're in office, because if you don't you're fair game for being labeled a hypocrite. And hypocrisy is a public failing that should be punished by rejection from the body politic. I promise you that, as a citizen of the government I want, I will not use the power of law to punish behavior of others that I'm willing to accept in myself.

you can't out them as gay or as adulterers and make it stick because they will do their "swaggart act" ... "ohhhh, loooorrrd, i have siiiiiinnnnnnnd", crying and pleading on national tv while the saints pat them on the back and say, "there, there, it's ok" and the people you're trying to persuade to your side will EAT IT UP

Some will. Others won't. And Gingrich fervently hopes we'll all forget about this by '08. I hope that, every time his slimy face is on the TV, it'll be followed by an ad that points out what a lying sack of shit he is. And, frankly, I'm not trying to persuade the religious right to my side, I'm trying to marginalize them as the dangerous wackos they are.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:12 PM on March 9, 2007


Gingrich: Do as I Say, Not as I Do
"The news that Newt Gingrich is headed for his second messy divorce, allegedly involving a longtime affair with a House of Representatives employee, has been largely ignored by news media that have not always been as sensitive to the privacy needs of major politicians.

It's true that Gingrich is no longer in Congress, where he orchestrated the impeachment of the president of the United States over charges rising from Bill Clinton's sexual dalliances. But Gingrich, through his many public appearances, remains a self-appointed definer of the Republican Revolution, which counted family values at its core. These very values are called into question if the married speaker of the House was having an affair with a much-younger congressional employee who ultimately reported to him.

Critics of Gingrich have long made much of the insensitivity he demonstrated in serving his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer. Nor did news of his efforts to cut life insurance coverage for the mother of his children always endear Gingrich to his family values supporters, but it was generally assumed that his marital errors were in the past.

This time, his approach was less personal. Marianne Gingrich told the Washington Post that she was informed of the affair and the request for a divorce last May in a telephone call from Newt to her mother's home, where she was visiting.

After first expressing best wishes to his mother-in-law on her 84th birthday, he asked to speak to his wife, who was soon reduced to tears by Newt's news.

‘I said, 'Marianne, what's wrong?' ‘ Gingrich's mother-in-law told the Washington Post, and she said her daughter replied, ‘He doesn't want me as his wife anymore.’ According to the Post: ‘There was a second jolt soon afterward. Newt Gingrich, now 56, informed his wife that he was having an affair with a congressional aide, a woman 23 years his junior.’

Marianne Gingrich told the Post she was ‘totally shocked’ by the news, and her attorneys last week obtained court permission to interview Gingrich and Callista Bisek, a scheduler and assistant hearing clerk for the House Agriculture Committee since early 1995. The relationship allegedly began that year.

As House speaker, Gingrich had ultimate power over the woman's career, raising questions of sexual harassment. Was he engaging in this behavior while he led the condemnation of the president? And doesn't Gingrich's alleged behavior suggest the sort of ‘sexual addiction,’ ‘compulsive risk taking’ and ‘moral relativism’ that Clinton's critics have venomously denounced in him?

Gingrich has been a seminal figure in the trivialization of politics as a morality play in which an ever-virtuous family values right wing inevitably triumphs over what in a 1995 speech he termed ‘the moral decay of the left.’ But as the adulterous affairs of several conservative Republicans and Gingrich's own behavior suggest, infidelity and other moral wanderings do not lend themselves so neatly to partisan distinctions.

Why is this big news? Because Newt Gingrich was decisive in shaping one of the nastiest, most tumultuous and divisive periods in American history in the name of moral purity. In his dogged pursuit of a bloody culture war, he delighted in deriding as ‘abnormal’ those who would not pledge allegiance to the pieties of his allies in the Christian Coalition, while he and his ilk claimed the moral high ground of traditional ‘core values.’

The very month he was moving to divorce his second wife, Gingrich denounced the liberal establishment in just such narrow terms: ‘We have had a 35-year experiment in a unionized, bureaucratic, credentialed, secular assault on the core values of this country, and we should not be surprised that eventually they yield bad fruit because they are bad seeds.’

Now it's his turn to be judged bad fruit, and we shall see whether he seeks to blame that, too, on the liberals he has done so much to defame. But that explanation will not likely wash with his mother-in-law, who told the Post concerning his telephoned divorce request: ‘It's about the cruelest thing you can do. I think it's terrible when people get away with things like this. We accepted him like a son.’

I doubt there will be much consolation for the Clintons that Gingrich, their prime congressional tormentor, has turned out to be a serial home-wrecker. But Gingrich's woes should serve as a cautionary tale for all who dare to presume that they can control the sword of virtue as a weapon."

[Los Angeles Times | August 17, 1999]
posted by ericb at 6:15 PM on March 9, 2007


What me & my monkey said. (This one, too.)

How is it that the Republicans, who are supposed to be all about making the government so small you could drown it in a bathtub (thanks, Newt!), are now all about passing laws legislating against people's personal freedom? Are we just supposed to pretend that, collectively, the Republicans are not practicing what they preach?

I agree, mostly, that modeling good behavior is a good and often effective thing. From kindergarten on, we're taught not to "lower" ourselves to a bully's level by fighting back. But as someone said upthread, I won't bring a knife to a gun fight. I was honestly curious about why or if a secretly Prius-driving pol's hypocrisy is different from that of a secretly boy-bonking anti-gay legislator's, but you know what? This ain't about what kind of car I drive, or whether Al Gore uses more electricity than I do. This is about my fucking life, and my ability to have the same rights and responsibilities as other citizens.

I didn't start this fight, and I'm not the one attacking some asshole pol's "lifestyle" by trying to pass laws that would keeping him from living his life any (legal, consensual, etc.) way he wants. It used to be funny, when I was in college, to cross the border from a no-sodomy-law state into a don't-let-the-sun-set-on-you-here-dyke state, and we'd joke about being radical lawbreakers and sodomous felons ha ha ha. It's not very funny anymore, despite the lack of sodomy laws (many of which affected heteros as well as teh gays). These guys want to prevent me from putting my partner on my insurance, visiting her in the hospital, adopting a child together, starting a support group in high school, or making a contract with her that in any way resembles marriage. Fuck them.
posted by rtha at 6:16 PM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Newt Gingrich surely embodies and stands as a stellar example of the "sanctity of marriage."
posted by ericb at 6:22 PM on March 9, 2007


BTW -- "Now you can own Mike Jones' lavender massage table where all the hot evangelical 'man-to-man' action with pastor Ted Haggard went down. As a bonus, Jones will autograph it for you and send you a signed copy of his book when it comes out in June. The book is titled 'I Had to Say Something.' The proceeds go to charity. 'All proceeds benefit "Project Angel Heart," which provides people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses nutritious home-delivered meals."*
posted by ericb at 6:27 PM on March 9, 2007


public shaming isn't a puritan tactic? ... nathaniel hawthorne thought otherwise

Dude. WTF. Gingrinch outed HIMSELF. He doesn't seem ashamed at all. Nobody went digging. He came out and said "I am a cheating bastard, too." He is fair god damned game.

You don't think people KNEW back in 1997 Newt was a cheating mother fucker? Of course they did. Newt was fucking his OWN aid. Everybody knew. The point is nobody cared.

How is this irony lost on you?

90% of Monica-Gate was that Monica was a subordinate of Clinton. The GOP was using lefty PC Sexual Harassment mania against them. THEY WERE LOVING IT. Because much of the BBQ spit Clinton got put on was from the Feminista Left. Yet the whole time they, the GOP and Dem establishment, KNEW Newt was doing the same thing Clinton was... they ALL do shit like this. This is why Clinton was so surprised when HE got busted.

I guess I have to bring out my Pirate Ship analogy.

You know anything about Pirates? Think of Congress - and the political parties - as Pirate Ships. Picture puffy shirts and eye patches if you have to.

On a pirate ship you can kill each other, slit eachothers throts over fairly trivial differences. Until your under the flag and there is work to do. becuase once the pirates set out to sea it's to do what? Get BOOTY. And that means everybody has to agree on certain things. They have to cut deals in order to trust each other enough that everybody gets some BOOTY. Hell? What's the point of being a pirate, right? To get booty and to have some personal autonomy. If you want to just be out there on the ocean you could join the navy and have some fucking idiot in a funny hat tell you what to do and get paid nothing. Fuck that. You're a pirate. And once you accept all the pit falls and dangers the big attraction is the BOOTY. So you accept deal making. You accept that everybody else on the ship is scum - just like you. You know precisely where you stand.

So. What gets a pirate killed quicker than anything? Fucking another Pirate on an agreed upon deal. ALL the other pirates - even IF they benefit from your cheat - will turn on you. And next thing you know you're walking a plank.

Nobody outed Newt becuase he kept his deals. Yup. He is scum. But so is EVERYBODY on the pirate ship. Clinton? He reneged on a couple of deals and after that nobody - even those crewmen on his own ship - had his back.

Right now it's ALL fair game. Because all the GOP pirates have fucked over each other on deals and fucked over the Democrats becuase they actually THOUGHT the Dems were in permanent minority and had no power. WHOOPS. So the gloves are off.
posted by tkchrist at 6:27 PM on March 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


...anything YOU do will be outlawed because you're not willing to repent for it...to them

You have to repent to the right folks so they can certify you repented properly to God. It's like the Papacy and absolutions except it's Protestants.
posted by taosbat at 6:28 PM on March 9, 2007


BTW -- "Now you can own Mike Jones' lavender massage table where all the hot evangelical 'man-to-man' action with pastor Ted Haggard went down.

... ew.
posted by CKmtl at 6:29 PM on March 9, 2007


Aaargh, maties -- Jack Sparrow for President 2008!!!
posted by ericb at 6:30 PM on March 9, 2007


Arrrrhhhh, yerself, m8ty, yer made grog come out me nose. I'll be thankin' yer fer that, I will. Arrrrhhhh!
posted by taosbat at 6:35 PM on March 9, 2007


And your comparison of being criticized with being put in stocks is some pretty impressive hyperbole

i guess you're not familiar with hawthorne's "the scarlet letter", then ... the letter was "a" ... wanna guess what that stood for?

it wasn't impressive hyperbole, it was a dead accurate statement ... to the letter ...

No, privacy is for people who are not in public service.

he's not in public service

clinton -

I didn't think his private behavior was any of my business, because he wasn't trying to tell me what my private behavior should be.

did he campaign to do away with adultery laws? ... sodomy laws? ... drug laws? ... did he fight for gay marriage?

no, he just looked the other way while the government tried to tell you what your private behavior should be, didn't he?

If you're going to legislate from a platform of "family values,"

then all you have to do is twiddle your thumbs and keep things as they are, for the most part ... you don't even have to legislate

you can just do nothing about it ... like clinton

the real hypocrisy involved in this is that the right is going through the motions and accepting inevitable defeat on much of this, knowing it will happen ... they preach about family values when all they're really meaning to do is to help their pals make a buck ... and many on the left go through the motions of fighting it and accepting inevitable victory on much of this, knowing that will happen ... when all they're really meaning to do is to help their pals make a buck

THAT'S the hypocrisy you ought to be ranting about ... the con game that both sides are calling "the culture wars"

And, frankly, I'm not trying to persuade the religious right to my side, I'm trying to marginalize them as the dangerous wackos they are.

marginalize them enough, and that's what they'll become

some of us have to live in communities where they're fairly prevalent, and no, they can't be marginalized ... try again
posted by pyramid termite at 6:37 PM on March 9, 2007


Dude. WTF. Gingrinch outed HIMSELF.

sure, and you're going to attach a red "a" to him, each and every time he's out there talking, aren't you?

90% of Monica-Gate was that Monica was a subordinate of Clinton. The GOP was using lefty PC Sexual Harassment mania against them.

and? ... remember that clinton was doing this in his office, on the job

that makes it PUBLIC behavior

anyway, i do like your pirate analogy ... you kind of forgot the part where they made 300 million of us walk the plank, though
posted by pyramid termite at 6:46 PM on March 9, 2007


And for the record, shouldn't religious folk be more up in arms about this? I mean he broke one of the big 10. That's got to be waaay more serious than some obscure passage in Leviticus, right?

It would appear not. Jerry Falwell's patting him on the back for it because he asked for G-d's forgiveness! He's REALLY SORRY, which is all that matters in the fundamentalist Christian world. Sin as much as you like, just fall on your knees before Jesus and say you're really sorry and everything's A-Ok! Break as many commandments as you like, just so long as you apologize, you still get the golden ticket to heaven.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:05 PM on March 9, 2007


pyramid termite: you can't out them as gay or as adulterers and make it stick because they will do their "swaggart act" ... the people you're trying to persuade to your side will EAT IT UP

True. Or, as in Foley's case, they'll blame it on booze and Catholic priests. Or, they'll just be replaced by another, less obviously hypocritical, neo-con. I don't think anyone's under the impression that doing so is the only, or best, way to do away with politically-sanctionned bigotry.

If you want to look at the whole thing as a ruse to "make big bucks for their pals"... well, all the more reason to take any shots available if they're going to legislate people's rights away just to appease nutjob voters in order to continue their big-buck-making. That somehow strikes me as more sickening than a true-believer scenario.

To use your Scarlet Letter angle, why should Gingrich, Limbaugh (yes, I know he's not in Congress) and their ilk be immune from having a big red letter painted on them when, if things went their way, they'd be painting big red letters on anyone they chose to?
posted by CKmtl at 7:18 PM on March 9, 2007


grapefruitmoon: Break as many commandments as you like, just so long as you apologize, you still get the golden ticket to heaven.

Wait, what? I thought that was Catholicism's selling point?
posted by CKmtl at 7:20 PM on March 9, 2007


Wait, what? I thought that was Catholicism's selling point?

We're not talking Catholicism here. Fundamentalist Jerry Falwell style Jesus-Lovin' and actual prescribed religion are two different beasts. I know it's easy to confuse the two as they both claim to be religions and call themselves "Christians." The difference is that Catholicism is an actual set of ideas, and fundamentalist Christianity is nothing short of a religious pyramid scheme.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:26 PM on March 9, 2007


Monica was a subordinate of Clinton

Yes -- and (contemporaneously) Newt Gingrich was having an affair with a subordinate, a congressional aide, Callista Bisek for whom he left his second wife.

and? ... remember that clinton was doing this in his office, on the job

As was Newt -- he was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

What's good for the goose, is um, good for the goose ... or, erm, something like that.
posted by ericb at 7:33 PM on March 9, 2007


sure, and you're going to attach a red "a" to him

Yep. A = ASSHOLE!!!
posted by ericb at 7:36 PM on March 9, 2007


grapefruitmoon: I know, I was trying to be ironical about it... What with cries of "zomg! papistry!" from Falwell's types about Kerry's being Catholic :)
posted by CKmtl at 7:37 PM on March 9, 2007




CKmtl: Oh, I see. I have the flu, so my thinking isn't at its clearest. I thought I was clever just for thinking of the pyramid scheme analogy!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:41 PM on March 9, 2007


grapefruitmoon: Nyquil is your friend.
posted by CKmtl at 7:51 PM on March 9, 2007


I mentioned this to my mom. She didn't even let me get it all out but she hit me with, "The Iraq War is Bill Clinton's fault because if Bill had kept his peepee in his pants, W would not have been 'elected;' Gore would have won; and, he wouldn't have invaded Iraq." I think she was trying to get a rise out of me...maybe not...it was pretty scary.
posted by taosbat at 7:53 PM on March 9, 2007


I suppose by that logic, the Iraq War is really Gary Hart's fault. Before his campaign derailed via Donna Rice, I can't remember the sexy sexy being such a big deal.
posted by taosbat at 8:06 PM on March 9, 2007


OK, I'll tell her that...tomorrow.
posted by taosbat at 8:07 PM on March 9, 2007


'Cause she hung up on me when I mentioned JFK and the sexy sexy.
posted by taosbat at 8:09 PM on March 9, 2007


if you want a government with higher standards that include keeping its nose out of your bedroom affairs, you have to start by practicing a politics that keeps YOUR nose out of other people's bedroom affairs

there is no other way ... if you do not act as a citizen of the government you want, you will not get the government you want


Absolute bullshit. Government and politics have always been about competing interests and groups and individuals and money all trying to get certain things done. Always. Now we have one party using sex and religion to amass power. We have one party who preaches "family values". We have one party who demands that their religion become our state religion even tho they don't follow it themselves. We have one party who until just a few months ago controlled all branches of govt for 6 years.

It's not about modeling good behavior in politics or government--it's about mandating it thru legislation and court appointments and rules and regulations. It's about getting things done and laws passed and money spent and people and groups and businesses either protected and/or punished. Always.
posted by amberglow at 8:42 PM on March 9, 2007


Also, Newt is doing this specifically to get votes from religious GOP voters who value Christian forgiveness and redemption. He knows they're unhappy with Rudy McRomney and he knows he has the same problems and character flaws. His attempt at pre-emption will probably work because the potential voters he's appealing to are acting as a citizen of the government youthey want, and they want a Christian government.
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on March 9, 2007


He's just a humble Christian sinner now, unlike Rudy McRomney. It's another lie and just more hypocrisy, but he's trying to swindle the millions who follow Dobson and Falwell who believe this stuff, and applaud that kind of behavior. He needs their votes, and it doesn't matter to him what he has to do to get them (See McCain's failed numerous attempts to woo the religious right too).
posted by amberglow at 8:51 PM on March 9, 2007


It's not about modeling good behavior in politics or government--it's about mandating it thru legislation and court appointments and rules and regulations.

Mandating good behavior is just as destined to fail as legislating morality. I don't agree with everything that pyramid termite says, but I also don't think that mandating good behavior is a panacea.

If I mandate what I believe is good behavior, then whatever behavior I think is bad will be mandated as good behavior within the next election cycle by the Other Side. That's the way the wheel of politics turns.

Who defines what good behavior is? Those in power. And even if I'm in power now, there's no guarantee that those who oppose what I view as good behavior -- and who are in favor of mandating what I consider bad behavior -- won't be in power tomorrow.
posted by blucevalo at 9:01 PM on March 9, 2007


Bill Maher tonight on Real Time (paraphrase):
"Bill Clinton had an extramarital affair while in office. Newt Gingrich had one too. I'm shocked. Shocked.

Someone actually fucked Newt Gingrich?"
posted by ericb at 9:08 PM on March 9, 2007


"Not voting is easier, and has the same ultimate result."
posted by oaf

Totally, it's not like the Green party has had any success in a blue state like Illinois.
And it's not like throughout American history third parties are nearly the sole driving force of change on the political landscape.

But y'know, go on with your bad selves. Kick some ass. Show those hypocrites on the other side - whichever - who's really the better... uh... ...y'know...whatever the point was.

We'll be over here working on grassroots democracy, m'kay?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 PM on March 9, 2007


oaf : Not voting is easier, and has the same ultimate result.

Statistically your point may be correct, but it misses the larger picture. Not voting is a null result, voting for an unlikely winner is also a losing proposition, but it is not a null vote. Your candidate might not win but it might demonstrate to the marketing people that run our elections, that the candidate/ party might be worth giving another seasons worth of episodes to... running again, or at least keeping in the publics eye.

My biggest belief into what is wrong with this countries politics today is that we have an entrenched two party system. It allows for nonsensical partisan politics. Our system needs an opposition party. Someone to step in and say the things that no one is willing to say; things like, the war on drugs is a failure, and we need to pay teachers more money, and a middle class is a necessary component to making our country work again.

I wanna say that these thing should be self evident, but I feel like I would be quoting inappropriately.
posted by quin at 11:28 PM on March 9, 2007


Absolute bullshit. Government and politics have always been about competing interests and groups and individuals and money all trying to get certain things done. Always.

there are NO shortcuts and you can only do one thing really well ... you can elect the best candidate for the job ... or you can elect the one who's most moral according to an arbitrary set of criteria ... you can choose according to the issues ... or according to the sexual history ... you can negotiate over the things you want done, or the people you want your candidate to have slept with ...

you can't have both consistently and reliably ... and yes, if you demand an adultery free candidate from the opposition, you're going to have to provide an adultery/divorce free candidate yourself

f d r, eisenhower, reagan and thomas jefferson need not apply

Now we have one party using sex and religion to amass power. We have one party who preaches "family values". We have one party who demands that their religion become our state religion even tho they don't follow it themselves.

and to beat them, you want to use their criteria against them ... it won't work, because any rules that you lay down for them must be followed by yourself ... and therefore lays you open to the charge of hypocrisy, because you're enforcing rules you DON'T believe in ... and if your best candidate does not meet those rules you will not be able to elect him

deny it all you want, but there are no shortcuts ... if you do not act as a citizen of the government you want, you will not get the government you want

it is not enough that you demand that government ... you must also EARN it

i refuse to choose my president according to who he's slept with ... period

good night
posted by pyramid termite at 11:35 PM on March 9, 2007


And, yeah, this might be because I'm one of those people who sees a legitimate political use for war, so I'm more willing to abide a little brutality in the service of a greater cause, but I am sick of being told by nancies on my "side" that I need to keep bringing a knife to a gun fight.

But I've also got no problem calling out "my side" when they're hypocritical fuckwads either.


Are you calling me a "faggot" klangklangston or are you simply calling me effeminate? Nacies is a bit unclear.
posted by srboisvert at 1:04 AM on March 10, 2007


Dear Mother,

I'm sorry I haven't written for a while. I keep promising I will write more often, but always find a reason not to, it seems. I feel bad about that.

The war carries on, as it always has. I've been reading some of the newspapers from home. Good Lord, we've all gotten very tough, haven't we? I read the letter to the editor from that little greengrocer that lives down the end of your street, Mr Whatsisname. Couldn't believe the things he wants to do to the other side, that little well-fed man whose store always smelled so nice.

Maybe they print rubbish like that because they think it's good for morale, but to be honest it just makes me queasy. I don't hate them anymore. They're just like me, no better and no worse. I don't like their generals, and I do feel good about it when we occasionally capture one of their top brass, but there's always more where they came from, and in the meantime the trenches fill with dead.

Well, there's always more where we came from too, isn't there? Recruiting fresh troops is about the only military exercise undertaken with any passion or wit around here. War gobbles us up so quickly. It eats us from the inside out. You can see it in a man's eyes, when he gets that look the American lads so aptly describe as a 'thousand-yard stare'. I'm sorry Dad is dead, I really am, but at least you won't lose any more children to the bloody war.

War ate the Captain up a long time ago. I'm sympathetic to the man: he's lost more than most, and stands to lose more by his reckoning. Recently it hasn't been so bad for him. One of our divisions captured a salient we lost in the fighting oh, eight or ten years ago - just a mile or two of cratered paddock - and it put new spirit into him. I was there when he got the telegram, saw his face transform with all the ugly majesty of triumph...

Sorry about that. It'll probably be censored out anyway. For all that things are going well, it's just made things harder for us ordinary boys. You see, the plain truth is that we captured that salient through sheer luck - a rainstorm bogged their artillery before they could bring it up and pulverise us with it - and eventually we'll lose it again. But the brass have put it about that the 'tide is turning' in our favour, that the 'pendulum has swung' back around to us (God knows who comes up with these tired expressions), and it's all because of our hard work and fighting spirit.

You see? They want more hard work, more fighting spirit. That artillery that got bogged? It's ours now, and we wasted no time in swivelling it around and firing until our caissons were empty. Whether we did any damage is anyone's guess, but it makes for a good article in the newspaper.

I like the Captain. He really is a gentle and decent man who believes what he's doing is right. Which is why it gives me no pleasure to say that I think he has gone a bit mad. The lance-corporal made the mistake of saying something in front of him yesterday, some innocuous remark about the progress of the war, whereupon the Captain berated him in front of all of us, calling him the most vile names of which 'coward' was the least hurtful (and the most untrue), and then set him to clearing the corpses out of the freezing swamp formerly known as 'J' Trench. Alone.

The Captain needs a rest. A long rest in some quiet part of the world where the ground doesn't shake constantly from the artillery and we're not constantly in danger from being drowned or buried alive in these decaying trenches which were old, old when when we first came to them. Old when I was born.

This war is nothing but a screaming bedlam, an asylum. We're locked in here and it's driving us crazy.

But we have to fight, they keep saying. We have to. Because if we didn't, they'd roll right over us. Would they? Maybe the generals on the other side say the same thing about us. It's a funny thing about all the generals. They're a lot more like each other than they are like us. Before they went into warfare they went to the same schools, managed many of the same businesses, enjoyed going out to the same shows, the same restaurants, same everything.

I'm zigzagging all over the place here, aren't I! The truth is, I have something important to tell you and I'm afraid you won't like it, so I'm sidling up to it, as it were.

I was talking about the newspapers before. You know, when I first arrived here the Captain gave me a book to take my mind off things. I didn't have the heart to tell him I'm not much of a reader, and it was a very thick book - the thickest I've ever held. But just recently I picked it up again and forced myself past the first few chapters, and found that it's really good. It's the best book I've ever read. I dare say even not having read much it's the best book there ever was. It's called The Karamazov Brothers, and I say it's the best book because it contains every single story there ever was. It's about three brothers, and the youngest of them says early on something about how we all secretly enjoy being insulted, and derive pleasure from being outraged.

Well, when I read this, it was like doors opened inside my head. Because those newspapers, they're full of outrage, and they're full of people trading insults back and forth. I went through every article, and there was nary an inch that wasn't written so as to make someone's blood boil. And I don't think it has anything to do with keeping us well-informed, it's all to do with stroking that inner demon that lives inside every one of us.

Once I understood that, I realised for the first time that there was the possibility of a different kind of life, one in which we learn to live with the demon, to feed it only seldom, and sparingly. To chafe against it's power over us.

And then I understood how absurd this war is. The next time I had to take up my rifle, all my shots went wide, or high. How could I kill men who's faces have become almost as familiar to me, and as dear, as the faces I see every day in my own trench?

This war will never end, I can see that now. To fight in this manner, using the same exhausted strategies over and over, cannot produce victory, but then victory is not the desired aim. We war in order to prop up something inside ourselves.

The Captain won't be happy when he finds all this out. I imagine he'd want to give me a tongue-lashing that would make want he gave to that poor lance-corporal look like hugs and kisses. Probably the rest of the regiment would stop talking to me.

Here it is, Mother. I'm making a run for it. I'm deserting. If you're reading this, the letter got through: I tucked it into The Karamazov Brothers and left it on the poor lance-corporal's bunk for when he gets back, if he ever does. Hopefully he thought kindly enough of me to forward it on through sympathetic hands.

You won't see me for a while, but I promise (again) that I'll either write regularly, or scold myself for not doing so. Don't think to badly of me, for your own sake - you got exactly the kind of son you hoped for, didn't you? The war won't miss me, doesn't need me, will go on forever without me - unless we all desert, but I don't expect that will happen.

I do feel bad. I feel bad for the poor bastards I'm leaving behind. I've killed for them, and they for me, and they won't understand.

Until I see you again I remain

Your Loving

Jerome

-- Letter from Jerome Butler, tendered as evidence in his court-martial for treason and desertion.
posted by Ritchie at 5:19 AM on March 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


You know what would be funny? If someone put a salamandar up Newt's ass. Totally lemmiwinky.
posted by DenOfSizer at 5:34 AM on March 10, 2007


if you demand an adultery free candidate from the opposition, you're going to have to provide an adultery/divorce free candidate yourself

We're not demanding that--we're pointing out that they're demanding that for everyone, yet not following it themselves. That what their platform and policies mandate that we all live aren't at all how they themselves live.
posted by amberglow at 5:39 AM on March 10, 2007


He disagrees with your tactics so he's trolling? Besides some ideology, how are you different then them? srboisvert is right, you are just a "with us or against us" ideologue, aren't you? Is anyone who disagrees you in anyway your enemy? - snyder

A quick kiss my ass in passing, snyder. S/he's trolling because he's a hypocrite, like Gingrich. You don't think politics should get nasty? Then don't get nasty yourself. Don't tell me to turn the other cheek while you're slapping the one you can see.

We call such people "concern trolls," in my universe. It's a specific sort of trolling, that is cast as "good advice."

And as for people in glass houses, I'm not a politician and it doesn't matter what my house is made out of.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:39 AM on March 10, 2007


We're not demanding that

the second you use it as an argument against your opposition, you in fact are demanding it ... you don't get to hold the other guy to standards you don't follow yourself ... it does NOT work that way

my last word on the subject - never get in a pissing contest with a skunk
posted by pyramid termite at 6:04 AM on March 10, 2007


no, we're not demanding it. We're demanding honesty and integrity--that's the point--something all political figures should be eager and willing to provide. We hold our own elected officials to the same standard.

Frontline: THE LONG MARCH OF
NEWT GINGRICH
--..."There is absolutely no question that Newt Gingrich has now absolutely sewn up the category of best performance by a child actor this year." ... (when he shut down the Federal Govt. during a tantrum)
posted by amberglow at 6:24 AM on March 10, 2007


I have to agree with amberglow and fourcheesemac here. Sure, whet Clinton did was sleazy and dumb, and if Hilary had decided to diveorce him, I wouldn't have blamed her. (Mind you, I voted for Bill Clinton twice and would do it again). However Bill Clinton didn't run around making pious proclamations about how I should conduct my sex life. Gingrich, Haggard, et al did and still do, and do it as a cynical ploy to stay in office to push through other policies. So if they're caught doing what they preach against, they deserve to be exposed.

In a perfect world people would butt out of consenting adults sex lives regardless of political affiliation, and that'd be great, but we're not there yet.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 AM on March 10, 2007


"There is absolutely no question that Newt Gingrich has now absolutely sewn up the category of best performance by a child actor this year."

that's the other reason this is all about nada ... newt's not going to win ... he signed a contract with america and didn't deliver the goods

people WILL remember it if he decides to run
posted by pyramid termite at 6:42 AM on March 10, 2007


That said, there's a world of difference between lying about your own personal sexual behavior, and lying about what is arguably treason. I also didn't see Clinton, or any Democrat since, spend millions of dollars investigating the personal behavior of any Republicans. See, there's that hypocrisy thing again.

And not just investigating personal behavior, i.e. who put what appendage into whom and how and when, but stuff like Whitewater. Jeebus, what a waste of time and money and national drama that was. Or Hillary's fortuitous options trading -- invisible sky fairy forbid that any non-neocon get rich off a lucky trade or two!

Meanwhile, back at the Reality Ranch, you've got Republicans porking it up with stuff like the bridge to nowhere (internet-tube-meister Ted Stevens' favorite bacon) when we should be concentrating on much more important issues, among them:

* getting the hell out of Iraq and using diplomacy to do it -- not that the Bushies know a damn thing about diplomacy

* weaning the U.S. off foreign oil through better technology -- where's the Manhattan Project for green energy?

* removing the state from the individual's private life -- no more value judgements on who's "allowed" to get married or adopt one of the thousands of kids waiting for a home, or even get inseminated (remember this?)

Let's put it this way -- if what I do in my bedroom doesn't directly affect you, your children or your livestock, then get bent. Pray for me in church on Sunday, if you want. We've got more important issues to deal with as a nation.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:49 AM on March 10, 2007


"Are you calling me a "faggot" klangklangston or are you simply calling me effeminate? Nacies is a bit unclear."

Is your only objection to what I wrote that I indirectly called you a sissy?
posted by klangklangston at 8:01 AM on March 10, 2007


if you do not act as a citizen of the government you want, you will not get the government you want

There are plenty of people who "act as a citizen of the government they want" and still get shafted. That is precisely why so many Americans are cynical about their government. Ad that's not a matter of ideology. Democrats get disillusioned by Democrats as reliably as Republicans get disillusioned by Republicans.

Special interest money, lobbyists, power plays, and corruption inevitably come between the citizen who acts as a "citizen of the government he/she wants" and the government that actually exists on the ground. That's reality.
posted by blucevalo at 8:25 AM on March 10, 2007


FYI - Conservatives LOVE freedom - Economic Freedom, because it rewards, priviledges, and protects the wealthy. They hate personal freedom, because it does not. This is the frame to look at this through.
posted by rzklkng at 8:48 AM on March 10, 2007


Is your only objection to what I wrote that I indirectly called you a sissy?

It wasn't indirect. And yes that is my only objection. The rest is simply a difference of opinion. I don't agree with you but I don't object to you having a different point of view. Going Coulter on me is lame but I guess I shouldn't be surprised when the argument is that you feel justified in doing anything to people you oppose. Given that, I am going to stop here before you start talking to the press about how my wife's connections got me my last job (which humorously enough is actually true).
posted by srboisvert at 9:04 AM on March 10, 2007


There are plenty of people who "act as a citizen of the government they want" and still get shafted.

since when did life come with a guarantee? ... if you don't try, you fail ... if you do try, you still may fail, but at least you'll know you tried
posted by pyramid termite at 9:09 AM on March 10, 2007


if you don't try, you fail ... if you do try, you still may fail, but at least you'll know you tried

That's true, but my point is that corruption spoils any effort at trying before it's even off the ground. And when corruption is as endemic as it is in our political system, it's difficult to transform.

No, life doesn't come with any guarantees. But even the basic fundamentals that our Constitution is in place to guarantee are no longer adhered to by our system of government as it's currently operated.
posted by blucevalo at 9:45 AM on March 10, 2007


Wow, Richie, that letter is amazing -- simply amazing. I searched it but found nothing -- do you have any more information?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:59 AM on March 10, 2007


So I read about the first third of this thread, and skipped to the bottom, so please excuse if I've missed arguments that have already been made; it seems to me that an important point on commenting about Newt's personal life has been missed, as an argument quickly developed about whether or not one's personal life should be discussed publically, etc. It was construed early on that discussing his past immorality was about the behavior itself, when in fact it isn't: it's not that Newt is a lying adulterer, rather that he is--demonstrably--a big fucking hypocrite.

Hypocrites say one thing and do another, and those are bad types of people to have elected to higher office. Bill Clinton did in fact cheat on his wife, but the big difference is that Bill Clinton didn't scream and yell about morality and family values all the time. Not only did/does Newt scream about it, he was one of the architects of the resurgence of his party in Congress in the early 90s, based in large part upon such moralizing.

That's giant, glaring hypocrisy, and should rightly be pointed out as such. It's not about sexual immorality per se; it's about the hypocrisy.
posted by LooseFilter at 11:58 AM on March 10, 2007


"It wasn't indirect. And yes that is my only objection. The rest is simply a difference of opinion. I don't agree with you but I don't object to you having a different point of view. Going Coulter on me is lame but I guess I shouldn't be surprised when the argument is that you feel justified in doing anything to people you oppose. Given that, I am going to stop here before you start talking to the press about how my wife's connections got me my last job (which humorously enough is actually true)."

Really? Where's the quote where I directly called you a sissy? Or even a nancy? Or where I said that there were no bounds to what was acceptable in public discourse.
Ah, so you're OK with attempting to distort what I said in order to make your point of piety, and are willing to call me Coulter over it. That's OK, because, what, we both basically agree on the direction that the country is going? How is that not MORE stupid than raising righteous ire toward someone who disagrees and is willing to argue dishonestly? Is it because it gives you a brief moment of being the most sensitive Percival in the liberal faction, and thus is worth sacrificing larger, more strategic goals?
My view of politics is basically that of a pragmatic progressive. If I thought that holding my breath and sucking my thumb every time a conservative used the presumption of propriety to impugn the causes that I support would be more effective than calling them out on hypocricy, I'd do that. But I don't engage in liberal politics in order to satisfy any great inner need for sanctimony— I engage in liberal politics because I agree with many fundamental tenets of the general liberal philosophy and because I believe that pursing policies that stem from them brings the most general "good" to the people of the world.
So, instead of taking my blanky and crying, I believe in using the information that I posess to discredit people who I believe are harming America. And I know that they do the same thing, and I know that the milquetoast response is that it makes me "no better than they are." Well, frankly, I believe that in large part the "better" is defined by goals, rather than tactics. There are some things that I don't consider appropriate, but if I found that they were being used to great effect for what I will casually call "evil," and they had an equal ability to effect good, fuck yes, I'd do it. Because I don't want to be the noble loser while my friends can't get married, or get abortions, or speak their minds, or get health care, or avoid getting killed. I find no victory in pretending that, by staying out of some mud slinging, I'm a better person on some cosmic scale. We get one chance at life, and I'd rather spend that chance defending freedom and working toward the betterment of all mankind.
And sure, that means that when it's convenient, I'll coopt tactics and points from the addlepated hippies who comprise most of the anti-war left. But only when they work, and not so I can brag about how enviro-conscious driving my hemp car makes me. You can "agree to disagree" if you like, and maybe that's more respected in Canada, or England (which, by the way, makes me wonder exactly what the fuck your interest in how Newt is handled is, and makes me point out that your ability to do a goddamned thing about it is pretty fucking little), but here in the states we have a vigorous political process which requires that some of us stop being nattering nancies and be bastards for the right reasons.
So, forgive me if I don't give a fuck about alienating an alien from US politics, and forgive me for saying that sometimes you need an LBJ to a Kennedy if you want to do more than prance about like goddamned Kucinich.
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 PM on March 10, 2007


We'll be over here working on grassroots democracy, m'kay?

Sure, and I'll see you there, ok? Because wanting to out hypocrites doesn't preclude anyone from also working on voter education drives, volunteering to work at their polling station, stuffing envelopes for a candidate they support, etc. It's not either/or.
posted by rtha at 1:49 PM on March 10, 2007


There are plenty of people who "act as a citizen of the government they want" and still get shafted.

pyramid termite: since when did life come with a guarantee? ... if you don't try, you fail ... if you do try, you still may fail, but at least you'll know you tried

This is worse than pounding your head against a wall because at least after a while you might knock yourself out and remain unconscious for a while.

This is not about getting a money back guarantee when your life doesn't turn out Super Ultra FabulousTM. It's about civil rights. You can be a non-voting, religious, bassackwards redneck on marriage #3 who beats his wife and his dog, and your right to be a jerkoff isn't going anywhere.

But if you happen to be gay, or nonreligious, or [insert pariah class here], you're pretty good and screwed thanks to the kind of legislation these people and their mouthbreathing followers have been pushing through.

It is not good enough to "at least know you tried" when people's rights are at stake. That's bullshit and you know it.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:03 PM on March 10, 2007


I dreamed it up, l_p. Sorry about that, I should have said so explicitly, then you wouldn't have wasted your time searching for it. Argh.
posted by Ritchie at 2:05 PM on March 10, 2007


God. Not l_p. l_y. wtf is wrong with me?
posted by Ritchie at 3:03 PM on March 10, 2007


This is not about getting a money back guarantee when your life doesn't turn out Super Ultra FabulousTM. It's about civil rights.

go ahead and build that straw man

i never said anyone should give up

i never said anyone's rights weren't at stake

i did say that you're not going to get a government that's better than the people who are voting for it

i find it telling and disturbing that this angers people so much
posted by pyramid termite at 4:12 PM on March 10, 2007


i did say that you're not going to get a government that's better than the people who are voting for it

Speaking of straw men, I don't think anybody here has said that they wanted a government that was better than the people voting for it.

Having one that was equal to the people voting for it would be good. We haven't had one of those in years. What we've had instead has been government that defies, confounds, and obstructs the will of the people who voted for it.

Reasons for that? As I said before: special interest money; lobbyists; power plays and hunger for preserving power; and corruption.
posted by blucevalo at 4:52 PM on March 10, 2007


Speaking of straw men,

i said that i said it, not that anyone else had said it ...

i give up on this ... people don't want to hear what i'm telling them and are twisting my words around or shouting angrily to avoid hearing it

this and other recent developments are convincing me that the left is becoming just as much as a problem in this country as the right has been

time for a new politics ... and no one here has been preaching it
posted by pyramid termite at 5:06 PM on March 10, 2007


It sounded to me as though you were saying that people are demanding a better government but that they have not earned the right to demand it. I disagree. If I misunderstood what you said, I apologize.
posted by blucevalo at 12:35 AM on March 11, 2007


And as a rule, the jerks with the personal issues are the ones trying to push the most obnoxious legislation. Why isn't that crystal clear?

We're all jerks with personal issues.

I agree with the comment(s) above that if we start bashing about adultery or drinking or drugs or whatever on the right (even if we explain that it's about the hypocricy re the right's stated policies), there's no way not to require that same purity on the left.

I do think the hypocricy can be used -- verrry carefully and in the context of policy battles -- for political gain. But bashing the right on personal issues where that's the central message taken from the attack is bound to backfire.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:02 AM on March 11, 2007


Where's the quote where I directly called you a sissy? Or even a nancy?


How about right here?


but I am sick of being told by nancies on my "side" that I need to keep bringing a knife to a gun fight.


I'd be clearly and obviously one of the people you label nancies as you are responding to the position I advanced. Unless of course you were referring to the other nancies advancing the same position as me and not me. In which case I feel left out and will now commence pouting.


Or where I said that there were no bounds to what was acceptable in public discourse.


You hadn't said that. I confused you with others. I apologize. A simple error. I'll just sashay away to my eco-friendly hemp handgripped bicycle like the milquetoasty percivalain liberal I am so I can prance about and recycle in the limp and tepid democracies of Canada and England.
posted by srboisvert at 4:25 AM on March 11, 2007


But bashing the right on personal issues where that's the central message taken from the attack is bound to backfire.

Nope-- Character trumps policy for voters
The majority never looks at policy at all, so if they're only looking at character, that true character must be shown (unlike the fake characters they put forth--the friendly cowboy Bush shit, for instance).


And then there's this, about the real priorities of some voters and leaders in and around the GOP:
...For years now we've been told that a lot of people won't vote for Democrats because we don't have the proper reverence for their family values and war fighting capabilities. But it turns out not to be true at all. These allegedly deeply principled Americans are perfectly willing to vote for hypocritical, law and order drag queens over a man whose voting record and worldview has been consistently conservative and it's because he has been a maverick, not that he isn't one now. You can be forgiven extra-marital affairs or being a social liberal in your past --- even being gay --- if you are loyal to the Party. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:28 AM on March 11, 2007


"I'd be clearly and obviously one of the people you label nancies as you are responding to the position I advanced. Unless of course you were referring to the other nancies advancing the same position as me and not me. In which case I feel left out and will now commence pouting."

Again, that quote shows that I indirectly refered to you, as part of a larger group of misguided fools who would have us all remaining principled as rights are taken away. But I don't particularly make any apology for calling you a nancy, directly or indirectly. Just like I wouldn't feel particularly bad about making fun of the American football coaches who argued that the forward pass wasn't manly or noble (when it was introduced) and so got creamed by teams that were willing to pass rather than run every play.
As Amberglow points out, character trumps policy. If one fewer person votes for Newt because of this, then God bless America.
posted by klangklangston at 8:53 AM on March 11, 2007


“Because wanting to out hypocrites doesn't preclude anyone from also working on voter education drives, volunteering to work at their polling station, stuffing envelopes for a candidate they support, etc. It's not either/or.” - posted by rtha

My argument is only in opposition to the point that voting 3rd party is a waste.
I am neither with nor against you. And I’m only your enemy if you make me your enemy. (I’d advise against that).
I am for certain principles - where our minds meet on those, I’d be happy to aid you. Where they don’t I’d oppose you.
Certainly you can do both, but you can’t devote the same amount of effort to it. No more than if you work 4 hours a day to my 8 hours a day at the same job.
And attacking a person is not the same as working to support an ideal.
My position is in support of 3rd parties as the engine for change. I don’t believe it’s possible to work within a larger party without making greater concessions to playing politics and other things that don’t matter (to me). Not that it cannot be done, but that it’s someone else’s set of dice.
Well, I don’t particularly want to focus on “outing hypocrites.” Nor a number of other things the two big parties tend to focus on. And I don’t have to do that - nor should I have to - in order to be part of the political process.
You want to, someone else wants to - that’s great. I don’t have time for it myself, but that’s me.
And we’re not focused on the same things to the same extent.
Certainly it’s not either/or - you can play politics and play ‘gotcha’ and all that and still educate voters and create networks - all that. But you can’t have it both ways.
Which is why it’s not for me. And my point rests on that self-determination, not on preaching what someone else should or shouldn’t do with their time. I don’t care about this, and I shouldn’t have to. You do, and I can’t tell you that you shouldn’t. I happen to think some things are more important, and I think that is a pretty well grounded point.
But some folks passion lay down different avenues. People who care more about whatever given thing tend to be better at it.
Does this kind of hypocracy need to be exposed? Sure.
It’s just not for me. I hated all the stuff that didn’t get covered when the Clinton garbage was going on too.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:52 AM on March 12, 2007


you can choose according to the issues ... or according to the sexual history

One more time, this is NOT about sexual history. This is about authoritarianism. The definition of a democracy is a state where the same rules apply to every single citizen, including those citizens who represent us in government. The government is not meant to be a higher class who may except themselves from behavior they attempt to control among the masses. They are meant to be peers who work to define and determine the laws we all live by. If they represent themselves as interested in legislating certain policies, and then it turns out they do not consider these rules applicable to their own lives, they are actually undermining democracy. Sure, it's in a small way: but do not confuse the issue by suggesting that the issue here is the sexual behavior itself.
posted by mdn at 10:24 AM on March 12, 2007


Wow. You guys are still here? Is there any popcorn left?

I can't help but think that if the initial posting had been about Gingrich apologizing for anything except his sex life/family values platform, this thread wouldn't blown up to two hundred and fiftywhatever comments. Sex gets people all whacked out.

Smedleyman, I have no interest in making you my enemy. I objected to the condescending tone in your remark, and the implication that all of us juvenile radicals are not doing something of value, while the grownups are off doing the Important Work of Grassroots Networking. Or something. And that those of us who object to the over-the-top hypocrisy of some of these guys can't also be engaged in other kinds of political work.

I've re-read this whole thread (is there any alka-seltzer?), and we're all talking at cross-purposes, I think. When I point out that a given politician is being hypocritical, it's not because I think I'm better, or purer. I'm not asking that pol to live up to some ideal I have that even I can't live up to. I'm asking that pol to walk his talk. If he's for passing strict gun legislation, but has a closetful of illegal firearms, am I blurring the issue by pointing that out? If he brays that the rest of those dirty congressmen are beholden to "special interests," but he's got a warchest full of dollars from Big Pharma (or oil, insurance, etc.), should that go unremarked upon? If, in short, he's all about passing laws against behaviors in which he engages, how is it not germane to the issue to point it out?

Putting a spotlight on the hypocrisy of elected politicians doesn't make us responsible for politics being dirty. Denial does not become us; the water was already filthy, and all we've done is turn on the lights.

Also, what mdn said.
posted by rtha at 11:22 AM on March 12, 2007


A little background on Evangelicals and their schism. (Gingrich went right to the blatant GOP powerbrokers instead of those who are actually following the Christ stuff and caring about more than just abortion, gay marriage and approval for torture and whatever else the GOP decides to do.)
posted by amberglow at 3:08 PM on March 12, 2007


... Some, especially those who want to be president, will admit to cheating on their wife(s) or serving divorce papers to a cancer-ridden mate while pushing impeachment against a President who was cheating on his wife before they'd admit hypocrisy. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:48 PM on March 12, 2007


Gen. Pace calls homosexuality immoral
The Associated Press
News Fuze
Article Last Updated:03/12/2007 07:29:37 PM MDT
WASHINGTON- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday he considers homosexuality to be immoral and the military should not condone it by allowing gay soldiers to serve openly, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace likened homosexuality to adultery, which he said was also immoral, the newspaper reported on its Web site.

"I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is OK to be immoral in any way," Pace told the newspaper in a wide-ranging interview.

Pace, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, said he based his views on his upbringing.

He said he supports the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell policy" in which gay men and women are allowed in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation private. The policy, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, prohibits commanders from asking about a person's sexual orientation.

"I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts," Pace said.

The newspaper said Pace did not address concerns raised by a 2005 government audit that showed some 10,000 troops, including more than 50 specialists in Arabic, have been discharged because of the policy.

With Democrats in charge of Congress, Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., has introduced legislation to reverse the military's ban on openly serving homosexuals.
posted by taosbat at 7:02 PM on March 12, 2007


Pace should shut up and do his job--morality is not part of his job in any way, considering he kills for a living.
posted by amberglow at 9:29 AM on March 13, 2007


The Jesus Machine (Dobson, GOP, Gingrich, & Congress in the 90s)
posted by amberglow at 10:22 AM on March 13, 2007


"Putting a spotlight on the hypocrisy of elected politicians doesn't make us responsible for politics being dirty."

Ridiculous. Those kinds of mores exist in the first place for the sole purpose of exploitation and distraction from what's in the interest of voters.

"I objected to the condescending tone in your remark, and the implication that all of us juvenile radicals are not doing something of value, while the grownups are off doing the Important Work of Grassroots Networking. Or something."

And you got sidetracked.
Which is my point.
Divided focus /= focus.

And it's easily proved - you didn't like my tone. Ok. What was MY point? What was the nuance?

Oaf said voting third party = not voting.
My rebuttal was that third parties are responsible for a great deal of the change in the country's history. Further that the Green party in Illinois has made significant strides.
My implication was that - given those two premises - focusing on an issue is demonstrably more productive and conducive to change than playing party politics and worrying about - whatever personality thing is going on. Could be hypocrisy, could be- whatever. Doesn't matter. Change in the system comes more from coherent focus on an issue.

Your assertion that one can object to hypocrisy while being engaged in other kinds of political work fails on that point.
If you're attacking Newt for the Dems or Clinton for the GOP you're not focused on - whatever issue at hand. It's diluted.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong there to do that. Someone wants to spend time pointing out the inconsistencies between how someone acts and what they say - fine by me. You think it's good for the country, great. Do it.
My rebuttal to oaf was that I shouldn't be marginalized merely because I don't want to do that myself. And in fact, what third parties do are a hell of a lot more effective.

So let's not pretend that as a Democrat you're as much, say, an abolitionist as a member of the Liberty Party just because you support Douglas and talk about how James Buchanan is a hypocrite because he's only marrying Ann Caroline Coleman for her money (she later died ya know....fishy, huh?).

Furthermore, I don't ask a politician walk his talk. I ask that he passes legislation in line with his talk. An individual need not have an abortion or indeed even support it morally to support the legal right to choose. The voting record is all that matters to me. Everything else - to me - is distraction.

That's why the Clinton blowjob matter as "relevant to the dignity of the office" or "moral leadership" or any other garbage didn't wash with me. I didn't like some critical policies Clinton had, so I didn't like Clinton. Otherwise I couldn't care less where he, or anyone else I'm not intimately involved with, sticks their genitals no matter what their public persona might be.
You want to, have at it. But don't say I don't get a place at the table if I don't play ball.
Now someone wants to disobey the law, it's an entirely different story. But it's my understanding that is not the issue. If it is there's no argument. Everyone should be equal under the law. And if the law was bent in order to prosecute Clinton - it should be obvious that further bending it is not the answer. Clearly the system should be modified such that another manipulation of the system cannot occur.

I see a lot of posts rendering down to political "payback" not justice. And as I've said - not my game.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:33 PM on March 13, 2007


Does this kind of hypocracy need to be exposed? Sure.

So what the hell are we arguing about, then? If you don’t want to point out hypocrisy, fine. And I agree with you that 3rd parties can be engines for change – I usually vote Green, myself. Don’t put oaf’s words in my mouth: I don’t think that you should be marginalized because your tactics are different, and don’t think that voting Green is as bad as/worse than not voting.

Everyone should be equal under the law.

Exactly. The guy who's screwing a rentboy while passing laws outlawing gay sex (I'm hyperbolizing here, yes) is demonstrating that he believes he is above the law; that the law should apply to Those People, but not him. Is that really the kind of person you want representing you? Your country? Because to me, it matters. The issue matters, yes, absolutely - and so does the person presenting that issue, because they also represent me. It's a form of corruption, and it dirties us all. It isn't about payback. It's about accountability, and trust, and integrity.
posted by rtha at 4:45 PM on March 14, 2007


payback is just the tasty icing on the cake--if we take pleasure in seeing horrible hypocrites who damage this country squirming, that's our right. It won't ever make up for the harm they do, but it can help stop them from furthering harming us (all of us).

Newt wants rehabilitation with this confession--if you give it to him you're the kind of sucker he depends on to get away with all his shit.
posted by amberglow at 7:47 PM on March 14, 2007


Over 250 posts about a guy getting more sex than me. That's all I see here.

Hey. If I EVER have sex again, and I never will cuz I mean Jesus Christ look at me but let's just say on the outside extremely improbable chance that I EVER have sex again, can I post to MeFi and announce it, so you guys can leave 250 responses about how lame I am cuz I fell short of God's standards?

Gee, thanks!
posted by ZachsMind at 8:42 PM on March 14, 2007


Hypocracy would literally mean "Government from below" if the word really exisited. This isn't a spelling snark, I just think it's an interesting thing to bring up occasionally.
posted by Grangousier at 12:58 AM on March 15, 2007


Hypocracy would literally mean "Government from below" if the word really exisited.

When I see it spelled that way, I take it to mean "Government of and by Hype". Your interpretation is more correct, but I like mine better.
posted by psmealey at 4:12 AM on March 15, 2007


"So what the hell are we arguing about, then?"

As I said. You got sidetracked. Which is my criticism of this kind of thing (exposing hypocracy/focusing on the person or the tone or whatever else other than the issue)- there's the potential for that.
But I wouldn't tell someone they can't do it. Just that it doesn't seem that efficient a thing. The vote matters to me. And the law. Trust, all that, not my focus.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:36 PM on March 17, 2007


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