Type to search

Why Gingrich Might Be Good For America

Memo Pad

Why Gingrich Might Be Good For America


Look, nobody’s third wife is going to be First Lady. In the privacy of the voting booth, American women won’t stand for it. Regardless of how flawlessly the bejeweled Callista enacts the role of pious matron, she remains the embodiment of the Trophy Wife—younger, more adoring, unencumbered by children, a climber on the make. In effect, a successful Monica Lewinsky, although unlike Bill Clinton’s paramour, Callista was no kid.

Even Ann Coulter knows that. Having placed an early bet on Mitt Romney, the GOP’s vestal virgin pronounced herself shocked to hear South Carolina Republicans accepting “Democratic” arguments excusing Newt Gingrich’s serial adultery. On “Fox & Friends,” Coulter said, “I promise you, if Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum had cheated on two wives—that we know, the ‘open marriage’ thing is the only thing he contests, we know he cheated on two wives—I wouldn’t support Mitt Romney.”

Gene Lyons

Gene Lyons is a political columnist and author. Lyons writes a column for the Arkansas Times that is nationally syndicated by United Media. He was previously a general editor at Newsweek as wells an associate editor at Texas Monthly where he won a National Magazine Award in 1980. He contributes to Salon.com and has written for such magazines as Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Monthly, The Nation, Esquire, and Slate.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia, Lyons taught at the Universities of Massachusetts, Arkansas and Texas before becoming a full-time writer in 1976. A native of New Jersey, Lyons has lived in Arkansas with his wife Diane since 1972. The Lyons live on a cattle farm near Houston, Ark., with a half-dozen dogs, several cats, three horses, and a growing herd of Fleckvieh Simmental cows.

Lyons has written several books including The Higher Illiteracy (University of Arkansas, 1988), Widow's Web (Simon & Schuster, 1993), Fools for Scandal (Franklin Square, 1996) as well as The Hunting Of The President: The 10 Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, which he co-authored with National Memo Editor-in-Chief Joe Conason.

  • 1


  1. Al Kowsky January 25, 2012

    Gene Lyons strikes his prey like a hungry lion, his points are right on! Should Gingrich get the nomination Obama will rip him apart in a debate. Newt, who is morally bankrupt, likes to debate with style not substance. Newt has been the clear winner in the republican debates only because the other contenders are intellectually weak, transparent, have no style, & have nothing to offer but their own ambitions.

  2. 1olderbutwiser1 January 25, 2012

    The days of one man and one woman navigating the waters of the debt-induced world together are gone. Observing women today is akin to seeing a king snake eat it’s siblings or a male alligator raid a nest and eat all the young, all they care about is themselves. Soccer moms? Yes, traveling to soccer pratices and games playing the brady lifestyle, where everyone drives a new car, lives in a new house, and has only the finest of clothes. Then using a credit card to treat everybody at McDonalds’ The husband is being denigrated to a simple servant. Lawyers all make their living for waiting for the servant to have any kind of freedom at all, he simply owes the witch forever for her being willing to let him have sex once in a while, just enough to keep him from going berserk. Maybe she’ll let him use a vibrator advertised on tv so she can just lay there and be served. That’s contemporary america, like Al Bundy on downers, simply a servant with no rights. The mormons may have a far superior concept of what life should be like, although I myself think it should be a lifetime monomagous relationship. marriage. myself. but when i see all the phony fronts put on by women, I sometimes think maybe marriage should be outlawed without both people being involved, being acknowledged by local people who know them well, all agreeing they to be god-fearing people. After all, materialism is the primary cause of diovorce and the church is the main and lasting ingredient for a great marriage. Witness the old Ms. Newt talking thru an attorney….maybe she thinks she can always swindle a few more bucks. Men who have are always the target of women who are backhanded and think they can pull off a better swindle, and men are too prone to the animal instinct of thinking a woman’s worth is determined by the size and shape of that part of the anatomy where the poop comes out.

  3. cemab4y January 25, 2012

    People are angry. Newt reflects that anger. Is Barack Obama, the “black Jimmy Carter”, maybe. If the Republican nominee can tap into that, then school’s out.

  4. MidRoad62 January 25, 2012

    As a Yankee with southern roots who has lived in rural SC the last 5 years, Lyons is right on about SC voters. As my southern mother said, they would “cut of their noses to spite their faces.” How they could vote for an adultrous Gingrich while spouting their hard-core fundamentalism in & out of church, is beyond me. But wait! SC ranks 7th in the nation for murder of women by men [ an improvement from 2nd place in 2006.] Enough said.

  5. Eschetic January 25, 2012

    Most serious Republicans long ago realized that this president simply WILL not be beaten regardless of temporary sagging poll numbers over emphasized by a relatively conservative media which longs to report an “exciting” race (the biggest lie Spiro Agnew ever told was that “the media” was “liberal”).
    His accomplishments as the most successful MODERATE Republican-type politician since Eisenhower have simply been too great. Holding the economy back from sliding into the full-on Depression which Bush deregulation and export of jobs had placed us on the verge of? Restoring the respect of our allies which Cowboy misadventures abroad had lost while effectively recruiting the next three generations of Anti-American terrorists? This is Mt. Rushmore territory.
    What these primaries are ALL about is protecting the “under ticket.” Who will best allow candidates for lower offices to stand on their own merits without being sucked down by the sinking ship? A lesser known governor or senator like a Huntsman might have filled the bill and set themselves up for a later, successful second run but none of them got traction in time. Romney, for all his flaws, is the only conceivable choice left in the face of the roster of intellectual pigmies and failed pols from Santorum to Paul to Gingrich. After the Tea Party loonies give him hell and even further reduce his chances of success for not being sufficiently “pure” in his right wing credentials he will win the nomination.
    Any moderates (there are no legitimate liberals left in our party any more than there are in the Supreme Court) toying with giving Newt their vote in a primary on the arguable point that the only way to bring sense back to the party is to let the extremists be finally and permanently crushed in a general election ultimately WILL remember how it didn’t work with Goldwater in 1964 – it only made the extremists hungrier and brought a legion of ex-segregationists in the South over to the party from the other party. Pandering to radical right in the hope of LATER gains won’t play this time – there IS no wave of Dixiecrats to be harvested any more. The Tea Party loonies are already ours and know that they have nowhere else to go except to stay home. They may have the volume and the big buck backers to make a lot of noise, but they don’t have the NUMBERS to float a real party on their own.

  6. Maricia12 January 25, 2012

    Just to clear up what the author of this article said, Monica Lewinsky was not a kid. She was a promiscuous 23 year old who had a reported previous affair with a Professor. She was certainly young but not innocent. She obviously enjoyed going after powerful men and seducing them with her sexual favors. How many men would turn that down? Women of this age group work in most of the strip clubs all over this country where men old enough to be their fathers/grandfathers go to lust after them. Let’s not make excusers for these women, their ages or the men who take advantage of them because they are all willing participants.. There were rumors going around that Newt was downtown DC picking up hookers when he was speaker of the house during the time he was trying to impeach Clinton over the Lewinsky affair. ??????

  7. kurt.lorentzen January 25, 2012

    I agree with the article’s basic premise; that Newt would be both a more formidable debate adversary and that he will lose more of the swing vote. But I do disagree with the oft-touted notion that he’s a crooked, morally-bankrupt demon. One post says Gingrich wins debates with style rather than substance. But that’s completely untrue. You can’t trip him up on the substantive issues. His knowledge is vast in both current politics and political history. Quite to the contrary, Obama is the style guy. His knowledge is good as well, but falls short of Newt’s. As a technician and engineer, I’m perhaps more aware than some just how far a knowledge of every aspect of how a process moves from initiation to completion is when it comes to diagnosing problems. One of my firm observations is, “You can’t figure out why it’s broken if you don’t know what’s supposed to happen when it’s working right”. Like him or not, Newt’s experience and knowledge are hugely beneficial in that capacity. I also agree with the aticle in that Obama is 90+% sure to win the next election. So in the end it really doesn’t matter who the Republicans nominate. But Romney is no match intellectually for either Gingrich or Obama, so if the only reason for a Republican nomination is to put on a good show at the debates, bring Gringrich – That’s entertainment!

  8. Metal Goddess January 25, 2012

    Ah yes, we women are such bitches. Never mind the fact that women for centuries have been the servant of men and I guess you are so angry that this is no longer the case. Women have always been expected to be subservient to men and to cook and clean for men. To have sex with men whenever men desired. And now the tables have turned and oh man, women are witches! And of course marriage should be reserved for the religious folks. Well, see when you live in a free country, bear in mind we do not live in a theocracy, anyone should be able to marry for any reason they see fit. It seems to me that divorce is prevalent because most people, male or female, are jackasses. Plain and simple. A lot of people get married on a whim and materialism is prevalent by both genders. Men suffer from that as much as women do. The reason why women for example receive child support after a divorce is because even though these two people can no longer tolerate one another, the children need to be cared for. Women have traditionally earned less income than men and therefore are at a financial disadvantage when it comes to divorce. If incomes were on a more equal footing, perhaps this wouldn’t be a big deal. Women have always been expected to be dependent on men. Why is that? Because men decided that women should depend on them for everything. You are upset about women only thinking about themselves. But yet men have always only thought about themselves and have always expected women to wait on them hand and foot. It’s about time we women do think about ourselves because we have wasted too much time thinking about men. Of course if men and women would think about each other and about others, we’d have a better time of things. Wouldn’t we? If people of BOTH genders would realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them, things would go much smoother. So before you lay the world’s woes at my feet because I don’t have a penis, take a look at yourself in the mirror. Personally I am not married and do not have children and I have lived quite a happy life not depending on a man but depending on myself, making my own way in the world, and now I take care of my elderly parents. Methinks you doth protest way too much, dude. Oh, and you are upset about what Mrs. Gingrich #2 said about Newt. Yeah, let’s look at Newt. Newt is running for a party that prides itself on family values. Is it really a family value to screw around on your wife with your future wife which this man has done twice? Wow. And you’re wondering why this chick does not have kind words for a man who quite obviously only thinks about himself and his penis. Dude, get real.

  9. cocosjungle January 25, 2012

    The President might have a more difficult time debating Mitt than Newt because by the time the President were to make a good counter argument to a statement of Mitt’s, Mitt will have shifted his position. It’s much harder to hit a moving target, after all.

  10. Truthbetold January 25, 2012

    cemab4y says…”People are angry. Newt reflects that anger. Is Barack Obama, the “black Jimmy Carter”, maybe. If the Republican nominee can tap into that, then school’s out.”

    In order for Republicans to “tap into that”, as cemab4y puts it, they are going to need another Iranian hostage situation. Sir or Maam I lived under President Carter’s administration and Obama is no Jimmy Carter. Republicans would be wise to steer clear of any efforts to question Barack’s foreign policy. I remember the Presidential debates of 2008. Republicans continually criticized Obama for being politically naive in the area of foreign policy. And yet Obama has done more to repair relations with our allies than any President since Kennedy. His successes in the war on terror pile up everyday. Cons need to stick to arguments they think they can win. And I’m sure they think they can win the argument on the economy. But they may even lose that battle if the economy continues to turn around. I know the Republicans were dying to say unemployment was at or above 9% in their rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union address, but had to settle on 8%. Who knows by this summer they may have to settle for 7% or less. And while these are not great numbers it will definitely show a positive trend and that the country is headed in the right direction. So pay careful attention how the Republicans will do everything in their power to sabotage any signs of economic recovery. Any jobs bill will meet with severe opposition by Republicans. Mitch McConnell has vowed that the only thing that matters is defeating Obama in November. And if that means destroying the economic recovery to achieve that goal, then so be it. Republicans are classic Obstructionists.

  11. Truthbetold January 25, 2012

    You rule!! It’s always refreshing to see someone like “olderbutwiser”, who obviously has some axe to grind, being brought back to reality. Yes I am male, but I have always known that all humans should be equal in opportunity, respect and in the eyes of the law.

  12. Dominick January 25, 2012

    Newt Gingrich has an excellent education, relevant experience, knowledgeable articulate and is an excellent debater, but he is also one of the most abrasive, immoral and unethical politicians in the USA. The problem with his wife becoming First Lady is not that she is Newt’s third wife, but that she had an extra marital affair with Newt for six years while he was married to his second wife, not the kind of image most Americans want to advertise to the world as representative of American women. In the end, it doesn’t matter who the GOP nominee is, what unites Republicans can be summarized in two words: Barack Obama, and they will vote for Jack the Ripper if he is the GOP nominee and they think he has a chance to remove what to most of them is an aberration in an otherwise perfect presidential record. Fortunately, Republicans are only about 33% of registered voters and without the Independents and dissatisfied Dems neither Newt nor anyone else has a chance of defeating President Obama in 2012.

  13. imabrummie January 25, 2012

    Isn’t the definition of a newt a slimy amphibian?

  14. G Schmidt January 26, 2012

    As a progressive Republican (yes, we are not all extinct) I am concern by Mr Lyons’ comments. What do we do if Newt actually wins?
    Yes, it is possible. Evengelicals are growing in number (and they hate Obama enough to vote for any Republican even Newt). Tea Parties are far better organized that the OWS crowd and they do take their time to vote (remember last congresional/State elections when an accused Medicare fraud executive became a Governor of Florida and the House was filled with Tea Parties fire breathers???)
    And let us NOT forget this is an African-American President that mostly have not lived to expectations.

    This is America, a land filled with angry violent people and hate and still fighting the Civil War. Do not assume the uneducated voter not to be persuaded by media appealling to their lower instincts to make the WORST decision in a year with difficult ugly choices


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.