Hell Hath No Fury: Marianne Gingrich

On the day Perry makes way for him and Santorum is declared (more or less) the winner in Iowa, Gingrich’s ex-wife does (really not) surprise us with alleged “revelations” about what her former husband said to her around, let me think, twelve to thirteen years and a conversion ago. Interesting.

Nothing new of course as generally this kind of things finds its way to the media without waiting for a presidential race; but one remains with the impression that the private side of Gingrich is the one chosen by his opponent to put an end to the public one.

This is one of the rare days when I am glad I grew up in Europe, and particularly in a country where private mistakes are left to the confessional and, when they find their way to the media, are not considered the metre by which the work of a politician is judged. You may say that it has his risks (as seen recently), but I still think it reflects a more mature political culture.

I’m not sure in modern times Godfrey of Bouillon, or Richard the Lionheart, would be elected to run a crusade, as their private life probably gave rise to many questions. Rather, some inept chap with irreproachable private life would be chosen, and bye-bye Jerusalem. If you don’t like these two examples, pick whichever else you like, from the drinker Churchill to the  gambler Cavour.

Alas, I doubt many will be of my opinion, which is why if the public reacts badly to this interview in the run up to the primary in South Carolina it is now not unlikely the American people will have to decide, come November, between a godless affirmative action idiot and a flip-flopping RINO Mormon.

The private life of a politician is a matter for the confessional. Don’t let a good candidate go to waste because he would have never make  it as a Protestant pastor. Most people don’t, and I’m not sure Protestant pastors have such a good record, either.


Posted on January 19, 2012, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Mundabor, usually I’d agree with you (on drinking, gambling…), but on marriage I have to disagree. If someone does not keep his marriage vow – why should we expect him to keep other promises he made, up to and including the vow he has to take if he becomes President?

    That said, every Republican candidate still in the field would be an improvement on Obama…. (even Romney).

    • Apologies Catocon, you had landed in my spam bin, I saw your message only by chance.

      The answer to the question is: because being a bad husband has no bearing on bearing a bad President.

      Cavour was a gambler. Would you trust your country to a gambler? I’m glad my ancestors did! Churchill was, if not a drunkard, a man who drank a lot even for the upper class standards of the time, and the same considerations apply.

      On the other hand, for all we know Obama might never have been (or dared to be) unfaithful to his wife, and he is a nightmare of a POTUS nonetheless.

      Also, Romney’s family life seems to be above suspicion, but he IS a flip-flopper. Therefore, his being a faithful husband is no guarantee whatever that he would keep whatever promise he makes during the campaign.

      Some people are born Presidents, other husbands, other astronauts. Some people are just bad husbands, and just good presidents, some other the contrary. I just can’t see the link.


    • “That said, every Republican candidate still in the field would be an improvement on Obama…. (even Romney)”

      Agree, but… will he win?

      What if the American republicans select Romney because he is a faithful husband, and thus prepare their defeat against Obama? Is not Gingrich at the same time the better Republican, and the one with the better chances of beating Obama of the two?

      If Romney gets the nomination we will have four months of Romneycare at the centre of the debate, and this will destroy whatever chance we have of getting rid of the chap that way. Plus, he is a flip-flopper. Plus, he is a Mormon. Plus, many people won’t like his links to the big business world. Should he really be selected because of his private life?

      Get the best suited to lick Obama and allow him to do his work, say I. The rest, we can leave to his confessor.


  2. Mundabar, on this we part company. He is a horribly unfaithful man. His conversion doesn’t wipe that legacy out. As far as I’m concerned, he should, post-conversion, spend the rest of his time in penance. (False conversions have been a plague in the Church–that’s what the Inquisition was all about, Jews ‘converting’ in Spain to play both sides of the aisle for profits.)

    Besides, what about his economic plan makes him a better candidate than Santorum? Isn’t he just warmed over tea party? Catholics are not that (I guess you didn’t go to SSPX Kansas City last October?) Does he call for the regulation we need? Does he call for cooperatives and the kind of taxation that would break up the too-big-to-fails? What is his health care plan–isn’t it privatization? We can’t afford that. It’s too expensive. The only solution the health care, short of our restoration of the Catholic state and of the provision of health care to non-profit religious orders, is closer to Ron Paul’s, or what I’ve heard him hint at, I’ve not seen an actual step-by-step plan: ditch insurance altogether and let us pay cash for services, with charity taking up the slack for the extreme cases. Privatized health care in this country is a racket–maybe you have to be on Medicare to see it.

    • The white lily,

      could you explain to me what a “legacy” is in religious term? I thought once one has repented and has been forgiven (by Christ, at least) that should be enough for us?
      Would you like your “legacy” to be brought in front of you for the rest of your life?
      Now: you can believe that his conversion is fake: but then your problem is with him today, not the “legacy”. It is astonishing that after God has forgiven, we should still throw stones….

      As to Santorum, I fully agree he’d be, from a Catholic point of view, the better candidate. I do think he is the best of the bunch by a distance. But alas, as I have already written I do not think he is the man who can defeat Romney, and I believe his chances against Obama would be even thinner.

      Gingrich is different. Gingrich appeals to a wider audience. This is why I hope that if Santorum lands behind him in South Carolina, he’ll follow Perry’s intelligent example and will endorse Gingrich whilst we are still rather early in the race.


  3. Hi M.,

    I’m with you totally on this. Who of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s don’t have something morally squalid to hide??? Most of us do, anyway, I would imagine. But Christ has made us brilliantly white via the sacrament of penance–over and over as need be. Oh what a wonderful gift He gave us in Holy Mother Church! A Hospital for Sinners! And like Newt, so many of us are on the road to recovery, hopefully without relapses!

    I really don’t think it will be a problem for Newton LeRoy Gingrich. Newt is an amazing candidate with brains to boot. He sure is colorful and funny and such a breath of fresh air after the oppressive, leaden, stilted, polarizing, woebeggotten persona of the present POTUS (President of the United States). We need him to chew up Obama and spit him out!

    What is really rich is that this second wife, Marianne, was cheating on him when he was married to his first wife. Newt’s daughters begged the MSM not to disclose this tawdry interview with a woman scorned, but the Left has the MSM in its pocket. However, I do think the tide is turning.

    South Carolinians, I suspect, even with a vestige of mainstream Christianity pulsing through their veins, won’t cotton to Mitt Romney considering Mormon theology–Heavenly Father having celestial intercourse with Heavenly Mother to produce spirit children, the planet Kolob where Heavenly Father lives, worthy males becoming gods of their own universe, underwear worn by the faithful with vestigeal Masonary symbols embroidered into them, and so much more.

    It’s nice to get the European perspective. Strong work, M.

    • Redvelvette,

      I personally do not think I have much squalid to hide; but then again i never had the temptations of fame and power Gingrich had. More in general, I think that the best rarely become the leaders, particularly in a democracy.

      What I find astonishing is this idea that the POTUS must be the perfect husband, perfect neighbour and perfect friend, AND be a strong President!

      It just doesn’t happen. With very rare exceptions, you get at best people with faibles, but with great political talent. The nature itself of the political context takes care that a politician is generally ready to compromise with his ideals, fond of power and recognition, and with an inflated self-esteem often ending up in loss of the sense of reality. The trappings of power, and fame.

      I have seen Gingrich on TV on a couple of occasions, and remember him well from his heyday in the Nineties. He always gave to me the impression of being a chap out of the ordinary, and I do think he would eat Obama for breakfast, and spit the bones.

      With all that, a man with faibles, certainly. Don’t ask me to sign that there will be no trespasses here and there; but better than Obama, every day of the week…

      Do you agree with me Gingrich would seem the only one who can defeat Romney? I am very curious to see what happens in South Carolina. I hope there’ll be a strong showing of Santorum, but with Gingrich the clear leader. Santorum might graciously retire (in glory, so to speak) to make place for the candidate with the best chances, and get a lot in return in reputation, honour and, I think, a nice government post, perhaps even the vice-presidency (you see? Politics!)


  4. I guess I’m on a one woman mission to expose Mormondom for what it is–non-Trinitarian, a bizarre (to mainstream Christians) hodgepodge of beliefs about Christ and the history of the lost tribe of Israel here in North America. I once heard it described as “America’s most legitimized cult”. Via their “temple works” they baptize by proxy. To do “temple work” one must have a “temple recommend” from their bishop, wear certain attire in addition to the hallmark underwear known as “garments”.

    The great treasure trove of geneology housed at the church’s headquarters here in Utah is for this primary purpose–to give the dead a chance at salvation via Momonism. BTW, all the great Catholic saints have been baptized into the Mormon church by proxy. And, if they were not married, they are assigned a spouse for eternity in Mormon paradise.

    Our Jewish brethren took umbrage at being baptized into Mormondom, and got a verbal agreement from the Latter-Day-Saints (Mormons) to cease doing it, however, I don’t know how binding that was. That happened about a decade ago.

    Mormondom is very much gaining a foothold as the dominant faith in the American west and is making great strides in Central and South America, however, I’m told the influence is broad but very shallow. It’s a fascinating topic.

    • Very funny, Redvelvette!

      I thought the Episcopalians giving their “communion” to a dog were funny, but the baptism by proxy gets the biscuit..

  5. By legacy I meant example. His conversion does not wipe that out. He should be living a secluded life, not an honored one, or what kind of conversion was it? Has he expressed his sorrow for being unfaithful? For divorcing not one but two women (and counting)? He is attacking the media, instead, and you, Mundabor, are attacking the wife (“Hell Hath No Fury”). That is so very small and blind. For eight years he tortured her. She is not a woman scorned; she is a woman betrayed, and Christ, for one, hated that. I forgive Judas. I would not vote for him, especially with him standing there completely unrepentant, wearing the thirty pieces of silver. Judas’ act is the same kind as Gingrich’s. (Judas could probably beat Obama, too.)

    • “He should be living a secluded life”.

      Why? Why? He is not a monk. Conversion means that one repents, it doesn’t mean that one leads a secluded life.

      As to the sorrow, we have no right to think that he hasn’t confessed his sins and obtained absolution for them; but neither you nor I are his confessors and have no right to expect public declarations from him on that matter. Public confessions are no more, and for a reason.

      As to the woman, firstly it has already been pointed out that she herself was adulterous when he was married to his first wife and she should, therefore, just shut up. Secondly, I do not know you, but a woman who bears such grudges after more than ten years and tries to destroy the political career of his former husband is no less than disgusting to me, whether she did it for money of for pure hatred. I do not see this as blind, merely a realistic vision of what is happening and a true reflection of that woman’s character. If Gingrich was sooo bad, the Latin saying applies: similia similibus solvuntur.

      You, on the other hand, prove to be “small” yourself when you say “and counting”, thus showing that to you there can be no possibility of real conversion unless, perhaps, one disappears in some dark corner for the rest of his life.

      Again, I do not say I’ll bet my hand on him, but it seems to me that there is a huge difference between being conscious that he might be tempted again, and completely discounting his conversion.

      As for Judas, the key fact is exactly this: Judas did not repent!
      But Peter did, and I can figure you out, fifteen years later, saying that Peter disowned our Lord three times, “and counting”.

      As to beating Obama, it is my conviction – largely shared, I would say – that Gingrich does have better cards than Santorum. Santorum is, to put it bluntly, too Catholic and probably too good to be elected President. He is the favourite of a minority. Good as the man is, I can’t imagine he would persuade the majority of voters that he is the man. In 2016 or 2020 or 2024 perhaps, but not this time.


  6. I really like Rick Santorum and think he would make a fine president. Clean as a whistle, too with a nice wife who would make a classy First Lady. Being chosen at Newt’s veep (vice president) would be fine indeed. With Newt’s expansive girth, I don’t know how healthy he is, and must admit, I’ve wondered how long his health will hold. Not that he’s ancient, but I wonder what the ol’ lipid profile shows, how the BP is doing and all that. He is adopted, and I wonder if his birth father is still alive, or his mother for that matter. Does he have CAD (coronary artery disease) genes? His step-dad adopted him.

    If you travelled through the 70s and 80s unscathed by the sexual revolution, I applaud you, M. You were a strong man, indeed, or had very Catholic “hands-on” parents and mentors.

    • Redvelvette, I for myself think that one should not think too much of health. When the President dies, the VP becomes president 😉

      Reagan became President with 70, and concerns about his future health are at that age always justified. Some of the great man in the Italian history were very old. Enrico Dandolo (a very great man, if you ask me) might have been almost 90 and was certainly very old – and either completely or almost blind – when he was made doge of Venice. No one had concerns about his health: they wanted the man, not his medical profile.

      I’d sign for 2 years of Gingrich and 2 years of VP as President without even knowing who the VP candidate will be, as to me this is vastly preferable than having Obama around for other four years.

      As to the unscathed, I do not want you to think I am a saint. I am an Italian single male, with all that comes to it. But please consider, Italy is a different country than the US, with (still) a very different sexual morality, and rigid boundaries for most about taboos like breaking other people’s marriages, and the like; possibly more so in my time, and in families with rather rigid views as the one I grew up in.

      In Italy, a lady (well, let’s make it “female”, shall we?) who steals another wife’s husband is called – not to put too fine a point on it – puttana, and if she gives interviews you know it is for revenge. The idea she should be the “victim” would be considered preposterous by any right thinking person.


  7. I am an American with all the puritanical baggage that comes with it. So perhaps my sins are not as squalid as I make them out to be ;). Nevertheless, I am so thankful for the confessional.

    Lily White, my dear, you are painting yourself into a corner. We are commanded to repent and change the world! Live our faith and evangelize. If all great sinners were to slink away into a cave beating their breast, what kind of transformed society would we have? I once heard a holy Catholic man say that his constant prayer was “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner”. But he soldiered on, being a witness for our great Faith. Just imagine Newt as president and Santorum as veep! Just imagine, maybe Row overturned, illegal immigration dealt with in an expedient but humane manner, no mollycoddling of radical Islam, etc. I know it won’t be perfect, but with intelligent, committed Christians at the helm, we are closer to building the Kingdom on earth than we are with the murderous (of the unborn) Obama with all his leftist, godless, racist, elitist deeds.

    Just imagine!

    • I agree with you, redvelvette. I think a ticket Gingrich/Santorum (or Gingrich/Palin, come to that) would be the right mix of mainstream Republicanism and more committed part of the electorate.

      In future, things might be reversed, with a Santorum candidate (he is young enough after all) and a more mainstream VP, as we have seen in the Reagan/Bush ticket.

      I have read about South Carolina and will post in a while.

  8. Mundabor,
    “Apologies Catocon, you had landed in my spam bin, I saw your message only by chance.”

    I commented a few times on your blog in the last months, and as you did not post these comments, they might also have been lost in the spam folder. It is as if the spam filter always or nearly always blocks my comments. Just for your information – you might want to look into it…

    “Cavour was a gambler. Would you trust your country to a gambler?”

    Let me explain my reasoning a little more.
    Yes, I would trust my country to a gambler, if he is otherwise honest and a good man. And I would also vote for Gingrich if I were an American and if it came down to these two choices in the General Election. But not in the primaries, as long as someone like Santorum is in the race. And i do not believe Gingrich to be a superior candidate, not in the General Election against Obama. Polling in this stage of the race is obviously unreliable, but according to polls I’ve seen, Santorum polls about as good as Romney against Obama, and Gingrich about five to ten points worse. This may change, but as far as it goes, it is no proof of Gingrich’s electability.

    If the economy does not recover, every Republican can probably win the election. So why gamble on Gingrich, who isn’t even that conservative, especially on so called “social issues”? If the economy recovers strongly, Obama will probably be reelected anyway on the strength of the media’s propaganda crediting him with a recovery he tried his best to prevent.

    So, in summary. I see no unique strength in Gingrich, but many weaknesses. He may be intelligent, but so is Santorum. He may know the issues – but so does Santorum. He may be electable, but if he is, then so is Santorum (see below). He may be pro-life – but Santorum has fought for it, while Gingrich spoke about it. On the sanctity of marriage, I trust Santorum, but Gingrich could never make the case for it, having lived a life trampling on it. But Gingrich has repeatedly broken his vows – and Santorum has not done that. Even more important, Gingrich is a typical politician, a few years ago for the Individual Mandate and Cap and Trade, now an ardent conservative. Santorum actually believes what he says.

    I do prefer vow-breaker Gingrich to Mormon liberal Romney. But being the second-worst candidate in a race is insufficient for Gingrich, who has never won a competitve election in a battleground or blue state. Pennsylvania is on average less conservative than the USA as a whole. Why should Santorum be unelectable in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado – all certainly more conservative than Pennsylvania – when he won twice in Pennsylvania and lost only to Bob Casey Jr., running as a self described pro-life conservative Democrat, son of a legendary politician in the state, in a very bad year for Republicans?

    “On the other hand, for all we know Obama might never have been (or dared to be) unfaithful to his wife, and he is a nightmare of a POTUS nonetheless.”
    Yes, marital faithfulness is no sufficent condition for being a good President. Never denied that…

    In summary: One can be a good President if one has been unfaithful to his wife. But if a candidate has (twice!) failed to protect and defend his wife, even going so far as betraying her with another, why should we assume he will treat his country any better, when it needs to be protected and defended? There is no necessary or absolute connection between betraying your wife and betraying your country. But there is a connection nonetheless. Both are betrayals of in some sense sacred vows.

    • Apologies again, Catocon. I have no way to “control” how the spam filter works, so I’ll have to try to remember to check whether it has done something untoward.

      I’ll write a post on the SC primaries which will, I think, answer this post.


%d bloggers like this: