“The Dumbest Single Thing I’ve Done”

By Patricia L Johnson

You truly have to wonder about the mentality of some of the members of the current Republican field of candidates. The statement “the dumbest single thing I’ve done” made by Newt Gingrich is a prime example.

Mr. Gingrich was referring to sitting side by side on a love seat with Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) while filming a 2008 TV ad on climate change. He was asked to appear in the TV ad by Al Gore and seemed like a logical choice since Gingrich was promoting “green conservatism” via his latest book. In his response to Al Gore’s e-mail asking him to appear, Gingrich thanked Mr. Gore for “for the opportunity to participate in the Protect Climate ad campaign.”

If a person is so passionate about an issue they write a book on the subject, how can they possibly turn around three years later and claim promoting that same issue through a bi-partisan TV ad is “the dumbest single thing I’ve done”?

Let me remind Mr. Gingrich of one or two little tidbits…

According to FactCheck.org, the Washington Post interviewed Jackie Battley on January 3, 1985 about an incident that occurred back in 1980. Jackie was suffering from cancer and had just completed her third surgery and made the following statement to WP “He walked out in the spring of 1980 and I returned to Georgia. By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said Daddy is downstairs and could be come up? When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from the surgery.”

At the time Newt Gingrich was having an extramarital affair with Marianne, who later became his second wife, but was subsequently replaced by his third, and current wife Callista, a former staffer in the U.S. House. Gingrich has admitted to starting an argument with Jackie while she was still in the hospital recuperating from surgery.

Apparently in Gingrich’s world having two extramarital affairs and badgering your wife while she’s recuperating from surgery is not very high on the scale of dumb things to do.

How about the January 21, 1997 vote in the U.S. House ordering Gingrich to pay a $300,000 penalty for ethics violations? According to the Washington Post article this was “the first time in the House’s 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing.” This wasn’t an instance when a simple majority of House members voted for the sanctions, the vote to charge Gingrich $300,000 was recorded at 395-28.

$300,000.00 in 1997 was an incredible sum, but apparently this doesn’t meet Mr. Gingrich’s standard of being the ‘dumbest things I’ve done”, either.

I don’t get it.

How can sitting on a loveseat knee-to-knee with then Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, promoting protecting our planet fall under the heading of the “the dumbest single thing I’ve done”, when faced with his history of moral and ethics violations?

© 2011 Patricia L Johnson

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