Friday, March 09, 2007


Hey, whattya know - Newt Gingrich was cheatin' on his li'l ole wife at the exact same time he was leading the impeachment movement against Bill Clinton for cheatin' on his li'l ole wife and lying about it under oath:

WASHINGTON - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was having an extramarital affair even as he led the charge against President Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, he acknowledged in an interview with a conservative Christian group.

"The honest answer is yes," Gingrich, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate, said in an interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson to be aired Friday, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press. "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."

Gingrich argued in the interview, however, that he should not be viewed as a hypocrite for pursuing Clinton's infidelity.

"The president of the United States got in trouble for committing a felony in front of a sitting federal judge," the former Georgia congressman said of Clinton's 1998 House impeachment on perjury and obstruction of justice charges. "I drew a line in my mind that said, 'Even though I run the risk of being deeply embarrassed, and even though at a purely personal level I am not rendering judgment on another human being, as a leader of the government trying to uphold the rule of law, I have no choice except to move forward and say that you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."

"You cannot accept...perjury in your highest officials."

Uh, huh.

That's true if you're Bill Clinton.

But if you're Scooter Libby?

Then not so much.

After all, Scooter was convicted of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice and most of the conservative movement - the very ones who were calling for the head of Bill Clinton on a platter for his perjury - are saying Libby should be pardoned RIGHT NOW by Preznut Bush cuz', you know, perjury isn't such a big deal and besides, there was no underlying crime (never mind that the reason why Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald couldn't find an underlying crime is because Scooter Libby committed perjury and, in his Fitz's words, "threw sand in the umpire's face.")

The latest call for a Libby pardon comes from Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post today. "Law and Order" newspapers like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post have also called for Libby's immediate pardon. The National Review posted a FREE SCOOTER editorial minutes after the Libby verdict was announced. Kate O'Beirne, a National Review editor, explained to Chris Matthews why Libby should be pardoned while Bill Clinton should have been impeached for committing perjury. Here's the transcript:

MATTHEWS: You know what I think is amazing? These conservatives in this country, and not that they are always wrong or always right, because the liberals are, neither, it was all right to impeach Bill Clinton for perjury in a civil matter, it is all right to kick him out of office, as most Republican senators and most Republican members of Congress did, to kick him out of the presidency after he had been elected twice over the matter of perjury.

Now all of a sudden Scooter Libby is going to get a gift-wrapped and sent home, having committed the same crime and been found guilty of it in a court. Where is your consistency here?

O‘BEIRNE: Perjury matters.



MATTHEWS: Should Bill Clinton have been impeached?

O‘BEIRNE: The day he showed up on...

MATTHEWS: Should Bill Clinton have been impeached for perjury?

O‘BEIRNE: Yes, which he...

MATTHEWS: Should he have been kicked out...


MATTHEWS: Should he have been kicked out of the White House—the presidency for perjury?

O‘BEIRNE: Yes. It‘s an impeachable offense, Chris.

MATTHEWS: He should be kicked out of the presidency for perjury, but Scooter ought to get a—what, a hall slip or permission slip? What do you want to give him?

O‘BEIRNE: If you‘re guilty of perjury...

MATTHEWS: Perjury...

O‘BEIRNE: ... and as I said, he‘s a—he—he admits his perjury.

It‘s an impeachable offense.

MATTHEWS: Scooter was just found guilty in a court of perjury.

O‘BEIRNE: He maintains—he maintains...

MATTHEWS: I don‘t care what he maintains. Of course—this country is filled with prisons, with maybe a million people in these prisons, and every one of them says they‘re innocent!

O‘BEIRNE: Maybe some of them are.

MATTHEWS: Every single person—no, every single person...

O‘BEIRNE: Has been convicted.

MATTHEWS: ... says they‘re innocent. And they‘ve been convicted.

O‘BEIRNE: And so...

MATTHEWS: And they claim they‘re innocent, like Scooter does. It doesn‘t mean anything to say you‘re innocent.

O‘BEIRNE: And sometimes it has been an injustice...

MATTHEWS: Sometimes.

O‘BEIRNE: ... and the pardon power can correct it.

MATTHEWS: Sometimes. But you have to have evidence it was an injustice. Where‘re you going to get it from? You going to get an appeal here? You going to get a pardon, or just—just blanket—say because he‘s a man on the right-hand side of the war issue, let‘s let him go?

O‘BEIRNE: No. You should have read our editorial. We don‘t argue that. We don‘t argue it has anything to do with his position on the war.

MATTHEWS: Well, then why are you taking a position on this case?

O‘BEIRNE: Because a political dispute has been criminalized in a poisonous way that shouldn‘t have been permitted to happen. And it happened to some extent...

MATTHEWS: This is exactly...

O‘BEIRNE: ... because of the Bush administration.

MATTHEWS: ... why this is so ironic. It‘s so ironic, Ann. You‘re a juror. This is exactly the argument made by people like Hillary Clinton back when her husband got in trouble. It was a vast right-wing conspiracy. It wasn‘t a matter of her husband‘s perjury and obstruction of justice, it was all a big conspiracy that should have never been brought to court.

O‘BEIRNE: That‘s not the same argument at all!

MATTHEWS: No, it‘s exactly the same argument.

O‘BEIRNE: No, it‘s not!

MATTHEWS: It‘s nullification. It‘s political nullification.

O‘BEIRNE: No, it‘s not!

MATTHEWS: You don‘t like what a jury decides. You don‘t like what a legal system does. So you say, We‘re not accepting it.

What freaking hypocrites. The conservative movement DIDN'T like Bill Clinton so they wanted him impeached and removed from office for committing perjury. They LIKE Scooter Libby, so they conjure up bullshit reasons for why his perjury is different than Clinton's. My favorite: Scooter never admitted to perjury while Bill did; that makes Bill definitely guilty but Scooter less so. As Matthews pointed out, the jails are full of people who have been convicted of crimes but never admitted their guilt. Under O'Beirne's rationale, they should all be pardoned. Funny how the editor of the "Law and Order" National Review sees it differently when it's her guy who has committed the perjury and been convicted of the crime.

Hypocrites - all of 'em. The Post, the Journal, the National Review, Krauthammer, et al. would be screaming bloody murder if an aide to VP Al Gore had been convicted of committing perjury, making false statements and obstructing justice and "liberals" were calling for his or her pardon. But since it's the other way around, all's fine.

I wonder what Gingrich thinks about the FREE SCOOTER movement. So far, I haven't seen a Gingrich comment on the Scooter Libby pardon. Gingrich is on record as saying "you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest officials."

But I have a feeling that Gingrich - like the rest of the dishonest, hypocritical conservative movement - means "you cannot accept ... perjury in your highest DEMOCRATIC officials."

Newt knows his base better than I know a Dr. Seuss book. By publicly admitting to at least a portion of his sins, and asking forgivness, he will be completely absolved by the vast majority of fundamentalists.

The fundamentalist logic works this way: 1) All good comes from God, all evil from the Devil 2) I have dedicated my life to God, so God acts through me, and my actions are sanctified 3) I am not the actor -- either God or the Devil is acting through me 4) If God is acting through me, then my actions are sanctified and I need not examine them; if it's the Devil, the Ultimate Deceiver, than I am unable to examine them 5) If it is incontravertible that I have done something evil, then I must have been deceived by the Devil at the time, and by re-dedication, I cast off that deceit 6) If I am no longer deceived and under the Devil's power, God forgives me and will again act through me, so I must be forgiven by the public.

I grew up in a city where that sort of 'logic' was common wisdom, so I know it all too well.

Of course, the central falacy of that thinking is that there is a seperate God and Devil who are the actual 'actors' here. A progressive knows that I am the actor regardless, and if I do something evil, it is because I have allowed the evil within me to act. If I am the actor, then it is my duty to examine my motives beforehand, and resist those that are likely to result in my doing evil.

There's a reason that the religious and social fundamentalists are so rabid in attacking progressive and scientific thought -- if their central philosophy falls, they have to own up to and take responsibility for every single crappy thing they have ever done, and when you've been operating on the idea that every thing you do is God-inspired, that's an unbearable lot of crap.

It doesn't matter whether the fundamentalist says 'God' or 'Allah', or the 'Good of Society', it's all the same, or whether it is found in Washington, Tehran or Lubbick, Texas -- it's crazy.
That's an excellent analysis of the fundie mindset, kicksiron - so the devil made Newt do it? I guess I can understand that part (sort of.) But then why can't the fundies forgive Bill Clinton for Monica and perjury? Didn't the devil make Bill do it too?
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