My goodness, is this right? Newt Gingrich melted his self down on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show last night. Kelly dared mention Donald Trump’s numerous assaults on women – what? he’s running for president! – and the sheer impudence turned Newt into a geezer scoldnato:
Gingrich, an open supporter of Trump’s candidacy, blasted Kelly for focusing too much on Trump’s sexual misconduct and not enough on issues like those raised by the speeches given by Hillary Clinton to bankers in 2013…
“You want to go back to the tapes of your show recently?” he said. “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.”
Eh, you know who’d be someone “…fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy”? A flaxen-haired sex criminal who doesn’t know fuckall about government (or anything else). Seriously.
Kelly quickly refuted him, saying she had covered the hacked emails and that Trump’s behavior towards women was an important topic to cover.
“Listen, Mr. Speaker, I’m not fascinated by sex,” she said, “but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office.”
You know who else had this common Republican problem? Newt Gingrich. He was Speaker of the House during Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
As Clinton insisted that he had not had sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky, and evidence mounted that he had, Gingrich drummed up support for impeachment. He declared he would “never again, as long as I am speaker, make a speech without commenting on this topic.” No one knew at the time that Gingrich was carrying on an extramarital affair with Callista Bisek, a staffer on the House payroll 23 years his junior, but that did not deter him.
The Republicans were widely expected to win the 1998 midterm elections as Gingrich orchestrated a final-week advertising blitz about the Lewinsky mess. But a burgeoning backlash against Gingrich and his party for pushing the sex-and-lies scandal cost them five House seats on Election Day. Walker conceded they had overplayed their hand: “We became the impeachment party instead of the party of the balanced budget.”
Gingrich’s GOP focused on the president’s sex scandal at the expense of everything else, and the nation rejected the strategy. We’d all had enough: “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.”
Gingrich tried to shift the blame to the media: “I don’t think we are nearly as obsessed as the press corps,” he said, although it was his drive to oust Clinton that had kept the scandal in the forefront of the news.
Still, there was no disguising that the midterm results were a personal repudiation of Gingrich’s brand of confrontational politics. Three days after the election, Gingrich addressed his caucus. “I’ll never forget it,” says Ehrlich. “He said he thought that his continued presence might cost us the majority and he didn’t want to be there and did not want to be the cause of our losing the majority.” Gingrich was ending his revolution, his congressional career in ashes.
Gingrich, the politician, had become obsessed with destroying the president for having an affair…while he was having an affair. It cost him everything. His career was in ruins, as were his dreams of someday becoming president himself.
Now here he is in 2016 – without a trace of irony on his face – accusing a Fox News talking head of being a scandal-obsessed loser. As if he had no recollection at all of why it was America had grown to hate him, or what particular thing it was they fired him over. Amazing.