One month ago, nobody was talking about the former House speaker as a serious contender for the nation’s highest office — nobody except Gingrich himself. Late-night shows jestingly questioned whether he even wanted to be president. And pundits dismissed his viability, pointing to enough political baggage to fill a cargo hold: Ethics scandals, multiple marriages, a contentious reign as the top Republican in the House.
Just weeks later, Gingrich appears poised to win — or come close enough to it — in the key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, where voters will cast their ballots in January. ...The Hill
From the point of view of the opposition, it would seem that Gingrich is about the best target anyone could hand them. He even embarrasses his own party. Too many legal and ethical lapses litter his past.
How about the evangelicals? Those "family values" people who beat their kids and stuff. Will they accept Gingrich? You bet!
Like many evangelicals in Iowa, Steve Deace, an influential conservative radio host, is wrestling with the possibility that Newt Gingrich may be the most viable standard bearer for family-values voters in the next election. It’s a conundrum, he says, that many others are also grappling with. "Maybe the guy in the race that would make the best president is on his third marriage," he says. "How do we reconcile that?"
One senses him trying. "I see a lot of parallels between King David and Newt Gingrich, two extraordinary men gifted by God, whose lives include very high highs and very low lows," Deace says. David, after all, committed adultery with the ravishing Bathsheba, then had her husband killed, among other transgressions. ...Newsweek
King David is a totem for "The Family," that secret Christian cult -- "the house on C Street" -- in which so many Republicans are indoctrinated into the belief that god chooses Republicans to lead and overlooks all their past sins. Republicans are "beyond morality."
Journalist and investigator Jeff Sharlet infiltrated the cult, wrote about it, and has been interviewed frequently about it.
I was especially fascinated when Governor Sanford explained his decision not to resign by referring to King David. He said, "Look, here's King David when the skies fell mightily but he went on." By "fell mightily," he meant that King David had an adulterous affair and then had the husband murdered. That's actually one of the core parables of "The Family" that I encountered and describe this experience with David Coe, the son of Doug Coe, who came around and gave us this long lesson and asked, "What made King David great?" And the men I was with were all trying to say, well, he loved god and all this, and he said, "No, no, that's not it. King David was a terrible man. He was an adulterer, a murderer. So why is he a hero of the bible?" And the answer is, "Because god chose him. King David is beyond morality." Their limited understanding of scripture. That's a central parable in "The Family's" thinking and I could almost hear Doug Coe's voice when Governor Sanford is saying, "I need to keep governing because I'm like King David." ...PW
More about this cult can be found here.
I don't know that I've ever seen or could imagine a worse slate of candidates. Okay, Bush/Cheney were worse. It could be said that a slate of candidates reminds us what we have become, or at least what the party they represent -- nearly half of all voters -- has become. They really do believe themselves to be "beyond morality."