It’s almost time for the traditional four-year American regime change, and contenders are lining up for months of mud-slinging, half-truth telling, promises-they-can’t-keep making, and plastic smiling in front of thousands of cameras for the chance to sit for a while in an oddly shaped office. That’s right; it’s almost time for the Primaries, the first of which will happen on January 3rd in Iowa. With only about a month left to obsess about things that will happen next year, and a month, moreover, where we’ll be distracted by bright lights on conifers or spinning candle tops, (or whatever it is you do with your December,) now might be a good time to take a look at some of the Republican contenders for the title of Most Powerful Non-Gender-Specific-Noun In the World.
The Candidate: Newt Gingrich
Brief Bio and Experience: Born on July 17, 1943, Gingrich has a penchant for history, having received a Ph.D. in the subject earned at Tulane. He was a history professor at West Georgia College before finally being elected to congress in 1978 after two failed attempts. He served as speaker of the house from 1995-99, and was a Representative for the state of Georgia for 20 years. He is a Catholic, and has been married three times.
Major Platform Points: Young Americans should have the option of putting a portion of social security payments into private accounts of their choosing. Medicare recipients could choose to have private insurance rather than public. He wants to eliminate the capital gains tax. Ha favors a 15% flat tax rate for all Americans. He advocates teaching American Exceptionalism in schools. He welcomes immigration, and wants to create a way to sponsor citizenship for illegal immigrants with deep ties in America, but deport those without. He is in favor of replacing the EPA and modernizing the FDA.
Death Penalty: Yes.
Gay Marriage: Takes a “hate the sin, not the sinner approach.” In favor of some legal rights for homosexual couples, but nothing recognizable as marriage, possibly including civil unions.
Likelihood of Candidacy: Well, he's cheated on previous wives twice, each time divorcing his then current wife and remarrying his mistress. It’s kind of hard to take a moral stance against anything with at least two known affairs to your name, and Republicans tend to be just a bit uptight about that. On the plus side, his mistakes may have given him some useful perspective on human nature. On the downside, I’m pretty sure there’s a universal law somewhere that says if a person sounds reasonable, they just won’t be able to make themselves heard over the lunatic ramblings of the people who wouldn’t recognize reasonableness if it said something rude at their Tea Party. Newt Gingrich, in spite of his past mistakes, comes off as a level-headed guy. A lot may depend on his getting the attention of a media that’s more focused on keeping a running tally of Herman Cain’s own personal Monica Lewinskis. But then again, with his own less-than-perfect fidelity record, maybe he can just fight fire with fire.
And speaking of lunatics and misogyny, tune in next time. We’re going to jump on the Cain wagon while we can, before the oxen die crossing the stream.