Thought I’d better share with you this startling development:
Remember that pledge that a conservative Christian group in Iowa asked all the Republican candidates to take this summer? The one that made them vow to uphold the institution of marriage (and reject pornography, and Islamic law, and marriage rights for gays, and…)?
Newt Gingrich declined to sign it back then, when he was way behind in the polls. But now, it seems, he has changed his mind. USA Today reports Gingrich has now signed the pledge, which, among other things, commits him to supporting a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Oh yes, and it commits him to not committing adultery—something he has been known to do on a few occasions in the past. Twice-divorced, he began an affair with his current wife, Callista, while still married to another woman in 1993.
In a letter explaining his support for the pledge, circulated by the Iowa Family Leader, Gingrich wrote, “I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.” Politico has the full letter here….
Earlier today, in connection with Newt, we were having a discussion about various Semitic peoples. In the argot of one of those peoples, what Newt has just exhibited is called chutzpah.
Slate examines the subject of whether Newt Gingrich is more than merely an excitable boy:
Is Newt Nuts?
Consider the symptoms: Bouts of grandiosity, megalomania, irritability, impulsiveness, spending sprees …
… We’re quick to describe politicians whose views we find extreme or whose behavior seems odd as “crazy,” and perhaps anyone who runs for president in some sense is. But I’ve long wondered whether Newt Gingrich merits that designation in a more clinical sense. I’m not a psychiatrist, of course, and it’s impossible to diagnose someone at a distance. Without medical records that he hasn’t released, we can’t know whether Gingrich may have inherited his mother’s manic depression. Nevertheless, one observes in the former House Speaker certain symptoms—bouts of grandiosity, megalomania, irritability, racing thoughts, spending sprees—that go beyond the ordinary politician’s normal narcissism.
One possibility is that Newt suffers, and benefits from, the milder affliction of hypomania. In his 2005 book The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America, John D. Gartner, a Johns Hopkins psychiatrist, argues that this form of extreme optimism explains the achievements of everyone from Christopher Columbus to Andrew Carnegie. Gartner writes: “Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence, and really big ideas. They think, talk, move, and make decisions quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions ‘just doesn’t get it.’” Hypomanics lack discipline, act on impulse, suffer from over-confidence, and often lack judgment.
Is Newt delusional? Yes… except… the world keeps conforming itself to his delusions, making them reality.
I mean, he was crazy to run… I mean, come on, a guy with his baggage? But now he’s the frontrunner.
He had the same thing happen in the early 90s. He was the mad insurgent, the bomb-throwing back-bencher who thought he was born to rule — but he became speaker. The world changed in order to fit his megalomaniacal delusion.
It’s kind of like the Alvin Greene phenomenon. He was crazy to run, right? But he won. So who’s crazy?
Kathryn, to whom I think the topic is near and dear, brings this to my attention:
Former state Attorney General Henry McMaster on Monday lost his legal challenge as a landlord of Columbia’s law that barred students from creating mini-dormitories in residential neighborhoods.
In a 5-0 vote, the S.C. Supreme Court rejected McMaster’s argument that the city’s zoning ordinance capping at three the number of unrelated people who may share a residence. McMaster, through his PJM Properties, contends the ordinance violated the state constitution’s due process clause…
For those who wish to delve deeper, here’s a copy of the actual decision.
On Sunday, my youngest grandchild had her 2nd birthday party at The Columbia Marionette Theatre. I liked the above image I shot when she and a friend were exploring backstage. Then I shot another, with the hanging marionettes above, which I think was better-framed, but lacks the kinetic element of the little intruders in the puppet kingdom.
I couldn’t make up my mind, so I gave you both.
You’re wondering about the huge figure that looks like a malproportioned cross between a Madonna and Child and a Pietà. That’s part of a set of figures owned by a local church, which the Marionette Theatre is refurbishing. It’s what makes the image.
On the whole, it’s slightly more… disturbing… than your usual holiday image. Maybe it’s that scary guy on the throne up above the huge Madonna. Maybe it’s the shadows. What do you think?
Rick Perry has outdone himself this time:
Hours after Saturday’s presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry continued his string of memorable campaign gaffes.
CNN Political Ticker reports that Perry campaignedin the Hawkeye State, stopping in Ames. He focused on energy, taking shots at the Obama administration’s handling of government spending.
“No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money,” Perry said. “I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda.”
You know that country, don’t you? It’s one of the three in the Axis of Doh!
Nikki Haley is now less popular in South Carolina than Barack Obama:
South Carolinians have soured on Nikki Haley, turning the relatively new governor from a national Tea Party favorite into a chief executive struggling to maintain support among members of her own party, the latest Winthrop University poll shows.
Only 34.6 percent of those surveyed — 1,073 registered S.C. Democrats, Republicans and independents — said they approved of Haley’s job performance, according to the poll. Far more — 43 percent — said they disapprove of the way the Republican is handling her job as governor. The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 2.9 percent percentage points.
Haley’s approval rating is lower than that of President Barack Obama, a Democrat, according to the poll. Obama has a 44.8 percent approval rating in strongly Republican South Carolina, according to the Winthrop poll….
This has to be a bitter pill for Nikki, since she ran against Barack Obama. That was her whole strategy. What’s she going to do next time? Will she be reduced to actually running against the Democratic nominee for governor? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, in a totally unrelated development, I was reading something about bad poetry over the weekend, and it inspired me to revive my “news haiku” feature.
Oh, stop yer bellyachin’! You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. Even I admit this isn’t good haiku (where, for instance, is the nature reference?). But I thought it had a certain poignancy to it:
She’s Nikki Haley,
our shiny, national star!
Why don’t we love her?