Saturday, January 21, 2012

A pretty good couple of moments for Newt

Today is the date of the South Carolina primary, and it looks as if the conservative vote is going to rally around Newt Gingrich. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum are both dropping off in the SC polls. Right now, Romney is ahead in Florida (which will be Tuesday, January 31), but that is certain to change if the headline in SC reads "Newt Wins South Carolina".


  1. "The destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder….to attract decent people to run for public office," –Newt Gingrich on why he’s able to run for president

  2. Hilarious for Newt to complain about the questions when he let a charge against Clinton for two years...while he was cheating himself!

    Heck, he cheated on his you think he might cheat on the voters?

  3. Whatever Newt is doing, it's working for him at the moment.

  4. Pragmatism. And playing on the fact that all voters have skeletons in their closets they wouldn't want the media to broadcast.

  5. Pragmatism...

    Politics is the art of the possible. At some point, somebody had to say to the media what he said. To his credit, he had the platform to be able to say it forcefully, right to their faces.

  6. I wonder if he'll be pushing the "family values" platform this election.

    This does bring up a pertinent question: if one really "repents" of having committed adultery (as Newt has said he has done), can one continue the adulterous relationship with the mistress by simply divorcing their other wife?

    The attitudes of most of Christendom throughout the centuries seems to suggest not. Tertullian objected to a woman's remarrying even after her husband's death. Martin Luther held that the original husband and wife must either reunite or remain celibate. Aquinas also said that to remarry is to commit perpetual adultery (Luke 16:18?).

  7. It's 8:05 as I write this, and Drudge has ABC News projecting a win for Newt.

    I don't know any of the details, but this will shape the race from here out.

    James, it appears as if there will be all kinds of discussion over the question you asked.

    FWIW, I think it'd be something to see Newt go head to head in a debate with Obama.

  8. Newt must have gotten annulments for his previous marriages. If one of his putative wives had previously been validly married, or if Newt didn't intend fidelity when he entered into the union, these would be valid grounds.

  9. Maybe he just could afford them. In some cases, that in itself constitutes valid grounds.

  10. Wondering what John or Steve or Jason or others thinks about Voddie Baucham's endorsement of Ron Paul and your thoughts about this:

  11. Hey Ken, I've read the article. I have nothing against Ron Paul. I voted for him in 2008, when he and McCain were the only ones on the ballot. (I took my then 10-year-old daughter into the voting booth with me).

    My statement to her was, "Ron Paul, no chance at all". That's because, at the time of the Pennsyvanian Primary, McCain had a lock on the nomination, and everyone else had dropped out.

    I think it was Charles Krauthammer who recently had a column noting that Ron Paul's most significant contribution to politics in the US would not be that he would win the Presidency, but rather, that he would help to put a movement (for fiscal responsibility) on the map.

    That said, I don't think "Libertarianism" is going to be a force for politics in the near future, though it will always be a live impulse. It's just not going to win elections, so long as there are strong and defined interests among the Democrat and Republican parties.

    Some folks here have objected to the term "get things done in Washington", and I agree, when Washington is in "gridlock", and when nothing is getting done, that's good to a degree.

    But there will always be "interests" competing for power, and I believe that unless they are opposed by other "interests" (see Federalist 51), the strongest "interests" will always have their way. (And while political parties weren't written into the constitution, Federalist 51 describes the very way that they function).

    So the Libertarian impulse, as noble and as truly American as it is, insofar as it is a non-public impulse, is always going to be swept under by the louder interests who do actively vie for power and consideration, who do build political coalitions that work together with political parties to "get things done".

  12. From Federalist 51:

    But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.

    It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

    In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

    I think this was an extremely wise analysis on the part of the founding fathers.

  13. "Newt must have gotten annulments for his previous marriages. If one of his putative wives had previously been validly married, or if Newt didn't intend fidelity when he entered into the union, these would be valid grounds."

    Newt was married to his first wife for 18 years and had two children by her. The idea that such a marriage can be set aside by "annulment" long after divorce occurred is a travesty.

    Newt was married to his second wife for 19 years. I read an article that said he sought annulment of the second marriage on the grounds that his second wife had been previously married. But, of course, he himself had been married previously.

    He could probably get an annulment due to lack of full consent for his first marriage due to the fact that he married his high school Geometry teacher (i.e. he felt pressured into the marriage by an authority figure). His first child was born the year following his wedding - not sure about the dates, but "pregnancy pressure"/"shotgun marriage" is related "lack of full consent" ground.

    Ultimately, though, Rome's practice is that annulments are generally allowed so long as the man requesting them is wealthy enough. That's why Henry VIII was so irritated when he didn't get the annulment he wanted. It's nothing new - and it should be something condemned by Rome's apologists, not defended by them.

    I'm sure that some of the more responsible apologists will approve of the rules in theory (some marriages really are invalid and should be annulled) while acknowledging the abuse of these rules in practice.


  14. The idea that such a marriage can be set aside by "annulment" long after divorce occurred is a travesty.

    Hi Tfan -- Thanks for your analysis on this.

    Ben Douglass's response here is just one of the reasons why it's possible to love Roman Catholics and hate Roman Catholicism (as articulated by "the Roman Catholic Church").

    The "infallible" Magisterium almost literally coerces smart people to adopt such "travesties" as this, in the name of "faith" and "obedience".