So, it seems that an interview with the former Mrs. Gingrich the Second is coming out today; an interview in which the lady discloses that her husband at the time asked her for an “open marriage.”
I am of two minds about this sort of thing. On the one hand, I really, really don’t want to know about shit like this. I tend to try to avoid any involvement in the intimate lives of others; their private doings are no more my business than mine are theirs, thank you very much. Besides, the thought of Newt getting his freak on is something I would rather never have to contemplate for any reason.
On the other hand, though, if the issue in question has a direct bearing to the person’s job, then I do think that, at least to some extent, it should be fair game. The politician who goes around beating the “family values” drum but who, it’s later revealed, was also banging another woman outside of his own marriage (as in the case of our dear Mr. Gingrich) deserves all the scrutiny (and, frankly, public humiliation) available when the story breaks. Same goes for the anti-gay activist who gets busted for soliciting gay sex, or the cop caught dealing drugs, the teacher who aids students in cheating on tests, or…. or…. or… – the list of those kinds of ironic transgressions goes on and on.
I think this is part of what bothered me so much about the whole Anthony Weiner debacle. There was no need of that bit of adolescent nonsense going as far as it did (and I think that, had he not tried to lie his way out of it when the story first broke, it maybe wouldn’t have). Weiner wasn’t trying to cram his social ‘values’ into policy, he didn’t stand at his podium and loudly decry the degradation of the sanctity of marriage. He was being a scumbag for texting those inappropriate photos, but in the big picture, that didn’t have ANYTHING to do with the job he was doing; I didn’t see an ethical conflict.
In Newt’s case, though, I think it IS right that this becomes an issue (and, to be fair, I thought his personal behavior SHOULD have been a bigger issue than it was when he was spearheading the attack over the Clinton-Lewinski mess). Does a person have to be spotless to do his job? Of course not; but I do think that, before people start to throw stones at someone else’s glass house, they should make damned sure they’re not living in the same neighborhood.