Newt Gingrich: Ethics Victim…Ethics Miscreant…Walking, Talking Ethics Lesson

The Ethics Lesson

I’m glad Newt Gingrich is in the presidential race, however foolishly and futilely. He is perhaps the perfect illustration of how a potential political leader’s private personal conduct is not only relevant to assessing his fitness to lead, but predictive of it. What makes Newt especially useful in this regard is that he is a Republican, and all the Democrats who are going to be sneering at his candidacy will have to square their attacks on his character with their indignant claims in 1998 that Bill Clinton’s adultery, sexual harassment and lies were irrelevant to his leadership—and they weren’t truly private or personal.  Similarly, Newt will be helpful to some of my ethically-addled trial lawyer friends who have argued that John Edwards is still a trustworthy lawyer, despite his betrayals of his dying wife, his family, his supporters and his party.

Of course private conduct is relevant to judging a leader, especially when private conduct shows an individual to be dishonest, disloyal, cowardly, ruthless, selfish and cruel—like Newt. Cheating on two wives and leaving both of them when they were battling health crises isn’t a mistake, or a coincidence, or a misunderstanding; it is a pattern, and a symptom. You can’t trust Newt. You can’t rely on Newt. You can’t believe Newt. Ask his ex-wives, and eventually, I am quite certain, his current one.

Today conservative talk radio is abuzz with Gingrich’s frenzied efforts to sooth the conservative faithful after he attacked Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget reforms over the weekend. What??? You mean Newt Gingrich stabbed a political ally and  fellow party stalwart in the back without warning? Who could have seen that coming? Oh, only everybody: You can’t trust Newt. You can’t rely on Newt. You can’t believe Newt. Ask his ex-wives.

It is all about ethics alarms, and politicians like Clinton, Edwards and Gingrich were born without a full operating set. Astoundingly, intelligent commentators, historians and citizens continue to tell us that despite the fact that the busted alarms fail to work when these leaders are dealing with the people they supposedly care about most, the alarms will magically be in top working order when these leaders are doing their jobs. Ethics doesn’t work that way. Human beings don’t work that way.

And Newt Gingrich doesn’t work that way.

The Ethics Miscreant

Gingrich announced his candidacy last week with an appearance on Fox’s “Sean Hannity Show,” and immediately demonstrated why he has no business leading anything except perhaps a former Speaker of the House parade. As was once said about Lillian Hellman, virtually everything Newt said was a lie, including “and” and “the.” The Washington Post fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, biased as he often is, couldn’t mess this one up: Newt gave him so much ammunition that if he wanted to bias his review of Gingrich’s appearance against Newt, he couldn’t concoct any spin that would make it worse than it already was.  Kessler evaluates politicians’ truthfulness by awarding between one and four “Pinnochios”; Newt’s Hannity lie-fest got four, and made it clear that he needs to expand the options to seven or maybe ten.

I was especially pleased with Kessler for focusing on what some will see as a trivial lie, Newt’s comment about Ronald Reagan’s film reviews. Newt told Sean:

“Ronald Reagan didn’t get up every morning and say, gee, I wish they like me. Ronald Reagan had been a movie actor. Only had one movie, ‘King’s Row,’ get a good review from the New York Times. Only one. But he had a pretty good career because it turned out that middle class, Middle America liked his movies.”

The context for this anecdote was Newt’s noting that the Northeast liberal media elite never respected Ronald Reagan because he was a conservative. As such, it is a misleading and dishonest statement of mind-blowing proportions. We must begin with the fact that Gingrich is a smart man. I once took part in a small group seminar on planning led by Newt back in the 80’s, and he was dazzling. He knows that the film reviewers weren’t biased by Reagan’s politics, because nobody knew or cared what Reagan’s politics were when he was a movie star. John Wayne’s movies were often panned by liberal reviewers out of ideological animus, but not Reagan’s. So Gingrich knows that the Times film reviews are a non-sequitur; if they were panned, it wasn’t because of politics, but because the reviewers thought the movies stunk, as in fact they often did. Still, Newt uses the story anyway, for the benefit of the ignorant, culturally illiterate and logically-challenged.

I detest that. I think we can often tell more about a politicians’ honesty through their small lies than their big ones, because small lies have small pay-offs, and cannot be rationalized as utilitarian tactics. A politician who lies when there is no benefit in lying is usually just a liar by nature.

Like Newt. It turns out, as Kessler documents, that Gingrich’s assertion about the Times film reviews was a total falsehood:

“Thanks to the fact the New York Times has posted many of the old Bosley Crowther reviews on the Internet, this is easily debunked.
We checked 10 of Reagan’s best-known movies. As mentioned, “King’s Row” (1942) was panned by The Times, as were “Working Her Way Through College” (1952), “Hellcats of the Navy” (1957), “The Killers” (1964) and “Storm Warning” (1951).  “Bedtime for Bonzo” (1951) got a lukewarm review. But these movies got positive notices, even raves: “Knute Rockne: All American” (1940), “Hasty Heart” (1949), “The Winning Team” (1952), and “Brother Rat” (1938). One wonders how and why Gingrich came to believe this fairy tale. Too good to check?”

No, that’s not it. Newt was talking to people (like Sean Hannity) that he knows wouldn’t bother to check. The story fits the conservative legend and narrative, so he made it up, confident that the viewers the tale was designed for would reason, “Well, even if it’s not literally true, the point is correct.” Gingrich is a trained scholar; if he cares about the facts, he knows how to confirm them.

The rest of Kessler’s piece just confirms what the imaginary film story proves. Newt Gingrich will lie whenever it suits his purposes.

The Ethics Victim

Besides disgracing himself by his own statements this weekend, Gingrich also fell victim to a blatant news media ethics foul that illustrates the First Sarah Palin Principle, which holds that even  when a political figure’s conduct deserves criticism, biased and unfair  news media treatment of her (or him) is still unethical. (The Second Sarah Palin Principle: “The fact that the news media is biased and unfair to a political figure doesn’t mean that her (or his) conduct isn’t still reckless, irresponsible, stupid or wrong.”) In a speech last week,  Gingrich  said,

“President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history. I would like to be the most successful paycheck president in American history.”

This is a clear and unremarkable statement. Gingrich was referencing the fact that under Obama, food stamp recipients have risen to 1 in every 7 citizen of the U.S. He was suggesting that what Obama has been successful at is increasing reliance on food stamps. As campaign rhetoric goes, it is within the rules. “He increased the number of people out of work, I’ll increase the number of people with jobs“—that’s what Newt said and meant, and any fair, intelligent listener heard it that way.

Not “Meet the Press” host David Gregory, however, who hit Gingrich with this:

GREGORY: First of all, you gave a speech in Georgia with language a lot of people think could be coded racially-tinged language, calling the president, the first black president, a food stamp president.

NBC should fire David Gregory, whose dim-bulb questions and naked bias disgrace the memory of Tim Russert and his predecessors. This was the worst example yet.

Gregory’s statement is racist. Who is equating being on food stamps with being black? Not Gingrich…Gregory. Who are the “lot of people” who think the phrase “food stamp president” is racially-tinged? A lot of morons? Gregory is the one giving them credibility. Let’s see…how could “food stamp president” be racist? Do more blacks than whites use food stamps? Er, no. Did Gingrich suggest that they did? Mmm…no again. Was Gingrich suggesting that President Obama is on food stamps? No, that wouldn’t make sense. Is this something that couldn’t or wouldn’t be said about any white president who, like Obama, has seen the number of citizens requiring federal assistance rise? Well, no. In fact, the phrase is unambiguously race neutral.

What Gregory did to Gingrich was to sucker punch him in the gut with an unjustified racism accusation on national TV, throwing Newt off-balance and turning a fair interview into a mugging and a smear. Gingrich should have said this:

“David, that is outrageous and unprofessional. There is no way my statement could be interpreted as having any racial content, coded or otherwise. You have 10 seconds to apologize to me, on TV, now, or I will walk off this set.”

And he should have walked. Moreover, every Republican, and every fair-minded Democrat, should agree to boycott “Meet the Press” until Gregory does apologize.

(And I should sprout wings and fly to Capistrano. I know, I know.)

It got worse. Later this week, the shameless MSNBC host Ed Schultz took the hand-off from Gregory and said this: 

ED SCHULTZ: Now as far as food stamps go, President Obama inherited, may we point out, an economic mess from President Bush that has led to a record number of Americans needing help just to put food on the table. Gingrich of course is hell-bent on election. He just wants to cut these 42, 44.2 million Americans who currently use food stamps to give tax breaks to old white millionaires. That’s his priority. If Gingrich has his way on food stamps, you know who it’s going to hurt? African-Americans, women and children, and millions of low-income families. The Republican Party still can’t win on issues so their only chance is to play the race card again.

Gingrich, of course, has never advocated eliminating food stamps. Nor did his “food stamp President” line evidence any hostility to the program whatsoever. Nevertheless, now two NBC hosts have suggested that Newt Gingrich is a racist with no justification whatsoever.

Newt’s not a racist. He’s just untrustworthy, and a walking, talking ethics lesson.

25 thoughts on “Newt Gingrich: Ethics Victim…Ethics Miscreant…Walking, Talking Ethics Lesson

  1. Don’t forget that Newt literally wrote both parties’ doctrine on “scorched-earth” partisanship, destroying our country. When the inevitable gridlock-induced apocalypse leaves us living in small communities at subsistence level, the young of my tribe will know the fools who drove them to this.

    Also, Camilla Gingrich looks SCARY. Do you think all the very obvious plastic surgery is because she fears the Eye of Newt will wander?

  2. Argh on a couple counts.

    What makes Newt especially useful in this regard is that he is a Republican, and all the Democrats who are going to be sneering at his candidacy will have to square their attacks on his character with their indignant claims in 1998 that Bill Clinton’s adultery, sexual harassment and lies were irrelevant to his leadership—and they weren’t truly private or personal

    Um. That’s simple. Bill Clinton was not a social conservative who preached family values. Gingrich is attacked for the hypocrisy of his behavior, not his behavior itself. Well, at least, that’s why halfway intelligent people attack him.

    Today conservative talk radio is abuzz with Gingrich’s frenzied efforts to sooth the conservative faithful after he attacked Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget reforms over the weekend. What??? You mean Newt Gingrich stabbed a political ally and fellow party stalwart in the back without warning? Who could have seen that coming? Oh, only everybody: You can’t trust Newt. You can’t rely on Newt. You can’t believe Newt. Ask his ex-wives.

    What? A politician claimed to be on one side of an issue, and then nearly immediately backtracked when it didn’t go over well with the base of his party? And it was reported? Shame on those journalists for reporting the proffered policy positions of presidential candidates. That is completely unfair of them. Also, I’m sure that being attacked from the right for being too far to the left is intended to bolster the previous attack from the left. That makes sense.

    Gregory’s statement is racist. Who is equating being on food stamps with being black? Not Gingrich…Gregory. Who are the “lot of people” who think the phrase “food stamp president” is racially-tinged? A lot of morons? Gregory is the one giving them credibility. Let’s see…how could “food stamp president” be racist? Do more blacks than whites use food stamps? Er, no. Did Gingrich suggest that they did? Mmm…no again. Was Gingrich suggesting that President Obama is on food stamps? No, that wouldn’t make sense. Is this something that couldn’t or wouldn’t be said about any white president who, like Obama, has seen the number of citizens requiring federal assistance rise? Well, no. In fact, the phrase is unambiguously race neutral.

    You believe alot of morons think foodstamps are linked to black people. These “morons” are also known as the base of the republican party. You don’t think that this couldn’t possibly have been a planned statement to appeal to that base? No. Never. While the statement is race neutral in reality, it isn’t race neutral to the audience. Oops.

    Moreover, this isn’t a one time event. What did Newt say on hannity last week? Oh right, this:
    If you look at the collapse of Detroit and the rise of Texas, and you say to yourself which would you like better, the state that had the most job creation in the past 10 years or a city which has collapsed? Talking to Gov. Rick Perry and others, I know how to make the whole country look like Texas. President Obama knows how to make the whole country resemble Detroit.

    Of course, he’s comparing a white state to a black city because, um, comparing a white state to a white state (Michigan) would make much more sense. Looking like Michigan isn’t considered a bad thing to his audience, even though the entire state is going down the hole. Note that Newt calls Detroit a state – even his subconscious realizes his comparison made no sense.

    When you invoke the southern strategy, other comments that could be invoking said strategy will be interpreted as such by pundits. Why? Because of priming. The pundits are primed to look for southern strategy talk and the audience is primed to hear the codewords and effects (making the pundits correct).

    I’m sure there are ways Gingrich is unfairly attacked, but the above attacks are not unethical.

    • Arrgh back at you.

      What makes Newt especially useful in this regard is that he is a Republican, and all the Democrats who are going to be sneering at his candidacy will have to square their attacks on his character with their indignant claims in 1998 that Bill Clinton’s adultery, sexual harassment and lies were irrelevant to his leadership—and they weren’t truly private or personal

      Um. That’s simple. Bill Clinton was not a social conservative who preached family values. Gingrich is attacked for the hypocrisy of his behavior, not his behavior itself. Well, at least, that’s why halfway intelligent people attack him.

      Clinton was the President of the United States, and that means his values are important. The hypocrisy argument is not the reason to criticize Newt, not in the least. There was nothing inconsistent with impeaching a president who lied under oath about a workplace affair (in violation of a law HE SIGNED HIMSELF, I might add—THAT’S hypocrisy!) and orchestrated a cover-up involving his cabinet and involving misleading a federal grand jury and Gingrich’s own rotten conduct.

      Today conservative talk radio is abuzz with Gingrich’s frenzied efforts to sooth the conservative faithful after he attacked Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget reforms over the weekend. What??? You mean Newt Gingrich stabbed a political ally and fellow party stalwart in the back without warning? Who could have seen that coming? Oh, only everybody: You can’t trust Newt. You can’t rely on Newt. You can’t believe Newt. Ask his ex-wives.

      What? A politician claimed to be on one side of an issue, and then nearly immediately backtracked when it didn’t go over well with the base of his party? And it was reported? Shame on those journalists for reporting the proffered policy positions of presidential candidates. That is completely unfair of them. Also, I’m sure that being attacked from the right for being too far to the left is intended to bolster the previous attack from the left. That makes sense.

      I don’t see your point, or you don’t see mine. There was nothing objectively wrong with what Newt said. But the Party is involved in a showdoen over the budget, and Gingrich’s commens undermined his own Party for (he thought) political gain.

      Gregory’s statement is racist. Who is equating being on food stamps with being black? Not Gingrich…Gregory. Who are the “lot of people” who think the phrase “food stamp president” is racially-tinged? A lot of morons? Gregory is the one giving them credibility. Let’s see…how could “food stamp president” be racist? Do more blacks than whites use food stamps? Er, no. Did Gingrich suggest that they did? Mmm…no again. Was Gingrich suggesting that President Obama is on food stamps? No, that wouldn’t make sense. Is this something that couldn’t or wouldn’t be said about any white president who, like Obama, has seen the number of citizens requiring federal assistance rise? Well, no. In fact, the phrase is unambiguously race neutral.

      You believe alot of morons think foodstamps are linked to black people. These “morons” are also known as the base of the Republican party. You don’t think that this couldn’t possibly have been a planned statement to appeal to that base? No. Never. While the statement is race neutral in reality, it isn’t race neutral to the audience. Oops.

      Come on. Bullshit. George Bush expanded the eligibility for food stamps. The Republicans Even if you were right, the statement Gingrich made can’t reasonably be interpreted that way. It’s not racist on its face, and saying “it’s code racist because of the party you belong to” is Keith Olbermann stuff—e.g. unfair, illogical, offensive. The presumption that the core conservative/Republican audience is racist is really beyond the pale (no pun intended). It is completely off the mark when applied to Gingrich, who is many, many bad things, but a racist he’s not, except by the “if you think Obama is a lousy president, you’re racist” standard….which is wearing even thinner than it was to start with.

      Moreover, this isn’t a one time event. What did Newt say on Hannity last week? Oh right, this:
      “If you look at the collapse of Detroit and the rise of Texas, and you say to yourself which would you like better, the state that had the most job creation in the past 10 years or a city which has collapsed? Talking to Gov. Rick Perry and others, I know how to make the whole country look like Texas. President Obama knows how to make the whole country resemble Detroit.”

      Of course, he’s comparing a white state to a black city because, um, comparing a white state to a white state (Michigan) would make much more sense. Looking like Michigan isn’t considered a bad thing to his audience, even though the entire state is going down the hole. Note that Newt calls Detroit a state – even his subconscious realizes his comparison made no sense.

      When you invoke the southern strategy, other comments that could be invoking said strategy will be interpreted as such by pundits. Why? Because of priming. The pundits are primed to look for southern strategy talk and the audience is primed to hear the codewords and effects (making the pundits correct).

      Bullshit II! The collapse of Detroit has been in the news prominently, and is not a synonym for “black”—it’s a synonym for “murder.” And Texas is hardly white. this is all such a stretch, tgt. Are you serious?

      I’m sure there are ways Gingrich is unfairly attacked, but the above attacks are not unethical.

      There was nothing racist about his statement. It was clear. You don’t think even Schultz’s comment, which was pure fiction (about wanting to eliminate food stamps?) was unfair? Total fabrication isn’t unfair?

      • 1) re: Clinton:
        You can attack both Clinton and Newt based on the bad character in their personal lives. I won’t join you. You can attack Clinton based on his lying and covering up. I will join you (even if it’s irrelevant to the point at hand).

        I (and the left) will keep attacking Newt based on his blatant hipocrisy. And there’s nothing ethically wrong with it.

        2) re: that hard to categorize next bit

        Based on the italics of the repeated refrain, you were attempting to show an unfair pattern of the media attacking Newt. I was pointing out that this wasn’t accurate.

        3) re: the food stamp dog whistle

        Yes, people believe more black people are on welfare than white people. Guess what? By proportions, that’s 100% true. Thinking that welfare means “help for black people” is not new. It’s based on average Joes (with help from some horrible pundits and politicians) linking the two together in the 90s. They are linked, and there’s no removing that link, no matter how much you want it gone. Denying reality doesn’t change reality.

        4) The texas / detroit dog whistle

        The average Joe thinks of Texas as white, not black (partially correctly). The average Joe thinks of Detroit as Black (correctly). Again, reality doesn’t matter in the Southern Strategy, general perception of reality is what matters. I’m 100% serious.

        5) re: Schultz’s statement

        I had an ambiguous antecedent. I was referring to the attacks I disagreed with, not your attack on schultz, so this is moot.

        That said, Gingrich is for reducing the social safety net, so Schultz’s overall point could have been true, but his implication that this specific statement meant gutting welfare was completely unethical.

    • I believe I misinterpreted something. When you said:

      Who are the “lot of people” who think the phrase “food stamp president” is racially-tinged? A lot of morons?

      While I took it to mean you were questioning who would actually link those in their head, I think you may have have been saying that the people calling Newt out on his race baiting are morons. If that’s the case, I have a separate response. These are just the people who both understand the republican base and are not happy with the (effective) use of the southern strategy. Basically, smart liberals and smart ethical people. Those morons.

      • Well, I guess yes, those morons. Because for it to be any better than Moronic, there would have to be some clear language interpretation t support that. Recall that he contrasted “food stamps” with “pay check.” That’s parallel construction, which most non-morons know sets up a contrast or equivalency. If Newt said, “Three little fishes in an itty bitty pool” and “lots of people’ said that was racist code, I’d say they were morons. And what Newt says no more supports an implication of racism than that, unless you are arguing that simply mentioning Obama and food stamps in the same sentence is racist. I know you wouldn’t, though, because you’re not a moron.

        David Gregory, however, is.

        • Saying that Obama balloons programs for lazy blacks (food stamps in common parlance) instead of creating jobs (for the rest of us) is preying on racism.

          • Depends. I could see someone like black Republican pundit Thomas Sowell saying “President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history” as well, but I would doubt that his actual intention would be to exploit anti-black racism.

            Then again, this is ye old bastard Newt, and I do hate legitimate race-baiters (as opposed to those unlucky candidates who get racist supporters even when they’re not deliberately attempting to court racists in anyway).

            • Since all US Presidents have been white, that couldn’t be a racist statement even if it was made by Aryan Nation. Frankly, I can’t believe we’re having this discussion.

              “Food stamp president” does not and cannot be taken to mean ‘black president’ unless one is trying to manufacture a bogus offense….like David Gregory, and I guess tgt. It’s a double standard, that’s all. When Biden said that Obama was a great black candidate because he was “clean,” nobody accused him of being racist—and that WAS offensive, except that Biden doesn’t know what he’s saying most of the time and the American media decided long ago to let him get away with virtually anything short of falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
              But he’ll do that eventually too.

              • Since all US Presidents have been white, that couldn’t be a racist statement even if it was made by Aryan Nation. Frankly, I can’t believe we’re having this discussion.

                Racist isn’t the ideal term. The southern strategy isn’t racist, it just preys off of racism.

                Food stamp president” does not and cannot be taken to mean ‘black president’ unless one is trying to manufacture a bogus offense….like David Gregory, and I guess tgt. It’s a double standard, that’s all. When Biden said that Obama was a great black candidate because he was “clean,” nobody accused him of being racist—and that WAS offensive, except that Biden doesn’t know what he’s saying most of the time and the American media decided long ago to let him get away with virtually anything short of falsely shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

                Biden was trying to tamper the fears of racist people while Newt is trying to inflame them.

                • I think you’re unfair to Newt, who does not count race-baiting among his myriad of flaws, and generous to Biden, who never has any idea what the hell he’s trying to do. But both have a track-record for poor choices of words out of pure carelessness and foot-in-mouth disease.

                  • I’ll take the Biden point, but not the Newt one.

                    I’m sure this is surprising, but I actually don’t think Newt would be a horrible president. Why? He’s whip smart and has a nose for effective strategy. While I don’t agree with all of his ethics and end goals, I do believe he would be a net benefit for the nation (as opposed to stagnation). He would get things done. His biggest flaw as a leader is sometimes being too clever for himself.

                    Newt has been intelligently playing the angles since the early 80s. While I believe that Bachmann pulls stuff out of her ass, I never get the feeling that Newt is ever off the reservation.

  3. I want to second one of your corrections to tgt, Jack. I don’t know how much time tgt has spent in the state of Texas, but its diversity is diverse (and if it should somehow turn out that tgt has spent time in Texas, I can only conclude that he didn’t get out much). More to the point, though: exactly what is a “white state?” So far as I know, no group—racial, ethnic, religious, etc.—can lay claim to a state. Or was I not paying close enough attention during all my old government classes in school?

    • As I clarified above, it’s beliefs of the population at large, really what politicians think the general population believes, not reality.

        • Maybe it’s more telling of your perception of the general poulation than of the general population’s perception of Texas, than this post might make sense. As it is, it appears your attributing the belief that Texas is white to me.

          I know, my point has a couple levels of who believes what, but it’s not that bad.

          • Ugh. Lets try that again.

            If you had said: “Maybe it’s more telling of your perception of the general poulation than of the general population’s perception of Texas” then you would have made sense. As it is, it appears you’re attributing the belief that “Texas is white” to me.

            I know, my point is a couple levels deep, but it’s not that bad.

  4. That’s a fairly obscure reference for the “only well-reviewed movie of Reagan’s career”. Did he figure no one had seen or heard of “Knute Rockne: All-American?” (By the way, put that in your Netflix queue if you haven’t seen it; it both creates and transcends a lot of what we now know as sports biopic cliches.)

    • It is a great film, and Ronnie is great in it as George Gipp. And when Reagan was in supporting roles, his films were often well-reviewed. He was a good actor who usually starred in B films and was a supporting player in good ones….like his films backing up Errol Flynn.

  5. My dad-in-law worked with Newt on creating Tricare (military’s insurance system) years ago. Newt was 2 different people: the guy inside the meeting where no press were and the guy outside on TV, slinging mud in Congress. What he wanted Tricare to be was a predecessor to a more national system. No, healthcare ain’t a Constitutional right, but as my pal Bill Aitken says, it’s NECESSARY for the health of the republic. But Newt played both sides of the fence at times on it and other issues. Further proof Newt is not trustworthy. Amen, Jack. What’s weird to me is that people need to re-learn this lesson from the 90s. I won’t tell you how old I was then, but I was young enough to have easily missed it, but DIDN’T, because it was SO OBVIOUS. I’m kinda strong, but I can’t heave him far, and I trust him less far than I can throw him.

  6. Jack Marshall, have you written a similar article on the ethics of Barack Obama? If Gingrich becomes the Republican nominee, can we expect your examination of Obama’s ethics? Is fairness an ethical consideration?

    • Tell you what, Stephen: why don’t you type “Obama” into the site’s search engine before you start accusing me of pro-Obama bias? It does me no good to write on topics if people like you willfully ignore them so they can accuse me of not writing about what I write about regularly and use that falsehood to blindly defend their favorites.
      Ethically, it makes Newt no more ethical for Obama to have ethical flaws too. That’s Ethics 101. Get reading.

      • Tell you what, Jack: why don’t you write about Obama’s ethics so when I search “Obama” in your site’s search engine I’ll find something. Give me a title like “Obama’s ethics.” I repeat my question: Is fairness an ethical question?

        • Tell ME, Stephen, can you use a search engine? The first criticism of Obama I see going back is December 10. The next two are in October. There are many more from there.

          Not that I have any obligation to equalize criticism by some weird formula. Obama’s ethics don’t make Newt’s better or worse, and vice-versa. I was writing about Newt, not Obama. When I write about Obama, I’m not writing about Newt. “He’s unethical too” is not a defense.

          When you master that search engine thing, look up “fairness.” You are a lttle confused.

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