Newt Gingrich today said the sort of thing that he sometimes says — the sort of thing that makes him unelectable, to put it mildly. Talking to David Brody of CBN, he suggested that his adulteries were the result of working too hard for his country:
“There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” said Gingrich. “And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.
“I found that I felt compelled to seek God’s forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God’s forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God. Somebody once said that when we’re young, we seek justice, but as we get older, we seek mercy. There’s something to that, I think. … Callista and I have a great marriage. I think that I’ve learned an immense amount. And I do feel, in that sense, that God has given me, has blessed me with an opportunity as a person.”
See, he worked far too hard because he loved his country too much and then he acted wrongly, but fortunately God forgives, plus God blessed him with an opportunity as a person.
I’d spend some time parsing this, seeking to show how he simultaneously takes responsibility and doesn’t take responsibility and how he actually praises himself when he’s supposedly criticizing himself. But what’s the point? He’s a fascinating, and occasionally brilliant, political thinker, but one thing the merciful and forgiving God who has so blessed him did not bestow upon Newt Gingrich was a sense of when to stop talking.