During the weekend, Newt Gingrich won the primary in South Carolina.

What does this do for the current election season?

In the short-term it makes the next primary a little more viable, it makes the primary that will happen in my state in the month of March possible relevant. Can I say I really hate our current primary system? While there is hope that the mid-March primary in the State of Illinois will have meaning, I honestly doubt that it will. The candidate will be solidified by then and our turn will not matter.

I once saw a schedule breaking up the U.S. in six parts which would make campaigning-traveling sense and even out numbers. The sections would be rotated so that no one section would have 1st vote dominance except when it is their turn to go first. Guess that is a dream.

The primary results also makes Newt Gingrich appear to be a viable candidate.

But the truth is, even if I was of a Republican bent, I could never vote for Newt.

Image from Wikipedia

I find the man despicable. The reason why comes before taking money from Freddie Mac in the role as a historian, before being the only Speaker of the House to have 80+ ethical violations. It comes before divorcing his second wife six months after she was diagnosed with a chronic illness and then marrying his mistress of the past six years.

My issues with Newt have everything to do with how he treated his first wife, Jackie. The story usually goes that he served her divorce papers as she lay dying with cancer. That is the one I have heard over the years. But the truth more disgusting than that.

Jackie had been diagnosed with uterine cancer. Even so, she campaigned for him and she worked hard as she had done throughout their marriage. Seven years older, she put Newt through school so he  eventually held a doctorate and become a college professor. They had two daughters together. When he decided to hold public office, she was there by his side.

But Jackie was not pretty or young enough. He wanted to run for president,  needing a ‘Jackie O’ by his side and not the frumpy woman who was his wife. He filed for divorce and right there on the papers dug up by CNN it states that she did not want the divorce. That part of the story is old news. There have always been male professionals who divorced the women who supported them through med school or whatnot.

So how does it get worse?

Jackie was not served divorce papers on her death-bed. Instead she was in the hospital after having a tumor removed. She was in her room when Newt and the girls stopped by to see how Jackie is recovering. She was still groggy from surgery when Newt pulls out a yellow pad with the terms of their divorce, demanding she sign it there and then. At least that is how the story goes from the original article in Mother Jones magazine in 1984 but FactCheck.org disputes based on accounts from three people in that hospital room.

But that is not the worst of it. The worst is when Jackie and the girls move back to their home in Carrollton. The house has no utilities, no heat, no water no electricity. Newt refuses to give Jackie any money to support the girls. Their home church held a food drive for the family, they asked members to donate money so Jackie and the girls can get back on their feet.

It is only when Jackie states she is going to take Newt to court that he relents. He gets everything up to date and must make monthly payments to Jackie. By making this legal agreement, he manages to avoid the jury trial Jackie had requested.

Why are the actions from a broken marriage 30 years ago relevant? Because this is a man who runs on a ‘family values’ platform. This is a man who judged Bill Clinton on his lack of ability to keep his business in his pants – publicly. This is a man who wants to judge you and me on our private lives. And yet his past behavior is vile and disgusting.

His role as a father should have been to make sure his children had a place to call home that was functional. They only had it after Newt was being taken to court. In my world, we call this kind of man a SCUMBAG. That is detailed in court records and something Newt or his daughter cannot deny. I find this behavior very hard to forgive.

Understand that this is a man who campaigns on ‘family values’ but does not live those values. This is a man who changes wives for younger models on a regular basis. This is a man who expects to call others on their deepest sins but gets upset when the tables are turned on him.

This is a man who will never receive my vote or respect.

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