Political baggage: Establishment and media manipulation
By Frank Salvato
As the 2012 Election primary seasons begins to ratchet-up, we had all better get ready for a onslaught of talk about "political baggage." Whether it's Mitt Romney's "Louis Vuitton baggage" of having hired illegal aliens to manicure his lawn or Rick Perry's "Cabela baggage" of having not painted over a racial epitaph on a rock outside a family hunting lodge or the "Bebe baggage" leveled at Herman Cain in the form of as of yet unsubstantiated accusations of sexual misconduct against disgruntled, Democrat operative represented, former employees, the political baggage angle is one that has toppled solid political candidates in the past and, if left unaddressed, will topple solid Republican candidates in the 2012 election.
As with all political baggage, there is always some truth to the matter. Mitt Romney's landscaping company did, in fact, break the law by hiring illegals to work on their crews. Gov. Romney, after warning the company that he could no longer employ their services should they continue the practice, terminated their services when it was found that they continued to employ illegals. And while it may have been true at one time that a rock outside of a family hunting lodge owned by Gov. Perry's family did offer-up a racial insensitivity, the offending label was painted over years ago. And Mr. Cain? Well, to date no substantial evidence has surfaced but for a Gloria Allred represented repeat complaint filer's word...you make that call.
The constant in each of these instances is a bloodthirsty media all too anxious to bring to trial in the court of public opinion those who possess an alternate political philosophy, regardless of fact or evidence. Today, unless you live in the squalid "utopia" that is an #Occupy encampment, it is universally recognized that but for a very few mainstream news media outlets the global community of journalists – and I use the word "journalist" for lack of a better term, although propagandist would be more appropriate – leans so far Left that they have to crane their necks just to see where Ché Guevara once stood. That acknowledged, these "journalists" target Conservatives, Libertarians, Constitutionalists and all others of a non-Progressive (read: neo-Marxist) bent. And one of their favorite tools is being able to define the "electability" of candidates.
Just like I continue to scratch my head over why the National Republican Party allows Blue States to influence the Republican primary field in the early goings, I am equally as perplexed as to why anyone voting in a Republican Primary Election would listen to anyone in the mainstream media regarding the "viability" or "electability" of a candidate, especially where the idea of "baggage" is concerned.
A perfect example of why we shouldn't place any value in the judgment of those in the mainstream media – and I am talking about anyone with a show and include anyone who places the title "strategist" behind their name – where political viability is concerned comes in the form of Newt Gingrich's media/pundit/strategist perceived "baggage."
Speaker Gingrich's baggage comes in the form of something all too common in the United States today: infidelity and divorce. The infidelity and divorce, in and of themselves, are not the baggage. If both were to be considered political liabilities tumbleweeds would be rolling down every street in Washington, DC, and the many State Capitols. No, Speaker Gingrich's baggage comes in the form of a grossly inaccurate portrayal of the circumstances surrounding those events in his life, beginning with the media's version of a singular visit with his ex-wife in a hospital so many years ago.
In the media version, Mr. Gingrich is an evil, contemptible man, as is illustrated by this piece of propaganda from Salon.com writer Joan Walsh:
As Mr. Gingrich's own daughter from that ill-fated marriage, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, testifies in a recent article:
Two very different stories to say the least.
And while marital infidelity is a painful issue for spouses to confront, in many instances leading to divorce and the destruction of the family, inevitably it is an issue for spouses and, if one believes, their God. In Speaker Gingrich's case, infidelity led to divorce; a divorce which both parties believed to be best for themselves and their children.
As for Speaker Gingrich's moral burden to bear regarding this issue, he said of his past indiscretions in a March, 2011 interview:
Tawdry, perhaps even distasteful; certainly a lapse in ethical judgment. But where "political baggage" is concerned, these personal issues are pre-minor league compared to the threshold of acceptability established by the very mainstream media propagandists who condemn Speaker Gingrich for his transgressions.
In 1998 President Bill Clinton and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky engaged in a prolonged and deviant extra-marital affair that took place, primarily, in the Oval Office of the White House. The sexual encounters included the President taking calls from Congressman while receiving oral sex from Ms. Lewinski and an account of his inserting his cigar in Ms. Lewinsky's vagina. Of the nine instances to which the offending parties admit took place, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton was present in the White House for at least some portion of five. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 by the US House of Representatives.
And while President Clinton's marital infidelities were morally egregious – and while they presented an insult to the American electorate in their having taken place in the Oval Office – the mainstream media chose to defend Mr. Clinton; to lionize him beyond reality, even as he lied to the courts, to Congress and to the American people about his infidelity; perjuring himself in the eyes of the law.
When one contrasts Speaker Gingrich's "baggage" to that of former-President Clinton one must conclude that Mr. Gingrich's, no matter how one feels about the morality of the issue, did not exist in violation of the law or the public trust, yet today the Obama Administration courts Mr. Clinton to campaign for President Obama's re-election, while disingenuous media operatives, pundits and so-called "strategists" opine critically about Mr. Gingrich's "baggage."
In 1989, ABC News reported:
And in 2009 –FOX News in Boston reported:
Rep. Frank is quoted as saying of the marijuana cultivation, sale and usage by his boyfriend that he is, "not a great outdoorsman," and "wouldn't recognize most plants."
Yet, Congressman Frank not only continues to serve in Congress – and in a senior leadership role, even being allowed to co-author the notorious Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Bill – he is treated as a champion of the Progressive Movement, if, for nothing else, being obstinate in his demand for special treatment for Liberal special interests and for his defense of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two institutions whose actions served as catalyst for the mortgage meltdown.
Again, when juxtaposing Speaker Gingrich's "baggage" with that of Congressman Frank's, one must conclude that, at the very least, Mr. Gingrich's indiscretions affected his family – exclusively, and in a way that resulted in Mr. Gingrich admitting to and taking responsibility for his actions. By contrast, Mr. Frank, to this day, feigns ignorance to the two events; one that required the intervention of law enforcement and the other which should have; events so uncomplicatedly obvious that to believe that Mr. Frank was oblivious to both is be believe him a simpleton; a moron, or at the very least, vacuous. Yet today, Mr. Frank is sought out by the propagandist media, the Progressive punditry and – again – the so-called "strategists" as an elder statesman, while the same cadre of intellectually dishonest narcissists rail on about Mr. Gingrich's perceived "baggage."
On the night of July 18, 1969, Sen. Edward Kennedy, brother of Pres. John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, drove his car off a bridge and into a pond on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard. Mr. Kennedy swam to safety leaving Mary Jo Kopechne, then 28, a campaign worker on his brother Robert's presidential campaign, to drown; trapped in his submerged car.
According to eNotes.com, a comprehensive fact-checked, online educational resource:
Her body was found inside the submerged car 10 hours later. Kennedy had not reported the accident at that time.
Again from eNotes.com:
Senator Kennedy was re-elected the following year with 62 percent of the vote. Ms. Kopechne is still dead.
Couple this with myriad brushes with law enforcement where alcohol was involved – and a divorce – and any attempt to compare Speaker Gingrich's marital issues with the deadly legacy left by Edward Kennedy would be laughable at best; contemptible in the least.
Yet today, according to The Daily Caller:
But, the media pundits and "political strategists" insist, Mr. Gingrich has baggage.
It should also be noted here, that the man that today's Right – that Republicans and Conservatives – revere the most, President Ronald Reagan, he, too, was divorced and remarried.
There are many of you who might think that I am acting the apologist for Mr. Gingrich. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Infidelity is, in many cases, a heartbreaking event for one spouse or both. It is a betrayal of trust and illustrates a personal weakness in those who engage in it. And while there are many reasons given for personal infidelity, none compares to being honest enough to examine the reasons why one would be moved to infidelity, if for no other reason than to come to an understanding about whether or not a marriage is working.
In Mr. Gingrich's case, he did come to address the issue with his then-wife, Jackie. They decided – mutually – to divorce. Where the clandestine act of infidelity gave way to honesty in divorce for the Gingrich's, it took the glare of the media spotlights to extract honesty for the Clintons. As for Barney Frank and the late-Teddy Kennedy...well, honesty just isn't – or wasn't, as the case may be – their "bag."
The fact of the matter is this. As sad as the state of our society is today where infidelity and divorce are concerned, they are more common than we are willing to admit. In fact, in Hollywood circles, infidelity is the catalyst for reality television and considered almost acceptable among the glitterati.
The point I am trying to make is this. In an age when the world is being enveloped in darkness – both ideologically and violently; when our country stands on the brink of deteriorating from a Constitutional Republic to a Socialist Democracy; when government has grown into such a behemoth that it is on the precipice of being the master to the very people who created it, We the People had better look beyond the imperfections of the personal man where "political viability" and "electability" are concerned.
Today, as we advance in the 2012 election cycle, We the People need the smartest man in the room at the helm of the Ship of State. We need someone who has humility enough to learn from past errors, correcting course when it is the best choice to make, leading our nation in this tumultuous time. We need someone who understands and respects the knowledge that only history can afford as we – as a nation; as the guardians of liberty – navigate the future.
What we cannot afford is to allow the narcissistic mainstream media talking heads, self-absorbed political pundits and the self-aggrandizing political strategists to talk us out of the smartest guy in the room simply because they believe his "baggage" is too heavy to carry.