Newt Gingrich built his career on the notion that he was the great defender of “family values.” Unfortunately, public piety did not match his private prurience. Any honest American would acknowledge that Gingrich is no true social conservative. While he became famous bashing liberals, he has lived quite the libertine lifestyle. Instead of family protection, Gingrich’s behavior has been a case study of projection — with the former House speaker enthusiastically engaging in the very behaviors he falsely ascribes to liberals.

Yesterday, his second wife, Marianne, claimed that Gingrich wanted an open relationship so he could continue his dalliance with his current wife Callista. When this important subject was brought up in the CNN debate last night, Gingrich blasted the moderator and acted holier-than-thou. The fact is, if you are going to run on a “family values” platform, you have no right to whine when your own personal behavior, moral character, and stunning hypocrisy are up for debate. According to an editorial in today’s New York Times:

In this political cycle, it is Newt Gingrich who has been unable to escape the toxic combination of infidelity and sermonizing. The stories about his three marriages have been known for years, but every time he seems to have escaped the wrath of Republican voters, they rise again.

On Thursday, they were resurrected by his second wife, Marianne, who told ABC News that he had sought an “open marriage” arrangement in 1999 so that he could have her blessing to conduct an affair while remaining married to her. She refused, the couple divorced, and the woman he had been seeing is now his third wife, Callista Gingrich, who accompanies him everywhere on the campaign trail. Mr. Gingrich later denied the claim.

Marianne Gingrich’s most devastating memory is that the day after his request, Mr. Gingrich gave a speech entitled, “The Demise of American Culture.” Among other things, he said in the speech that the elimination of prayer in schools had left American teenagers morally adrift.

Newt is now trying to bully the media for asking questions. He is also trying to slime his former wife — even dragging out his children to defend him. No doubt his offspring have an incentive to back dear old dad if they want to remain in his ever-ballooning will. At least what is left of it before he blows it all on Callista at Tiffany’s.

The fact is, Marianne has had many years to attack Newt and refrained from doing so. If she were only out to hurt him, she would have divulged this information years ago. She is clearly doing the nation a service by talking now — and saving America from this lowlife charlatan who would exploit this country just as he uses the women in his life. It appears that Gingrich is an ego-maniac with absolutely no conscience. More than any single person alive he is responsible for creating the ugly climate of hyper-partisanship that mars capitol hill.

Newt Gingrich ought to be ashamed of himself. He should not scapegoat the media or defame his ex-wives. He should look in the mirror and cry in disgust at the poor moral choices he has made that have hurt so many innocent people.

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