Echoes of the South Carolina presidential debates are still reverberating for many of us, including contributor Nancy Giles:
Want to know what makes me crazy?
In the recent South Carolina debate Newt Gingrich responded to a question about his second wife's charge that he'd asked for an open marriage. Gingrich replied, "I am appalled that you would begin a Presidential debate on a topic like that . . . the story is false . . . I'm tired of the elite media protecting Barack Obama and attacking Republicans."
I hate that, because I work in television, which is "the media," and we get a bad rap for everything. We're an easy target and always good for a "mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" crowd pleaser.
Sometimes we deserve the criticism. But when "the media" is used as a smokescreen, well, I have a problem with that.
There was a LOT of smoke blowing at Thursday night's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina . . . and it smelled like hypocrisy.
We already knew that Newt's been married three times. But what he and the various Mrs. Gingriches did or didn't do with him or others in whatever locations (and frankly I don't want to think about any of it) is private and none of my business.
Politicians? Get real. Billions of THEM (mostly male) engage in all kinds of naughty, immoral things when they're off the clock.
Okay, maybe not "billions," but their behavior is none of my business, either.
The right question to Mr. Gingrich should have been:
"You say you want to reduce the size of our government - yet you want to expand the government's reach by banning abortion and marriage equality.
"You've signed a marriage fidelity pledge - yet you had a six-year extramarital affair.
"You want to pair ghetto kids with janitorial jobs to teach them a work ethic, yet as Speaker of the House you were fined $300,000 for ethics violations.
"Isn't that hypocritical?"
THAT should have been the question!
Of course, Democrats do it, too, sometimes in bigger, splashier ways.
President Bill Clinton was considered a champion of women's rights, with a marriage that seemed to be a meeting of equals. Yet in private, he was chasing tail, which led to his impeachment for lying under oath about the Monica Lewinsky affair.
He's still highly thought of by some women's groups, and frankly I've never figured that out.
Mitt Romney believes in free enterprise, but he is bashful when questioned about his quarter-billion dollar personal fortune and the business practices that created his wealth. He squirms about paying a tax rate lower than middle class families. And he's coy about whether he'll release years of tax returns. ("Maybe!")
Isn't THAT hypocritical?
And there are religious leaders that aren't much different: Georgia megachurch pastor Eddie Long, a righteous opponent of gay marriage, was accused of having sex with four male parishioners. Let's just say he settled out of court.
Listen, I'm a spiritual person. I can believe in the power of forgiveness and redemption.
And if you guys will stop the hypocrisy . . . I'll forgive you.