I am not a religious person now, but I remember this from the Christian teachings of my childhood—Matthew 7:5, King James Version: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
I thought of that teaching this morning, when I heard Thom say the following:
"...In Newt's case, he's hoping his fear-mongering about the world's largest religion will cause people to forget that he handed divorce papers to his second wife - who had been his high-school math teacher - when she was coming out of anesthesia after cancer surgery, and that his third wife is the House staffer he was having sex with in the back room in the Capitol between his excursions to the floor of the House to lead the prosecution of Bill Clinton for having sex with a consenting adult."
What struck me was Thom’s condemnation of Newt’s having sex with a staffer in a back room in the Capitol, while he implicitly let Clinton off the hook for similar behavior.
I realize I am the minority within my progressive community to have understood Mr. Clinton’s behavior with Monica to have been an example of sexual harassment. She was a young intern at the White House, and he was the most powerful employer in the world, but my progressive friends and relatives continue to insist she was a “consenting adult.” It’s as if progressives forgot everything they ever knew about the ethical issues—and the law!—surrounding such imbalances of power, and how “consent” really can only be claimed to exist within a context of equal power.
Sure, I agree the Republicans were hell-bent on ruining the Clinton Presidency, and their own sexual misbehavior disgustingly hypocritical. Regardless, I remain bewildered at liberal and progressive willingness to condemn and ridicule conservatives who behave badly, while they look the other way when it comes to the sexual misdeeds among their own. (Sorry Thom, but there I am.)
Also, such tolerance means powerful men get the message that they can ignore the rules since, well, being sexually aggressive is “natural to men.” For example, it’s within the realm of possibility that Al Gore’s accuser is telling the truth. If so, where would he have learned the lesson that “boys will be boys,” and “great men” misbehave and that’s okay?
Regardless, I don’t like Newt either, and Thom’s main point was a sound one.