Are They Forgiven?

By Jeffrey Page
Certain politicians think we’re a bunch of blithering idiots. How else to explain some of their statements when they seek forgiveness for their sexual or fiscal transgressions?

They look mournfully into the TV camera. They lower their voices. They sob once or twice but not too loudly. They dab at a tear. They tell us they’re sorry and offer explanations that are bizarre. And that, they hope, is the end of it.

The absolute, undisputed champion of this form of “apology” is Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House who once closed down the federal government because he was furious at having to sit in the rear of Air Force 1, far from President Clinton, on a flight back to Washington.

Recently, on the subject of his adultery, Gingrich declared: “There’s no question, at times in my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”

I knew about Dr. Johnson’s famous observation that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but now, thanks to Gingrich, I learn that love of country also happens to be the arch enemy of marriage, devotion, and honesty.

Can you hear Newt in the throes of passion informing his girlfriend, “Yeah, I love America; now let’s get it on!”

Newt, you’re telling us that America, the admittedly beautiful, is so alluring – so sexy – that your love of it forced you into the arms of another woman and she roused in you the same paroxysmal feeling in your loins that the nation did? Newt, give us a break.

Nowadays, Newt is thinking about running for president next year.

Let us now take it down a peg. Allow me to introduce Mr. Thomas W. Greto, a gentleman from South Jersey who is running for the State Senate.

The Associated Press reported over the weekend that Greto ran for a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1994 but disappeared around Election Day. It turned out that he was in jail on charges of having embezzled $400,000 from “friends and associates” in a business deal gone bad, AP said. It should be noted that Greto describes himself as a pro-business candidate and can be heard on the Internet proclaiming, “I want to restore fiscal sanity to New Jersey.”

Eventually, AP reported, Greto was found guilty of deceitful business practices, and spent two years behind bars. Get ready. Here comes Greto’s Great Gingrichism.

“It’s passé, it’s years ago,” Greto told the AP reporter over the weekend. “I know the Lord forgave me.”

Greto might hope God has forgiven him. But since God is not known to be an American citizen, and therefore likely not eligible to vote in Jersey, what Greto really needs is for the people of the First Legislative District of New Jersey to forgive him. They might not be so forgiving.

Jeff can be reached at

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One Response to “Are They Forgiven?”

  1. Jo Galante Cicale Says:

    i think the whole bunch of these hoodlums are nuts and are most americans now that stupid to vote for them. what’s sadder is the fact there aren’t any truly moral people running.

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