WASHINGTON, D.C. — In 1998, Newt Gingrich was the Speaker of the House in the United States House of Representatives.
A Republican, Gingrich was famously one of the loudest voices in congress pushing for a special prosecutor, investigation, impeachment, and — he had hoped — removal from office of President William Jefferson Clinton. At the center of the impeachment push was the fact that Clinton had lied under oath about a consensual sexual relationship he’d had with an intern on his staff, Monica Lewinsky. Gingrich and his party argued at the time that obstruction of justice, even in a case that involved lying about personal and private sex acts between consenting adults, rises to the level of the “high crimes or misdemeanors” that the Constitution sets as its only bar for removing a sitting president.
Some have noticed that Gingrich, who pressed for impeachment at least partially on moral and ethical grounds, was not so keen to criticize President Donald Trump, despite the fact that it’s now confirmed that Trump’s lawyer facilitated a payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about her sexual affair with Trump. The payment came toward the end of the 2016 presidential election and some legal experts have posited that it could constitute an illegal use of campaign funds.
Ms. Daniels sued Trump in court, saying that since he didn’t sign the non-disclosure agreement it was null and void. Later, Daniels’ attorney said that Trump had “further threatened” his client. Thus far, there have not been any congressional Republicans willing to go so far as Gingrich went during the Clinton administration. Mr. Gingrich never called Trump out in anywhere near the same terms as he did with Clinton’s sexual indiscretions.
Perhaps even more eyebrow-raising is the fact that Gingrich has defended Trump in the face of the former’s own impeachment crisis. Mr. Trump, feeling emboldened by the lack of concrete accountability in the face of the Mueller Report’s well-documented potential abuses of power, attempted to collude with the new President of Ukraine. However, a whistleblower complaint about those attempts and other abuses of executive power have brought Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi out of hibernation, and Trump now faces his own impeachment peril.
Today, Gingrich appeared on a conservative talk radio show and explained what he called “the numerous subtle but important differences between consensual blowjobs and open collusion with foreign governments to subvert our democracy.” The show’s host promised Mr. Gingrich that if he could explain his thinking well enough, he’d send him a gift certificate for a deep fried cheeseburger from his favorite deep fried cheeseburger restaurant.
Gingrich said he “relished” the opportunity to explain his thinking both back in the nineties and now.
“Absolutely, I’ll take that deal, because I’ve been hearing a lot of people criticize me for what they think is my hypocrisy on this issue,” Gingrich said. “But the truth is that there is a very subtle nuance to the difference between President Clinton and President Trump’s situations.”
The host told Gingrich to take all the time he needed. Gingrich thanked him, took a deep breath, and spoke.”
“Bill Clinton was a Democrat, Donald Trump is a Republican,” Gingrich declared. “There, I’ve explained it, can I have that deep fried cheeseburger now?”
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.