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Newt Gingrich Makes Dumb Marriage Pledge

Callista Gingrich can breathe a sigh of relief—Newt has pledged not to cheat on her. Sure he presumably made such a pledge before God when they exchanged marital vows, but now Newt is making his promise before a higher power, a social conservative group called The Family Leader.

Per Politico,  Gingrich initially declined to sign Family Leader’s pledge on marriage  and abortion over the summer, but has, in his own Newt way, signed on by  way of a lengthy letter supporting the various stipulations of the marriage pledge. He writes in part:

I also pledge to uphold the institution of marriage through personal  fidelity to my spouse and respect for the marital bonds of others.

As a general matter, the proliferation of signed campaign pledges  (including the godfather of them all, Grover Norquist’s no-new-taxes  pledge) is generally pernicious. The only pledge an office-holder should  be bound by is his or her vow to support and defend the Constitution.  Other iron clad pledges only serve to circumscribe the options available  when a pol leaves the campaign trail and has to actually govern.

But even in the spectrum of signed pledges, this one is dumb. Put aside for a moment the fact that a politician’s personal life is frankly irrelevant and unrelated to actual policies.

Suppose for a moment that you believe the state of a politician’s  marriage is actually relevant to his or her fitness for office. Does  anyone honestly believe that Gingrich (or any other politician) will  pull himself back from the brink of cheating because it would mean  breaking his vow … to The Family Leader?

 

By: Robert Schlesinger, U. S. News and World Report, December 13, 2011

December 14, 2011 - Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , ,

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