Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dobson 'stuns' fellow fundies with Gingrich slander

In a meeting of 150 powerful evangelical Christian leaders last week in which the group voted to endorse former Sen. Rick Santorum, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson "stunned" fellow attendees when he attacked another candidate, former Rep. Newt Gingrich. Contrasting Santorum with the former House Speaker, who is infamous (apparently even among right-wing Christians!) for dumping two wives before settling on his present one Callista, Dobson said:

I want to tell you that I've gotten to know Karen [Santorum] and she is just lovely. She set aside two professional careers to raise these seven children. She would make a fabulous first lady role model. And Newt Gingrich's wife, she was a mistress for eight years. ... Who do you want as your first lady?

A "chill" set in the room, an attendee said, adding that many present were offended. That makes sense, as Gingrich, having converted to Catholicism to marry his present wife, has made the requisite apologies and repentences for dumping his first wife while she was in the hospital for cancer and cheating on his second during the same time he was leading the charge in Congress to impeach President Bill Clinton for like behavior. And in the evangelical world, you can be forgiven for anything. So for an evangelical to bring it up in a gathering of other evangelicals would indeed be shocking.

But all it really shows is Dobson's decreasing influence, even within the evangelical world. Like Pat Robertson, his high profile is about all that's left of his formerly dominant position; these withered eminences may still have their box seats, but they're like Marge Schott at a Reds game: not only do they no longer control the team, but the whole organization is embarrassed by them.

Meanwhile, Twitter is ablaze with rumors that a prominent interview with Gingrich wife no. 2 will be aired tomorrow on a major network. The former Marianne Gingrich spoke with Esquire in 2010 (via @hollybdc)

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