Assuming Marianne Gingrich’s allegations are true, Newt Gingrich reacted to news of his own wrongdoing by attempting to justify his deplorable behavior (asking for an “open marriage” after he’s already cheating) and then proceeding to continue down that path anyway (dumping Marianne for Callista). While most would be repelled by such actions, Dr. Keith Ablow of Fox News’ “Medical A-Team” believes Gingrich’s personal choices would not negatively impact his performance as president. In fact, Ablow argues’ that Gingrich’ ability to attract so many women is a sign that the rest of the country will fall for him too:
You can take any moral position you like about men and women who cheat while married, but there simply is no correlation, whatsoever—from a psychological perspective—between whether they can remain true to their wedding vows and whether they can remain true to the Oath of Office. [...]
Conclusion: When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.
Ablow’s words speak for themselves, and should not be surprising. Here’s a look back at how Fox News’ resident psychiatrist regularly insists on letting men off the hook for failed marriages:
- Marriages are failing in the U.S. because, under current legal constructs, “the vast majority of married people consider their unions a source of pain, not pleasure” and “too few of them are equipped with the psychological and behavioral tools to achieve true intimacy or maintain real passion.”
- The “epidemic of absentee fathers in this country” can be blamed on the fact men are not allowed to veto abortions.
- Maria Shriver should have taken back Arnold Schwarzenegger because she should have known that he harbored “deep questions… about his real worth and whether or not he was truly lovable.”
- Prince William and Kate Middleton shouldn’t be too optimistic about the longevity of their marriage because William was “raised by two parents who were very ambivalent about one another” and “these dynamics tend to reproduce themselves, from generation to generation.”
- Elin Woods should have taken back Tiger Woods because “her willingness to accompany her husband to a rehabilitation clinic (even if that exercise turns out to be a sham) is testimony to love being greater than fear or grief or rage.”
At the very least, Ablow’s “expert” point of view seems to be that men don’t need to be accountable to their marriages, but it could very well be a complete endorsement of cheating. After all, as he writes, “in the aftermath of an affair… spouses can… resolve to know one another at a more intimate level than ever.” But given that he seems to lean more toward wanting marriages to stay together, his defense of Gingrich’s indignant infidelity and complete dismissal of what it says about the candidate’s character is more likely just Ablow’s foolhardy attempt to join the chorus of conservatives pretending not to care about social morality.
This post originally identified Dr. Ablow as a psychologist. It has been corrected to identify him as a psychiatrist.