What about Gingrich?

At the very same time as Clinton’s impeachment trial was being put together, Newt himself was carrying on an affair -- with the woman he later married after he divorced wife #2. Newt, I’m quite sure, would love to split hairs on how his adultery lies weren’t really the same thing as Bill’s. Newt would say, I’m quite certain, that Bill Clinton lied under oath -- while Newt himself wasn’t being sworn in anywhere in conjunction with his own adultery. And if any of you readers is buying that childish hair-splitting, I’ve got some prime oceanfront property in Wyoming I’d love to sell you.

Really -- truly -- “hypocrisy” is too mild a word to describe the audaciousness of Gingrich’s prosecution of Bill Clinton at the same time he was deceiving his own wife, children, colleagues, friends -- not to mention his entire constituency and the whole American people.

But the fact that Newt Gingrich decided to attempt to impeach Bill Clinton while he himself was having an affair is not the worst thing about that failed circus-trial. The worst thing about it all, in my mind, is that Newt’s grandstanding and foiled political play against Clinton sucked every ounce of air out of Republican power in Washington.

So when a far bigger scandal broke later in 1999 -- after Newt’s ignominious resignation -- Republicans were left without the necessary political capital to do anything about it.  I’m talking about Russia-Gate.

Now, Russia-Gate was something for which big heads should have rolled. But they never did.

Due to the malfeasance of the Clinton administration and capitalist cronies like George Soros, the American people lost the trust of the Russian people, right as the end of the Cold War was just beginning to pay dividends. In the words of Rep. Jim Leach, then head of the House Banking Committee, the Russia scandal was “one of the greatest social robberies in human history.” At least $100 billion was laundered out of Russia by scam artists, oligarchs, and mobsters -- all under the overseeing eye of the Clinton administration.

Political sleuths David Horowitz and Richard Poe brought some of the sordid Russia-Gate details to light in their book The Shadow Party. Testimony before the House Banking Committee on September 22, 1999, revealed a web of Clintonian subterfuge and cronyism that made Monica-Gate look like nothing more than a gnat buzzing a dead carcass. Journalist Anne Williamson recounted how the Clintons had set up an “international patronage machine,” and how these Clinton insiders had been sent to Russia under the guise of “consultant” titles. These “consultants,” in turn, asked for and received -- almost at will -- loans for Russia from such international lending agencies as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank.

The money flowed -- most of it from American taxpayers.

And, in the end, as usual, the little guys paid while the fat cats played.

Faster than you can say poof, more than $100 billion was laundered into the pockets of those Clintonites and their Russian counterparts. The Russian ruble collapsed, Russian commoners lost everything, and the big players flew off in their private jets. Business as usual, no?

In any final accounting, of course, the Clintons, Al Gore, George Soros, and their host of Democrat “holier-than-thou” scam artists were guilty as hell. But the Republicans had lost all the clout they had due to Newt Gingrich’s failed impeachment proceedings.

And, once again, the American taxpayer got left holding nothing but the empty bag and a lot of broken promises.

Now, for all we know, dear readers, Newt may have thought that going after Bill Clinton for the relatively small-potatoes perjury was a sort of Ness-finesse, Capone-prosecution way of ridding the country of Clinton’s mountain of scandals. But considering Newt’s own affair, one need ask whether Elliot Ness could have successfully nailed Capone on income tax evasion if Ness had simultaneously been found banking his paycheck offshore and filing for tax refunds.


So, vote for Newt Gingrich in the 2012 primary?

In a word, “No.” In two words, “Hell no.”

In four, “Not on your life.”

But if my fellow Republican primary voters decide to take a chance on Newt, I’ll back him 100% in the general. Because, sadly, even Newt Gingrich’s befouled character makes Barack Obama look like Eddie Haskell doin’ the ‘hood.