The Washington Post

Newt Gingrich’s patriotic urges

Newt Gingrich, in an interview, said that "There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."


I had no idea that this was an excuse you could use.

"What are you doing with those eight men dressed as ewoks?" my putative future husband will inquire.

"I can't help it," I'll say. "I just love America so much."

Still, I must not love our country as much as Speaker Gingrich. Because, as yet, I have had no impulses to commit any infidelity. I've listened to the Star Spangled Banner, and I haven't suddenly dashed off and cheated on my spouse of many years.

I assume, for him, the essential element of a romantic evening is turning some John Philip Sousa on the stereo and putting up flags everywhere. "Now read the Declaration of Independence to me," he murmurs. "Read it slowly."

He shows up at your door late at night. "I'm sorry," he murmurs. "I heard Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address on the radio, and I started thinking about how great this country is, and I couldn't control my urges any longer!"

But what a terrible condition to have! I assume that he can't visit the monuments anymore, because of an incident that happened after he thought too long about what kind of country produced such noble men. Every time he meets a veteran, he must need to go call a chatline for an hour.

Still, what puzzles me is why he'd admit something like that right before mounting a presidential campaign. Now that I know this, the last thing I would do is elect him president! Imagine the impact that kind of patriotic surge would have on his frail system.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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