The Republican Party attempts to present themselves as the keepers of America’s moral conscience, hoping to convince the American people that simply because they forcibly impose their archaic and repressive interpretations of puritan values on our unwilling citizens they somehow are above the temptations of lesser mortals.
But from the highest pedestal does one take a lengthy fall, and a look back at the 1998 impeachment of Bill Clinton for his extramarital affair with intern Monica Lewinsky highlights the outrageous hypocrites that staff the Republican Party – and how sex is used as a political weapon in our nation. It turns out that the perpetrators of the political conspiracy to impeach a sitting U.S. president over his personal affairs were all guilty of their own sexual transgressions.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) led the charge against President Clinton, but abruptly resigned in November 1998 – just weeks before the impeachment hearings were held. He later admitted that he too had been having an extramarital affair with an aide in his office. “There were times when I was praying and when I felt I was doing things that were wrong. But I was still doing them” he revealed in 2007. That would be the second marriage to dissolve after cheating on his wife. The “family values” hypocrite who honestly, truly, believes in the sanctity of one man and one woman, and who takes his sacred oaths sworn before the eyes of his God so seriously he’s done it three times.
Gingrich was followed by Bob Livingstone (R-LA), who resigned from his post on the very day of the impeachment vote for – you guessed it – evidence of an extramarital affair. Adult entertainment tycoon Larry Flynt “found four women who said they had been involved with Mr. Livingston over the last 10 years,” offering rewards to whistleblowers in order to out family-values politicians for their hypocrisy. On an unrelated note, Flynt is also preparing a Donald Trump parody porn movie, a copy of which he intends to personally mail to every Republican in Congress. They might not find that funny, but we certainly will.
And finally, former Representative Dennis Hastert (R-IL) succeeded Livingston as Speaker – but with much darker secrets to hide. Last summer, it was revealed that the notorious anti-gay “family values” hypocrite had molested some of his students while working a high-school wrestling coach, later paying them millions to keep their stories quiet. Recent trial developments reveal that there may be as many as five victims, but the expired statute of limitations means he will only face charges of financial misconduct instead of the horrifying rape and molestation of children entrusted to his responsibility.
The idea that a sitting President almost lost his job due to a political witch-hunt orchestrated by men guilty of similar misconduct tells you all you need to know about establishment politics in America. There is no reason that the personal affairs of Livingstone, Gingrich, and Clinton should concern the public – except when you use your morality as a pedestal to spread discrimination, as the Republicans do. Hastert is a monster beyond redemption. But these are the men that made up the elite of last generation’s GOP – I wonder what we’ll find from this one.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.