One of the really big gag jokes in American politics is the Republican Party as the Values Party. You know, Hitler had values. Everyone has values. Whether other people like those values is a very different question.
But somehow we have been fed the odd message that Republican voters have good values and everyone else is just a slobbering satisfy-me-now beast.
Sexual morality is the linchpin around which the Republican value structure is created. Sexual morality, in turn, is a euphemism for controlling women's behavior. That's the way the actual contradictions in Republican politics can best be understood.
Such as this stupid post by the Fox News' tame psychiatrist which argues that Newt would be a good president because he managed to attract three different wives:
I want to be coldly analytical, not moralize, here. I want to tell you what Mr. Gingrich’s behavior could mean for the country, not for the future of his current marriage. So, here’s what one interested in making America stronger can reasonably conclude—psychologically—from Mr. Gingrich’s behavior during his three marriages:This is silly on too many different levels* to tackle in a short post, so I shall limit myself to just asking you to do a gender reversal on that quote. Put some female politician in Newt's place, let her have Newt's marital history and then ask if anyone would ever write a post like that to defend her. Even a sorta Frankensteiny Fox psychiatrist.
1) Three women have met Mr. Gingrich and been so moved by his emotional energy and intellect that they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with him.
2) Two of these women felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married.
3 ) One of them felt this way even though Mr. Gingrich was already married for the second time, was not exactly her equal in the looks department and had a wife (Marianne) who wanted to make his life without her as painful as possible.
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.
She'd be called an unreliable slut. Of course she would never have managed to stay in the public eye as long as Newt did, with that sexual history, so even starting with that reversal is tough.
The Republican values are always bendable. They apply to some people and not to others, and voters use them as whitewash to defend certain votes, even when the real reasons are something far back in their reptile brains.
*A quick summary of a few of those: 1. A candidate's private life may not be the best predictor how they do in politics though it does matter if it conflicts with their political message. 2. The post is there because it looks like Newt will win South Carolina, Fox News is a Republican megaphone and must therefore write positive things about him just in case he becomes the candidate. If Newt was a Democrat, the post would crucify him. 3. We are asked to identify with Newt's many wives, but only at the point when they become his wives, not at the point when he leaves them and why. 4. We are not asked to remember that losing interest in a wife would also apply to losing interest in presidenting if the initial argument that there's something to learn from Newt's amorous history applies. And so on.