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(Newt Gingrich, Time's unctuous Man of the Year for 1995.)

Yesterday, I described Tony Snow's oily, smarm merchant press briefing performance as unctuous.  (C&L has a bit on the presser, in case you missed it.)  I truly thought Snow would walk away with the BS prize yesterday, but I should never have underestimated Newt — who even out-galled Tom DeLay's idiocy on Hardball yesterday.   Read this and try — really, truly try — not to spew your coffee (H/T Elliott):

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in Nashville that the personal lives of White House hopefuls shouldn't become an issue in the 2008 campaign.

Earlier this month Gingrich said he was seeking forgiveness for his own extramarital affair committed while he pursued President Clinton's impeachment in the Monica Lewinsky scandal….

It's ballsy, I'll give him that.   Especially with this and this in his past.  But, as Digby said earlier this month, it is this very smarm merchant quality that makes Newt the perfect Dobson's Choice — it's his stellar family values coupled with his commitment to truth and honesty in government, I suppose.  (And man did that hurt to type, even with my full snark mode.)  From Digby:

It's possible that these people will reject Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani for the same "moral" reasons they condemned Clinton. But I very much doubt it. Dobson and Falwell and all these guys are hucksters and the people who follow them either have no moral consistency or they are shallow and insincere. Oh, they'll find some lame rationale, as all Republicans do, but it's long been clear that the only thing that matters to them is that the candidate be a member in good standing of the tribe and that they pay tribute to the High Priests.

I continue to wonder when the Democratic establishment is going to recognize that the Christian Right is run by a bunch of powerful phonies and that this small slice of the American electorate has been the tail that very cleverly wagged the dog of American politics for far too long.

These people will very likely back Newt in my opinion. He's a real member of the right wing tribal leadership. And if they get behind him, he may win the nomination. Newt Gingrich is one of the most unlikeable politicians in America.

Run, Newt, run.

The modern Republican party is built on a foundation of smarm, run by two-bit snake oil salesmen and hucksters who think of nothing more than gathering more power and more opportunities to shovel money into the pockets of their cronies.  At what point does America say enough? 

Please, for the love of all that is holy, let that day be today.

PS — This morning, it appears that Robert Novak will be playing the part of unctuous Republican concern troll for the day.  Nothing like attempting to portray the head of the CIA as a partisan hack because his information disagrees with your world view.  Bob, you are entitled to your own, addled interpretation and opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts.  So you, and your aggrieved, untrustworthy political troll pal, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, can crawl back under that rotting neocon bridge from whence you came. 

Seems to me that the Waxman hearing hit a few of Bob's remaining nerves.  Try to come to terms about why your social pariah status wasn't rescued by the Miss Havisham testimony from Victoria "Goldwater Girl" Toensing, Bob.  My favorite bit of the indulgent little tra la through Bob's brain is the whining about the incompetent Rep. Lynn Westmoreland as being blinded by Valerie's beauty and that Rep. Tom Davis was disorganized, and the griping about the other Republicans who didn't bother to show up and do their jobs…because Henry Waxman is just so darn scary.  Please.  It's called oversight and accountability, Bob, get used to it.  And if the Republican party is too lazy to show up to DO their work, we are more than happy to help get some new representatives in their seats in 2008.  (You can take that one to the bank.)

PPS — Wishing John and Elizabeth Edwards nothing but the best this morning.  Sure hope everything is okay with Elizabeth — her memoir Saving Graces was one of the best reads I had last year.  They have called a press conference for noon, so please send out some spare good thoughts for Elizabeth and the Edwards family if you have some.