There’s a decreasing chance Newt’s going to be the GOP nominee, but I read the New York Times piece on how the thrice-married middle-aged Republican Newt Gingrich suddenly converted to become a Roman Catholic.

And like Masaccio in his post here yesterday I was drawn to this particular passage:

“As he got involved with the history, it blew his mind. There was just so much of it and I don’t think he had understood that before, that he really had a sense of the intellectual tradition behind it.”

Given his own history, and his self-proclaimed love of history I think I can imagine just what history Newt is inspired by:

Probably around January 897, Stephen VI ordered that the corpse of his predecessor Formosus be removed from its tomb and brought to the papal court for judgement. With the corpse propped up on a throne, a deacon was appointed to answer for the deceased pontiff.

Formosus was accused of transmigrating sees in violation of canon law, of perjury, and of serving as a bishop while actually a layman. Eventually, the corpse was found guilty.

Jean-Paul Laurens painting of the Cadaver Synod via candid at Flickr.com

That’s the kind of intellectual tradition Newt Gingrich can get behind.

I’m guessing Newt has a dream of sending backhoes to Hyde Park for FDR.

UPDATE: In breaking news…a political role-model for Newt, Kim Jong-Il has died reportedly while on a train-trip. In the “merit-based” world of North Korea politics has been succeeded by his son (it’s just like the Republican Party or broadcast punditry over there).