This blog made the case last May that Gingrich is a sociopath. That view has not changed.
Last Thursday, when CNN's John King asked Gingrich about his ex-wife Marianne's allegation that he had asked for an open marriage, Gingrich declared that he was "appalled" that King would begin a Presidential debate like that.
But Marianne's claim had in fact gotten a lot of publicity, and was something that Gingrich would have to address sooner or later; King merely gave him the opportunity to do it sooner. Yet Gingrich said that for ABC to have aired that interview two days before the debate, and for King to have brought it up, was "as close to despicable as anything I can imagine."
Gingrich then slyly shifted the issue to how the media protects Barack Obama. Gingrich is, of course, right that the media does focus on Republican faults in a lopsided way. And there is a lot of conservative resentment about that, which Gingrich cleverly tapped into. But his outrage -- when he plainly did have an affair -- is reminiscent of the way Bill Clinton waved his finger at that group of journalists and angrily declared, "I did not have sex with that woman."
Sociopaths act outraged when accused of something they are guilty of the same way non-sociopaths do when falsely accused. Most non-sociopaths cannot imagine acting that way if guilty, which is why they get fooled by sociopaths.
This is not a brief against extramarital sex. Some would say that such betray a lack of character. But plenty of non-sociopaths stray -- roughly 60% of married people, according to the polls. What betrays sociopathy is the outrage mustered when caught.
Another Gingrich-ism was to say that he was hired by Freddie Mac as a historian. But as Romney pointed out last night, they don't pay people $25,000 a month for six years to be historians. And, if Gingrich was a historian, why would he be reporting directly to the firm's chief lobbyist?
True, Gingrich didn't register as a lobbyist himself. He undoubtedly made it clear to Freddie Mac that he didn't want to be labeled as such to protect his political future. But Freddie Mac obviously would not have hired the former Speaker if they hadn't wanted his influence. For Gingrich to deny this is just the sort of lawyerly evasion sociopaths specialize in.
What may betray Gingrich's sociopathy most clearly is that he is simply never seems to get nervous, even in the debates. He thinks well on his feet, never gets flustered, and is always glib. It might seem unfair to attribute good performances to sociopathy, but such nerve is in fact a sociopathic hallmark.
Republicans watch Gingrich's masterful debate performances and think, wouldn't it be fun to have this guy dismantle Barack Obama the same way he did some of the moderators.
The problem is, although sociopaths are great performers, they are dissemblers as well. And in the fishbowl of Presidential campaigns, lies have a way of being exposed.
It would be sort of cool to watch Gingrich eviscerate Obama. But if the Republicans are smart, they'll choose the more electable Romney.