Newt, Dr. Johnson, Reasons, Excuses, and…

Newt Gingrich
Image via Wikipedia

I’m home from an overnight trip to Dallas with a friend who was kind enough to let me go along–a mini-vacation that leaves me physically tired…but mentally refreshed…but physically tired.

And incapable of coherent thought.

So I’ll toss out just a brief observation.

Yesterday a Facebook friend posted that former U. S. Representative Newt Gingrich said his passion for his country contributed to his marital infidelity.

My first reaction was, This must be fiction. The friend is, after all, a writer.

But I googled Mr. Gingrich and discovered via the Chicago Tribune that my friend was engaging in plain old fact.

I recalled Samuel Johnson’s declaration: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

Portrait of Samuel Johnson commissioned for He...
Image via Wikipedia

The exact meaning of that statement had always eluded me, but I believe I now understand it. Perfectly.

Since we’re dealing in pithy statements, I’ll volunteer another: A minister friend defines excuse as “the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.”

Not quite so elegant as Dr. Johnson’s, but in this instance, it’ll do quite nicely.

Mr. Gingrich is now married to the person who enabled his infidelity.

And I want to know: What’s her excuse?

Image of Newt Gingrich by Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Image [portrait] of Samuel Johnson by Sir Joshua Reynolds [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.