UPDATE #2 - This has nothing to do with politics. I am not saying that you should vote for him based on this point I am making.
Also, sadly, it appears that not every state has an exception written into their statutaory rape laws regarding imbalance of power (i.e. teacher/student).
UPDATE - I've been asked about the 17 year old part. Newt was born 06/17/1943 & graduated Baker High School in June, 1961. He was 17 years old his entire senior year.
I knew that most accounts of Newt Gingrich's first marriage portray him in a very poor light.
I knew that people who want a reason to dislike Newt trot this story.
I knew people who want to back Newt are dismayed by this story.
No matter where you are in the political spectrum, what could be worse than to be tarred with "Served his wife with divorce papers in her hospital bed after a cancer treatment!!!!" He is portrayed as the aggressor, she is the victim.
So I knew that it was not as salacious as his enemies made out. I knew that when a marriage breaks up there are stories and exaggerations and hurt feelings. I know that we can never know and how we feel is colored by how we feel about the participants.
However, thanks to Sunday's Boston Globe (it's a pay site, sorry), I now know everything I ever need to know about Jackie Battley Gingrich.
Jackie was his high school geometry teacher. She was/is seven years his senior. She began molesting him while he was a student in her classroom.
Stop. Read that again. "She began molesting him while he was a student in her classroom." That's not how it's written everywhere else I have read it. It's written that he had or started an affair with her.
That's not how it works. A boy does not start an affair with his teacher any more than a girl starts an affair with her teacher. I don't see any difference. I had boys, two sons and two extra. Anyone who says that boys can't be taken advantage of by female teachers is ignorant or lying. Your choice, I could give a shit and I will call you out no matter who you are.
One - Age disparity, seven years difference. When you are 30, seven years is not a big deal. When you are 17, it is.
Two - In loco parentis. All consent laws make an exception for cases where there is a power imbalance. Jackie Battley was his teacher. Therefore, she was his abuser, not his lover.
Ephebophilia describes an adult whose sexual preference is mid-to-late adolescents. Acting on it is a crime. A crime called statutory rape. The gender of each party is immaterial.
And what is the number one characteristic of all child rapists? Manipulation.
So there is not one thing you can tell me about Newt Gingrich's divorce that doesn't come back to Jackie Battley is a manipulative, sick, criminal. As we say here in Charlestown, she is a diddler. And everyone knows that you don't trust diddlers.
Also, if you want to talk about Newt and his fidelity problem, you must frame it in the terms you would apply to any other child molestation survivor.
We are all a product of the experiences that molded us. Tell me an experience that leaves a more indelible mark than having your early romantic/sexual memories be that of your molester/rapist.
A child is never a willing participant in their own rape.