Tuesday, August 12, 2008

John Edward Wins Silver

So by now we all know that John Edwards cheated on his cancer-stricken wife.

I suppose one up side of this is that it spares us any chance of Newt Gingrich's making a last-minute run as an independent. Everybody's justifiably laughing over Edwards' attempt to mitigate his assholery by pointing out that his wife was in remission during the affair, but after one of his affairs Gingrich actually asked his wife for a divorce while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. So despite a strong kick at the end Edwards will have to settle for silver in the 400m Freestyle Big-Haired Douchebag

But keep at it, tiger. You're an up-and-comer.

(Nyuck, nyuck.)

Yet again, I'm having a hard time getting scandalized by this. Mostly, as Mike and I have been saying for a long time, Americans need to stop pretending that monogamy is easy. People cheat on each other. People have open relationships. Spouses should care about that stuff, but I don't think the rest of us should. Not unless a candidate has made his or her own monogamy or celibacy a selling point or has spent a lot of time demonizing others for violating sexual taboos that he or she is also violating.

Still, I'm curious: should I be a bit upset? Is there some hypocrisy here (mine or Edwards')? Edwards, after all, was trying to position himself as a "values" Democrat. I guess my thought is that despite the occasional nod in the direction of the religious right, what Edwards meant by "values" always seemed to have a lot more to do with social justice than sexual conduct. But maybe I'm letting him off the hook too easily. Anybody have thoughts?

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At 12:06 PM , Blogger Mike M. said...

The only argument I've seen for why you should be upset is that Edwards ran for president knowing that if he'd won the nomination that this secret would probably come out and that it'd hurt his chances against McCain.

There's a lot of what ifs in that but I was an Edwards supporter early on. I'd still vote for the guy but I'd be ticked off if he were our nominee and we had to deal with this throughout the fall.

At 12:23 PM , Anonymous ch3lk said...

I think it's really really nobody's business but the 3 (or more?) people involved. I agree with you the only exception would be if that person made their case based on their moral superiority (one that comes to mind is when Dr. Laura had her infidelities come to light and that she somehow failed to mention any of them while berating her callers for their marital mistakes). So, no, I couldn't care less that Edwards had an affair. I didn't care when Clinton had an affair. He just handled it the exact wrong way.

What I think is a problem is why are these being focused on? JFK had several affairs and he wasn't hounded by the press or the opposing party about them. FDR had many affairs and was paralyzed from the waist down and yet the press agreed not to show that (can you even imagine anyone getting away with that today?). Washington, Jefferson, etc. etc. etc. Hell it wouldn't surprise me if Lincoln played find the pickle with a secretary or two (who were men back in those days). It doesn't change the fact that these are some of the greatest figures in our history. So what has changed? I think the media, as a whole, is incapable of focusing on issues of real importance. Why? For one, it's not cost effective to actually research stories while marital affairs and college drug use are easy and sensational which makes their cost vs income ratio favorable. Secondly, there is a perception that Americans are dumb and they don't want their media to make them think. It's at this point that I stop and sit on the fence. Maybe they're right. I certainly know many people who couldn't think their way out their own house if they didn't see Al Bundy use the front door once in a while. But on the other hand, if your only choice is between shit and shit, I think most people are going to choose shit and call it cake. How are you going to get the masses to ask for steak? Sure it's better for you but it's more work to chew let alone get people to choose broccoli (I think I've carried the food vs shit analogy way past where I should have). I don't have any answers to this but I think that is the underlying problem here.

I hope I didn't bore you. Thanks for blogging. I read it often.


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