I’ll probably never like John Edwards politically again, despite my own recent kind words. The adultery per se isn’t the issue to me, since (a) personal issues just aren’t that important, from either party (you won’t find much on this site about Larry Craig et al), and (b) Edwards rarely made “family values” his main thang, anyway, unlike the more self-righteous foot-tappers of the world.
(Incidentally, I’m also not pretending that I’m more moral than the next guy. Right this second, in fact, I’m getting a Swedish massage from a manatee named Delilah while fantasizing about three Civil War generals and an East German swimmer. So I’m hardly in a comfortable position to judge. In fact, I’m hardly in a comfortable position per se.)
But Edwards knew what he’d done and what it meant. Which means his entire presidential campaign was an attempt, best case, to bet the medium-term future of the Democratic party on his own ability to continue covering up an extramarital affair. Indefinitely. That’s the sort of reckless arrogance only a true leader can muster, I guess.
(Higher, Delilah. A little higher. Now… touch the swimmer.)
But that said, McCain is a known adulterer, too — and unlike Edwards, he is still running for president, actively posing when convenient as an advocate of all things Family.
I’d much rather see the campaign focus on the economy, foreign policy, energy, education, and so on. Incompetence, corruption, and/or hypocrisy on these issues will sting us all vastly more than some tawdry personal dalliance.
But just saying: given the eagerness with which total nonsense gets trumpeted against the guy, even when it’s often mutually exclusive — He’s an elitist! Under the twisted sway of middle-class blacks in a Christian church! Where he’s a secret Muslim! Manipulated by Jewish banker George Soros! So of course his German rallies remind us of Nazi propaganda! His empty rhetoric is why he doesn’t wear a flag pin! And none of this is contradictory in any way! — what would the media do if Obama were found to have cheated years ago on his wife, the way McCain did to his first wife?
Obama’s candidacy would be toast that day.
But McCain cheating? That’s just how mavericks do.