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Edwards is a philandering shit whose politics I still like

Especially given how much I love Elizabeth Edwards, I was very unhappy to hear that John Edwards is an adulterer. And that perforce makes him a liar, a vow-breaker, and, well, the rest depends on details and psychologies I don’t even want to know about. So, when he and Elizabeth decided to continue the campaign despite the resurgence of her illness, I simply don’t know if they were reconciled and mutually aware, or whether he was cynically and quite horribly using her.

I had been hoping that Edwards would still be able to serve his cause and country. If this were a “simple” adultery, then I’d say it shouldn’t keep us from benefiting from his potential public service, and I’d say the same if it were either Bush, either Clinton or the one and only George Washington. But, there’s the potential that this was a far more treacherous betrayal. (Disclosure: I was a volunteer adviser to the Edwards campaign on Net policy.) [Tags: ]

14 Responses to “Edwards is a philandering shit whose politics I still like”

  1. It kind of seemed he was selling the loyal family man as part of his image, but if he is willing to make that sort of betrayal it can’t help make one wonder how much he really believes in those values you liked in his politics.

    I wasn’t going to comment, but I really didn’t care. But then I realized I just moved to North Carolina and he may run for an office at some point again. At which point I’d be a potential voter and believe me it will be in my mind when I would go to vote.

  2. er second paragraph first ‘but’ should have been ‘because’

  3. It’s amazing. It’s bad marriage behavior but that’s none of my business.

    But if you’re running for office and can’t manage to not cheat on your wife for a few years, how seriously is anyone supposed to take you?

    Just stupid.

  4. given Elizabeth’s post at Dailykos I have to assume that she knew, but of course the rest of his supporters didn’t.

  5. I’m really sad that one more Democratic Party “star”… so soon after Spitzer… has fallen. This may affect Obama’s chances (God forbid he’s having a similar “secret’)…

  6. The other issue bothers me more frankly, there is baseless rumour and the NY Times covered it on McCain a few months ago, a more fact based story and they ignore *shrug*, the whole biasless media thing, makes one wonder?

  7. Please just stop with the media bias crap. The McCain story was that he was so confident in his integrity that he flirted with the appearance of impropriety and that it bothered various members of his staff.

    McCain spent a lot of time with a lobbyist who steered tens of thousands to his campaigns and who’s clients appeared to get a fair amount of favorable actions from McCain for their money. That she was an attractive woman only made it more noticeable.

    The donations, McCain’s appearances with the lobbyist, and his personal letters to senate chairmen and votes on issues are all facts.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/us/politics/21mccain.html

    For my money the post at Dailykos tells me the wrong Edwards was running for office.
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/8/193337/7354/473/564989

  8. As Jonathan said, “For my money the post at Dailykos tells me the wrong Edwards was running for office.”

    This has been my view all along, but I voted for him in the Florida primary. I really liked nearly everything he said, and have been hoping he’ll have a meaningful role in any Pres. Obama administration.

    No more. I’ve very sad and disgusted — where can we find an honest man?

  9. Why, oh why, do Americans belief in the myth of the completely coherent, consistent and integrated person. People are complex beings. Our lives are complex. That a person may indulge in an extramarital affair does not mean that they not sincere, hard-working, insightful in matters of public policy, and worthy of public office.

    Does the fact that the United States was founded by literalists and Puritans have any bearing here? Or perhaps the observation that America has become a de facto Christian theocracy provides an explanation.

    Edwards’ policies and approaches to public policy and governance haven’t changed. His hard-working nature hasn’t changed. Does the fact that George W. Bush hasn’t cheated on his wife (that we know of… yet…) make him a better leader than Edwards might have been (yeah, I know, entirely speculative). I think it’s time that Americans gain a bit of maturity when it comes to matters of sexuality and les affaires de coeur.

  10. Mark, I agree with you. And yet … It’s a shock beyond the run-of-the-mill adultery (sigh) because of who Elizabeth is, what her plight is, and the capital he made of their united bravery.

    Now, I think it’s perfectly possible, and even likely, that JE is a devoted father, loves his family, and loves his wife.I can’t possibly make a judgment about that. But it’s nevertheless especially shocking to learn that he cheated on this wife.

    I think it reflects _more_ on his character because of his family’s circumstances, but I’d still like to have him as attorney general.

  11. Leaving aside (for now) the character implications of cheating, there’s something terrifying about the character implications of a man so willing to imperil his candidacy and the fortunes of his party. Just think where the Democrats would be if Edwards were heading into the convention as the presumptive nominee!

  12. 1. amen, Tim.

    2. shocking in another sort of way: here we are… yet… another… (how does one put it)…? well… Bluntly: she’s just not that hot.

    3. ooh. little wincing pangs… really: what is wrong with the Dem party’s aesthetic sensibilities and their apparent physical desperation and lack of self-respect…
    …she’s just not not not that hot. not hot enough to be worth effing-up the election and our country (presupposing Edwards had gotten the nomination)-… just not not that hot. The least Edwards could’ve done is to make us respect you a bit despite/through your faults… can’t you at least cheat on your cancer-ridden wife with Cate Blanchett or something???

  13. Tim, we’d be where we were in 1992 when Bill Clinton’s infidelities were surfaced during the campaign.

    Also, we’d be exactly where we are with McCain, who, according to the LA Times pretty definitely cheated on his previous wife.

  14. People fall in and out of love for lots of reasons, and those reasons have zero overlap with his ability or lack thereof to lead. It becomes anyone interested in good government to mind their own lovelives, or lack thereof.


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