Personal Reflections On Edwards Scandal

9 08 2008

I had the night to think about the whole John Edwards thing. I didn’t think about it much because I decided to have a beer and stare at the tube but I did let it role around in my cranium.

Bear with me.

My initial reaction about it was “Idiot Boy! What were you thinking?

This morning, it’s about the swirling hypocrisy surrounding all of this. You see, I didn’t want Edwards, who I have always sort of admired, to be in the same category as Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich and countless others.

I realize that politicians are people. I’ve done things that would be cool with some people and seem immoral to others. I get that. We are human.

Edwards is included in a group that I didn’t think he would be in but he is. We move on.

There is a level of hypocrisy that goes with each and every one of those sex scandals. Words are meaningless. Actions, well, that speaks volumes.

But I just can’t get over he would cheat on his wife when she is battling cancer. (Gingrich did that too.) I find that appalling. I’ve seen several people I love dearly fighting this horrific disease.

Honestly, I could care less what goes on in the bedrooms of the world. You stay out of mine, I’ll stay out of yours.

I was hoping that Edwards would come out and say “Yeah, we have an open marriage” or “I did it. Elizabeth knows and she isn’t happy but we survived it” which he kind of said but not really. The thing is that this is such an embarrassment for him but also for his wife, whom I like very much. He’s shot his political career in the foot, but he could have handled all of this differently. Say adios to any chances in the next administration, Edwards.

Baby Boomers in politics amaze me. I’m not one of them, but I have to say, they have changed the world.

I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment.

People can do the nasty with whom ever they want to. I honestly don’t care.

But don’t act surprised and contrite when people find it distasteful. Adultery is like cancer. Most folks have been impacted by it in one way or another and when they find out about these things, they personalize it. And if they have been impacted by adultery and they hear of this sort of news, then folks who did what the guys up there did are immediately put on the putz list.

Cheating is easy but I do agree with Aunt B.:

I would like to reiterate, though, that monogamy does not have to be the ideal state of every relationship and lots of successful relationships do fine without it. But it is hard for any relationship–between spouses or between candidate and country–to survive on lies.

It’s the lies that get me as well.

People get through cheating issues, but is it really ever the same? I’m not judging but then again, I guess I am. I’ve been on the Elizabeth Edwards receiving end many eons ago and it wasn’t fun . If the whole situation had been “You do your thing, I’ll do mine” I would have. Set the tone up front and then follow the wave.

I hope that makes sense. Be up front about it and for God’s sake, put your penis back in your pants when your life partner is sick.

That disturbs me the most.

Just saying.

Update: This is important to read as well. It’s about what John Edwards didn’t do.

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11 responses

9 08 2008
Jonathan Trenn

Maybe it’s me. But it seems to me that Aunt B’s point becomes a handy excuse for all marriage indiscretions.

What bothers me -as it did with Clinton – is that many view this as a “private matter”. In fact, quite often the actors in scenario demand that we think of it as private. But in reality, it isn’t.

I’ve been in both politics and marketing. Politicians try to “brand” themselves. They almost always position themselves as (if they’re men) strong family men. They will bring in their families – use them as props – to establish this. And we, as a people. often base our votes at least partially on this. Megaissues and how we “feel” about them. If we can relate to them.

John Edwards positioned himself as the small town boy done good. Squeaky clean. He and his wife – an accomplished woman herself – were the clean versions of the Clintons.

People not only vote on this, they base their votes on the image. An image that they want carried on further. They may volunteer their time and donate their money. It forges their idealism.

We raise our kids in a society where families are often, sadly, falling apart. Family values shouldn’t and needn’t be a conservative idea. It goes across the entire spectrum of political thought. But our kids continually see this type of behavior in our society’s leaders and then some of the publics’ reaction to it and it lowers the standards that we try to create for everyone to have better lives.

John Edwards cheated on his wife. But he also betrayed his children. Not only that, he betrayed the faith that millions of people put in him – and his wife – to someday be our nation’s president.

The status of the Edwards’ marriage is private of course, but the whole matter of the affair isn’t. If you want privacy in these matters, then don’t strive to become a public figure. Don’t wear on your sleeve what a great husband and dad you are. Don’t use false, packaged “outrage” at society’s ills if you’re betraying your family.

And you’re right. If your wife has had cancer (supposedly this happened when she was in remission) and she’s fully behind you in your efforts to serve your country, be devoted to her as she is to you.

If not, keep it in your pants. Don’t run for office. Perios.

9 08 2008
newscoma

Very detailed comment. Thanks for the response.
It does reek of hypocrisy. I don’t understand why politicians (I guess I should have mentioned Jesse Jackson too) want to create this false image of family when it’s really not that way at all.
Glad you stopped by, Jonathan.

9 08 2008
Lee

Note that Edwards is claiming that the child isn’t his, but the Hunter family is now calling for a paternity test. His political career is over regardless, but we may soon find out if the child was his and he’s still lying, and therefore was cheating on Elizabeth after the cancer came back. Just how big of a douchebag is this guy if that’s the case.

And per your update, I wouldn’t compare all this garbage with a man in a tough leadership position making real world tough decisions that you may or may not agree with. Serious people can in good faith agree or disagree about them.

And they do.

But making the comparison though is not very, well… can make one look not very serious to be honest.

9 08 2008
heartbreaktown

Pardon me, I’m about to ramble…I agree and disagree at the same time with many aspects of this issue. (How’s that for commitment?) Because every public servant is, at the same time, a private person as we all are. And yes, I understand that you should not use your family as “props” and yourself as a paragon of virtue if you are, in fact, comprimised. I get that hypocrisy. But what frustrates me is the hypocrisy of the American people. We demand that our political leaders serve as moral leaders as well. That makes no sense. I don’t know, nor care, about co-workers marriages or sexual habits because it does not affect me, it has nothing to do with their job. Why do we insist that our political leaders have a private iron will that, to be perfectly honest, MOST men do not have (which it comes to their apparatus)? All the while our society rewards salacious behavior with highly rated “reality” tv which appears to applaud the worst in our nature. And where sex is represented in every aspect of our lives and paraded before our eyes and we are shocked, shocked to find that our most powerful men succumb to it’s allure as does every other creature on earth. Our forefather’s were total hounds and they were still great men and great leaders. Even the God of the Bible rewarded flawed men of questionable sexual character to carry on his message and lead his people. If politicians have to “market” themselves a certain way, it is because the we, the people are too damn stupid to look into the real issues that affect our actual lives and want a cardboard cut-out to take care of us. We want Hugh Beaumont. It’s just not realistic and we get the politicians we deserve.

Regarding the Edwards’, I don’t know if it’s true, but I heard that her cancer was in remission when he had an affair. I’m not saying that makes it any less of a tragedy, but on some level it doesn’t “feel” as bad. But any event, this is still between John and Elizabeth and no one, NO ONE, knows what goes on between a man and women.

The fact that she is such a beautiful, classy, gracious, brilliant woman works both in his favor and against him. He must be an amazing man to attract such and amazing woman – on the other hand, how could he do this to such an amazing woman? We will never know – he probably doesn’t even know himself. My hope is that they come through this stronger and that they can continue to make the world a better place as they have all their lives.

Sorry, Newsy, I seem to have gotten carried away. But I’ll stop now or I never will! 🙂

9 08 2008
cravensworld

I’m just disappointed.

9 08 2008
woody02038

I agree Heartbreak. Just one thought. Everyone who is voting on an “image”, please don’t. You WILL be disapointed. Marketing and television are powerful tools. The actor Robert Young who played Dr. Welby on television asked what suprised him the most about his fame and he answered he was shocked at the number of people who came up and asked him medical questions. When he said he was not a doctor, just an actor, they left disapointed, and liking him just a little bit less.

9 08 2008
Ron

I have very little doubt that’s his child. Just prepare yourself now.

9 08 2008
heartbreaktown

Beth, I’m disappointed too in him too. But ever since Clinton, I’ve tried really, really hard to separate a man’s public image from his private life. It’s just painful to go through this time and time again, I had to make a conscious decision that when I start to put someone up on a pedestal, I immediately take them down before they let me down.

But yes, indeed, I am disappointed in him and frustrated with the whole thing.

9 08 2008
newscoma

I think it’s why I called this personal. I’m disappointed and I agree so much with Heartbreaktown’s comment. You are so right, no one knows.
Here’s my thing: There are so many people in this country that would love to get married. To be bound the rights that heterosexuals have. Then, on the other hand, it’s why I bring up the cancer thing as well, I’m having so much trouble understanding how a person could do this when their loved one is ill. Remission, or at least with my mother and Stew, was fleeting.
Edwards joined, right or wrong, a fraternity of asshattery. He was the good guy. He made Southerners (just my thought) look good. He was a pretty good populist.
His message was amazing but he marketed himself as a good family man. I just wish people wouldn’t fall into the trap of marketing themselves when it comes back to bite him in the ass due to his own actions.
I agree. It’s frustrating. And, on the other hand, it’s not our business. It’s between the Edwards.
But I believed it.
I’m admonishing myself more than I am him.
Politics has made me cynical.

Zombies, now that’s the way to go. They eat brains. I can understand that. 🙂

9 08 2008
10 08 2008
More Edwards Reactions : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

[…] Newscoma: Baby Boomers in politics amaze me. I’m not one of them, but I have to say, they have changed the world. […]

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