Monday, August 11, 2008


Cenk Uygur at Huffington asks how Edwards affair is different from John McCain's. He points out that Clinton and JFK had affairs. McCain had one 30 years ago with the current Mrs. McCain.
Does John Edwards care less about poor people today than he did yesterday? Would his affair lead him to change his position on NAFTA? How would it alter his policy on Iran?

... So, why are McCain's actions any more excusable than Edwards'? Because it was thirty years ago? Does that wash it away? Will we be fine with Edwards running for office again in a couple of years because then it will all be in the past? What is the statute of limitations on an affair?
First, McCain's affair did hurt him in the past but there are some significant differences. The biggest one is that McCain didn't have a tawdry fling with someone then continue as if nothing ever happened. He divorced his wife and married the subject of the affair. Edwards claims that he had a brief fling and is back with his wife.

The fact that McCain is still married to Cindy, decades after leaving his first wife implies that there were problems with the marriage but not with his character. The same can be said about Ronald Reagan, the first divorced president. Most observers think of his second wife as the love of his life.

In contrast, Edwards had a fling with a woman on the side with no intention of leaving his wife. This implies that he views some women as sexual playthings who can be used and discarded.

Bill Clinton treated women this way. He promised that he had reformed when he first ran for President. He was sued by a woman who claimed that he harassed her and lied about his post-election trysts which led to his impeachment.

Kennedy was shameless prior to the sexual revolution. If any word of his multiple affairs had leaked out during his lifetime he would have been driven from office.

So, does Edwards' affair change his stand on issues? No. But it gives us more insight into his character. He lied repeatedly about having an affair. It implies that he only stayed with his (dying) wife for political reasons. There is a lot more to being president than holding the right positions prior to the election. None of todays' issues were major factors in the 2000 election. The unforseen happens. Character matters. Between his background as a trial lawyer and his affair, Edwards has proved that he has no character.

McCain has shown that he does have character in several ways including being faithful to one woman for 30 years.

Now, if it turned out that McCain had an affair in 2006 then his political career would be wrecked. The same can be said of Barack Obama.

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