John Edwards

john_edwards1.jpgAre we gonna do this? Really? We are?

Okay, then, let’s do this.

John Edwards is a putz, and he should have been better to his wife. There are marriages where partners are allowed, even encouraged to cheat, but both of the Edwardses have said directly that theirs is not one of them, and I have no reason to disbelieve them. If you promise your spouse fidelity, you owe your spouse fidelity, and if you cannot give that to them, you owe it to your spouse to leave, so that they can find someone who can.

So John Edwards is an idiot, and I agree with Kathy G., it surprises and disappoints me, though perhaps it shouldn’t.

But John Edwards doesn’t need to atone to me. Nor to Kathy G., nor to noted man-goat sex enthusiast Mickey Kaus. Edwards’ sin was against his wife and his children, and it is to them he will have to explain himself. It is to them he owes his apology. It is their forgiveness he will have to seek, and their decision on whether to grant it. Allegedly, he already sought their forgiveness in 2006, and received it; whether this changes that is between him and them.

John Edwards made a dumb mistake, one which, were I married to him, would probably lead to my filing divorce papers. But I’m not married to him. I don’t know him, not really. What I do know of him tells me that he’s still a man who has a great passion for making this country a better place, one who believes in a nation where the gap between the haves and have-nots actually shrinks for once. He would still be a good Attorney General, still a good Secretary of Labor, indeed, still a good President.

John Edwards has committed no sin against the American people, and he owes us no explanation of his actions. It is, to put it bluntly, irrelevant whether George W. Bush is faithful as the day is long; he’s still a lousy president. It is, to put it directly, irrelevant that Bill Clinton cheated on his wife; he’s still, on balance, a good president. It matters not whether Al Gore is faithful to Tipper, or Barack Obama to Michelle, or Hillary Clinton to Bill, or John McCain to Cindy. You and I are not a party to their marriages. You and I have no stake in whether they are faithful or not. It’s between them and their families, and it’s none of our business.

A politician’s worth is judged not by how faithful they are, and their personal lives are not good predictors of their professional skill. A politician owes it to their constituents to work to make our country the best country it can be. I’m not voting against John McCain because he’s a serial philanderer, I’m voting against him because I believe his policies, such as they are, are bad for the country. I’m not voting for Barack Obama because by all accounts he’s been faithful to his wife, I’m voting for him because I believe that on balance, his policies will be good for the country. If tomorrow I discovered that Barack was a cheater and McCain had been unfairly tarred, it wouldn’t change my vote, because I’m not picking a husband, I’m picking a president.

John Edwards may be a bad husband. But I have seen nothing that would convince me he’d be a bad cabinet official. If something comes to light indicating he was an ethically challenged senator, let me know. Until then, I think John should go talk to Elizabeth and his children, and seek a way forward for all of them, be it together or apart. Only they can decide.

And I think the rest of us should butt out, and give them their privacy.

This entry posted in Elections and politics, Families structures, divorce, etc, In the news. Bookmark the permalink. 

44 Responses to John Edwards

  1. 1
    Tanglethis says:

    There’s some kind of trollraging at Pandagon about how folks (Amanda, in particular) are being too soft on Edwards. So I’m just going to jump right on in here with the “this is different from Spitzer or Craig” stance.

    If Edwards had sex with a prostitute, I’d hold him accountable to pushing for a fairer treatment of sex workers.
    If he’d had sex with a man, I’d hold him accountable to pushing harder for gay rights.

    But as it stands, I’m just really not interested in his sex life – although since I’m forced to hear about it, I wish strength and healing for his wife and children.

  2. 2
    spgreenlaw says:

    I’m afraid I’ve got to disagree on this one. Edwards ran for a shot at being the Democratic nominee, knowing full well what storm was brewing in the pages of the Enquirer. Had he won (and before today I wished he had) and this inevitably blew up, he would have destroyed the chances of a Democratic White House. He knows how this nation reacts to Democratic sex scandals, and so he owes his party and the progressives who supported him an apology.

  3. 3
    Renee says:

    His affair is the business of his family. The press should not even have asked the question. Public figure or not we got to stop intruding the sex lives of other people

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    I don’t especially care that he had an affair — he hasn’t made a career of trumpeting his family values, as far as I know. A philanderer (is that the word?) can be a good public servant.

    I do care that he made a serious run for president with this hanging over his head. What if he had won the nomination, and then this came out? It’s irresponsible of him to have tried to put the Democratic party in that position.

  5. Pingback: My thoughts on the Edwards Affair at Political Byline

  6. 5
    Jack Stephens says:

    I don’t especially care that he had an affair — he hasn’t made a career of trumpeting his family values, as far as I know.

    Touche Mr. Barry.

    The first thing I thought when first hearing the report on the radio in my car today was, “There goes his ‘candidacy for the vice-presidency!”

    DNC Chairman: “Abandon ship! Abandon ship! Throw out the life preservers! Get as far away from the S.S. Edwards as soon as possible or else the whirlpool from his sinking career will suck us all in!”

  7. 6
    Robert says:

    Well, I care that he had an affair, but we don’t need to recap that argument here. Ampersand and others are quite right that Edwards’ offense, in terms of the political system, is the risk he chose to subject his party to via his run. I particularly think that because of the situation with his wife, the criticism of him on the “omg the adultereez” grounds should be toned down and kept civil; however, the political criticism need not be moderated out of decency.

    That political risk also makes the media culpable in this story; they have not been responsible reporters of what turned out to be a credible report. Political bias? Some will argue so; I dunno. Maybe it’s just coincidence that Republicans gone wild are banner stories for months on end while they practically had to catch Edwards with his penis in someone before there was any coverage. Either way, the media has badly let down the process and the country, and I think they had better have their radars finely tuned for the active races, if they want any claim to credibility.

  8. 7
    Renee says:

    @Ampersand…it can only be considered irresponsible if we feel that what he does sexually has an effect on how he does his job. Honestly this puritanical attitude towards sex is ridiculous. Sex is sold all over the place but if you get caught doing “it” suddenly you are a dirty pervert.

  9. 8
    Jake Squid says:

    I dunno, Renee. It’s not that you get caught “doing it.” It’s that you get caught “doing it” with someone other than the person to whom you promised fidelity. Had Edwards said, in the interview, something along the lines of what Paterson, the governor of NY, had said in his statement I would have no problems with it. Had Edwards and his partner stated that they have an open relationship… again, I’d have no problem with it.

    Like it or not, the breaking of a promise of fidelity is something that usually causes great emotional pain to one’s partner in our culture. That’s no big secret.

    The revelation of Edwards’ affair certainly makes me believe that he’s a crappy person and one not to be trusted in a personal relationship. But it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be great as an elected representative. A great many of our Presidents – and at least several of our great presidents – are either known to have had affairs or have strong evidence of having had affairs.

    I see that many people have written that the personal lives of politicians are none of our business. Or it’s only our business if their actions contradict their stated positions. I couldn’t disagree more. A person’s actions in their private lives are one indicator of how they may behave within the arena of politics. Nah, if you’re dumb enough to be in politics and get caught in (non-political) bribery or extortion or tax evasion or child abuse, etc. scandals that may be a hint that you’re not going to be an effective politician. Or it may not. Nevertheless, it is another bit of info with which to make our decisions.

    But, still… Edwards did a crappy thing that I find morally reprehensible. If I had a choice to vote for either Edwards or candidate X – and candidate X held identical positions to those of Edwards – I would certainly vote for candidate X. If, however, my only 2 choices were Edwards & McCain, the choice would be clear. Not only did McCain do the exact same thing, but McCain’s policy positions and political history make him abhorrent.

  10. 9
    Joe says:

    Renee, single person has sex = who cares. Married person who’s spouse is has cancer cheats on spouse and covers it up is different. (along with possible financial misconduct, I want to know more about the allegation that he gave his mistress money from mis campaign)

    How you treat the people that you say you love tells me something about you.

  11. 10
    Joe says:

    did McCain do the exact same thing,

    I think it’s pretty clear that the circumstances were very different. ( I’m not a mccain supporter)

    McCain went to Vietnam, was captured and held for several years, came home, cheated on his wife, got divorced got remarried, and afaik, was faithful for the last 30 years. His infidelity tells me something about the person he was back in the late 1970′s

    Edwards was caught last month in an affair that went on while running for president. It tells me something about the person he was last week.

    as far as the troll strom at pandagon…good for the trolls. Amanda is lousy. If more people agree with/were entertained by Amanda she’d be a lefty Ann Coulter. Hell, i have no trouble visualizing their head to head show on CNN.

  12. 11
    Jeff Fecke says:

    and afaik, was faithful for the last 30 year

    Sadly, no — McCain has a reputation as a philanderer, and while the New York Times didn’t come out and say it earlier in the year, they strongly insinuated that he’s had a recent affair with a lobbyist.

    Incidentally, that’s not affecting my vote either; it’s John and Cindy McCain’s business, not mine.

  13. 12
    Renee says:

    @Joe and Ampersand…yes the man is a lecher. He had sex when his wife was suffering with cancer but I still refuse to sit in judgment of him. Was it something he did because he felt alone and needed the comfort of human contact that she could not provide at that time? Is he just a horny guy? Who the hell knows but I do know that what he does with his privates is not relevant to anyone except his family. He committed no crime as far as I am aware.
    The only thing that this behavior shows is that monogamy is not his thing, but it is important to remember that many people are not faithful even though they claim to be in monogamous relationships. This feels more like a nation living in a glass house throwing the proverbial stone..along with a sigh of relief that they have not been publicly outed in this manner.
    Bottom line is, all the man did was have sex…that’s it sex, something we all desire to do except asexual people.

  14. 13
    Joe says:

    Sadly, no — McCain has a reputation as a philanderer, and while the New York Times didn’t come out and say it earlier in the year, they strongly insinuated that he’s had a recent affair with a lobbyist.

    Show me something other than vague innuendo about him being a philanderer and I’ll agree with you. I saw that NYT story. I thought the sex angle was a waste of time. It wasn’t compelling and it distracted with the point that he was very close friends with a lobbyist. The idea that since she was an attractive woman than of course the relationship was sexual is…silly.

    Even if there were proof the argument that “McCain cheat too” is as stupid as when republicans argued bush’s pardon of Libby was okay “because look at all the pardons Clinton gave.”

    Context. matters. and i’m not looking for “better than the worst”. I’m looking for “good”

  15. 14
    Joe says:

    The only thing that this behavior shows is that monogamy is not his thing

    when he promised his wife he wouldn’t
    and he lied about it
    while running for president
    (also there’s the thing about giving her money from his campaign.)

    What he did?
    it’s shitty behavior. It’s selfish, it’s inconsiderate, it’s short sighted, it’s deceitful, it’s arrogant.

    I’ve had enough of shitty selfish, self absorbed, short sighted deceitful presidents that don’t consider how their decisions affect other people.

    several comments in a row by me. I’m out for a bit.

  16. 15
    Elizabeth Anne says:

    At the risk of sounding like one of those puritans…
    When a man gets married, he stands up in front of his friends and family and takes an oath that he will be faithful to his wife.

    When that man becomes president, he stands up in front of his country and takes an oath that he will be faithful to the constitution and to the laws of this land.

    So, yeah. The seriousness with which he treats one will inform my opinion of how he will treat the other. It’s not the only factor. It’s nowhere NEAR the most important factor. But it *is* one.

    that having been said, I’m a pragmatist: I’ll take a competent cheater over a faithful talking chimp any day. But it is relevant.

  17. 16
    Renee says:

    when he promised his wife he wouldn’t
    and he lied about it

    Yeah and people lie about sex daily..in fact people lie about things a lot worse than sex…A nation that actively participates in this behavior should not be sitting in judgment of someone. Is that glass I hear crashing?

  18. 17
    Jake Squid says:

    Yeah and people lie about sex daily..in fact people lie about things a lot worse than sex…A nation that actively participates in this behavior should not be sitting in judgment of someone. Is that glass I hear crashing?

    Oddly enough, many citizens of the US take their promises of fidelity seriously and keep those promises. Even many on the left. If you want to advocate the extinction of fidelity in our culture, go right ahead. I won’t stand against you. (Nor will I stand against those who have open relationships.) But we’re living with cultural expectations as they are right now. As such, a broken promise of fidelity carries weight in the opinion of those millions who do keep their oath.

    Is that glass you hear crashing? Surely. But none of it is coming from my direction.

  19. 18
    Meowser says:

    I don’t care that Edwards had an affair. I mean, he told his family about it two freaking years ago. People need to grow up. Yeah, it sucks that he felt the need to cover it up with the public, but that’s what people demand, lots of pretty lies.

    I do care that other people care, however, and that if he had won the nomination and then this came out it would have meant good-bye Democrats. Republicans are allowed to screw around; Democrats have to be perfect, or at least publicly insist that they are. I would like to think that if Edwards had been anywhere close to winning the nomination that he would have made the confession sooner for the good of his party, knowing that the deck was already going to be stacked against it. Quite possibly, though, he always knew his chances were pretty remote, given his lack of inclination to be enough of a corporate kissass.

    I actually told my boyfriend today that if I ever have a terminal illness he has my permission to go out and enjoy himself as he sees fit, he doesn’t even have to tell me about it. (And if I do wind up in that position, I plan on getting incredibly fucked up on every drug I was ever too chicken to try before, which is almost all of them, so it’s entirely possible I won’t even notice.) It would not surprise me in the slightest if Elizabeth Edwards had actually given her blessing for John to have an affair. If we lived in a nation where the average emotional age of most voters (present company excluded) was older than 9, they might actually be able to tell us.

  20. 19
    Tom T. says:

    It’s potentially more than just sex, since there’s the baby to consider. If in fact he fathered this woman’s child and then absented himself from their lives, I think many voters would consider that to be a larger issue than simply an infidelity.

  21. 20
    Ampersand says:

    @Ampersand…it can only be considered irresponsible if we feel that what he does sexually has an effect on how he does his job.

    If John Edwards had become the democratic nominee for President, then his job would be getting elected. And having an affair does affect how he’d do that job.

    (In other words, what Meowser said. :-) )

  22. 21
    Ampersand says:

    That political risk also makes the media culpable in this story; they have not been responsible reporters of what turned out to be a credible report. Political bias? Some will argue so; I dunno. Maybe it’s just coincidence that Republicans gone wild are banner stories for months on end while they practically had to catch Edwards with his penis in someone before there was any coverage.

    I haven’t followed this story. Was there equivalent evidence on this months ago — the equivalent of Larry Craig’s guilty plea, for example?

    (I’m not sure where you were during the Clinton administration, but as I recall the press didn’t give him a pass on his sex life.)

  23. 22
    Robert says:

    I don’t know what the state of the evidence was three months ago, because like you I wasn’t following it. I do know that there was reporting on it. Courts are supposed to wait for evidence. Journalists are supposed to go out and find some.

    And no, Clinton didn’t get a pass, either – eventually. But it took weeks or months before the story was finally accepted as true by MSM outlets, and it again took a media “outsider” because the “real media” tried and tried and tried not to cover it.

    I don’t think the WaPo and the NYT need to spend all their time trolling in Democratic underwear. But they do need to start finding these stories without the blogosphere beating them with it for weeks first, OR they need to start having the same reluctance to investigate Republican underwear.

  24. 23
    Myca says:

    Isn’t the primary difference between the Edwards situation and Larry Craig/Scott Muschany/David Vittner/Mark Foley/Ted Haggard situations that the latter involved actual crimes committed?

    I mean, yeah, I don’t actually want the media to give a pass to Democrats, but I’m not sure that being more vigorous (in the Scott Muschany case, for example) in reporting that an elected official has raped a 14 year old than they are in reporting a consensual affair should rightly be blamed on political bias. Isn’t it actually a more important story?

    —Myca

  25. 24
    DaisyDeadhead says:

    What Meowser said, in bold type.

  26. 25
    Sharon Cullars says:

    I really don’t care about the marital infidelities of public officials; as has been pointed out, that is a problem between the infidel (couldn’t resist) and his family. However, in this case, Edward’s lying is a problem. Public officials have to learn to navigate rough situations, and consistent lying (esp. when their is evidence against you) denotes a lack of tact and leadership ability. This inability to troubleshoot could very well translate into more official realms. To be caught lying about your marital infidelity is one thing; to be caught lying about a trade agreement or peace pact is something that has national ramnifications. Learning to tactfully tell the truth, even when it will result in personal embarrassment, is something leaders need to learn.

    Also, it’s interesting that for some the onus seems to be on the Democrats to be upstanding and moral. From my experience, it is the Republicans who run on platforms of “family morals” and godliness, so when they fall, their self-righteousness rightfully comes back to bite them on the ass. I haven’t really seen a Democrat running on a moral majority platform, but if he or she does, then the ramnifications should be the same as it is with any Republican. In biblical words, beware of the beam in your own eye instead of the mote in your neighbor’s and everything will be kopacetic.

    (RIP Bernie Mac.)

  27. 26
    Sailorman says:

    I was a huge Clinton fan. still am. but his infidelity was irrelevant because we ALREADY KNEW that he was a good president/

    I don’t see how marital infidelity is different from anything else when making judgments about a candidate’s character, and I see character as a perfectly OK factor in deciding whether or not to endorse a candidate. It’s by no means the only or most important one, of course. but irrelevant? nope.

    The line goes “well, generally speaking, someone who would _____ is not someone I would want to be president.”

    Some folks here think “hey, marital infidelity, no problem.” But you still make character judgments, you just might not have that be yours.

  28. 27
    Tara says:

    It seems to me that having an affair and then running for president against Clinton and Obama shows, well, white male privilege. Can you imagine either of the other two candidates taking such a huge political risk? Clinton gets flack for the fact that her husband had affairs years ago! Obama gets flack for things his minister says! Any marginal candidate has to be super intensely careful with anything that could remotely be considered controversial, and John Edwards sleeps with another woman and goes and runs against them for the white house?

  29. 28
    Eva says:

    It doesn’t seem very intelligent to wave such a large red flag, hoping (?) no one will notice or mind that it’s so large and so red.

  30. 29
    r@d@r says:

    in my mind, it’s all a matter of perspective and of degree.

    did edwards commit adultery? sure. is that a demonstration of moral turpitude, or at least unreliability or perhaps a creative notion of what honesty is? maybe. was big dog a lying son of a bitch? of course. was it hard to trust him after all of that? it was for me.

    did he shove firecrackers up the asses of live frogs and laugh as he watched them explode? or snicker and make jokes about someone pleading for their life? or sanction torture? nope. somebody else we know did that. and what does that tell us about that particular individual’s moral center? and who has taken him to task for that? i mean to his face.

    i just look around me at my fellow citizens these days and wonder – who the fuck are these people? and i thought I was insane, that I was the crazy one. it’s starting to feel like this whole country has turned into one giant snake pit.

    i tell you what. even now, knowing what we know about edwards and his lying about fucking someone other than his wife – all of his signs of moral weakness, denial, failure to take responsibility – he’s still a better man than i, and i’d still vote for him for president.

    of course, i’d rather have voted for his wife, but that wasn’t on the menu.

  31. 30
    Ampersand says:

    I’d still vote for him for president.

    But would I vote for him to be the Democratic party nominee for president? Heck no.

  32. 31
    Ben says:

    Joe,

    What happened with you and Amanda? Your anger at her makes me wonder what she did; did she kick one of your pets or something?

  33. 32
    Radfem says:

    Any marginal candidate has to be super intensely careful with anything that could remotely be considered controversial, and John Edwards sleeps with another woman and goes and runs against them for the white house?

    Exactly.

  34. 33
    RonF says:

    Sailorman:

    I was a huge Clinton fan. still am. but his infidelity was irrelevant because we ALREADY KNEW that he was a good president/

    Well, THAT’S a matter subject to debate. However, once the news of his infidelities came out, how did it affect his effectiveness as President? Badly. His domestic agenda took a huge hit because of all the time and energy he had to expend in dealing with it – first by denying it and trying to cover it up, and then dealing with all the hearings, news stories, etc., etc., when his lies were uncovered.

    You’d think that Edwards would have taken a lesson from this. But it seems that powerful people think that they have an entitlement to power, and consideration of such issues doesn’t seem to cause them to think “Time to bow out”. It’s human nature, I suppose.

    I go along with Elizabeth Anne on this. John Edwards stood before the altar of God and made a promise to the Lord, his wife and the community as a whole. Then he violated it. Now, we’re all human and all sinners. If we look for a President without sin we’ll be looking a long time. So I don’t consider that in and of itself such an act disqualifies him from office. But it’s a factor, and so is how he dealt with it as far as within his family and with the community at large (how he dealt with it with the Lord is his business and in any case the Lord ain’t talkin’). Clinton lied like a thief to everyone and stuck to his lies until he was completely backed in a corner. Apparently Edwards handled it more honestly within his family. Good for him. But when it comes to the community (i.e., the electorate in general and the Democratic Party in particular) he was less than forthcoming. It’s valid to presume that this reflects how he would handle other mistakes and decisions.

    It’s instructive to remember that Grover Cleveland got elected 100 years ago after acknowledging he had fathered an illegitimate child, in a day and age that was a hell of a lot more puritanical than the U.S. is now. Honesty really is the best policy.

  35. 34
    Sailorman says:

    Now, we’re all human and all sinners.

    Not me! I am not a sinner. Just FYI. Because, ya know, that’d require that there be someone to sin against, and all that, and since God doesn’t exist there’s no sin. Groovy! I have moral filings, sure, but I am happily sin-free :)

    (so are you, incidentally, since there’s no God and all that.)

    So I don’t mind much that Edwards broke a promise to a figment of his imagination. Nor do I think he made a promise to the community–what’s up with that? I may be married, but I sure as heck don’t owe promises to anyone else in town. I just think that cheating on your spouse is a generally scummy thing to do.

    Of course, EVERYONE is scummy these days, particularly in politics. And so it’s a “lesser evil” strategy in most cases: i liked Clinton as a president over the other options, but I by no means like everything about clinton.

  36. 35
    RonF says:

    So I don’t mind much that Edwards broke a promise to a figment of his imagination.

    You are entitled to your opinion that Edwards only broke a promise to a figment of his imagination. But that’s not what matters in this context. What matters is what Edwards and his wife believe. They believe that there is a Supreme Being, and they believe that they made an oath to Him. That’s a hell of a commitment to break.

    Nor do I think he made a promise to the community–what’s up with that? I may be married, but I sure as heck don’t owe promises to anyone else in town.

    I’d guess that you didn’t get married in a church in a Christian service. I’d guess that Edwards did. Read through any Christian marriage service and you’ll see what I mean. Here are excerpts from the marriage ceremony from my own denomination, the Episcopal Church. I think you’ll find it reasonably typical of Christian matrimony services overall.

    Then the Celebrant, facing the people and the persons to be married, with the woman to the right and the man to the left, addresses the congregation and says

    Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony.

    Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.

    Into this holy union N.N.. and N.N.. now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.

    Then the Celebrant says to the persons to be married

    I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God’s Word, you do now confess it.

    The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, saying

    Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?

    The community is asked to witness and bless the marriage. They are asked to give voice if they have any reason that the marriage should not move forward, and they are asked to assist the two in upholding their marriage. The couple is asked to confess to the community and God if they know of any reason why they should not be married. The community, made up at least of those present, are part of this ceremony and this commitment. The couple invites the community to witness and bless their marriage and makes a commitment to them as well as to God.

    I may be married, but I sure as heck don’t owe promises to anyone else in town.

    Again; it’s not an issue of what you feel your commitment is – it’s an issue of what commitment John Edwards made. And broke. It’s different than yours, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

  37. 36
    RonF says:

    And in the vein of “Do we really need to talk about this?”, I wonder why the MSM jumped on what was in actual fact a baseless rumor about John McCain and an attractive lobbyist but sat on this story about Edwards until it got shoved in their face?

  38. 37
    Ampersand says:

    As I recall, the Times ran the story once and was widely criticized for publishing gossip, including by other MSM organs and in some prominent liberal blogs. I’m not at all sure that’s the same thing as the MSM jumping on a story, unless the Times stands in for the entire mainstream media.

    As far as I can tell, the Times sin in running that aspect of the McCain story is that they ran it without really being able to prove that it was true. That was wrong. But you’re now implying that the MSM should have run the Edwards story before they could prove it was true. Wouldn’t that have been wrong, too?

  39. 38
    RonF says:

    This story first started developing in October 2007. At the time, John Edwards denied it as “completely untrue, ridiculous”. The MSM had plenty of time to investigate it. Reporters say that they had no proof, but that didn’t stop the “Paper of Record” from going with rumors about McCain.

    There seems to be a double standard here. No, I wouldn’t go with such a story without proof. But it’s the news media’s job to go get proof – to investigate. Where was the investigation here? Or did the MSM back off because they like John Edwards and his politics?

  40. 39
    Jake Squid says:

    RonF,

    The congregation is charged with doing, “… all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage…” There is no promise made by those being married to the congregation. Now, had a congregant made it a point to attempt to break up the Edwards’ marriage, that would have been breaking a promise.

    I’ve officiated a few weddings in my time and, therefore, done a bit of research into marriage ceremonies. I don’t recall seeing any where the couple promises to the congregation that they’ll be faithful to each other. Usually they promise each other to be (sexually) faithful. Among other things.

    Also, having been married once in a Jewish ceremony where the Rabbi went on and on and on about God, I don’t think that one needs to believe in God to be married in a religious ceremony that places importance on God. So, no, we don’t really know whether or not the Edwards’ believe in God. Especially since no mainstream politician vying for major office (or his or her spouse) can reasonably be expected to claim not to believe in God.

  41. 40
    Ampersand says:

    Ron, what evidence do you have that no one in the MSM looked for evidence? I assume that there are a lot of things going on that, despite being true, cannot instantly be proven.

    If the MSM was so completely focused on protecting Democrats from sex scandals, why didn’t they protect Clinton? Or Gary Hart? Or the recent governor of New York? Or the former governor of Oregon (you may not have heard about that one, but it was a scandal here just a year or two ago)?

    Overall, McCain has gotten very helpful coverage from the MSM, compared to Obama, who is treated more negatively.

    He’s also gotten less attention, although that’s become more even in recent weeks My take on this is that the MSM has a double bias; they’re easier on McCain because they love him, but they also cover Obama more because Obama is what more viewers are more eager to see, and they’re more-or-less in the business of showing viewers what viewers want to see.

    (That last sentence was a vast oversimplification, of course.)

  42. 41
    RonF says:

    I may be married, but I sure as heck don’t owe promises to anyone else in town.

    Actually, now that I think of it, you have made promises to the community at large. And the community at large, in the agency of the judiciary and law enforcement arms of the government that the community has established, will be more than happy to force you to keep those promises.

    Let’s say your girlfriend has health problems such that she runs up bills she cannot pay. You have no legal obligation to pay them; she is on her own unless you voluntarily pay for her bills. But if the same thing happens with your wife, you will be obligated to financially contribute to paying her bills before the State gets involved.

    Same thing if your wife’s paycheck doesn’t cover her life expenses. If she applies for public aid, one of the first things they’ll ask her is whether she’s married. If she says “Yes”, she’s not going to get any aid if you have assets sufficient for the purpose.

    By getting married, you have promised the community that you will be the primary guarantor for your spouse’s needs if she cannot provide for herself. The various threads on this blog calling for same-sex “marriage” have outlined the benefits granted to married couples by the State. Those benefits are not free – the community requires a price for them. Paying the price for them is your obligation and promise to the community.

  43. 42
    Myca says:

    Well, sure, Ron. I even agree, it’s just that that’s a different thing than ‘promising the community’ that you’ll be sexually faithful.

  44. 43
    RonF says:

    True, Myca. But in the above post I was addressing not the Edwards’ marriage but Sailorman’s assertion that when he got married he made no commitment to the community at large.