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A "Dear John" Letter

I never thought I'd say this, but it's time to kick John Edwards to the curb.

Yes, the John Edwards who was my original choice for President. The John Edwards who talked so movingly about the need to help working families and eliminate poverty in America.

Turns out all that took a back seat to his lust for a woman who wasn't his wife.

I'm sorry, but I'm not of a forgiving nature when the John Edwards I didn't know decided to run again for President with this sexual time-bomb ticking away. Is there really anyone in this country who doesn't realize that in a 21st-century world of 24-hour news, the Internet, blogs, tabloids, paparazzi, and of course Republican and Democratic opponents, no politician's affairs can be kept forever (dare I say) under covers?

For a clue, Sen. Edwards might have looked up "Clinton, Bill," or "Spitzer, Eliot."

It was a given that the minute the Rielle Hunter story came out -- as it would and did -- Edwards' campaign would have been over faster than you can say "Two Americas."

And if Edwards were the nominee by then, the soldiers in Iraq and the families without health insurance would be shit out of luck, because John McCain and the RNC would fire up their ad machines and blow him off the political face of the earth.

That's why I'm not of a forgiving nature here. The stakes were just too high for Edwards to take that kind of chance with the issues he claimed to cherish.

Or, for that matter, the wife he claimed to cherish. It takes an extraordinarily heartless and arrogant man to screw around on a woman who has loved him and been there for him through grief and campaigns and cancer, and then to lie about it.

(I do need to say here that while I have the deepest sympathy for Elizabeth Edwards and their children in the face of Sen. Edwards' betrayal and the family's humiliation, I wonder what Elizabeth was thinking when -- presumably -- she not only supported his latest bid for the White House but campaigned avidly for him when she, too, had to know that Rielle Hunter was not going to remain a secret forever. Elizabeth is certainly not to blame for the affair, but she does share the blame for the risk that her husband took in starting a campaign that could well have ended in a scandal for the Democratic nominee and a resulting overwhelming victory for the Republican.)

The pundits are now speculating on Edwards' political future (if any).

I, meanwhile, am bitterly disappointed in a man I had supported and the idea of a marriage I had believed in. While I don't believe for a minute that no male politician will, or can, "keep it in his pants," I do lament the number who don't, and I hope that there are a few left who do -- especially our current Democratic nominee.

We -- and all the Americans who so desperately need a good President -- don't need any more unfortunate surprises.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 13th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
...the utter arrogance...truly disgusting and bitterly disappointing.......
Aug. 13th, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Personally, I'm of the opinion that peoples' sex lives are their own business and have no bearing on the job they'll do as President. Anything having to do with morals is, to me, a very personal choice and quite frankly, I won't judge. I've never had an affair, but I'm sure someone out there is willing to condemn me for sleeping with a man I'm not married to and that's *my* moral choice, not theirs. It doesn't affect them. And to be quite blunt about it, Edwards' choice to go sleep with another woman does not affect us.

Consider that Elizabeth was ill with cancer. The treatments for that are almost as debilitating as the disease itself. Men are men, politicians are politicians, and she appears to have forgiven him awfully quickly. She also doesn't appear to have been surprised. It might well be that she, being the understanding sort she appears to be, might well have given him permission if she was physically unable to meet his needs that way. I certainly would for my man in the same position.

The really disgusting thing about the whole charade from my point of view is not that Edwards had an affair - it's how the vultures pounced on it.

And I know what opinions are likened to, but I still think more highly of Edwards than I do of McCain, who openly called his wife a "cunt" in front of reporters. If he treats her like that in front of reporters, how does he treat her off-camera and away from the mics?
Aug. 16th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
McCain's word for his wife was so far past inappropriate! I can't imagine how she puts up with him.

From what I'm reading about Elizabeth Edwards' reaction to the affair, I very much doubt she had an open marriage agreement with her husband; I think she was blindsided.

If Edwards was my neighbor and slept with another woman, you would be right that it doesn't affect us. And in years past, married men with mistresses served as President and we were none the wiser (Warren Harding, FDR, JFK), although the JFK and Bill Clinton affairs had major blackmail potential. But now, post-Monica, like it or not, a scandal like this can sink a nominee -- and would you have wanted McCain to win the election because of Rielle?
Aug. 15th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Ya know... I don't disagree with you.... I am trying to figure out just wxactly why it disgusts me personally so much.... No easy answers.... Can you just imagine standing in Eliz's shoes?
Aug. 16th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Elizabeth had no easy solutions, with her kids in the mix and her health so uncertain. The choices she might have made if she did not have cancer are not necessarily the ones she has the luxury of making now. I'm sure she is trying to maintain a stable household for herself and her children -- a monumentally difficult task now, I'm sure. My heart goes out to her.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )