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Political affairs

August 11, 2008

In the latest episode of the sordid affairs of has been politicians, Rielle Hunter has rejected the idea of a DNA test to determine paternity and requested privacy for herself and her child. That is perhaps the most reasonable statement made with regard to seemingly never-ending drama of a has-been politician who cheats on his cancer-stricken wife.

Edwards repeatedly denied an affair, but ultimately was caught leaving Rielle Hunter’s hotel room in the middle of the night. Either guilt or just the desire to get it over with compelled Edwards to admit to the affair, but not paternity of Hunter’s child.

John Edwards is a leftist and an elitist. Remember the $400 haircut and the video from the 2004 campaign that earned him the moniker “the Breck girl?” It is well that his days on the national political stage are over. But do stories about political has-been John Edwards and his lover, ex-lover, mistress or whatever name you give her, really belong in the category of “news?”

To their credit, the MSM did not cover rumors of John Edwards’ infidelity; the story broke on the pages of tabloid “The National Enquirer.”

A few months ago, John McCain did not fare as well with the MSM. When rumors of an affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman surfaced, it was the start of a feeding frenzy that ended when both parties flatly denied the rumors. Not surprisingly, the Huffington Post got in on the action.

Long before the tales of the two Johns, there was the saga of Gary Hart. His was a political star on the rise when “news” of an affair with Donna Rice hit the airwaves. He denied the rumored relationship, and challenged reporters to follow him around; he had nothing to hide. A few days later, a pair of reporters from the Miami Herald did indeed follow him. That overnight stakeout paid off. Hart made nervous, feeble denials. His wife defended him, saying that his relationship with the young woman was innocent. Nonetheless, the feeding frenzy was underway. Soon after, the National Enquirer published photos of Hart and his mistress aboard a yacht named appropriately enough “Monkey Business.” From that point, his political star went into freefall.

What do affairs have to do with the ability to lead? Nothing. The vast majority of us are involved in relationships before we marry and many have extramarital affairs. When we are involved, there is nothing wrong and we suffer no consequences. We tend to hold others to a higher standard — especially politicians.

If the “accused” denies the relationship, “journalists” will dig even deeper. When rumor becomes truth, a mea culpa generally indicates a career change is in order. After all, how can we trust someone who lied to us? That person is no longer qualified to lead and thus run out of town on a rail.

I wonder how many men or women actually admit affairs to their significant other. If one lies, then is caught in that lie, should his or her employment be terminated due to lack of confidence on the part of the employer?

What would happen if the accused simply said, “of course it’s true?” Would our lust for the politics of personal destruction continue to drive news headlines? Or would we assume that because of the admission to an affair, he or she is still worthy of a vote?

Why do we even care whose sleeping with whom? In the grand scheme of things, almost all politicians lie. They make promises to voters to get elected, many of which they know can never be delivered. We must like being lied to because we re-elect incumbents at a rate of almost 90%.

That said, why do we allow the MSM to spoon feed affairs and rumors of affairs to us as “news.”

Until next time,
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