Edwards infidelity could be Obama's Sister Souljah moment

Let's stipulate:

We all make mistakes.
We're all human.
Everyone deserves a second chance.

That said. The Democratic Party needs to distinguish itself as an institution and fight for the survival of a strong marital institution.

While candidates like John Edwards take nearly every opportunity to promote their "family values", and make their private situations public for their political benefit, there is a disturbing pattern developing in our culture where everyone refuses to set moral standards, and hold people accountable.

A look at all the "elite opinion" basically states:

the infidelity was wrong and unfortunately is a part of our society, but the "real" shame is how Edwards lied to the American People, and how he let down so many young people.

I agree with their second point, but we must not allow the idea of men and women being faithful in their marriage to become an "unattainable" standard.

This will take good men like Obama to take the unpleasant but necessary step of standing up for the America we want to live in, and define it in positive terms.  Obama should set standards as a candidate for President.

Real Change can mean:

1. a faithful honest husband, Americans can trust (change from Bill Clinton)

2. an honest political leader who will make good decisions (change from George Bush)

Mind you, setting a standard doesn't mean anyone who breaks it will receive something equivalent to the death penalty.  

But it does mean that we establish a tradition that we work hard to build on and ultimately pass on to our children better than we found it.  

It also means that we as a people both through our government and through various methods in civil society establish right and wrong, and define moral values.

Some of them are easy like being against murder,rape, stealing, etc.; while others of them like marital infidelity are becoming increasingly difficult to attack because of the sheer propensity of "good people" to do bad things.

Obama should throw John Edwards "under the bus", and for good reason.  

He can reiterate that John is his friend.
That he still wishes to work with him in the future.

But that for John Edwards to lie to the American People while running for President was wrong.

He should say that having sexual relations with another woman is wrong. He should say that this has lead to many problems for John that he will have to deal with.

This was not a lie about some distant past that was "over" and done with. This was "real-time" dishonesty that we as Americans should not accept.

Of course, the potential damage to the party and the country should be factored in, but the real damage is to the idea, that you can have an affair, supposedly tell your wife, lie about it, and not establish bad examples for our young people.

Today, I went to a baseball tournament for 19 year boys/young men.

I thought to myself that Edwards behavior had increased the cynicism about politicians especially since his campaign was built on a moral foundation.  But also that he is helping to institutionalize bad behavior, and now we are lowering the standards in our country.

My solution:

Edwards could have kept this completely quiet had he decided to work in the private sector and not seek to be an official representative of the U.S. as POTUS.

but...

Once he decided to run for President, Edwards should have had the courage to be honest with the American People, tell how he failed, how he is committed to changing in the future.  Furthermore, his wife should have insisted on telling 100% of the truth, all the time.

Obama should say these painful things, and say that he will be trying to establish a Presidency, a Politics, and a cultural change that values Marriage.

The message we need to say without hesistation to our young men and women growing up:

take Marriage seriously, be a honest person, take responsibility for your mistakes and that's more than saying,
"I take full responsibility".

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

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Obama on Edwards

Just for the record, here is what Obama had to say about Edwards upon landing in Honolulu:

"The Edwards family indicated that they probably wouldn't be attending the convention. I understand that, look this is a difficult and painful time for them and I think they need to work through that process of healing. John Edwards was a great champion of working people through the course of this campaign. Many of his themes are ones that Democrats as a whole share, those will be amplified in the convention, and I wish them all well."http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/ story?id=5544983&page=1

Here is what HRC had to say about Edwards at a press conference after her event for Obama in Vegas.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards family today and that's all I've got to say." www.thepage.com

I'm predicting that the North Carolina GOP will attempt to tie Edwards to Obama if you remember the Wright video that it tried to run during the primaries.  I greatly admire Elizabeth Edwards and this revelation is pretty darn stinging.  I was never a fan of her husbands and I'm even less of a fan tonight.

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I feel your pain

This diary is meant for supporters of former Sen. Edwards.  I am not one, but I feel your pain (and please pardon the pun).

I can understand what you are going through.  I went through that myself back in January 1998... when news about Monica Lewinsky first surfaced.

I had come to like and admire President Clinton.  I had come to believe that his alleged infidelities were just right wing smears.  I had come to believe that the latest allegations about him having "done an intern" (as Chris Mathews used to put it every night) was nothing but rumors being manufactured by the usual suspects.. and that he was really just taking a paternal interest in the young lady's career.

I sympathize with your anguish, your grief, your denial and your anger.  You have every right to those emotions.  

Personally, I believe he (Sen. Edwards) made a mistake, like we all do, and I would rather focus on the positive.  He (Sen. Edwards) admits that he "started to believe that (I)he was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic" 

That is an honest admission... even if it comes from a man who is 1% dishonest.  Let us cut the man some slack for it... he has just admitted to something far worse than having an affair!

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Life and Lies of John Edwards

Here are some of the best hits of Edwards hypocrisy:

1. "I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen." -- John Edwards, Feb. 12, 1999

2. Interview with Katie Couric: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/12/19 /courics-candidate-questi_n_77448.html
COURIC: Harry Truman said, "A man not honorable in his marital relations is not usually honorable in any other." Some people don't feel comfortable supporting a candidate who has not remained faithful to his or her spouse. Can you understand their position?
EDWARDS: Of course. I mean, for a lot of Americans-- including the family that I grew up with, I mean, it's-- it's fundamental to-- how you judge people and human character-- whether you keep your word, whether you keep what is your ultimate word, which is that-- you love-- your spouse, and you'll stay with them.
......
COURIC: So you think it's-- an appropriate way to judge a candidate?
EDWARDS: Yeah.

3. "I never liked John Edwards, I ignored him for most of the primary because he sucked at organizing and messaging, and because I heard of several cases where he was in rooms with hedge fund guys and told them he would turn to the center in the general."
--Matt Stoller  http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?dia ryId=7412

4. Ending his college scholarship program once his political career was over. If he were the Democratic nominee for president, you bet your ass he'd have extended it.

Then there is the utter stupidity:

1. Cheating while running for president

  1. Cheating while running for president and not knowing how to "protect himself"
  2. Allowing his name to be considered for Vice President knowing that could sink Obama if he were chosen
  3. Building a huge fucking house while running a campaign on poverty (knowing he'd get crap)
  4. Working for a hedge fund while running a campaign based on poverty

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Betrayed, Anger, and Love for Elizabeth

Loss for words.  The person I thought should be our next President betrayed my trust.  As a blogger activist on the netroots level and a captain of Edwards' grassroots campaign group, many of us and I believed in his message wholeheartedly.

Can't be true. all this speculation by tabloid journalists.  Must be a right-wing conspiracy or a ploy to sell more issues.  Lies are real.  Edwards is a phony.  How can someone trust him now when he speaks out on poverty and fair wages?!

Now I think about the Edwards' family.  

John, don't you dare put Elizabeth next to you on the podium and have her suffer a similar fate as Spitzer's wife, recounting the humiliation and regrets.    

Hopefully Elizabeth, Cate, Emma and Jack will be brave and know we have them in our thoughts and prayers during this time.

Raw but reserved I write how I feel.  Share your thoughts below.  

     

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Diaries

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