Monday, August 11, 2008

Is It Really Over For Edwards?

Back when it was still a three-wo/man race for the Democratic presidential nomination, I was pulling for John Edwards. I liked Barack and all, but I particularly dug Edwards' consistent message about poverty in the U.S. When Edwards dropped out of the race, I hoped he'd wind up as Barack's V.P. choice when the time came.

I still do. Except now, some pundits claim that his admission to an extramarital affair has sunk his political career. And I don't get it.

My heart goes out to Elizabeth Edwards who, on top of battling cancer, now has to deal with this humiliating bullshit. It's national news that her husband of 30 years cheated on her in 2006, and despite his vehement denial, speculation remains that he may have fathered the other woman's child. I hope he's telling the truth about that, and I really hope his kids don't know more than they ought to. What can you say? It's jacked up.

But I'm not defending John Edwards' "mistake," 30 years is a long time. A mighty long time. We'd all like to think our marriages are bulletproof, but as long as human beings are involved, there are no guarantees. I've been married for 11 years, and even when things are going great, I'm stunned by the amount of effort and compromise it requires. Plus, the Edwardses have lived through the loss of their 16-year-old son, cancer and who knows what else. A friend of mine who is in her early 60s and divorced said it plainly a few years ago: "You never know what's going to happen."

But people like tidy morality tales, so there is no way Edwards can share the ticket with Obama now — despite the fact that this has nothing to do with my tax dollars, foreign policy, civil rights, education, national security or the economy. I guess you could play the Family Values card, but look where the "restoration of morality in the White House" has gotten us.

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