John Edwards cheated on Elizabeth Edwards with Rielle Hunter and fathered a daughter, whose paternity he has now, finally, admitted. Edwards’ political career is as over as the Macarena. But why, exactly? It’s not as if we don’t allow our politicians their affairs. John McCain cheated on his ex-wife with his current wife. Ditto Rudy Giuliani. Newt Gingrich did it twice, forcing his first wife to go on the equivalent of church welfare just to feed her family. Do I even need to say the words “Bill Clinton,” or “Ted Kennedy,” much less the all-time heavyweight champion, “John F. Kennedy?” I could go on. Come to think of it, those who kept it in their pants outside the marital bedroom look more and more like the outliers here.
So why are we all agreed on our disgust for John Edwards today? Well, there’s the kid, of course, but should Edwards really shoulder all of the blame here? Nobody knows except the two of them, obviously, but it’s a stretch even by the tawdry standards of this story to imagine that he could have had any interest in purposeful procreation.