Sunday, August 10, 2008

john edwards

I don't have much to add to this except two comments:

1. Why is this a news story? Edwards failed twice to get the nomination because people thought he was a smooth talker but rather shallow. Now people know for sure that he is a smooth talker but rather shallow. Why is this interesting?

2. People keep talking about the "hypocrisy" of Spitzer, Edwards, and others who campaign like the Virgin Mary but spend their time hanging out with real or functional prostitutes. But of course these are two sides of the same coin. People who learn to balance their self-righteousness with an ability to enjoy life--who learn, in short, not to take themselves too seriously--are likely to maintain this equilibrium for many years. People who don't, aren't. Men who treat their wives (and themselves) as some sort of celestial figures are uniquely susceptible to the appeal of bad girls like Rielle Hunter or Ashley DuPre, who provide a level of flattery and sexual experience that is likely to be missing in their real lives.

The role of the media deserves further comment. Commentators regularly complain that we have a culture of scandal and an insubstantial politics. But they cover the scandals and talk very little about the substance. So whose fault is it, and when is it going to change?


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