As an early adopter of the John Edwards presidential campaign, I’m still smarting over the news of his affair. Not because I think his personal life, or personal mistakes, are any of my GD business, but because of how this could have truly messed things up for the Democrats if he had become the nominee.
Because of how this distracts from reducing poverty in America, Edwards’ pet issue.
Because of what he’s said in the past about character and commitment to family and their importance for politicians.
It never occurred to me to hold Elizabeth Edwards responsible for what might have happened to an Edwards candidacy this late in the game. But apparently, Sally Quinn had a lot of extra time on her hands, because in her Washington Post column, “On Faith,” she blames Elizabeth Edwards for encouraging her husband to run for president even though she knew about the liaison. And then smacked a really ugly and loaded label on Elizabeth — “enabler.”
In Political Wives Enabling Immoral Behavior, Quinn claims to respect Elizabeth Edwards, but then attacks her as someone who “allowed” her husband to lie and lays the decision of Edwards to run for president at her feet, launching into a diatribe about political wives enabling the dalliances of their husbands. But if we start going down that road, then don’t we have to hold all wives of cheating husbands responsible for those actions? Sally, I’m sure you have friends who have found themselves in the same situation. Are you ready to hold their feet to that moral fire, too?
While Elizabeth supported her husband’s decision to run for president, I have a hard time believing that she could have stopped him or that any reasonable journalist would find a backhanded way of holding the wife responsible for the sins of the husband. Really … wasn’t she just a little bit busy fighting cancer, taking care of two small children and, I’m guessing, still being a big support system for her older daughter?
As Diane raised in her blog post over at The WomensDISH, I’m also uncomfortable with one woman trying to toss another under the bus after viewing the situation through a lens of righteousness that I’m pretty sure she bought in the 1950s. The funny thing about judging others too harshly, though, is even if you think politicians are fair targets, that game can come back to bite you, especially if you live in a similar spotlight.
Sally, if you want to take on the issue of infidelity and politics, try putting the blame where it belongs. Or better yet, let’s leave this one where it should stay — back in the 1950s.