When I first heard of the John Edwards affair, my first instinct as a libertine was to yawn and tell people that his marriage was none of their business and that he wasn't running for the office of upholding monogamy.
But as the months have passed, I find myself more disgusted with Edwards' behavior with every new report from the media. I still don't care that he strayed from his marriage or even that he sired an extramarital child, which is entirely besides the point of my opinion.
Rather, my disgust stems from how he's handled -- or not handled -- this affair. Instead of owning up to what he'd done -- or simply telling the press that his private life was none of their business -- he first denied that he'd had an affair with the woman in question. Then he later recanted and admitted he'd slept with her. But when she had a baby girl, he denied he was the father, pushing it off on one of his campaign aides. More recently, he's finally admitted that the baby is his. And now it's come to light that sex tapes exist of him and the "other woman".
Can we give the man an award for insensitivity and general dumbassery? Having an affair and siring a child outside one's marriage happens and while it's a political liability in our society, it's hardly a unique thing. And while the timing of the affair was particularly insensitive, considering his wife's illness, he's made it all the much worse with his unwillingness to admit to the truth. He's further humiliated his wife, while at the same time left a public record of repudiating an innocent little girl who will one day grow up to know that her father valued his political career more than he did her.
It doesn't really matter that he strayed or why, as there are dozens of reasons why people do so. But if he was going to get some on the side, he should have used his brain and done it properly. First of all, Edwards in his in fifties and the woman in question in her forties. Had neither of them ever heard of birth control? Granted, he might have thought her past the age of conceiving, but he shouldn't have taken any chances.
And for fuck's sake, what kind of a moron makes sex tapes proving the adultery to all and sundry? It's shit like this that makes me question his power of judgment in other matters as well.
Edwards would have done much better to handle this as David Letterman handled being outed as straying from his marriage, instead of turning himself into a Jerry Springer sideshow.