Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mea Culpa

In August 2008, John Edwards acknowledged that the rumors that had been circulating for almost a year that he had had an affair were true.

He continued to deny that he was the father of a child who was born to his lover. But today, he admitted it.

I guess that was his mea culpa.

I don't want to dwell on this topic too much — except to say this.

Until January 2008, when Edwards dropped out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, I was one of his supporters.

When he finally confessed to the affair in August 2008, I observed that "The voters of America can be very forgiving if a candidate is honest about these matters when they come up. But they tend to be less forgiving of liars."

Consequently, I have to believe that, if Edwards continued to believe that he might someday be a contender for his party's presidential nomination — and continued to deny that his lover's child was his in the belief that he might yet have a chance to occupy the Oval Office — this revelation has to bring any such hopes to an end.

But, even if it doesn't end his hopes of running for president again, it has ended any chance that I will support his candidacy again.

This is my mea culpa.

You see, in my life, I've been lied to by the best — Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Joe Isuzu. Edwards is a rather artless liar, even worse than Nixon although he did follow Nixon's lead. He steadfastly refused to tell the truth until he was absolutely forced to do so.

I take no pleasure from saying this. A few years ago, I thought Edwards was the best choice to be president. But Edwards himself has proven that conclusion to be wrong.

One more thing.

Edwards was appropriately contrite when speaking of the daughter he refused to acknowledge for so long. "It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter," he said, "and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me."

I hope she will forgive him, too. But for her sake. Not his.

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