Ad Hominem Politics

John Edwards had an affair (apparently). Who cares? Voters I guess. I was watching “Today” on NBC this morning for lack of something interesting to watch on the CBC Olympics coverage and they were discussing exactly to what extent he’s ruined his political career and what he’ll still be “allowed” to do in the future with the taint of infidelity upon him. How does where a politician puts his penis affect his ability to run things?

Bill Clinton had himself fellated by an intern, did that make him a bad president? He was being serviced long before we found out about it. So if we look back and rate his decisions in the interim between him getting head and us finding out about it, were they worse than before he was getting head? Probably not. So why are his decisions all of a sudden horrible after we’ve found out about it? He was getting head the whole time. In fact, after found out about it, he probably wasn’t getting it anymore (from the same people anyway) so maybe his decisions were better? Of course that sounds ridiculous because it is ridiculous to assume that sexual activity has anything to do with political decisions.

He was a “bad” president because he lied about it and because it llegedly happened in his office, not because it happened at all. However, under the circumstances did he really have a choice but to lie? If admitting you’ve had sex outside of marriage is enough to ruin a political career, why would you?

I find it a bit ridiculous that we hold politicians to an unachievable moral standard above the rest of us. They can’t smoke pot when they’re 17 without being called druggies, they can’t go on vacation without being called lazy, and they can’t make mistakes without people throwing them under the bus.

Now, I’m not trying to justify sexual affairs here — I think it’s fairly irresponsible considering STDs etc — and I’m not saying that screwing around is normal acceptable behaviour, but in the context of being a person and making human errors (to err is human…ring any bells?) I think we need to remember that politicians are people and therefore sometimes they do stupid shit. Why is that stupid shit any of our business if it has no impact whatsoever on how they are able to serve in their position as a politician, whatever that may be?

Why should John Edwards’ affair prevent him from running for office in the future? Why is Dan Quayle being called upon to answer insipid questions from Matt Lauer about John Edwards’ future prospects? Who do these people think they are talking about his personal life. Public figure, my ass. He’s a public figure in terms of politics and what he does within his job description. His private life is by definition not a public issue and I find it insensitive to his wife and children to analyze the situation on national television.

You lie like Bill and you’re a dick, you tell the truth and you’re a dick, you lead a perfect life with no mistakes and then you can do the job. Yeah, that sounds reasonable.

UPDATE: Interesting coincidence…Jonathan Rhys Meyers commented in a recent interview: “I’m always reading about Prince Harry, he’s getting drunk, he’s kissing girls, he’s falling out of nightclubs at five o’clock in the morning. Well, so? He’s doing the same thing as every other 22 or 23-year-old out there. But he can’t because he’s not a normal human being – he’s a demi-god because he’s a royal.” (Taken from here.)

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