One of the characters we judge ourselves and those with whom we interact by is the ability to acknowledge our own (or their own) failings. Without such acknowledgements others find us (and we them) to be arrogant, deaf to criticism, and normally unable to comprimise because they fail to be able to grasp the comparatives to their own conduct, which in others they complain about, but seem unable/unwilling to see themselves doing.
I supported John Edwards for President. I didn't give him money, but I spoke (out) on his behalf. He seemed, unlike most of his peers, to understand the plight of working class Americans who see their jobs off-shored/outsourced, their health care costs run amok, and their pay languish. He seemed to understand that the issue wasn't a lack of corporate profits (which were high and higher), but rather a lack of decent pay.
Nothing he stood for though, excused his apparent/alleged conduct with contributor cash. Even if he didn't violate the letter of the law, he absolutely violated the spirit of the law assuming the allegations are true that he used cash as payoff money to keep people quiet about his affair with a campaign aid.
Equally, nothing excuses taking advantage of your powerful relationship to woo an impressionable young staffer.
Nothing excuses having an affair, and continuing to do so, when your wife is dying of bone cancer. All of us have libidos, but all of us must put our personal desires aside for the benefit of our children and the people we promised to love until death parted us, who is in the fight of her life to stick around for those children.
I, without reservation, condemn and repudiate John Edwards for his conduct. It was immoral, it was wrong, it was disgusting and his fall from grace was of his own making and entirely deserved.
Ditto for Anthony Wiener. While Rep. Wiener's original sins were private (and frankly I couldn't give a darn about him sending pictures to Mother Theresa or the unwed mother of his undisclosed out of wedlock kids, I don't care). But he walked up in front of his constituents and nakedly lied. While not the death-knell of Sen. Edwards alleged conduct of paying people off to keep them quiet, it was horrible behavior. Rep Wiener, you should resign, not just because you've humiliated your office, but also because you've made a career of self-serving grandstanding, shunning the hard work. Clearly you are an egoist, perhaps it's time to go ground yourself for a while.
One of my personal complaints about conservative America is that they are nearly universally unwilling to acknowldege flaw or failing. In President Bush, at first they had a tin-ear about Iraq and the failures there, then it was about the mailaise plaguing the nation's economy, then they said that the downturn in 2007 and into 2008 was merely "a cycle", then, after 9/15/2008, it was blame regulation. and so on. It seems far too often they take a tack that they attack attack attack, but never accept accountability or responsibility or hold their own politicians accountable for bad concduct.
One of the chief differences I see between the parties (and there are scant few), is that normally Democrats will shun and condemn abhorant conduct. I certainly condemn the conduct of John Edwards and Anthony Wiener. To put lie to a false claim that Democrats don't condemn their own party member's bad conduct, let me repeat that. John Edwards, if he used campaign funds illegally, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. His alleged conduct, if true, emperils our electoral integrity. Either way, both he and Wiener deserve the repudiation of their party.
It would warm my heart to hear Republicans condemn Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh or David Vitter, but my condemnation of Edwards isn't predicated or dependent on it, and in fact I'm, fine if it stands starkly alone.