Edwards V. McCain: Sean Hannity Spins Bunkum Out Of B.S. genre: Polispeak & Uncivil Unions

I realize that partisan politics is apt to skew our views of the politicians we support or oppose. At the same time, reality should lead us to see them as they actually are. In the aftermath of the John Edwards affair, party pundits have done their best to spin the situation for maximum benefit. Unfortunately, the following video of Sean Hannity demonstrates the degree to which denial can transform strategic spinning into little more than hysterical hyperbole.

In discussing the Edwards affair with a guest panel, Hannity proceeds to excoriate John Edwards while defending the same behavior from John McCain. It seems that Hannity thinks that McCain's time in captivity in Vietnam is sufficient to grant McCain a waiver with regards to cheating on his wife. Never mind that his wife, who had been the unfortunate victim of a horrific car accident, remained faithful to her husband despite her stressful circumstances. Apparently Hannity believes adversity can only be used to the advantage of husbands when explaining their dalliances.

The problem with Hannity's tortured defense of John McCain is found in numerous biographical accounts of his candidate. Truth be told, while McCain's time in Vietnam deservedly garners him high praise for exemplary service, it simply interrupted his well-documented and self-admitted womanizing. I've included two video excerpts from A & E's biographical account of John McCain. Suffice it to say that the piece includes the following paraphrased descriptors when referencing the Arizona senator.

He spent his time cruising for girls.

He was a rebel who broke the rules.

He was the class delinquent, a partier, a bad student...always on the edge of expulsion.

His was the life of a free-wheeling jet jockey...drinking, chasing women, and living the life of a playboy.

Within a year and a half of his return from Vietnam, he resumed his old ways as a playboy...drinking, carousing, and having affairs.

The 42 year old ladies man decided to run for office a year after moving to Arizona with his new wife and former mistress.

Let me be clear...I don't believe a candidates sex life necessarily negates their capabilities to be an effective elected official. Yes, the deceit and dishonesty is troubling, but I challenge anyone to take a moment and consider their own co-workers who have engaged in extramarital activities. I doubt many of us can conclude that their infidelity directly impacted their ability to fulfill the duties of their employment. While it's reasonable to revile the cheating, its relevance to one's occupational acumen is rarely substantiated.

I suspect the same is true with regards to John Edwards and John McCain...just as it was with Bill Clinton. The fact that campaign surrogates seek to capitalize upon our disdain for such behavior is to be expected. In Hannity's case, I suspect he's a victim of his own pompous pabulum. Fortunately, our own emotional maturity ought to instruct us to proceed with caution. If Hannity wants to drive the bias bus off the cliff, so be it.

When it's all said and done, there are more similarities between the behaviors of Edwards and McCain than there are differences. Both men appear to have engaged in extramarital affairs while their own wives struggled with serious illnesses (yes, Edwards denies this but I suspect the evidence will confirm otherwise).

The fact that Sean Hannity wants to grant John McCain a pass is a transparent display of the kind of punditry that poisons the airwaves and undermines our ability to focus on the real world issues that will influence our lives. Ever intent to be good soldiers - spinning bunkum out of B.S. - men like Sean Hannity actually do little more than muddy the waters of the morality they seek to claim as the unique domain of their party and their candidate.

In the end, history tells us that wherever human beings are found, human frailties will flourish. Sean Hannity's banal bravado is simply more of the same.

Sean Hannity - Being A POW Justifies McCain Affairs

John McCain A & E Biography - Part One

John McCain A & E Biography - Part Three

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Adultery, Alan Colmes, Fox News, Infidelity, John Edwards, John McCain, Morality, Politics, Sean Hannity

Daniel DiRito | August 13, 2008 | 9:26 AM
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1 On August 13, 2008 at 3:21 PM, SteveIL wrote —

Talk about "hysterical hyperbole".

"When it's all said and done, there are more similarities between the behaviors of Edwards and McCain than there are differences."

I noticed that since McCain has been in Congress, those behavior similarities between himself and Edwards end. And that is based on watching the two A & E Biography excerpts above.

That link to your earlier post regarding the New York Times smear against McCain earlier this year has already been long debunked as garbage. This whole post is an example of hysterical hyperbole.

2 On August 14, 2008 at 11:42 AM, ben in oakland wrote —

Regarding John Edwards' admission of an extra-marital affair in 2006: this is a perfect example of the difference between sanctimonious and sanctified. This is the struggle between the moralist who not only believes in perfectibility, but demands that reality conform to that notion when it can't and doesn't, and the realist who hopes for perfectibility, but knows compassionately that the individual must seek his own path.

Last year, Edwards said that because of his religion, marriage is between a man and a woman, though he did support civil unions to address the legal recognition of gay relationships. Elizabeth Edwards supported full marriage rights for gay people. What is interesting to note is that when Edwards said this, he had had his affair, like Craig, Vitter, Kilpatrick, Haggard, Clinton, and the whole sorry battalion who claim that marriage is too sanctified for gay people, but thoughtlessly violate their own marriages. Elizabeth Edwards, the realist who actually values her marriage, knew about her husband's affair, forgave him, and stayed with him.

JE wanted to believe that marriage is perfectible, that he had sinned and repented, and therefore could judge worthiness. EE knew that no marriage is perfect, certainly not hers, and was thus willing to support gay people.

In short, as Rochefoucauld observed, "Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue". Or, as I would put it, reality is the only moral antidote to hypocrisy.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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Sean Hannity’s attempt to differentiate John McCain’s adultery from John Edwards’ is laughable. Men like Hannity actually do little more than muddy the waters of the morality they seek to claim as the unique domain of their party and their candidate. [Read More]

Tracked on August 13, 2008 11:45 AM

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