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.
Commentary By: Daniel DiRito
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.