Sunday, August 10, 2008

Edwards and 99% Honesty...The Lexicon of Cheating

I don't usually write political blog posts, but in reading over the latest Edwards/Rielle Hunter affair fiasco, I just had to say something, and it's really not about the affair, although shame on him, of course. It's about the language of admission. Maureen Dowd, in her New York Times editorial of August 9 (see link above), states: The stunning admission Edwards made to ABC’s Bob Woodruff, and in a written statement from Chapel Hill on Friday afternoon, was that he’s a narcissist.
OK, but what I really think is most stunning about the Edwards admission, is his so-called desire to be more than 99% honest- as if that little one percent left over is somehow not as important as the 99 percent accounted for, and only now an issue because the cat - or in this case the swingy 42 year-old filmmaker - is out of the bag. If I go to the supermarket and pay for all my groceries, and then sneak out with a pack of chewing gum, am I forgiven for the chewing gum because I paid for everything else? Is there such a thing as 99% honest? I don't think so, and the American public doesn't either, so if you made a mistake, admit the mistake, and don't get all Madison Avenue about it.

All mistakes are relative, but this was a big one, and when political candidates admit to their "trangressions," they have to take into account what it is they are talking about. For example, "I smoked, but I didn't inhale..." Hmmm. It's quite a different story when someone a la Bill Clinton, says "It depends on what the definition of is, is." Who would put up with this from their next door neighbor, much less a US president.

It's funny how the English language is suddenly up for grabs in the lexicon of cheating. And I mean that, all 100% of it.

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