Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear Gossip Blogs: Elizabeth Edwards Knows Things About Health Care!

Well this is annoying. Campus Progress, our sister organization, sponsored an event with Elizabeth Edwards and Ezra Klein to talk about health care on Monday. Since then, the story that has come out of the event was that– gasp!–Edwards wasn’t wearing her wedding ring (presumably fallout from her husband’s messy and publicly exposed affair).

Megan said it first, but I’ll second it: Edwards is a smart, wonky person who knows her stuff when it comes to health care. As a victim of breast cancer, she’s had some invaluable up-close-and-personal encounters with the health care system. She’s critical of both the health care plans proposed by the major party candidates and is a committed advocate of comprehensive health care reform. How obnoxious, then, that after an hour-and-a-half discussion about the intricacies of the health care system all anyone can talk about is her personal life.

I’ve said it before, but quite frankly John Edwards’ affair and the fallout from it is none of the public’s business. It’s clearly a very private issue, and it’s a shame that the gossip blogs have seized on this. And if we’re really honest and take a long hard look at this, affairs aren’t all that uncommon. They happen to people every day, and have for centuries. To single one family out for public judgment is unfair and unwarranted.

Yes, I know that this is what gossip blogs do, but come on, people. Rather than pegging her as a victim, we should allow her to do her public work. Edwards is an intelligent human being with a lot to say about one of the most important issues today. Can we at least acknowledge that she deserves credit for that?

Cross posted at Pushback.

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