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March 26, 2007

New Sun Column

On the mortality of our leaders and their loved ones, our collective unwillingness to entertain such considerations normally, and what the reaction to the Edwardses says about how we react to illness in this country. It's all here.

March 26, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

That was excellent!

Posted by: Tracy | Mar 26, 2007 5:17:02 PM

That was beautifully done, Ezra. And you nailed it exactly on the head when you ended with: "They don't deserve special consideration while they're doing it. But that is not what they are asking for." John Edwards is just as capable (or not) of being president as before Elizabeth's cancer returned, for she (and he) are no more or less mortal than she (or he) was before.

Posted by: WestCoast Wizard | Mar 26, 2007 5:42:37 PM

I think I get why you say whether their decision was right or wrong isn't the issue, but I don't think that's really true, and it seems to me that you do treat it as an issue anyway. It matters to the political process whether they, and John especially, will be able to contribute well under these conditions, and it matters to determining what kind of people they are how they decide (something that works in their favor with many). Since it's hard to predict how someone will react to losing a spouse (losing a parent as an adult isn't usually comparable), and it generally does take something out of you and can discolor your judgment, I do see some relevance to the risk of that happening, though not more than with McCain's health or similar concerns.

I think you're reading too much into the views of those questioning or disagreeing with the decision, unnecessarily setting up a straw man to contrast your own very sensible views with. I very much doubt the questions and objections are based on the view that the sick should retire from view into hospitals. I don't think they're implying that Elizabeth should leave life's stage as though she were already dead. (She has already accepted death as decreed: "I know what I will die from.") I don't agree and you don't give any evidence that seeing Elizabeth's illness as relevant is typically based on unwillingness to face death. I think that view has been needlessly hyped by some defending the Edwards. We've had counterexamples in the discussions here.

Posted by: Sanpete | Mar 26, 2007 6:01:57 PM

Okay. Elizabeth for the most part is getting enormous support from the people in Washington to their supporters to people who just like her.
It doesn't matter what you say, the right says or anyone else. It's up to the family and Elizabeth and John Edwards to do what is best for them and it's their decision. No one else's.
I would just let them go on with living and not obsess so much and let them make the decisions on things concerning them. If you support them then give them the trust to handle things their own way.

Posted by: vwcat | Mar 26, 2007 10:45:46 PM

I just find all this concern over how well Edwards will be able to focus on the job absurd. Maybe he'll take a whole month off work, or end days early, or take a mid-afternoon break every day. Oh wait! That's what the current occupant of the WH does all the time.

Our nation can definitely survive a temporarily distracted president.

Posted by: Tony V | Mar 27, 2007 10:14:20 AM

Cancer is quite on the mind of the blogging community as of late, with Mrs Edwards, Tony Snow, and of course the death of Cathy Seipp. Please let us all remember that we are all placed on this earth with an expiration date, and it is what we do before that date that is what counts. With that in mind, I wish the best of outcomes for both Mrs. Edwards and Mr. Snow, and may they both accomplish a great many things in their respective lives.

Posted by: Georg Felis | Mar 27, 2007 11:50:48 AM

Oh wait! That's what the current occupant of the WH does all the time.

And this is an argument in favor of Edwards?

Posted by: Sanpete | Mar 27, 2007 12:06:16 PM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 27, 2007 3:14:43 AM

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