The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Dear John

It just goes to show you can’t necessarily trust a pretty face.

I wasn’t going to say anything about this.

John Edwards has admitted to having an affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, according to ABC News.

In an interview with Bob Woodruff that will air tonight on “Nightline,” Edwards reportedly says that he did not love Hunter and also claims that he did not father her infant daughter Frances, although he has not taken a paternity test.

Edwards reportedly tells Woodruff that he can’t be the baby’s father due to the timing of her birth last February.

ABC reports that Hunter was hired by Edwards’ presidential campaign to produce documentaries for his web site, and that Hunter traveled with Edwards to locations in the U.S. and Africa. According to ABC, his political action committee paid her $114,000 for her services.

Edwards reportedly tells Woodruff in the interview that his wife of 31 years, Elizabeth, who gave birth to four children with the former Senator, found out about the affair in 2006. Elizabeth is currently suffering from incurable cancer, but Edwards reportedly told Woodruff that her cancer was in remission when the affair began.

It burns me up that now we’ll waste at least a couple of news cycles talking about it while people dying in Iraq and losing their homes back in the U.S., but there’s something that burns me upmore

Booman nails it.

John Edwards has a lot of gall to run for president and ask for our support when he knows full well that his entire candidacy can blow up at any moment if his extramarital affair is exposed. What if he had won the nomination? What if we had a nominee that carried out an affair as recently as 2006 with a campaign staffer that he steered PAC money to, despite her lack of qualifications, to make campaign videos? John Edwards is an asshole. Only an asshole would presume to take up the banner of the left knowing full well all the time that his own personal life is a ticking time bomb that can crush all the aspirations of the left. I feel bad for Elizabeth and for his family but I don’t really care about that. He attempted to betray the entire left in this country when he presumed to become our nominee. I’m pissed.

As for his role at the convention? None. In case like this I think a case can be made for the practice of shunning.

Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. It is a sanction against association often associated with religious groups and other tightly-knit organisations and communities. Targets of shunning can include, but are not limited to apostates, whistleblowers, dissidents, people classified as “sinners” or “traitors” and other people who defy or who fail to comply with the standards established by the shunning group(s). Shunning has a long history as a means of organisational influence and control. Extreme forms of shunning and related practices have rendered the general practice controversial in some circles.

He should be persona non grata.

a person who is not welcome: He has become persona non grata in our club since his angry outburst.

No organization should have anything to do with him. Invitations extended should be withdrawn. Associations should be ended. Forgiveness is not out of the question, and neither is redemption. It’s up to his family when or if they will forgive him. But politically? Some time in the wilderness is in order.

John Edwards owed his wife and his family more. He owed his supporters — the people who took time out of their lives and careers for him, that gave money to him, that raised money for him, that invested their hopes in him — more. He owed his party more than that. He owed so many people so much more than to betray them knowing all of the above and knowing what the potential consequences were for his family, and for so many more.

To carry on like that, you have to either not know what the potential fallout might be, or you have to not care. And John Edwards — whatever else he may be — is not a stupid man.

John, you’re a southerner, and you will know what I mean when I say, “It is simply not done.”

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