The story dominating the Saturday headlines—former Sen. John Edwards's admission of an extramarital affair and his continued denial of fathering an out-of-wedlock child—is a distraction, not true political news.
It is a story full of ego (mainly Edwards's) and pathos (poor Elizabeth Edwards). But John Edwards is not on the Democratic ticket, and his permanently besmirched reputation will have no impact on Sen. Barack Obama's run.
What is critically important is Russia's incursion into Georgia, reminiscent of Hitler's invasion of Poland. What most Americans do not realize is there's been a huge movement to include Georgia in NATO and both presidential candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama, have gone on record as supporting Georgia's inclusion. McCain even cosponsored a resolution expressing strong support for NATO to "enter into a Membership Action Plan with Georgia and Ukraine." Plus, as it turns out, Obama has apparently already flip-flopped on the Georgia invasion, first issuing a noncommittal statement that condemned the violence but not Russia's creation of it, then one day later strongly condemning Russia directly.
NATO binds all its members to come to the aid of a member country that is attacked. An attack on one member nation is considered an attack on all NATO members. Would McCain and Obama, through their support of Georgia's efforts to join NATO, like to have seen the United States engaged in a third war: this time with Russia? Or, conversely, if Georgia had already been granted membership, would Russia have refrained from invading, knowing full well such an invasion would prompt international retaliation?
These are the questions the American public wants answered: not whether John Edwards fathered a so-called love child. They want answers to issues facing them in real life: Do we want or can we afford another war? What are the presidential candidates going to do about the economy? What are they going to do about the home mortgage crisis? Precious media time spent discussing the Edwards story is a slap in the face to an American public that craves workable solutions to real-life problems.