Friday, February 13, 2004
On the one hand, I tend to think that it is in poor form to purposefully try to humiliate somebody for public gain by releasing potentially embarassing provate information. Everyone has done things that they regret, and has made poor judgments from time to time, especially in their younger years. Most people learn from it and move on. I'd much rather a debate on issues than a parade of skeletons.
On the other hand...if one side decides to use such tactics (see, e.g., a drunk driving arrest, a drug and alcohol abuse problem, missing national guard drills), then they cannot cry foul when their own candidate is subject to the same kind of criticism. In a way, it's sort of a political Geneva Convention. Officially, participants agree that there are rules of protocol that should be observed. But if one side violates the protocol, the agreements are void and the other side is justified to do the same (not that it is desirable for them to do so).
Also, if, as the story suggests, this impropriety is quite recent, then it does raise what I think are fair questions of judgment. Particularly after recent history, what are we to think of the judgment of someone who would make such a stupid choice? This evidence may be admissible to demonstrate current character and credibility. Even more so, now that he has publicly denied the story.
Again, this is all premised on the rumors being true, which we don't know yet. Only if some evidence is forthcoming do I think this story will go anywhere.
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