Ranting here for a sec: Sometimes even great columnists make missteps, and I kind of feel Steve Lopez made a big one in today's Times. In his classic, casual and not at all callous voice, Lopez offered his take on the brewing Schwarzenegger scandal, writing:
John Edwards, move over. Mark Sanford and Newt Gingrich? Mere pikers.
Arnold has the stage now.
"While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not," former Gov. Schwarzenegger said in a statement to the L.A. Times about fathering a love child with a woman on his household staff.
Hey, we're all weak and we all make mistakes. But a domestic, under his own roof? Among other issues, that's just lazy.
First off, I don't think "lazy" is an adjective that comes to mind for most people when they think about a scandal like this: "opportunistic", "arrogant", and "greedy" work better for me. And did he really just put this on par with John Edwards' notorious affair?
Did Lopez forget about Elizabeth Edwards and her condition? Or the elaborate lengths Edwards went to in trying to conceal the affair (like trying to falsify DNA reports and steal diapers)? Or the fact that Edwards lied over and over--not just to his dying wife--but to the entire American electorate?
Maybe Lopez knows more than the rest of us about the former governor's misdeeds. It's fair to call him out on them, but Schwarzenegger's affair is a tragic, all-too-common political story. It's sad, of course, but the two scandals are hardly comparable.