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McCain and public v. private

In discussing McCain’s shabby treatment of his first wife, a question naturally comes up: should private misbehavior hurt someone’s chances of being elected to public office? And should this penalty be especially applied to hypocrites who publicly condemn what later turns out to be their own private behavior?

James Poulos says yes: “someone who fails in their private life .. has failed in their public life.”

Ross Douthat seems to want it both ways: condemning McCain’s boorish behavior while then claiming that that shouldn’t stop social conservatives from electing him.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan argues that political liberalism means that there should be a separation of public and private life, however such largess may not be as available to the theocons and Christianists who themselves argue otherwise.