Just when you thought John Edwards would slink off into ignominy, he stands up, throws off his jellyfish ways, and becomes a man. Ironically, John Edwards could teach Rick Pitino a thing or two about manhood.
News reports indicate that Edwards will publicly announce soon that he is indeed the biological father of 18-month old Frances, the child borne by Rielle Hunter, his former campaign staffer. This entire saga has revealed huge, embarrassing gaps in the character of John Edwards. From first denying that he had any relationship at all with Hunter; to a key staffer's lying that he, not Edwards, was the father of Frances; to the revelation that Edwards' team financially supported Hunter for months; to Edwards' consistent denials of being the father, the former senator has missed no opportunity to play the louse.
However, with this public declaration of paternity, it appears that Edwards will now step up and do the right thing. Reports claim that he has told his wife, Elizabeth, that he will move Rielle and Frances into his own family's neighborhood so that he can play an active role in the rearing of Frances as his own child. Clearly, this news would infuriate any wife, and likely his other children as well, but Edwards is finally doing the right thing.
In the celebrity culture in which Edwards has basked, he now seems to have learned that this is not all about him. In a culture where human beings are treated like disposable diapers, to be used and then discarded at will, John Edwards is giving indications that he has learned that this really is all about Frances. Frances did not ask for all this. She was simply conceived, and then arrived in the world. She deserves to know both of her parents, regardless of the personal challenges it presents to John, Elizabeth, or Rielle. Frances is a person in her own right, and as an infant, she is entitled to the love of the people who brought her into the world.
It feels odd to say, but it is true: Good for John Edwards! His actions reveal slowly-developing moral growth in his character to discover a truly pro-life position. Life and the world do not entirely revolve around the sexual decisions of adults. Each human being has dignity and deserves certain things, including the love of her parents, albeit two imperfect, adulterous parents.