June 22, 2004
The measure of Jack Ryan's character is not that he had a rough divorce, or that he may have or may at one time have had unconventional sexual interests. It's not even that he didn't spill every juicy detail when reporters came nosing around.
Few will fault him for not being perfect or heedlessly forthcoming.
The measure of Jack Ryan's character is that he continues to invoke his child to advance the increasingly flimsy idea that he has higher priorities than his own ambition.
Read it all here.
I'm obviously not a Ryan supporter, but in all honesty if he had come clean with this stuff during the primary I would be the loudest one here in blogland declaring this a non-issue. It goes against every one of my political principles to care a smidgen about what people do in their private lives. If anything, these allegations (if true) make Ryan a more interesting candidate and person in my eyes.
Zorn is exactly right that what is outrageous about this is not what he did then but the cowardly way he has used his son as a prop to protect his own political career. Let's hope the media doesn't buy Ryan's self-serving protective parent line and that they hammer him for trying to play politics with his son.
Update: Zorn answers reader mail and further clarifies his position on his blog.