John Edwards Falls from Ivory Tower.

8 08 2008

 

John and Elizabeth Edwards

John and Elizabeth Edwards

I’ve been hoping for the best for the last couple weeks about the then alleged extramarital affair between John Edwards, and filmmaker Rielle Hunter.  A little part of me knew that it could be true, but the bitterness of swallowing that pill was too much to deal with until I knew for sure.

Today he came right out and admitted it, calling the affair “a serious error in judgement”  and I’ve had a burning, sick feeling in the pit of my stomach all day.  I supported Edwards from the very beginning.  I watched him debate Cheney in 2004 and thought, “That guy should be running for president.” I was on his mailing list.  I gave him money more than once.  I honestly believed in not only what he had to say, but in his integrity as a human being.  Sure, we didn’t see eye to eye on everything, but he was my guy…the closest to my core values.  And despite the fact that I recognized the awesome historical impact of electing a woman, or an African-American to the presidency, I backed yet another southern white male because I really resonated with his message and his integrity.

This evening he came out and said, “If you want to beat me up, feel free.”  Well, I’m feeling free.

First of all, the fact that he made the choice to have this little affair AFTER he had decided to run for president is just mind-boggling.  Was he asleep during the Clinton years?  Did he learn nothing from the blue dress?  Did he not see how the media, the public, and the Republicans flayed him not only for the gross error in judgement, but for the slimy lying cover-up?  No one can say he didn’t know what would happen.

What did he have to say about Clinton?  “I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter.”  So add two more kids and a wife with cancer.  Nice.

And, just for a second imagine if I and many others like me had gotten our wish.  Imagine if after his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, Edwards had started to gain, taken Super Tuesday, and became the Democratic nominee.  He not only would have blown his own integrity and career,  his family’s mental well-being, the trust of his entire campaign and supporters, but he entered the presidential race knowing that if he won the nomination, this ticking time bomb could go off at any moment and blow up the chances for a Democratic White House in 2008.  Take this to the Nth degree, what does that say about the potential lives lost in another Republican administration hungry for war?  What does it do to all the issues that progressives hold dear? 

How was he willing to risk all this for a hop in the sack?  My brains are bleeding.

So much for my imagined consolation prize of John Edwards, Attorney General or even John Edwards running mate. 

Six months ago Edwards was one of 10 potential Democratic candidates asked to give their opinion on marital fidelity.  His response:  “It’s fundamental to how you judge people.”   That may be the only true thing about this issue that’s come out of his mouth.


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3 responses

10 08 2008
Visitor

You’re a woman, aren’t you?

Women are wired differently.

11 08 2008
akmuckraker

That’s a funny assumption to make. Men don’t care if a former candidate could’ve blown the election? I think men AND women are tired of being lied to by dumbass politicians who had gained our trust.

This is from John Bonior, Edwards’ former campaign manager:
David Bonior, Edwards’ campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said he was disappointed and angry at Friday’s news.

“Thousands of friends of the senator’s and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him, and he’s let them down,” said Bonior, a former congressman from Michigan. “They’ve been betrayed by his action.”

Asked whether the affair would damage Edwards’ future aspirations in public service, Bonior replied: “You can’t lie in politics and expect to have people’s confidence.”

6 09 2008
Wired Differently

You know what, Visitor? We *are* wired differently. Equally significant– we’re socialized differently.

And, despite Americans’ own overwhelming tendencies to have sex outside our marriages, we don’t like it when politicians do it (even though we know that they, as a group, are probably right up there with rock stars in their propensity to do so). We correlate it to the possibility that they won’t follow through on their other (campaign) promises. They set themselves up, within the structure of politics and campaigns, for the Big Fall. And then they fall. Some of them, like Bill Clinton and JFK, more or less get away with it. John Edwards didn’t this time, but he’ll probably be back. We have short memories.

It will be interesting to see how the news of Sarah Palin’s alleged extramarital affair plays out. It’s already fascinating to see how the Republicans are putting a new spin on classically ‘slut’ behavior, e.g. pregnant, unwed teenager– so beautifully illustrated by O’Reilly’s take on Jamie followed by his take on Bristol. (Thank you Jon Stewart for the Gender Card piece). It would be kind of delicious for Sarah Palin to be the catalyst that redefines the boundaries of sexual independence for women as the Republican propaganda machine tries to convince us that the Palin Family values provide the model to which we should aspire.

AKMudraker, I respect the fact that you don’t identify yourself by gender. But mostly I want to add my voice to the many who admire what you were already doing with your blog, and how deftly you are riding the tsunami of unanticipated attention. It will soon pass, and you’ll be alone again on the mudflats, scratching your head going, ‘what the hell…?’ Until then, You Go, G***!




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