I personally don’t give a rat’s bum about the marital peccadilloes of John Edwards or any candidate much. I figure that’s between them and their spouse for the most part. They are no different in that respect than Joe Blow down the street as far as I’m concerned. And besides, I have no clue what kind of arrangements any married couple might make and for what reasons they might make them.
That said, I wish to discuss Edwards affair. Okay? What he did was so God-awful wrong and it’s down right unforgivable on a number of levels. If John were admitting to an affair conducted many years ago, then hey, okay, I could and would probably say–history, none of my business, has nothing to do with you as a candidate. If it had happened as it did in 2006 and this was it’s first uncovering by the press, and you admitted to it, I would have grudgingly said pretty much the same, although I think there might be more of an issue to resolve.
But alas, it didn’t happen like that at all. It was uncovered by the press in 2006 and you lied about it, boldly, deliberately, while looking me and millions of others right in the eye, and with sincerity you said it was a terrible awful lie. And it was you who was terribly and awfully lying all the time.
You see this came up some weeks ago. The Contrarian and I first heard of it on Jay Leno. The weird thing is that we didn’t hear about it the next day or the next, or the next. So, we figured it was somehow just some stupid rumor without basis in fact, and we forgot about it. Our only comment was, that we would be disappointed if it were true, but apparently it was not.
Then suddenly, it’s all true. Disappointment? You betcha. At least with Bill Clinton, we had plenty of warning, such rumors and well, more than rumors had circulated about him for years. We took his lies with a grain of salt. You, John? We thought better of you. Everyone has respect for Elizabeth and more than respect, we were terribly hurt and saddened by her return of cancer.
Yes, we know, she was in remission while this affair occurred. So what? I know you said that that didn’t change a thing, and of course it doesn’t, but you really did have to mention it didn’t you? Not as an excuse, but certainly as an “explanation.” Not really a total ass, am I, after all, it wasn’t like I said, “Wife is gonna die, better start looking for a replacement.”
But John, you were the Populist among us. You were the little guy from humble beginnings who made it. The bright kid who got a chance and made the most of it. You were one of us, and you made a mockery of us and you. You let us down, and you showed us that you weren’t one of us at all. Just another glib, smart-talking wealthy, I can do what I want because I’m rich and famous, son of a bitch, that you so liked to ridicule as the “other America.”
It’s isn’t the act John that I so despise. I have no idea how Elizabeth felt. There are women who would have left you in a heart-beat, and others who would hardly have been phased at all. Not my call to make. It’s the freaking lying that I can’t and won’t forgive. Politics is simply gorged with liars, everywhere and on every topic. We, the polity, at least some of us, strain mightily to cut through the gutter sludge and arrive at some truth. We thought we had some semblance of that in you. Wrong we were. Again.
And what of the Party? What if, John, you had secured the nomination? This revelation would have been the undoing of the party, and John McCain could have walked into the presidency. I guess that simple idea never crossed your arrogant mind.
You say, in mitigating your crime, that you were seduced by the power and the celebrity. You became all self-consumed and felt you could do whatever you wished and not suffer consequences. Really? Sorry, I don’t buy it. Just another convenient excuse, without any convenient truth attached.
Such is the excuse offered by any addict. I know that, I’ve been one. I have quit smoking twice, hopefully this time for good. I also was an alcoholic by any fair barometer of such things, albeit a functioning one. But I never thought in either smoking or drinking that I was above the addiction. I never thought I could do either to excess and still be “recreational” in my usage. I knew I was heading down a road that would lead to uncontrolled use. Thankfully I’ve stopped both.
Let me try another analogy. Drugs. I grew up in the late 60’s and was a young twenty-something in the 70’s. Drugs were popular, and were very easy to procure. Heroin was addictive, and besides, nice people, didn’t do that. But, cocaine was hip, the in thing to do. I never did it. Why? Because John, I was able to see that while not physically addictive, it was emotionally so. It was expensive and people who used it tended to spend more and more money buying more of it. They ended up losing their jobs and families. They would sell their mother to get more. Why and how was I going to be any different? I realized that. I assumed I would love the stuff, and would want more. The only intelligent thing was not to try it. I never did.
It was just common sense. It helped that I saw first hand what happened to a few attorneys who succumbed. One nearly lost his license, the other is in prison for life. He murdered a woman in his cocaine world, so lost did he become. While I recognize that I perhaps didn’t have the driving triggers to succumb in the first place, I had too much at stake and my life was too decent to let myself wander into that morass.
You were the same. Too much at stake, too much appearing to be right in your life. You were just lazy, and self indulgent, and you didn’t waste any time in really thinking it through. If you had, you wouldn’t have done it. It wasn’t worth the price, and you know that. But don’t patronize me with the idea that you really didn’t think it wouldn’t someday spiral out of control and be exposed. You knew it would most likely, and you were too lazy to care. So much for caring about the American people and what was best for them. You put John first, John’s silly sexcapades came first.
As I said, all of this would be none of my concern, but that you risked America’s future. You might well have been the candidate. There are some, who suggest that Hillary might have won Iowa but for you. I don’t know as I buy that, but well, speculation is speculation. She might have, and she might now be the candidate. We will not know if things would be different or not. But you risked my future, and I’m damned mad. How dare you?
More than that, you have perhaps nailed the last nail in the coffin of public trust in elected officials for me. I did trust you John. Did, get that, did. I wouldn’t trust a thing that you say now, or ever for that matter. Kiss your political career goodbye. I don’t care if that matters to you or not.
I have a fair idea what John McCain is hiding in his closet of horrors. Now I wonder what Barack is hiding in his. That’s what you have done to me John. That’s why it matters John, and by the way, kiss my ass.
Ruth Hull Chatlien said:
I have nothing to add to your excellent post except to say, “Yes.”
Thanks Ruth, I kind of went over the top I guess, but I feel betrayed.
I have to thank John for shooting another hole in my faith. I cannot defend what he did.
McCain dare not mention any of this for fear of reminding people that he was still married when he first “got lucky” with Cindy…
Yep, the only good thing about all this is that McCain looked to have the week to himself, and now John has taken the press off McCain. Poor McCain can’t get a break, but then that’s a good thing.