Just get it out of your systems already

I was an Obama supporter from the start.  But that didn't mean I didn't respect John Edwards.  I believe that just as Hillary Clinton made Obama a better campaigner, Edwards made both of them step up to the plate back in the early days when the front-runners were content to tread water.  Obama was content to speak in grand, vague terms, and while Clinton's speeches were more concrete, she was just saying the same thing every Democrat says when gunning for the big job (the economy, healthcare, education, etc.)  Edwards however, he decided to talk about poverty.  Yeah, Democrats are always there for the middle class, but what about the poor?  What have we done as a nation for the most vulnerable recently?  This is a man who kicked off his campaign in New Orleans, a city ravaged not just by a hurricane, but by government indifference.

So I witness the feeding frenzy today on mydd and dailykos with a great sadness in my heart.  Let me bring up something here, something I think that a lot of people don't realize or have simply forgotten.

Politicians are human beings. With all the faults and weaknesses that entails.  And when we hold them up to standards that we ourselves often fail to live up to, we create a culture that begins to value strict definitions of morality over actual political record and positions.

As a human I know I've done things I regret, things that if I were a national politician would be booed by the masses, attacked by the newspapers, and mocked by late-night comedians.  All of them people who may have skeletons in their closets but are eager to judge others.

That's what saddens me most today, is the judging.  Reporting on this story is required, obviously just ignoring it isn't going to make it go away, and I'm not saying we ought to do that.  But the casual way the vast majority of us are passing judgment on John Edwards, comparing him to grinning shit-eaters like Newt Gingrich and John McCain, is disgusting to me.  The way we all presume to know what his marital life is like, and furthermore that we should all care beyond the simple fact that yes, he is no longer politically viable in any way.  I'm not saying we should be defending his actions, just that when we pass moral judgment with such abandon, such eagerness, it starts to make us look like the other side.

When we let the penis police dictate who's a "good" politician and who isn't, we just give the radical rightwing more ammunition.  We lose good politicians, reputations are sullied, and scum fuckers like Rush Limbaugh laugh at us.  We let what should be private actions overshadow everything else, such as the career of the best president we've had in the last 40 years.

So get it out of your system already.  Go ahead, call Edwards whatever names you want, say "I told you so!", express incredulity that he was even running for president, and if you really feel like it you can even presume to know what his wife is thinking.  But I won't be a part of it.

I'll be quietly mourning the end of yet another progressive Democrat's career.

Tags: 2008, John Edwards, Morality (all tags)

Comments

10 Comments

Oh, by the way

I recall Ronald Reagan's administration selling weapons to Iran and funneling the money to rightwing  terrorists in Nicaragua.

But at least he kept it in his pants!

by Skaje 2008-08-08 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Oh, by the way

Remember, if you "cannot recall," it never happened.

by username 2008-08-08 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Just get it out of your systems already

Thank YOU...

Of course I am disappointed...
but still..
there is THIS

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/us/pol itics/21mccain.html?_r=2&oref=slogin &oref=slogin

So if the media on all levels wants too go here?

Buckle up!

by nogo postal 2008-08-08 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Just get it out of your systems already

Fuck Bush McCain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Ve2j0Dz uc

by nogo postal 2008-08-08 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Just get it out of your systems already

I can forgive cheating.  But cheating while your wife is dying from cancer?  C'mon, this guy is less than scum.

by XoFalconXo 2008-08-08 01:07PM | 0 recs
Thanks for this

I think about the trouble that the Edwards family has been through in the last few years... pain beyond anything that I've yet encountered.  I don't know how I would react to the death of a child or a wife who was terminally ill.

Moreover, I think all this sympathy for Elizabeth is highly misplaced.  The indications are that she knew about the affair.  I don't know when she knew about it; people assume that she wasn't okay with it, but for all we know, she sanctioned the whole thing because her brutal cancer therapy may have sapped her interest in sex.

If people had stuck to their business, the Edwards children wouldn't have had to go through this fucking ridiculous media frenzy over issues they can't possibly understand.

What does more harm?  Edwards sleeping with a woman who isn't his wife, or a national spotlight ravenous for salacious information about a well-known figure?  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the media is the bad guy here.  Let them live their lives, goddamnit!

by Dracomicron 2008-08-08 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for this

yeah, she knew about it after the fact. Why are you trying to push this "Elizabeth approved" theory?

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-08-08 01:19PM | 0 recs
I'm not

I'm not trying to push that.  I'm trying to state that none of us here know the real story, and it's not our business.

Whether Elizabeth knew or not, whether she approved or not, none of it is our business.  This is between John and her.  End of story.

Maybe a better question is why you care in the first place.  Don't we have more important things to worry about?  Bigger fish to fry?

by Dracomicron 2008-08-08 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not

Actually, I can care about lots of things at once!  :)

Keep in mind that I was originally an Edwards supporter before moving over to Obama after he dropped out. For those who cared less about him to begin with, it's not as big a deal.

Moreover, as much as it disappoints me on the visceral, personal level, it's not like I would take to the message boards if this were just some random person. The major issue is that he had an affair and THEN ran for president; had a few things broken his way, he could've been the nominee right now. In other words, we just dodged an enormous bombshell. When your indiscretions damage our party, that's NOT private.

The most unfortunate thing is that despite all this, the media still won't touch the fact that John McCain ditched his injured wife for a younger heiress. I guess it's because all such sordid episodes that predate the Clenis are somehow beyond the statute of limitations. Or maybe it's just because McCain is so mavericky!

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-08-08 01:40PM | 0 recs
THAT is a good point

It is true that it was pretty stupid to have an affair and then run for president, thinking that it wouldn't somehow get out.

McCain gets away with it because he was a military man.  We all know those boys have to let loose once in awhile.  They're defending the country from the commies!

I would be happy if nobody ever mentioned politicians' love lives, or even dwelled on their spouses, ever again.

Of course, I'm a bit of a hypocrite on this because I totally have a crush on Michelle Obama.  O NOES EVERYTHING I'VE EVER SAID IS UNDONE!

by Dracomicron 2008-08-08 01:52PM | 0 recs

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