“Their rhetoric does not match the reality of what they have done.”
-John Edwards

Frankly, John Edwards is not worth much of anyone's time or attention. However, as I intermittently cover political matters, we will give him a brief and curt dismissal.

Most, maybe all, politicians are somewhat fraudulent. They tend not to say what they think, but rather, what they think we want to hear. Part of it is the process. (A politician who says what he or she thinks usually isn't a politician very long.) Most of it, however, is because before anything else, politicians generally want to keep their jobs (or get shinier better ones), and this involves triangulating their positions to gain the most approval, votes; whatever is necessary at the time.

As I said, most politicians do this. It is such a widespread phenomenon that it is almost not worth commenting on. Don't for a minute think that both major presidential candidates are not doing this left and right. (Literally and figuratively.) They are. It's sad, but it's life.

However, every once in a while there exists a politician who is a complete fraud. Their hypocrisy extends to the core of their being. At such times it is our obligation to point them out, lest they be given any credibility whatsoever.

This brings us back to John Edwards.

Way way before any of the current tawdry sex scandal, I was on record saying that Edwards was a fraud. I don't care one bit about the sex (thought it is relevant, as we'll see in a moment), but I do care about what Edwards has to say, and he's a fraud. He was not a man of great ideas, an accomplished legislator, or an experienced executive. His singular ability, which is quite impressive itself, which made him millions as a lawyer, got him elected to the senate, and made him a viable presidential candidate, vice-presidential nominee, and possible vice-presidential candidate or cabinet member this time around, is to tell stories that pull the heartstrings and sway people's emotions.

That's it. These stories aren't necessarily true. In fact, they are mostly BS. He makes them up. or, perhaps more charitably, the "fact" of the stories are not that important to Edwards. He's a storyteller, concerned more with the polemical "truth" of what he's selling.

This would be fine if

A) He was upfront about that from the beginning


B) Edwards's "truth" did in fact contain some actual truth.

Maybe they did. There are certainly poor children in this country, and Edwards talked about poor children often. Then again, didn't someone once say that even the Devil believed in Jesus?

I'm not comparing Edwards to the Devil. (The Devil has ideas.) I'm just saying that talking about something is never an excuse to make up facts to prove your case. That's fraud.

I return to my initial statement. Edwards is not important enough to go line by line through his speeches, policy positions and record to show what a fraud he is. With luck his political career is over, and he will retreat from public view. But who knows? Should he arise, phoenix-like (or vampire-like,), I will stake his heart then.

For now, let us leave off with a quick proof that his sexual behavior is ENTIRELY relevant to judging and dismissing Edwards the politician.

I bring this up because you just know that some will claim we (America) are all puritanical about sex, and it has nothing to with effective governing, etc. I'm not sure I agree, but that's another debate for another time. As far as Edwards goes, though, it is perfectly permissible to dismiss the man (if we had not already, from his "ideas") and shun him based on the sex scandal.

John Edwards wanted it that way.

From the beginning Edwards milked every inch of his family. His wife's battle with cancer was center stage for how the Edwards overcame adversity. When she relapsed (after remission), it became even more of a focus. Here is Edwards with his wife in a 60 Minutes Interview about how they were coping (but really, why Edwards should be president):

Katie Couric: Some have suggested that you're capitalizing on this.

John Edwards: Here's what I would say about that. First of all, there's not a single person in America that should vote for me because Elizabeth has cancer. Not a one.......

.......But, I think every single candidate for president, Republican and Democratic have lives, personal lives, that indicate something about what kind of human being they are. And I think it is a fair evaluation for America to engage in to look at what kind of human beings each of us are, and what kind of president we'd make.


That should be enough. But just in case you wanted more, in case all the incredible denials and lies for months from Edwards, all the close aides who feel so duped, we move, ironically, to what Rielle Hunter, the woman John Edwards had his affair with, was supposed to do for him.

Hunter created a series of "documentary" shorts about the Edwards campaign. They had been pulled from the web, but I have managed to find the first episode. (There are probably others if you care to look; I don't.) I always say the words matter more than how they're said.

Pay attention to the words that come out of John Edwards's mouth.


August 9, 2008

1 comment:

rennratt said...

Most NC residents aren't fond of Edwards, either.

I am definitely NOT a fan.

His wife, on the other hand, seems a wholly decent person.

I feel kind of sorry for her.