I've just read this...and gagged:
Now, I have been incredibly harsh on the subject of John Edwards for quite some time now, as all three regular readers of this screed know. But in this case, I think I can find a little forgiveness in my stone-cold heart for John this time around. I mean, the American people just proved their overriding stupidity by electing an unqualified, quasi-socialist, lying sack of feline fecal matter President of the United States last week, so John can be forgiven the sin of drawing the obvious conclusion that the country is indeed full of blithering idiots who will swallow anything if it comes in an attractive package (Granted, their choice was one between bullshit and attractively-packaged bullshit, but I digress).
But, really, must we be so forgiving that the very act of forgiveness itself requires an exercise in mental gymnastics so complex and convoluted that it makes Orwell's Doublethink seem like a simple parlor trick?
Just in case you have forgotten all about John-boy, I'll remind you of the highlights of a spectacular career which began with a bang and ended with a whimper.
This is the man who:
- Made a fortune as a trial attorney by sucking the lifeblood from the medical malpractice system in North Carolina, even going as far as to conduct seances in court (he called it 'Channeling the spirit of a child who could not speak for herself' or somesuch nonsense) and presenting that as 'evidence' to juries. He made a pile of cash running doctors out of business (benefit of the doubt; he probably did get a few bad doctors along the way, but probably not enough to justify the effort), and then decried the horrible state, and blatant unfairness, of the American health care system -- the very system which he helped to destroy.
- Ran a successful Senate election campaign on the symbol of his dead son. A tragic death which, if I recall, involved an automobile accident. He waved his dead boy's picture and a uttered a bunch of high-minded rhetoric in a manner reminiscent of Jesse Jackson vis-a-vis Martin Luther King's bloody shirt. He trotted his distraught wife out to cry before television cameras (I wonder if she was a witting accomplice, or not) over the memory of her dear boy, and got the well-meaning voters of North Carolina to send him to the Senate. Where he began to run for higher office just as soon as he was sworn in, hardly lifting a finger to do the people's business....unless the people's business happened to coincide with building his democratic bonafides.
- Accepted the nomination as John Kerry's running mate in 2004, which shows an incredible lack of both judgement and intelligence. Accepting that job was paramount to accepting the position of Officer-in-charge-of-lifeboats on the Titanic, but he did add a dash of personality to an otherwise moribund campaign which was run by a man who reminded you of Droopy Dog and a the Cigar Store Wooden Indian. The highlight of this run was that Edwards managed to say 'lesbian' to Dick Cheney eight times, on national television, and survive. He later went on, after Kerry's defeat, to yap like an apoplectic poodle about 'fighting on'. A pledge which he quickly reneged on when it became painfully obvious that a) John Kerry wasn't worth fighting for, and b) the sympathy that could be garnered from defeat was the perfect launching platform for another run. As with his Senate campaign, John Edwards would court sympathy as a means to an end. That and his wife's newly-announced cancer, were apparently the right sort of fuel to launch John Edwards to the political moon.
- Left politics (for too short a time) to take a job as a high muck-a-muck at some tony hedge fund, where he made several million dollars per. When Edwards began a second presidential run, and trotted out his infamous Two-Americas routine (the populist creed pitting rich versus poor), and folks with half a brain noted that he made obscene amounts of money at his job, Edwards simply replied that he had taken the job to 'study the economics of poverty'. One could not understand poverty, he intoned, unless one first understood just how the economic system of this country works. It wasn't his fault that the 'study project' came with a seven-figure income.
That's when he wasn't accepting $50K-plus for 'speaking engagements'.
- Castigated Wal-Mart as an un-American organization dedicated to swindling the American consumer and cheating the working man of his just wages and benefits, and swore to defend the 'Other America' from the ravages of corrupt corporate monstrosities who seek nothing beyond profit which would not be shared with the people who helped make it. Every day, practically, Edwards was out there, bashing Wal-Mart, and growing his socialist street cred. Right up until the point when he couldn't get a Playstation for his kids. Then he turned his attention from destroying Wal-Mart to attempting to extort a Playstation from them.
- Began a second Presidential campaign with his usual pap about Two Americas, and trotted his ailing wife out to garner yet more sympathy. He showed poorly in the primaries and caucuses, but continued to "fight on" for all those "forgotten" by America, while he strenuously "fought" to keep the media from exposing his affair with a mistress and a child he apparently "forgot" he had, humiliating himself and his poor wife and family, in the process.
Now John Edwards believes that he can step forward, the public distracted by other things like a failing economy, the historic nature of the last election, and heated arguments in favor of the BCS instead of a national college-football-playoff-system, and revitalize his image. On the Q.T. and hidden from the press and public behind closed doors.
In the Middle Ages, there were a group of men known as Alchemists who sought to find ways of turning base metals, like lead, into gold. They were, ultimately, unsuccessful. I wonder now if John Edwards, in true alchemist spirit, believes he can perform a similar impossibility and revitalize a reputation which consists mostly of bullshit, deceit and selfishness into a viable political career? Apparently, he does, and if one looks back a week in time, it's easy to see why he may hold that belief.
After all, we've just elected someone who in his associations with former terrorists, racists, socialists, criminals and swindlers, might be infinitely worse. I would wish John good luck, but it is obvious that luck will not be required.