Wanker of the Year: John Edwards

by matttbastard

You stupid, selfish fuck:

STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS [via North American Patriot]

August 8, 2008

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99% honest is no longer enough.

I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.

It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up – feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.

I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say.

Ok, I’m with Amanda Marcotte –I still say this kind of salacious panty-sniffing distraction ain’t news. But, goddamn, skippy’s right–what kind of asshole fucks around on a cancer-stricken spouse (terminal cancer)? And what the fuck if John-boy had managed to secure the Democratic nomination?

More reactions from around the ‘sphere:

Pam Spaulding:

These matters are none of our business anyway; he’s no longer running for office, and who knows what goes on in a marriage. It just looks bad from a judgment perspective, since he had issued denials and brushed off the stories as reporters got closer to the truth. The main curiosity for me is the insanity of carrying on like that, given the high level of personal scrutiny by today’s MSM (and tabloids) that could blow up in your face politically. Think about it what if he were the nominee? Why would any pol put it all at risk to get laid (shades of Gary Hart)? I find it fascinating and disturbing. Are the gonads that in control of these folks? I know, I know.

Chet Scoville:

Let’s not mince words: John Edwards is a reckless idiot. If he had actually become the presumptive Democratic nominee or been chosen as running mate, the party would now be in total chaos. They’d have to dump him and throw things open at the convention, and the eventual ticket would surely go down in flames in November anyway. Who knows, it might still have an effect on the polls, despite the fact that he’s not the nominee.

Michael Crowley:

The one mitigating factor here is Elizabeth. By Edwards’ account, his wife knew about the affair back in 2006. Her adamant support for his candidacy suggests that she forgave him. If so, should he still be ostracized from politics permanently?

I think we need to know more, but that’s some initial food for thought.

Adam Serwer:

Personally, I don’t care what politicians marriages are like, but I really think that it’s a mistake for conservatives to make marriage fidelity an issue when their standard-bearer has his own share of problems in that arena. Edwards is not his party’s nominee.

Still, remember when he was arguing that he was “the most electable?” His run this year has to go down as one of the more incredibly stupid decisions in recent political history.

John Cole:

Maybe I have a double standard- when most people cheat, I think “What a jackass” and I feel bad for their spouse. When Republicans who spew their family values bullshit and sanctity of marriage crap, I go to town. This just seemed like a case of the former to me, but having said that, it is pretty clear that Edwards lied to the media, and from what I can tell, appears to still be lying or spinning or whatever you want to call it, so I guess that does raise the bar.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

On John Edwards ‘Love Child’

by matttbastard

“Double standard!” cries Slate media critic Jack Shafer.  “An elaborate cover up!” whines hacktacular OG ‘even the liberal’ blogger Mickey Kaus.  ‘Liberal bias!’ wails the wingnutosphere (surprise, surprise).

All that self-righteous sturm und drang simply because the MSM hasn’t dove on recent reports from that bastion of responsible journalism, The National Enquirer, alleging that former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards cheated on his wife, Elizabeth, with a woman named Reille Hunter.

Oooh.  Shocking.  A liberal Democrat with no moral values–way to conform to years of movement conservative propaganda, John Boy.

Sorry, kiddies; as John Cole aptly notes, the Grand Old Party has upped the ante on sex scandals to the point where a mere (yes, heterosexual) extramarital affair (and illegitimate child) is now small beer, not worthy of the print expenditure:

The reason no one is paying attention to the alleged affair and love-child is simple. You guys have made standard affairs boring (I know, I know. You claim to be a Democrat.). No one is claiming Edwards was seen in two wetsuits hanging from the ceiling with a dildo lodged in his rectum. There is no DC madam with a black book involved. No one has transcripts of him instant messaging teen-age congressional pages or crashing their dorms in a drunken stupor. There is no arrest record for soliciting oral sex in an airport bathroom, complete with feisty confrontations with the arresting officer on video tape. There is no religious hypocrisy and gay prostitution and meth-fueled sodomy binge to talk about.

In short, aside from the fact that all there is to the story is an Enquirer report, it is just boring. You all have made standard affairs pedestrian and dull. Even when you use the phrase “love child,” what it boils down to is a guy allegedly sleeping with a woman. Pretty tame stuff, given what the GOP has provided us for the past few years.

Now maybe if he got caught engaging in oral sex with goats. That would probably get some attention.

I think there’s something to be said about the innate homophobia contained within media coverage of the aforementioned events. But the hook that made them ‘newsworthy’ by mainstream press standards is the fact that, in most instances, the principals were all on record as being militantly homophobic Christian conservatives; their moral (and, in many cases, legal) transgressions were thus in direct opposition to their images and records as public officials.  Even former NY governor Elliot Spitzer was a grandstanding anti-prostitution crusader, so when he was caught in the middle of a prostitution ring, the immensity of the hypocrisy was too much for the jackals in the MSM to ignore (even as the puritanical response once again served as a revealing Rorschach Test of the collective American unconscious).

So, unless there’s more blood to this latest (alleged) ‘scandal’, one shouldn’t be surprised (nor shocked and outraged!!11one) at the underwhelmed non-response from the press.

Of course, as David Corn notes, even if this story never makes the 24 hour cable news cycle, the allegations have effectively removed Edwards from VP consideration:

[W]hether you read about this matter in the Times or not, the veep-vetters of the Obama campaign have probably paid the story notice. If Edwards is still in contention, he better have for them a rather convincing denial to allay suspicions that this time the scandalmongers of the Enquirer might have actually gotten it right.

Regardless, one wonders if the McCain campaign really wants the media to be talking about political figures running around behind the backs of their sick wives.

Ahem.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers