Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gah. John Edwards.

I should clarify that, again, I'm not that interested in the "cheating on his wife" aspect, except as it relates to the election. I am not completely without sympathy to either the Edwardses having had "an arrangement" (which I doubt) or John Edwards just plain wanting to fuck somebody who wasn't dying, and indeed, in doing so affirm life (seems more likely), I really think the American people wouldn't sit for cheating on the cancer patient and it would have cost the Democrats the election had he become the nominee, particularly as he was running as a values candidate and a (snort) "women's candidate" in a way that Clinton didn't.

I can see wanting to run for president and getting people to believe in you. I can see wanting some pleasure when looking at your wife just depresses you. I just think you need to pick one because if you try to do both, you're asking the people who support you to risk a lot on your ability to keep things hidden and you really have no business doing that.

I've noticed that whenever a politician has an affair, I'm never pissed about the affair itself. Indeed, Clinton pretty much got a pass from me because the Starr report makes it so very clear that Monica came on to him over and over and that he really seemed to do his best to try to be responsible about it, all things considered. (Having read the Starr report makes so many of the assumptions people make about how L'affaire Lewinsky actually happened fascinating. My favorite is when people call him a "sex addict." Lewinsky freely admits that Clinton only got like something like four orgasms out of the whole affair. Know any alcoholics who only have four drinks a year?)

But Clinton aside, whenever a politician has an affair, there seems to be some extra kick of selfish asshole behavior that always gets me. Spitzer doesn't want his hooker to wear condoms*, Giuliani steals from the poor to fund getaways with his mistress, and yes, now Edwards has to do it right before he runs for president, having to know that his wife's cancer means that if the information ever gets out he's screwing over the people who believed in him.

But THIS just plain sucks if it's true. (If I find out it isn't true, I will retract this post or at least put up a correction.)

I'm trying not to make too much of this, despite the fact that I to some degree feel like I saw it coming because I got such a self-serving shmuck vibe from Edwards.

It's pretty difficult to truly disgust me, yet I feel disgusted by the whole thing.


*Yes, I know that pretty much no man wants to wear condoms. But this is a HOOKER we're talking about! And your wife is awesome!


Anonymous said...

This is pretty scary CC.

I agree with you on this one concerning Edwards.

(LOL, this is rare!)

The whole arrangement thing seems more likely to me... spot on and well said.

Your estimate in how it would turn out I can agree with, even if the Edwards' came out and said they had an agreement.

I also agree concerning Spitzer, though I think you are too nice.

If a guy is gonna cheat it is disgusting NOT to use a condom when he steps out; unless he's in a totally sexless marriage and is willing to admit the condomless affair if his spouse suddenly wants to have sex.

Here is something I would ask you to explain since I agree with you:

The very nature of a political career makes the probability of adultry likely and many politicians from Presidents through the ages on down to now have had affairs.

Unspoken arrangements between powerful couples are well documented.

Yet, people still get upset.

I don't get that.

Bill Baar said...

The cowardly thing in my book is how Edward's is denying paternity and apparantly paying the mother off to avoid the parternity test.

That's incredibly dishonorable to ask Hunter to take that hit to herself and child to protect him.

Joel Monka said...

I don't buy the "everyone does it" line. I've never heard of Truman behaving that way. Nor Nixon, nor Carter, nor Reagan, nor either Bush. And if it does happen, one could at least handle it with dignity, like a Roosevelt or Eisenhower. Falling from grace isn't the issue; landing on your feet and not stepping on others in the process is.

As to why it matters, how one handles one's personal life is a clue to one's character. Character matters. Only a very lucky President gets to be judged on how he handles the issues; most Presidents are judged by how they handled the unexpected- which takes character. George Washington considered that the only real issue.

Chalicechick said...

(((George Washington considered that the only real issue.)))

With all due respect to George Washington, a man of solid character who wanted things politically I don't want could do a hell of a lot of damage to the world* in four years, to say nothing of eight.

I'll take a weasel who votes with me on the issues every time. (Which is not to say one gets the chance to vote for or against men of solid character very often anyway.)


*Especially if he were either VERY smart or VERY stupid.

goodwolve said...

Maybe he wanted to fail. Maybe he was looking for a way out. Regular people screw up "by accident" all of the time.

Really, I think he just wanted to have normal sex. I have never had sex with a sick or dying person, but I am pretty sure that I would be nervous or unable to do it. I would CARE too much about hurting them.

So, really, I think it was just sex. Not a big deal. Really.

Anonymous said...

It's not the sex, it's the hubris.

Joel Monka said...

"I'll take a weasel who votes with me on the issues every time."

But we don't KNOW what the issues will be. On the issues that were debated in 2000- drugs for geezers, etc.- Bush has done exactly what he campaigned on. It's the things that WEREN'T issues- 9/11, Katrina, Iran, Iraq, gas prices- that are affecting us today. And a President can't vote on the issues anyway; Congress is the final authority on almost everything.

(Which is not to say one gets the chance to vote for or against men of solid character very often anyway.)

Unfortunately true. I have no idea who to vote for this year, The Democrat is a gamble; he hasn't yet accomplished anything to judge him by, and those few concrete positions he has taken and stood by for more than 30 days I disagree with. The Republican is a bad tempered coot whose voting record is about 20% on my list. The Libertarian, my normal protest vote, is a Religious Right Moonbat. Ralph Nader is, well, Ralph Nader. What can I do?

Anonymous said...

Umm I don't consider a slave owner a person any better than an adulturer, Monka, in fact less so.

I also would put a note of caution when we start using a person's private life to define their ability to perform public action.

By the way, there were rumors that Senior Bush had a mistress. Truman...well he may have just been discreet, or bi (I mean take a good look at Bess). Remember Jefferson was raping his slaves, and our faith named a whole district after him.

Using the personal sex life of a candidate to determine how someone handles the unexpected is assinine. One reaction is viscereal, the other is considered. One action is made generally without input, the other is made with advisors.

Personally I would rather have a shagadelic Pres who can charm peace deals out of combatants,and believes that reason and diplomacy are important, than some chaste fundamentalist who sublimates his sex frustration by dragging us into unending conflict. But then I like the idea of our troops surviving to be grandparents. That's just me.

However, if you support the fundamentalist idea that like in most dictatorships the leader is a person of god derived purity...well, then I guess you have a point. Just remember those leaders tend to believe they can tell you how to live your sex life too.

Joel Monka said...

Um, Chuck, I don't understand where you get the fundamentalist stuff from. I mentioned that the affair wasn't the issue, but how he was handling it. In fact, I mentioned two Presidents who had handled it well as examples. Stop reading entire books between the lines- as an out of the closet Pagan who has on another thread defended Polyamory (polys aren't cheating; their relationships are open and honest), I have been called many things, but seldom a chaste fundamentalist.

How people treat their spouses is very much an indicator of their character, and a valid test of how they will handle public trust. If a person is willing to lie, and divert public funds to pay hush money for a "private" affair, he's probably willing to treat public affairs the same way. To use your silly analogy, I would vote for Austin Powers; his sex life is hurting no one, he served his country in harms way, and demonstrated clear reasoning under fire- he could handle an unexpected emergency.

As to Washington and Jefferson being slaveholders, don't judge 18th century men by 21st century standards. In the world they were raised in, by the lessons their mothers, schools, and even their church taught them, adultery was indeed worse than slaveholding. You cannot take it out of context. The fact that Aristotle believed the world was flat doesn't make him an idiot, merely a man of his century.

"One reaction is viscereal, the other is considered." Hmmm... you don't think Bush's reactions were visceral? You don't think arranging cover ups and pay offs is considered?

Comrade Kevin said...

Edwards was always a stuffed shirt to me, no more, no less. I feel way more sorry for the people who bought his populist spiel that I ever did for the dude himself.

Anonymous said...

It is odd that aman would run for president,and not realize that this would eventually be exposed. Seriously, the sheer stupidity of it, and what it would ahve done to the Democrats had he become the nominee, apalls me.

With that said, I was given pause when the editor of the National Enquirer bragged about all the time and money that his paper had spent on this story. How does the paper go about deciding which political figures it will spend tons of time and money going after?

Anonymous said...

Golly, I had heard that W was having an affair with Condy.
I think it may not be fair to say "Jefferson was raping his slaves". As far as I know, it was one slave, it was a long term relationship, it was after his wife died (and she looked like his wife, being her half sister. Men often go for women who look like their wives used to look.)
I second the idea that you have to judge them by their own century, not ours. And Jefferson's position on slavery was a whole lot more nuanced than you give credit for. He offered his slaves their freedom and only three of them took it. It was too early in our history....
As to Edwards, I'm very disappointed in his stupidity, but it sort of does show he was a man of the people.

Chalicechick said...

((((As to Edwards, I'm very disappointed in his stupidity, but it sort of does show he was a man of the people.))))

Really? I get the opposite feel from it.

Has anything about the scholarship fund shown up on the liberal sites? I'd love to believe that's not true.

Also, if the way "the people" behave is to give their girlfriends $100,000 per year jobs, I guess my lovers have all been too elite.

I was always pleased to get flowers...

who would have preferred jewelry, and didn't even know high-paying campaign jobs were an option.