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Mr. Edwards Doesn't Go to Washington


I graduated law school in 2000.

A few months later, the Supreme Court would hand down Bush v. Gore, a revolting display that pretty much disproved everything you and your professors tell you when you're in law school. That the law serves the public good, that Lady Justice is blind, that the system runs on rationality and not emotion or simple personal preference.

Instead, it served to remind us that our ruling class does what it wants and finds or makes up justification later. Lawyers are their tools.

But that wasn't enough. It wasn't until 2004 that my faith in my country and its politics were pretty much demolished like a ship against craggy rocks.

I voted for John Kerry for two reasons:
1. He was not George W. Bush.
2. He chose John Edwards as a running mate.

I liked John Edwards. I really did. He wrote a book called Four Trials detailing some of the cases he worked on as a plaintiff's attorney. He represented people who had been screwed over by corporate interests.

It turns out John Edwards is a scumbag.

He denied he'd had an affair. He later confessed he did have an affair.

This probably should have bothered me more than it did. I hated the lying, but the affair I could understand. Not justify, just understand. He had lost a young son years before and now his wife struggled with cancer. Finding solace with someone else should not involve his penis. But I understand. We all make mistakes, especially at times of emotional stress.

It's the lying I hated, though. Just fess up. Yes, I fucked her while my wife was going through chemo. Yes, I made a mistake. It's a whopper, too. But it's not sending young people to die in the desert under false pretenses.

In the end, it didn't matter. Now there's more dead young people in the desert.

Even admitting the affair, he denied fathering a child outside of wedlock. I bought this one more than I bought the lie about the affair. Now he admits the kid is his. (Only when it threatened to leak out from one of his staffers.) Now he's getting to know the kid. I guess that part's good.

Now that he's out of the political limelight.

And, today, Elizabeth Edwards announced that she is separating from the scumbag.

Like it matters. He's now just another distraction.

Look at the birdie in my hand. Isn't it cute and inconsequential? John Edwards had a child out of wedlock. Somebody's doing something stupid on “Jersey Shore.” (The first season of which will soon be out on DVD.)

Never mind the baseball bat behind my back. Here's the stuff that matters and we'll cram it down your throat. No health care for millions. More tax cuts and political benefits for the already wealthy. Still more dead young people in the desert.



So I just can't do it anymore. I can't watch the news. It's just more badness. Republican greed, Democratic ineffectiveness, and immorality spread across the aisle like a sewage truck crash. My father always said there was a special place in Hell for politicians, and I've come to agree.

I sometimes watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Show. Even those, at their most farcical, are hard.

What can I do, though? I can't take myself completely away from it. My job relies on me being at least somewhat well informed about current events. Also, I can't shut myself off completely. I feel obliged to be engaged, to know, to vote with knowledge, and to speak out against bad ideas. This is still a democracy.

Right?

I don't expect infallibility from our leaders. But I don't like being led by scumbags and liars. We elect them to represent us, after all.

Who does that mean we are?



Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
dabhug
Jan. 28th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC)
I can relate. I had faith that Edwards was "one of the good guys", too. I didn't even watch the SOTU last night. It doesn't matter anyway.
thndrstd
Jan. 30th, 2010 06:17 pm (UTC)
The SOTU is just words. What matters is what they actually do.
purple_phys
Jan. 29th, 2010 12:58 am (UTC)
I didn't watch the SOTU last night either, just out of disgust for the whole partisan process. In addition, W ruined the magic of presidential speeches forever.
thndrstd
Jan. 30th, 2010 06:23 pm (UTC)
The SOTU is just words. What matters is what they actually do. I don't both with the speeches anymore. All I care about is what their actions translate to.
beautyofgrey
Jan. 31st, 2010 06:27 pm (UTC)
I liked Edwards originally, too. And you know, it's not that I care about the affair - but the fact that it was constantly covered up. I suppose he did that to try to save face/protect his wife and other children in some way...but it backfired on him marvelously.
thndrstd
Feb. 2nd, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that tactic never works. I don't know why they always think they can get away with it.

Thanks for reading.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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