Monday, August 11, 2008
The Week That Was
So much happened this week. Blog readers Owen and Molly got married, though not to each other, but to people (Char & Shaw) who may or may not spend much time on the blog. Anyway, congratulations to all of them.
Also, John Edwards told everyone he's a narcissist and an egocentrist, and that's why he hooked it up with Jay McInerney's ex-girlfriend. Of course, my endorsement of Edwards for President means I am obligated to comment, so let me say this: I still don't give a shit about character. If you believe that John Edwards was a snake-oil salesman who used poverty alleviation for his platform only for political points, 1) you're wrong (since he didn't come close to winning because, you know, poor people don't have an office on K Street) and 2) you probably feel vindicated because he cheated on his wife and lied about it, so that makes him a fake, like you always knew he was. This is America, and that's your right. And if you think John Edwards is smarmy and Elizabeth is great, then you really, really hate him now. Fair enough -- even though it looks like Elizabeth encouraged him to run after he told her about the affair, so maybe we shouldn't ascribe all the naked and fool-hardy ambition to him alone.
But if like me, you think there is absolutely no connection between a politician's marital infidelity (and desperate and moronic attempts at covering up said infidelity) and his worth as a potential statesman, then you don't really come out of this whole mess with a new outlook on things: John and Elizabeth Edwards forced Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to talk about poverty and pushed the debate on universal health care in the primaries, thus paving the way for those issues to be prominent in a fantastical Obama Administration. It's that straightforward. Now even If he wanted to divorce Elizabeth and shack up with his mistress that makes him a bad husband and a bad father, but it doesn't change his politics. It didn't for Nicholas Sarkozy, and it didn''t for John McCain, who left his hobbled, ballooning wife, the mother of his children, for a blonde cheerleader, who thinks c**t is a term of endearment, and provides him with a lifetime supply of Bud Light Lime and money.
...But, while I credit Edwards for being needlessly self-punishing in his admission (what other politician owns up to narcissism?) and for sparing Elizabeth the Silda Spitzer sideshow treatment, I do have one hang-up about the affair: I don't care about the sex -- I care about the money. Rielle Hunter was paid six figures to make short documentaries about Edwards, and by at least one account, her hiring occurred after the start of their affair. Now, Hunter is what we would term a failed actress, with little experience in documentary film-making, and, apparently, her salary was paid out of the One America Foundation. That is, it would seem John Edwards used my contribution to pay his Yanni-worshipping girlfriend to hang out with him on the campaign trail. If this is in fact the case, then you -- Heidi, E., anonymousalex et. al -- were right, and John Edwards can go fuck himself.
I'm voting for Heath Ledger.