Steve G.

The incredible arrogance of John Edwards

In Politics on August 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Of the Big Three Democrats who sought their party’s 2008 nomination, there is no doubt that John Edwards was the worst. But had he won the nomination and the presidency, his hard-line socialism would have gotten virtually nowhere, and we would be none the worse for it. Still, we can thank our lucky stars that Edwards, the Great White (male) Hope, did not score an upset over Obama/Hillary, as it is clear he would not have won the presidency had he been the Democratic nominee.

This extramarital affair has been a poorly kept secret for a while now. But just think of the incomprehensible arrogance Edwards must possess in order to have done what he did. And I’m not talking about the affair — it should never be a surprise when politicians, criminals by trade, commit fraud against the spouse to whom they have contractually agreed to remain faithful — but having that affair and then continuing with his longshot bid for the presidency.

How could this have played out in Edwards’s head? Did he really think it wouldn’t get revealed? Come on! If he had scored the Dem nomination, this revelation would have helped elect McInsane. Did Edwards care?

Of course, the worst part of all this is that Edwards had an easy out. When his wife — the one he cheated on — was diagnosed with cancer, I remember listening to CNBC’s coverage. Everyone was expecting his presidential campaign to come to an end. Reporters were shocked when his statements seemed to say otherwise, and had to ask him for clarification. Yes, he was still running.

Now there can be no debate; no defense of this man. He’s beyond redemption, a slime ball. He moralized, preached the socialist Christian gospel, condemned gay marriage… I revel in his fall from grace.

  1. Meh, most of the public commentary on Edwards strikes me as hypocritical.

    The reality is that a majority of married people cheat on their spouses, and the volume of divorces to marriages has been running at 1:2 for a while now. If that trend continues, the divorce rate will hit 50% in another decade or so.

    Rather than revel in the downfall of yet another hypocritical politician over his sex scandal du jour, it would be more revealing to examine the sort of society we’ve become — where we slam cheating politicians and gay men for “destroying the sanctity of marriage” even as a majority of society cheats on their spouses — many on a regular basis.

  2. Who is the “we” slamming gay men?

    I do not belong to that “we.”

    As for slamming hypocritical politicians — I think they, unlike gay men, deserve to be slammed.

    How is there equivalence here, between cheating hypocritical politicians and gay men? I see no logic in your reasoning.

  3. *sigh*

    Of course you don’t, GE.

    It’s a reflection on society, not on your comments per se.

    Carry on then.

  4. “the socialist Christian gospel”

    You’re not a Christian then, because of its socialistic teachings?

  5. I wasn’t surprised in the least. I laughed, then I cried, then I found something meaningful to do. I’m pretty certain that every “moral” politician is a hypocrite. It won’t be long until they all die out from being uncovered.

  6. Even certain Libertarian politicians (or those who wish they were real politicians) aren’t exempt from the deadly pull of adultery. Does that make them “normal”–or just as scummy as John Edwards?

  7. Hot Karl!

    Details please…don’t be a tease.

  8. Adultery within a “traditional” marriage — i.e. one where both partners (regardless of gender) commit, contractually, to be faithful to one another — is unlibertarian. It’s fraud. It’s breech of contract.

    Of course, not everyone who’s married has such a commitment. There are people who choose to enjoy “alternative” lifestyles. Many libertarians might fit this profile.

    IF John Edwards and his wife had this sort of arrangement, then that in itself would be hypocritical, considering Edwards’s moral grandstanding.

  9. As for slamming hypocritical politicians — I think they, unlike gay men, deserve to be slammed.

    Whatever floats your boat 😛

  10. You’re not a Christian then, because of its socialistic teachings?

  11. I’m not a Christian, but what I was saying was that John Edwards preached a socialist interpretation of Christianity. Obviously, other interpretations exist, as per paulie’s link above.

  12. That’s what I thought you meant. I just like throwing that link out there as much as possible.

  13. And thanks for setting TurdPottyWatch straight!

    # G.E. Says:
    August 9th, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    Of course, IPR had this right from the get-go, while TPW and its commenters just pretended the Emperor was fully clothed:

    1. Jonathan Says:

    August 1st, 2008 at 9:46 am

    From this web site that trashes Barr, the owner is a purist reports:

    West Virginia Libertarian petition reportedly fails
    August 1st, 2008 · 4 Comments
    According to a field report by one of the Libertarian petitioners on the ground in West Virginia, as of tonight’s final turn-in of signatures by petitioners to the campaign, the LP gathered only around 12,000 raw signatures, falling short of the 15,118 required by state law. While additional signatures would be required to survive a challenge, the bare minimum required by law would have been enough if there was no challenge.

    1. Joey Dauben Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 10:39 am

    And those guys had the nerve to attack me for supporting Wayne Allyn Root (because they always linked me to Dondero lol) and posting other news items on this site …Independent Political Report is a sham if they keep this “reporting” up.

    1. Jonathan Says:
    August 1st, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    ofcourse the IPR is wrong they always leave a little room for error but they try their best to give a negative spin every chance he gets

  14. Adultery within a marriage is not the concern of any other people. It concerns the spouses and the parties having sex with one or both spouses. It does not concern anyone else, including the gummint, unless one of those people involves someone else, like by filing a lawsuit.

    Adultery and sex scandals ought to embarrass politicians who promote family values, thump the Bible often, or make arrogant demands on other sexual orientations and preferences. Those who are libertarian ought to be proud of our free love practices.

    Bring joy to someone tonight. Have sex!

  15. Saying adultery shouldn’t involve the government is the same as saying other forms of breech of contract shouldn’t involve the government.

    I’m all for it, so long as there IS NO government.

    But so long as there is, adultery (within the confines of a traditional, monogamous marriage) is the initiation of force.

    Of course, the wronged party would have to want to make a case of it… But adultery is not libertarian, nor is acceptance of it, unless the “adultery” in question was with the consent of the alienated party.

  16. No, GE, adultery is none of your business unless one of the parties, aggrieved or otherwise, chooses to involve you. Same for the gummint. To say that it is a breach of a contract is to assume a role for you in that contract. Does the contract name you? Then piss off.

  17. It is breech of contract, idiot. There’s no role for me in a breech of contract between two corporations, nor is there a role for government unless one of the two parties presses charges. But marriage is no different from any other contract. Just because your libertine values put sexual deviance above contractual fidelity, it doesn’t mean that libertarianism (as opposed to libertinism) makes such a value judgment.

  18. G.E., you are the idiot. You prove yourself as such every time you post. You sound like a sad sad little man. And as I recall when meeting you, you are one…

  19. Adultery within a “traditional” marriage — i.e. one where both partners (regardless of gender) commit, contractually, to be faithful to one another — is unlibertarian. It’s fraud. It’s breech of contract.

    I’m not so sure I go along with this marriage-as-a-contract line of reasoning. Marriage, it seems to me, is a complex bundle of social and personal obligations, some of which are (or can be) contractual, but most of which are more promissorial. I favor Evers/Rothbard’s understanding of contracts as title-transfers, which puts them in an entirely different class from a *promise* to be faithful, or to love forever, etc.

    By this way of thinking about contracts, these sorts of promises (love, faith, etc.) can be _associated_ with a contract – an exchange of titles that will automatically occur when one person breaks the promise – but are not themselves contracts. This is, after all, the point of formal prenuptial agreements and older sorts of dower arrangements.

    None of this is meant to suggest that adultery is anything less than wrong. It’s just that I don’t necessarily view it as a matter for courts/arbitration/etc. unless the parties have agreed beforehand that adultery is an actionable offense within the marriage.

  20. Adultery should be of some interest to Libertarian individuals if it happens to show that said adulterer is obviously not trust worthy nor honest—and the adulterer is running for public office—and is asking people to believe in her and support her (yes—-HER.) If you are going to throw yourself into the public arena–and people who are very unaware of what a complete jerk you are—constantly talk about how great you are—then be prepared for the comments from those of us who don’t appreciate your less than honest adulterous affair.

  21. You sound like a sad sad little man. And as I recall when meeting you, you are one…

    Not in my experience.

  22. Hot Karl!

    No details?

  23. Most of the world agrees that one of the defining elements of “marriage” is monogamy. Ignoring that reality is what gets us branded as the Libertine Party.

    The real relevance of this is that it shows the profound narcissism of Edwards. And there’s that whole generational, “I told my wife, so it’s not so bad.” Been there, done that, repented. I think it’s WORSE because he didn’t even have the couth to try to hide it from her.

  24. @ pauliecannoli

    That anti-state piece is one of the better analysis I’ve seen. It’s far better than the Jesus was a capitalist screeds I’ve read, and never once played the Old-Testament dodge.

    That being said, on a quick read: the claims that Romans 13, plus Jesus’ Eye Of The Needle Parable and “Render Unto Caesar” were simply rhetorical devices to throw off the Roman government are all pure speculation ungrounded in the Biblical texts.

    The artful dodging of Luke 6:24,25 should be noted also:

    But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep

    Still, a good read, and I plan to delve into it a bit deeper soon. Thanks.

    One final note: given that most of America is Protestant, and that Martin Luther is considered to be one of the foundations in Protestant thought, it need also be mentioned that he felt that James was a minor Apostle, possibly even apocryphal. Otherwise Luther’s extra word insertion into Romans 3:28:

    allein durch den Glauben

    Cannot be squared with James 2:24:

    nicht durch den Glauben allein

    And for the record, I am not a Christian, although I grew up in a family that practised an American form of Protestantism, which sprung up in the late 19th century, and was educated in their private church schools for the first 10 grades in which Bible was a once-a-day subject taught along with all of the other ones. I am very comfortable around the King James.

  25. @ GE

    A breech of contract between two private individuals is not a governmental matter, unless the parties cannot reach a private remedy agreement, and seeks out the courts to solve the controversy.

    If you feel a building contractor has not fulfilled his/her end of the bargain on a house renovation, do you run to the courts first, or do you privately talk to the contractor about your concerns?

    In this specific instance, the injured party in the breech of contract was Elizabeth Edwards, and she has stated that she had ironed out the problems with her husband regarding his affair, and would have preferred that it had stayed a private matter.

    That being said, John Edwards is a cad…

  26. GE seems to think that people should own one another, or at least own a property right in a contractual obligation over another person’s behavior.

    Susan seems to think that people make promises, sometimes empty, presumably supposing that breach of promise is not as serious as breach of contract.

    My point, which GE dismisses by calling me a libertine and an idiot, is that the agreement between two people or amongst twenty people, is none of his business if he isn’t named in the agreement. Like most other monstrous Puritanical scum, he wants to involve himself in everyone’s business and tell them how he, in his omnipotence, has evaluated their behavior – weighed it in the balance and found it wanting. Like most tabloid quality journalists he wants to impose his narrow-minded, 16th-Century dogma on others and tell them they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I don’t think our experience with slavery has been any good. If marriage is not consensual, if it is an ownership interest by one person in another, then it isn’t any better than slavery. If it is a matter of consent, then it is something that has to be agreeable.

    It may not suit GE’s mythos of an angry God to burn us in the fires of Hell for daring to have sex with someone outside of marriage, but if one partner chooses to have sex with someone else, that ought to tell us everything we need to know about how agreeable the marriage has been, lately, for that partner. Is hopping in the sack with someone else any less dignified than sending a lawyer to file paperwork with some court?

    All experience has shown that people change the institutions to which they’ve become accustomed when a long train of abuses and usurpations demonstrates a design to make the institution tyrannical and unjust. If you don’t like the fact that traditional marriage like Mommy and Daddy didn’t manage to have is going the way of all other stupid and tedious institutions, GE, too bad. You can moralize all you want, but you don’t get to choose for other people.

    People choose to have sex when, as, and with whom they please. Personally, I don’t care if you like it. I’d just as soon you hated it.

  27. Most of the world agrees that one of the defining elements of “marriage” is monogamy. Ignoring that reality is what gets us branded as the Libertine Party.

    What Libertarians have ignored that? Are you talking about someone specifically?

  28. Susan–
    I can think of 2 Libertarians that have ignored that.

  29. Mary and who else?

  30. Most of the world is not Christian, and most of the Christian world is not Puritan. It is an artifact of parochial and limited experience that causes someone to say that monogamy is any kind of feature or “benefit” of marriage.

    Much of the world is Islamic, and the practice of having four wives is very traditional in many cultures throughout Islam. Much of the world practices other religions which permit many wives, many types of marriage. France is full of Catholics many of whom see nothing wrong with a wife, a mistress, and a girlfriend, to say nothing of the wife’s own mistress and her mistress’s girlfriend.

    Moreover, being branded as libertines isn’t that bad. I’d rather be a libertine than an authoritarian. I’d also rather support the downtrodden and discriminated against, such as the polyamorous, the transgendered, and those who make their own lifestyle choices than discriminate against them, moralize about their choices, or demand state intervention on “behalf of traditional marriage,” as though marriage were improved one tiny bit by having government licenses.

    There is something terribly wrong with the Libertarian Party if its members are afraid to be associated with free love, free thought, and free choice.

  31. Let this be a lesson to all aspiring politicians.

    Edwards broke the first rule for all politicians: Never Tell The Truth. He initially lied about the alleged affair and was believed. He demonstrated what a good liar he was.

    Then, foolishly, he admitted the affair without even giving a nuanced explanation. If he was going to admit to what he had previously denied, he could have at least spun it.

    For example:

    Yes, my pants were down, but there was no erection.


    We only had anal sex, which doesn’t count where I come from.


    She had sex with me, but I never had sex with her.

    At least Edwards was clever enough to blame his adulterous behavior on his own ego. He could have blamed it all on his own penis – an excuse most women won’t accept.

  32. I’m by no means an expert, but my own personal experience tells me this:

    I think the marriage issue is somewhere in between what G.E. and Susan are saying. Yes, there are contractual elements to it, but there are emotional promissory elements to it as well.

    Both types of elements can be properly dealt with through proper commuication. Lidia and I, happily married going on 11 years now and together for going on 16, have busted our butts on that, and our marriage is as strong as it can be because of that. I wish all marriages did that, and a lot do. I have two close friends whose marriages (not to each other) are ending, both from infidelity, lack of communication, and other problems. In both cases, the communications breakdown between those pairs of spouses led to the infidelity, and to their divorces. The same communications problem was true with my own parents, even with their other problems (which AFAIK didn’t involve infidelity). Communication builds and maintains trust, and that trust is necessary for the realtionship to survive and thrive.

    As far as the adultery issue goes: the difference between what some would call an “open” marriage and infidelity is communication. If the trust and open communication to discuss this up front and openly exists, before the fact, then more than likely than not the situation becomes “open” (or at least solvable before it becomes a real problem, or not even a problem at all) and not adultery. When that does not exist and the affair happens, then the trouble *really* begins, because at that point the communications breakdown is at its worst and the trust is shattered.

    In short form: adultery exists where open and clear communications between a married couple does not.


    As for Edwards, he simply betrayed the trust of his wife, family, and the public, and that’s the disappointing part, politics aside.

  33. I think the marriage issue is somewhere in between what G.E. and Susan are saying. Yes, there are contractual elements to it, but there are emotional promissory elements to it as well.

    You then went on to describe the latter in some detail. What do you mean by the former? Property arrangements?

  34. Mr. Seeback-
    I agree with you about the constant communication—only problem with that is when the one person’s communication is all lies—and is very convincing.

  35. Susan, it is mainly about property, for example a pre-nup (which I advocate for all couples), but that’s also necessary for survivorship, estates, etc. But there is plenty of leeway in there for non-property agreements should the couple want to put it in.

    Karl, I agree that it can be difficult when lies are involved. Unfortunately that is the risk that comes with any relationship, no matter how it is labelled. It is rather easy to point out that such lies constitute a fraud on the realtionship, and then it gets into legal and ethical arenas. Me, I learned from my own parents and others around me to not even go into that area, that it is far easier and simpler (and much more mature) to be honest in the relationship. Yeah, it can cause hurt, but not as much as being dishonest by a long shot.

    I just wish that a lot of other people saw it that way as well. If they did, there would be a lot less infidelity and a lot stronger marriages.

    I heard once (dunno where) that a marriage is not a 50-50 give-take relationship, it’s 60-40–each spouse gives 60% and takes 40%. Sound advice.

    That and never go to bed angry at your spouse. 🙂

    OK, enough of this before I turn into Andy Landers…

  36. I agree with pdsa @ #25. Did not mean to imply otherwise.

    #26: More libertine idiocy. 1) I’m an atheist. You are such a depraved, antilibertarian idiot that you think morality = religion, and that embracing the morality of not breaking one’s contracts = believing in superstitution.

    2) I have no interest in the lifestyles or relationships of others. If people want to have polyamorous affairs, then good for them, so long as they violate no contractual obligations in the process. But your gross libertinism leads you to believe that sexual perversion is paramount over contractual obligations. You agree to be faithful to someone, and you violate that oath, you are in breech of contract and the other party is liable for damages if they choose to pursue them. Do you think Elizabeth Edwards is not hurt by this? This is not a non-aggressive action.

    John Amendall is such a vile d-bag that he thinks holding people to their voluntarily entered contracts = authoritarianism. No one put a gun to Edwards’s head and made him say “I do.”

  37. […] If You Have Any Remaining Doubt That Obama Is Raw Slime…. Saved by y4k2000ian on Thu 18-12-2008 The incredible arrogance of John Edwards Saved by cooliskillingus on Sun 14-12-2008 Veeps and Shit. Saved by Belldandy on Sun 14-12-2008 […]

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