I’ve been thinking I should write something about the John Edwards scandal, but I can’t think of a less interesting, more predictable, or less surprising denouement for a truly pathetic human being. Of course he’s a liar. And he’s still lying. If the affair ended in 2006, why is he showing up in the middle of the night to visit his kid at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last month? And is anyone really aghast that the media militantly ignored this story for as long as they could? You really think that Mitt Romney wouldn’t have been on the front page of the New York Times for weeks on end if he had done the same thing?
But what part of that story is news? The media tilts left? Yawn. Edwards is a sleaze? I mean, come on. This is a guy who bilked the health care industry out of hundreds of millions of dollars by putting massive numbers of OB/GYNs out of business on the premise that dead children used him as a vessel to demand C-sections to avoid cerebral palsy. Well, guess what! The amount of C-sections has skyrocketed, OB/GYN malpractice insurance rates are through the roof, and the frequency of cerebral palsy remains unchanged. But at least Edwards had enough cash to keep paying his mistress hush money!
I guess the only thing that still surprises me about such a tired, worthless story like this is that so many Americans either cannot or will not recognize sleaze when they see it. My father-in-law, a very good, decent, and intelligent man, was startled when he heard the news about Edwards. “He was the one I wanted in the primaries!” he said. It never occurred to him that his populist hero was human garbage. I think, in his case, that speaks well for him – he’s willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. I wish that were the reasons so many others are taken in by the Edwardian offal.
Alas, many people see people who get away with reprehensibly egregious assaults on decency and praise them for their ingenuity. Is there anyone in the country – besides imbecile Dan Rather, of course – who can say with a straight face that the Clintons are honest people? Yet Hillary was able to marshal the support of millions of folks with selective amnesia who followed blindly as she appealed to every crass instinct, every racial bias, and every irrational fear she could to keep Obama from winning the nomination. Hillary was- and is – nothing but ambition and appetite, and so many failed to notice. How is that possible?
At least with my candidate, famed decomposing undersea adventurer Jacques Cousteau, everyone can smell him from miles away.