I’ve really tried to steer clear of the latest miseries in the personal lives of John and Elizabeth Edwards, though they are ready grist for the tabloids (of course) and our corporate media in general (even the supposedly august New York Times, which has easily devoted more coverage to the recent revelation of his parentage of Rielle Hunter’s child than it ever did to Edwards’ campaign, and I’m sure the news of the Edwards’ separation will receive a lot of play also).
Over at the Blogger site, I devoted an inordinate amount of time publicizing Edwards’ one-time campaign for president, and I was appropriately contrite when it turned out that the whispers about Edwards and Hunter were true, whispers which I dutifully ignored because of the brazenness of Edwards’ lies that they were false.
And I’ve really tried to leave Edwards behind to wallow in the utter carnage he has made of his personal and political lives because of his ridiculous dalliance. Still, every now and then I would write a post to anyone who would care to read it that Edwards was still out there and could serve in some unpaid capacity as some sort of advisor or someone to do some kind of pro-bono “troubleshooting” of one type or another (preferably in some of the destitute areas of our country).
I suppose, though, that the thought of Edwards going to some God-forsaken place to try and do some good is hilarious to the life forms amused by the “I Feel Pretty” You Tube video of Edwards fussing over his hair, thinking that to be indicative of his shallowness (though I believe Edwards is in Haiti now; a cynic would say that’s one way to avoid the spotlight at the moment, which I guess is a good point).
But here is why John Edwards used to matter to me (I’m also compelled to point this out after reading Richard Cohen’s typically ridiculous column about Edwards here – Cohen criticizes Edwards on poverty, but since Cohen is a practitioner of typical accountability-free Beltway punditry, he offers no specifics).
Edwards’ stand on poverty is indeed one of the reasons I supported him – not so much because what he said on this subject was necessarily groundbreaking, but because he even acknowledged it at all (Bill Maher said that Edwards was the first Democratic presidential candidate who cared about poverty since Bobby Kennedy, a span of over 40 years).
I also supported Edwards because he said he was flat wrong on Iraq during a time when it was politically unpopular to do so. Also, he was the first candidate in the ’08 race to put out a policy on health care that was well-received by experts on the subject, including Paul Krugman.
So while people ridicule Edwards over his sin (making me recall a certain individual who once said something about casting the first stone), let’s not chortle too loudly over the Edwards’ separation, if for no other reason because young children are involved.
Oh, and another thing – good luck trying to find the kind of passion on display in the clip below on health care reform from any of our politicians, who have so thoroughly prostituted themselves on behalf of the insurers and drug companies while entrusted with the well being of us all, including upwards of at least 31 million of our fellow citizens without health insurance.