Damn It, John. What were you thinking?

Damn it, John. What were you thinking?

No, I don't mean what were you thinking when you cheated on your wife. It's not like that is an unusual occurrence among the American population. I don't care what you were thinking when you did that. I don't care if she knew. I don't care if you told her right away. I don't care if this isn't the first time. We're all sinners. And you are not the first great man to be brought down by human emotion.

I don't care why you did it. THAT mistake you have to live with. THAT mistake you have to face your wife and children and your God about. Frankly, it's none of my business or anyone else's. You appear, at least publicly, to be married to a saint. So good luck with that.

What you do as a private citizen is your own business. Nobody has the right to pry into that, and even public figures deserve private space. And, to tell the truth, I've stopped being shocked at how people who enter public life think they can get away with peccadilloes. Invincibility, public adoration, it all adds up to a feeling that you won't get caught. I get that. If Jim McGreevey and David Vitter can run for office thinking nobody will discover their private lives, then self-deception is certainly has no regard for party label.

So no, I don't care what you were thinking when you allowed someone who was close to you to get too close. I am not judging your morality. That isn't for me to judge. Or anyone else, for that matter. I am, however, stunned at your timing. I am judging your common sense. At a time you had the hopes of a good portion of America on your shoulders, you shirked it.

I want to know two things. How the hell could you, a man who ran everything through a careful filter, allow that to happen during a political campaign in which so many people had so much riding on you? And what the hell were you thinking when you denied it when asked about it? You're a lawyer. You know that questions keep coming. And nothing delights a cross-examiner like a false answer. So, tell me, Senator. What the hell?

The private feelings and actions of people in their sex lives don't amount to a hill of beans in politics, even though they may amount to EVERYTHING in their private realms. So, it shouldn't matter, EXCEPT to the extent that how you deal with that information is revealing of your decision making - what you do in a crisis. We have a President who deals with unhelpful information by denying its existence. Not sure we need another one.

This is painful for me to write. Truly. Nobody who reads this can deny that this comes from the heart. Anyone who has read this blog or the DailyKos for the last six years will know what this whole story costs me.

I believe in you as a political thinker, as the most gifted natural orator I have ever seen. I gave six years of every spare moment of my professional life to get you elected President. When I handed my son to you and then begged the N&O photogropher to send me this picture:

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I knew I was getting a memento to be passed from father to son for generations. Proof to my son and his son that good people went into politics.

The night I stood in Boston and took this picture:

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as the party I loved gave the nomination for Vice President of the United States to my fellow member of the Wake County Bar, was the greatest night of my political life. You, and your promise, your hope, redeemed the American political process for me. Frankly, that's why I spent the night after the election in 2004 wrapped in a fetal position around a bottle of Jack Daniels. They had almost killed that hope.

But in 2007, you started to rekindle it. No other politician in America has expressed what truly, truly needs to be done in this country the way you have. No other politician identified the despair, inequity and division that is killing our politics and our society. You talked about the elephants in the room. And, lo and behold, people listened. You didn't win, but you made them talk about the right things.

All of that -- All of it -- Can now be dismissed by the smirks and giggles of the cackling jackasses who would rather our system fail, who would rather government fail its citizens than serve them. The same people who support the current regime as it leads us into the gaping maw of hell, regardless of morality or truth.

They will, of course, use this to destroy you. It won't matter that their leaders treat torture like a fraternity prank. It won't matter that fundamental ideas of the freedom of individuals from tyranny and oppression have been cast aside like dirty napkins. It won't matter, because they'll ask how many girlfriends you have in that big house. And they'll laugh. And nobody will listen.

It won't matter that the next President will probably enact your health care plan. It won't matter that the poverty about which you spoke so eloquently will continue to devour this country until it is dealt with. It won't matter that only you chose to address the ongoing genocides in West Africa and to condemn the laissez-faire attitude that lets Americans continue to live their lives blissfully unaware of the deaths of 9 year old soldiers in jungles a half a world away. t won't matter because they'll be able to finish it with a big "yeah, but....". And nobody will care.

It won't matter because now you've given them something to hit you with.

I feel like I'm talking to a brother. I can see the promise, but be disappointed as hell in how you just acted. I can love you, forgive you, but still be brokenhearted at the waste of it all.

So understand me when I ask this question. It comes from the heart. It comes from someone who was quite willing to lay down in front of a bus for you and your campaign.

Why?

Think about it. All of it. Think about it for a long time.

Damn it, John.

Comments

You are dead on the money, Dr Frank

So much promise thrown away in such a stupid manner. A lawyer, especially a GOOD lawyer like Edwards should have known better than to lie, should have known the truth would eventually out.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Liberalism as a badge of honor!
No apologies, no excuses.

Ya know what DFL?

This is exactly how I feel. I'm not angry. I'm disappointed and I'm sad. That aside, I still believe in John Edwards.

Very nicely said.

***************************
Robin Hayes lied, Robin Hayes cried and thousands of folks lost th



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Ditto.

Freakin' Ditto.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I'm mad about a couple of things,

but I don't believe for one moment that this affair is a snapshot of the "true" John Edwards, calling everything else he's done or stood for into question. But his future as a leader is now at an end, so that really doesn't matter.

I'm mad at him because he recklessly pursued the Presidency, knowing this affair was like a ticking time bomb. That was a gamble he had no business taking, without first 'fessing up to the affair and then saying, "If you still want me to run, I will run."

But I'm even madder at him because of Elizabeth. I know that's "family business", and not something I should concern myself with. But dammit, I feel like we became part of the family. I even kissed Elizabeth on the cheek and called her sweetie, and she sort of...sparkled a little bit. I've read a lot of her blogs, essays and musings, and she's more than just "one in a million". More like one in 300 million.

I just don't get it. :(

Ask for a Refund DFL?

So understand me when I ask this question. It comes from the heart. It comes from someone who was quite willing to lay down in front of a bus for you and your campaign.

Why?

Think about it. All of it. Think about it for a long time.

Damn it, John.*DFL

Ask for a refund and than put a for sale sign on his Planation site in Orange County.....It appears that the Edwards family was more disfunctional than some of us thought.......Edwards is though in anything.....Sad but power corrupts as usual......

perplexed by the whole thing

I've had a bad feeling about this as soon as I heard about the National Enquirer piece (they may be trash, but when the tabloids go after pols, they are rarely wrong). These matters are none of our business anyway; he's no longer running for office, and who knows what goes on in a marriage.

I'm perplexed at the insanity of how he could enter the race at all, given the high level of personal scrutiny of candidates by today's MSM (and tabloids) -- the risk of this blowing up in his face was alarmingly high. Why would any pol put it all at risk to get laid (shades of Gary Hart)? I find it fascinating and disturbing. Are the gonads that in control of these folks? I know, I know...look at Larry Craig and the long list of GOP sexual hypocrites.

Raising money, running a credible campaign tying the fortunes and hopes of supporters, convincing them that Edwards could win and take this country out of Republican hands makes this so disappointing.

We can wish all for America to "grow up" regarding extramarital affairs, but the political reality is that for any candidate in 2008, this scenario is a nightmare and a killer for the presidency. Most Americans are not going to overlook a pol cheating on a current spouse (with cancer, no less). McCain would be toast if he admitted to cheating on Cindy. His timing -- dumping his ailing wife years ago -- is why he's not paying the price now. If only the Enquirer would tail him as hot and fast as it did Edwards.

All we can do now is let the media sorry-*ss moralizing and spin play out.

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

--
Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend
www.pamshouseblend.com

Survey says!

Are the gonads that in control of these folks?

"Survey says!"


--
recently transplanted from Indianapolis, IN to Durham, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

--
Garner, NC

I wouldn't recommend drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity for everyone, but they've always worked for me. -- Hunter S. Thompson

Am I wrong

in thinking this? I see the people that are titillated by this sort of thing. I see the smirk, and the callous joke and then I remember that these are the people who always vote for that other guy or gal anyway. Most of the folks I know hear this salacious drivel and their response is, "yeah, so what". How this plays out in the Edwards home is up to the Edwards family. Bill Clinton ran for office twice with these kinds of charges leveled all the time and he won. It seems to me that the key to the whole thing is not to quit. Not to let the bastards get you down. The key is to remember that as human beings we're never quite as simple as the morality polices sound bites would lead us to believe we are. Heck, for all we know discussions were had, permissions given and grown up activities ensued.

Like has already been said, it is regrettable that Mr. Edwards chose to tell a falsehood rather than simply inform the questioner that none of this was anyone elses business. I realize that my opinions can be viewed as naive but I really do think it's time to get beyond this adolescent fascination with the sex lives of other people.

I'm really sorry you felt misled DLF, I'm actually more angry at the inappropriate questions asked by all from the tabloids up to the "real" news.

And I hope Senator John Edwards doesn't quit.

Your post made me think of this clip...

...start at 3:55

I think issues like this ARE relevant, but I also think we do have to remember that we are all "broken" in one way or another. Now it's just about forgiveness, for all involved, if possible...

Phillip Hunter Gilfus,
DNC Member-Elect (NC),
Democratic National Committee

You've got in one.

We are, all, indeed, broken. When I set aside my initial disappointment in the Man, the Myth, the Legend - he's not supposed to be Jesus, after all - it's the lying that bothers me. That's what pissed me off with Bill Clinton, too. Do what you want - be who you are, but don't lie about it. I certainly respect someone owning their mistakes a lot more than I respect someone trying to get away with something.

Forgiveness? I don't feel that's my place. John Edwards didn't hurt me. I still believe in the absolute correctness of his political vision. I am disappointed in a career that will change now. Will it end? Who knows? But the ideas he put forth - the challenge of ending poverty, the health care plan - and a return to constitutionality that surely would have come from his own presidency will never be.

Any way, I wish the Edwards family well, and if this is the worst thing that they can find to throw at the Democrats this fall, we're in good shape.

While watching this play out on MSNBC and CNN...

I kept switching back to see if it was finished. But no, it went on and on. I could care less about some politician's disgressions. Edwards was on my team, and I backed him no matter what. But I do seem to remember how someone had records of McSame making his flight to Florida with that pretty good looking lobbyist some months ago, he made a few denials that anything transpired, and it was gone from the scene! And he's a presidential candidate! Shows who owns the media.

Thank you for making this point.

But I do seem to remember how someone had records of McSame making his flight to Florida with that pretty good looking lobbyist some months ago, he made a few denials that anything transpired, and it was gone from the scene!

John Edwards is a FORMER senator, a FORMER candidate...and this story is top of the news hour up and down the dial, front page coverage in every paper.

John McCain is the GOP Nominee and his story gets a quick trip through the NYTimes and then vanishes.

While the National Enquirer has been running front page stories FOR YEARS about GWB's affair with Condi and Laura living in the Mayflower hotel, I have not heard a single pundit demand coverage/investigating by the "Main Stream Media" but the very same paper runs a story about a FORMER candidate/FORMER senator having an affair and pundits work themselves into a frenzy to get MSM to pay attention. And it works, no less!

The double standard drives me crazy.

Dubya and Condi?

:O

That just drained my Mojo severely.

Here's his Signing Statement on her butt:

"If you're reading this, you're in violation of Executive Order #1732, to wit: 'This Ass Is Mine, Dammit!', and you need to back off right now!"

Voice of reason

Pam wrote:

"We can wish all for America to "grow up" regarding extramarital affairs...."

Finally a voice of reason. I could not agree more. Did you know that some wedding vows still contain such stupid phrases as: "in sickness and in health!" How lame!

And some wedding vows still use: "forsaking all others!" Talk about old fashioned and out-of-date ideas.

When will America "grow up" regarding extramarital affairs?

Not for nothing.....

Did you know that in most states in the US, many committed, loving couples don't even get the chance to make those vows legally? That is lame.

This is not about the sex, and it never has been - at least for me. This is about the lying when asked a direct question. That, my new friend, is even more lame.

Another hit to American Politics

I'm thoroughly disappointed. On many levels, I see this as very troublesome.

I'm a man who can't stand infidelity. I think my wife is pretty confident that I'll stay true because I don't even like watching movies about infidelity. I see it as such a selfish and hurtful act. If you've vowed to be faithful, then it's a lie. It hurts the people closest to you, shaming your spouse, children, and parents. There are few things that cut so deep.

I believe that every lie, cheat, or steal by a politician contributes to our society's growing distrust of politicians and our political system. You can say that Edwards isn't currently a candidate, but he's certainly a politician. When someone exhibits hypocrisy like this, it becomes a chink in the armor of our democracy. Since our democracy is already in tatters, we can afford few hits. Can't we just have one year go by where no politicians anywhere engage in unethical or immoral behavior?

But of course we'll never have a year without political malfeasance. The maxim is true: power corrupts. Yes, we're all capable of faltering and sinning, but we're also all capable of not doing so. I don't think it's too much to ask for our political leaders to hold themselves to a high moral and ethical standard. But I do know that the seduction of power can reduce even the strongest person to a shell of him or herself.

To the Edwards apologists and those who think infidelity shouldn't be a political issue, I hope you see the sad impact of this affair. I beg you to use your rhetoric to call for a greater emphasis on the one thing that must be present to rebuild this great democracy... integrity.

Very Well Said, Graig

I think the words Sen. Edwards used last night to describe his behavior clearly says why this matters.

A lie is a lie, and there's no such thing as just one more lie when trying to get out from under the first lie.

fhblack

I'm not an apologist

but no, I don't see why it was important for this affair to become fodder for public digestion.

I certainly appreciate how sad it is. I certainly appreciate the damage done by infidelity. But that has nothing to do with whether it was in the public interest for us to bear witness to or even add to the damage.

Edwards' marital condition is an issue that should belong to his family, not the public.

You and I cannot know or presume to determine what works for any married couple. You and I cannot say what anyone else's response to his or her partner's infidelity should be.

When Edwards took an oath to his wife on their wedding day, she was entitled to rely upon it. That has nothing to do with you or me. It has nothing to do with his fitness to serve his country, state, town or dog pound.

He wasn't in office, and he wasn't running for office when this story broke. It was none of our business and is none of our business.

It's Not About the Affair!

I don't care a bit about his affair. I care about the fact that when he was called on it, he lied. He wanted to be our leader or a heartbeat away from being our leader. It about trust and being able to be trusted. He lied during that process, and now admits it. That's the issue for me. His martial situation is now his to work out and I have no desire to seeing that in public.

Like Graig, I want us to believe in those who ask us to vote for them. And part of believing in them is knowing that they will tell us the truth. We have enough evidence of what happens when that doesn't happen!

fhblack

Right, because clearly

if he had simply said "yeah, it's true, but it's a personal matter and I won't discuss it" when he was asked back in October 2007 the whole thing would have just gone away right then and there. Or not.

We all love to wring our hands and point our fingers and slap our foreheads and gnash our teeth over the moral failings of others...regardless of when or how we hear about it, regardless of how we felt about the person before we heard about it, regardless of how good or bad the person was at their job before we heard about it. For whatever reason, we can't help but pull out every piece of that dirty laundry and inspect it from top to bottom.

We're doing it now and we would have done exactly the same thing if he had admitted it the first time he was asked and we would have done exactly the same thing if he had made an announcement about it before he was asked.

You can't wish away public opinion

You may wish that things like this not become a matter of public discussion, but that's futile. They do. And John Edwards knew it.

Yes, it will be up to his family to figure out his marital condition. Unfortunately, he put all of them in the bind of having to react to his indiscretion. They had no choice in that matter.

The same is true for the public. None of us have any choice but to react. And the truth is that many, many Americans react to news like this by adding it to the a giant pile of skepticism about politics.

That's why John Edwards has disappointed me so much. He had done a wonderful job of rebuilding the public trust, only to throw it all away.

His family ...

I don't care about the affair but the legal complexity with which he lied for so long using the caveat of so many untruths he could deny it. That bothers me. That he was so manipulative about it which is crushing to his volunteers. And now I am more concerned about the effect on his family and the latest lie when he did not tell his wife he was going to see Ms. Hunter. The trust so many honest working class people developed for him is the toughest lesson of all. And, I just like to see accountability, not all the excuses for why he did it. Own up to it and be done with it. The "I came so far in life and now I am egocentric" makes him look pathetic.

Al Manning, retiree, native of eastern NC and proud of it, plenty of time to read, research and get annoyed about the lack of accountability in elected leaders these days. Married to a real southern lady and we live with two labs and two airedales who run

Unfortunately, national politics brings on people who are not ..

big on 'moral standards'. Leading to World War 2, there was stories just out of view about FDR, but we were in a depression which required unity of purpose from everyone, so it was 'unimportant'. During the war itself, Eisenhower had an affair in England, and the media knew of it. But again, leadership and unity was the most important thing needed for the time. We would deprive ourselves of some great leaders if we expect them to be saints. As long as their private lives don't impact national interest or the treasury, don't tell me. On the other hand, if they violate the laws that I'm expected to obey, like this gang in the White House, put a spotlight on it for the whole country to see!

It's over..............

“Who” decides whether or not Edward’s dalliance with a campaign contractor is “none of my business?” “Who” is it exactly that makes the decision on what I get to see or read about in the news? “Who” wrote the definition of what is “private” about my life and what is “public?” “Who” decides when the campaign is over and at what point in time all references to the “former” candidate are off limits? “Who” decides when the slate is wiped clean and someone is completely “vetted?

John has asked me on numerous occasions to put his signs on my property. He has invited me to barbecues and fundraisers. He has written to me. He has appealed to me on the radio…..on the TV……on the internet…….on cable…….through the telephone……..in the papers. He asked me to partner up with him. I have cast my ballot for him. I have sent him money. And now………..“Who” is it exactly that says my relationship with him is over. After all we went through together. And it’s over! And nobody told me! Damn.

I always thought that us Starbucks drinking liberals wanted “freedom of speech” applied universally. I always thought we were the ones who wanted “sunshine” to shine through on the whole “process.” There is a price to be paid and the number is going to be high. And a long time coming before the final payment is made and the mortgage released.

The “public” has decided it is news and the “public” wants more. And the media will deliver. Sex sells. Lying sells. The hint of a “cover-up” sells.

And whose fault is all this? Is it “who?” The public? JFK? FDR? Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt? Or the media?

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Gossip kills.

_____________________________________

Jesus Swept, this December

Gossip does kill............

Gossip does kill.

And that's why I do not comment on "tabloid trash!"

John Edwards, speaking about...

President Clinton and Monica Lewinksy in 1999:

"I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."

One would have thought he would have understood the dimension of his behavior. It's always the coverup that gets you. Always. But then again, if you have a little restraint in the first place there's nothing to cover up.

ETA: but I admit to being wrong about NC's North Carolina's most famous politician

There are few so strident

As those who have not yet made the mistake. :D