Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jeralyn on Edwards

Jeralyn Merritt, a lawyer and a Democrat, examines the role that lawyers played in the John Edwards scandal:
The fact that all three lawyers -- those for Edwards, Hunter and Young -- contacted the Enquirer within days of the publication of her being photographed pregnant on December 12, and that Edwards' lawyer told them that Rielle was going to deny the paternity allegation, suggests to me, as a lawyer, it was a joint strategy.
Well, of course, it was a joint strategy. What boggles my mind is (a) Young's willingness to be the fall guy for his boss, and (b) Hunter's failure to realize that she's being played.

It's obvious to me that Hunter's lawyer is part of the Edwards operation, and thus representing Edwards' interests, rather than Hunter's. Any lawyer could see that Hunter could file a paternity suit and (assuming the kid is Edwards') win a lucrative settlement. She could get at least a quarter-million for the tell-all magazine photo exclusive, another half-million for the book rights, and the movie rights -- oh, man, the sky's the limit.

Instead, at the insistence of Edwards' army of lawyers, she's hiding out and taking $15,000 a month in hush money. Crap, do the math here, Rielle -- you're getting gypped, big-time.

Now, back to Jeralyn's blog:
Unlike the right wing bloggers covering this who may just be gleeful to see John Edwards, a prominent Democrat trashed, it bothers me for a different reason. . . .
On one level I'm angry because I supported both Edwards and Hillary between October and December. I covered them equally in Iowa and spent hours attending his campaign events and writing about them. I would have endorsed Hillary much earlier had Edwards not been in the race. As a blogger, that matters to me.
OK, first, the "glee" thing: Speaking as a right-winger, I never thought Edwards was anything other than a phony, and let me explain why. That "son of a poor mill-worker" stuff was pure bunk, if you actually know anything about life in Southern textile mill towns. (My grandmother worked for years in the mills in LaGrange, Ga., where my uncle and cousins still live.)

Edwards' father actually worked his way up to supervisor for Milliken, meaning he was respectably middle class in the mill-town millieu, and if he wasn't rich -- well, who was? But they were by no means poverty-stricken, and if his dad felt a grudge at having to work his way up, and being passed over a few times along the way -- again, welcome to a very large club. I quote:
"They weren't quite as humble as Edwards makes it sound,'' says Pat Smith of Robbins. "Wallace was a very important man at the mill. ... They weren't rich, but they weren't struggling poor."
In fact, Edwards' father's life story was a classic American bootstrap tale of upward mobility, and for Edwards to poormouth his childhood and imply that his family lived hand-to-mouth was an insult to his father's hard work. As someone whose own parents were of the same hard-working middle-class type -- my dad worked 37 years at the Lockheed plant in Marietta, Ga. -- I've never been tempted to poormouth my upbringing in some pathetic attempt to aggrandize myself by belittling my own parents.

Edwards' masquerade is just like Bill Clinton's phony poor-boy shtick -- Bill's stepfather owned a car dealership, his mother was a nurse, he attended private school all the way up through eighth grade, and we're supposed to think he was some kind of barefoot urchin? Give me a freaking break.

If there is any right-wing "glee" in the Edwards scandal, it is in the vindication of our original judgment of the man as a phony. The fact that he fooled so many people for so long ought to cause those he fooled to question their own judgment, including their willingness to believe that the original Enquirer reporting on the scandal was some kind of "smear." Not every negative fact about a Democrat is ginned up by Karl Rove, you know.

At least, right-wingers are going into this election with their eyes open. There is no conservative of any weight who considers John McCain "one of us." Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham -- not one of them trusts Maverick any farther than they can throw him. On Nov. 4, millions of conservatives will nonetheless, as Ann Coulter says, get drunk and vote for McCain. Duty, not Hope.

And frankly, far-sighted Democrats might want to buy a few drinks themselves, for I suspect that if Hope should triumph on Nov. 4, you're in for a disillusionment as severe as anything Edwards has given his erstwhile supporters.

Wouldn't it be strange if it turned out that, of the three leading contenders for the Democratic nomination this year, Hillary was the most trustworthy?

No comments:

Post a Comment