Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And Still It Goes ...

Image credit: The Franklin Institute

Since the news doesn't feel like dropping the John Edwards affair story, I'm going to answer the rhetorical question that Cenk Uygur asked the other day:

Now, we get to the most relevant question - if John Edwards' political career is done, why isn't John McCain's? John McCain had a well-documented affair on his first wife, with his current wife. He has admitted in the books he has written about his life that he ran around with several different women while still married to his first wife. And don't forget that he left her for a younger, richer woman - multi-millionaire Cindy Hensley who is now Cindy McCain - after she had been severely hurt in a car accident.

How is John McCain's Affair Different from John Edwards'?

It certainly isn't the circumstances, because none of them make McCain's affair look more excusable than Edwards':

On Christmas Eve 1969, while she was driving alone in Philadelphia, Carol McCain’s car skidded and struck a utility pole. Thrown into the snow, she broke both legs, an arm and her pelvis. She was operated on a dozen times, and in the treatment she lost about 5 inches in height.

After John McCain was released in March 1973 and returned to the U.S., he told friends that Carol was not the woman he had married.

McCain’s Broken Marriage and Fractured Reagan Friendship

As the Los Angeles Times article suggests, McCain's behavior alienated him from the Reagans for many years:

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Until McCain filed for divorce, the Reagans and their inner circle assumed he was happily married, and they were stunned to learn otherwise, according to several close aides.

McCain’s Broken Marriage and Fractured Reagan Friendship

By any stretch of the imagination, McCain's affair was no less tawdry than Edwards'. If anything, the opposite is true - Edwards apologized to his wife and stayed with her. McCain left his and never looked back.

It's certainly not because Edwards is a more important political figure. McCain is the Republican nominee. Edwards has been out of the running for months.

So let's see what the real reason might be. Could it have anything to do with this?

It is not an accident that the government of the United States cannot function on behalf of its people, because it is no longer our people’s government – and we the people know it.

This corruption did not begin yesterday – and it did not even begin with George Bush – it has been building for decades – until it now threatens literally the life of our democracy.

While the American people personally rose to the occasion with an enormous outpouring of support and donations to both the victims of Katrina and 9/11– we all saw our government’s neglect. And we saw greed and incompetence at work. Out of more than 700 contracts valued at $500,000 or greater, at least half were given without full competition or, according to news sources, with vague or open ended terms, and many of these contracts went to companies with deep political connections such as a subsidiary of Haliburton, Bechtel Corp., and AshBritt Inc.

And in Iraq – while our nation’s brave sons and daughters put their lives on the line for our country – we now have mercenaries under their own law while their bosses sit at home raking in millions.


The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America.

We have a duty – a duty to end this.

John Edwards Speech St. Anselm’s College, Manchester, New Hamphshire

[That quote is a copy from an article of mine, but it's a complete copy of the transcript.]

The huge news corporations that run the TV news today are part of that system. Edwards, like no other major candidate, called out their corrupt system.

That's the reason they're enjoying this so much.

Inevitably, some raving fuckwit will read what I just wrote and assume I'm excusing Edwards' behavior. I'm not. But, as Cenk Uygur pointed out, there have been many leaders throughout history who have had affairs. John Kennedy had affairs. Allegedly, so did Martin Luther King. No one doubts that they were great leaders or good people. They just weren't perfect. Go figure.

The news is covering this so much because the people who own the news, and the corrupt "stars" they've given the job of speaking on their behalf, hate Edwards' guts. It's that simple.

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