Since When Was a Law License a Get Out of Jail Free Card

Edwards to face charges:

The Justice Department plans to move ahead with criminal charges against John Edwards, the former senator and presidential candidate, contending that he misused campaign funds to cover up an affair, a person close to Mr. Edwards said on Wednesday morning.

“D.O.J. has made its decision to move forward with charges,” the person said in an e-mail exchange with The New York Times. “This phase of the case is moving rapidly toward conclusion,” the person added, but did not clarify whether this meant that an indictment was coming or that a plea bargain was in the works.

The news of the Justice Department’s plan was first reported by ABC News on Tuesday night.

A plea arrangement might allow Mr. Edwards, a Democrat from North Carolina and a trial lawyer, to admit to wrongdoing and surrender his license to practice law while avoiding a costly and embarrassing trial.

Two things. Yes, I voted for Bush twice, but I saw through the transparently phony bullshit from this clown and his advisor (coondog or swampfish or birdsnake or catbird whatever the hell his name was). I have never trusted a word that came out of his mouth. It’s sad that this fraud was one of the few talking about those issues, but he was obviously so full of shit it was painful to watch him speak.

Second, since when is a law license a get out of jail free card? Why does he get to avoid a trial and possibly jail just because he is a lawyer? You know who else loses their livelihood when they are found breaking the law? Everyone else on the planet, but no one gets to go into the courtroom and say “Tell you what- I’ll stop delivering pizzas in order to avoid a messy trial.”

120 replies
  1. 1
    dollared says:

    Hard for me to jump on this guy when Alberto Gonzales still has his license

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    Sorry John, I also disagree. He could save the tax payers money by making a deal.. Yes, I think he’s a creep but no I don’t think his going to jail is going to serve any purpose.
    My governor paid his daughter-in-law for doing nothing out of campaign funds but state laws allow him to do so.

    BTW..I always found Edwards creepy but I loved the way his wife could connect with folks.

  3. 3
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Thank goodness that monster John Edwards is finally going to be prosecuted for paying hush money to his mistress. This totally makes up for not investigating anyone in the Bush administration for its use of torture or lying us into a war.

  4. 4
    Splitting Image says:

    It’s a holdover from the days when a majority of politicians were lawyers. Now that politicians are more akin to media figures, the Village has adjusted accordingly and it’s Kristol and Will who get the endless second chances.

  5. 5
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    What the hell happened to moving forward?

  6. 6
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Don’t be silly; we’re moving forward on Republican crimes, not Democratic ones.

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    @dollared: So, because the bar hasn’t revoked Gonzo’s license, Edwards shouldn’t go to jail for doing something clearly illegal? Does that sufficiently balance out “Kids shouldn’t have health insurance because that guy has nice countertops” in your book?

  8. 8
    cathyx says:

    How could you see right through John Edwards, but not George Bush?

  9. 9
    BGinCHI says:

    Cue the right wing outrage machine. Hypocrisy will know no bounds as he’s denounced by people who let GOPers slide with far worse acts.

    I hope they do a deal and it goes away. Edwards has no future in anything but reality TV and book deals. But at least his crimes are, relatively speaking, less than the Bush crowd.

    Let’s hope the DoJ doesn’t give the Village Idiots something to talk about instead of the GOP votes on Medicare.

  10. 10
    El Cid says:

    He may be able to plead innocent by way of being the son of a millworker.

  11. 11
    BGinCHI says:

    @cathyx: Folksy.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    @cathyx: Everyone has blindspots.

  13. 13
    Cermet says:

    Bush murders a few hundred thousand people for false reasons – cheney tortures and murders many more and you are bent out of shape over Edwards using funds from his campaign to pay off his mistress? Get a grip and some perspective.

  14. 14
    Turgidson says:

    Plea deals can take almost any shape, afaik. I don’t think he has some sort of lawyer-immunity to being tried and convicted like a normal person – just that he could make a deal to avoid the trial (as normal people also usually can), and that deal might involve giving up his legal license. I doubt the deal would end up being that easy on him if the DOJ thinks they have a strong case though. But I don’t know much about the case.

    Also, agree with you whole-heartedly about him being a BS peddler. I trust Mittens more than him to be a straight-talker. It was embarrassing how hard so many professional leftists fell for his “I’m the most populistest fire-breather you ever saw” fail parade so soon after he ended a very moderate and not-populist-at-all Senate career and was a kinda crappy running mate who lost to Bush/Cheney. His phoniness made backing the MUP that much easier back in late 07 and 08.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @fasteddie9318: At least we can take solace in the upcoming Ensign prosecution. If politicians don’t get the clear message that they can’t pay hush money to mistresses, I’m afraid we’re going to have to throw ’em in Gitmo and torture them mercilessly until they kill themselves. What else will work?

  16. 16
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cathyx: I saw through Bush from the beginning, but supported Edwards, initially, in the primaries, because I really think the class/wealth divide is the biggest problem this country faces. Never particularly liked or felt any warmth toward him but I usually don’t get emotionally invested in pols. That said, I hated Bush with a white hot passion that still flares up if see, hear or think about him for more than fifteen seconds.

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    What is interesting is my defending Edwards. Many state laws allow him to do what he did. Ask Nathan Deal. I personally hated Edwards but prosecuting him is small peanuts compared to what else is going on. BTW..Have they charged Ensign yet and do we have a thread about him.
    JOHN, you are better than this.

  18. 18
    Fred says:

    If you did in fact vote for G Dubya twice then you REALLY are an idiot. At first I thought you were just idiot curious with your constant Greenwald boner and interest in potential Libertarian candidates.

    But no. You really are an idiot. Too bad. Now I feel like I just found out there is no Santa Claus.

  19. 19
    PurpleGirl says:

    Plea bargains are done all the time. All the time. The system wouldn’t work without plea bargains. Criminals of all kinds get to make plea bargains.

    I’m more pissed that the administration hasn’t seen fit to bring charges against various financial figures who are responsible for the market meltdowns.

    ETA: And how about prosecuting John Ensign for his ethics lapses?

  20. 20
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    Now I feel like I just found out there is no Santa Claus.

    Fred, you may wanna sit down. I have terrible news. There is no Santa Claus.

  21. 21
    cathyx says:

    @Martin: There’s none so blind as those who will not see.

  22. 22
    Davebo says:

    Go through John’s archives….

    Idiot question answered.

  23. 23
  24. 24
    Jenny says:

    “John Edwards is the only true progressive™” ~ 2008 Blogosphere

  25. 25
    Davebo says:

    I should add however that John being a bit idiotic doesn’t mean that Edwards doesn’t suck.

  26. 26
    Martin says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Yeah, because indicting one guy for violating election laws is exactly the same as indicting everyone from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi, down through WH counsel, some members of Congress, Pentagon, DHS, through all of the ranking officers all the way down to individual field agents and enlisted men, and on top of that, stating that the 50% of Americans that cheerled that bullshit are morally bankrupt.

    How could that go wrong?

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    Tornado warnings, complete with sirens, here in Champaign, IL. After Joplin, I find myself taking this more seriously than I would have before and i am sitting here in my bathroom (only internal room in the house) with my dog, 2 cats, and every piece of technology I could grab when the siren went off. Couldn’t get to the wind up radio in time, though.

    Edit: seems like it might be time for me to actually put together the emergency kit I have been thinking i should put together for the past couple of years.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @cathyx: Does that have anything to do with making the bald man cry?

  29. 29
    bobbo says:

    I think the part about how you knew he was a big fat phony from Day 1 is really irrelevant. It doesn’t make him guilty of any crime. I sure hope you don’t think that is reason enough to prosecute.

  30. 30
    Bruce S says:

    Actually, can’t anyone (or almost anyone outside of a few hard-core cases) plea bargain or plead guilty and avoid a trial. I don’t think this necessarily means avoiding facing a judge or sentencing – but our system pretty much runs on trying to avoid trials if possible. Am I completely not getting something?

    And I say that as someone who never like Edwards and thought he was totally phony and a crappy candidate even back in ’04.

  31. 31
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    since when is a law license a get out of jail free card?

    I don’t think the story is saying that.

  32. 32
    PurpleGirl says:

    @WaterGirl: Hope your house is passed over and you aren’t hurt.

  33. 33
    opal says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    There is no Santa Claus

    JSF knows this better than anyone.

  34. 34
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    Well, losing a law license *is* a pretty big deal. It’s kind of like a big, big fine, especially for an attorney with Edwards’ rep. It’s also a pretty shameful thing on a professional level, akin to stripping a soldier of medals.

    I kinda want to know what they’re trading it for, though.

    He didn’t kill anyone. I don’t think he harmed anyone. He violated some rules – under those circumstances, I can see it being a valid punishment.

    Now, if he had done so much as driven drunk (which puts others at risk), I wouldn’t feel that losing his law license was enough. But if it’s “you violated some rules, we’d normally fine you, we’ll let you surrender your law license instead” I’m okay with that. It’s in the same area has having to cough up some big bucks.

  35. 35
    Martin says:

    @cathyx: Eh. We’ve all been taken in at one time or another. Nobody has a perfect record at judging others.

  36. 36
    General Stuck says:

    Wandering pecker and trying oover it up isn’t exactly the crime of the century, but it is a crime if campaign funds were used. People plea bargain all the time in this country for worse crimes, to stay out of jail. Especially if they have an otherwise clean record.

    Though obviously not a family role model he tried to put out there for the public, I know of no other instances of adultery. Thank goodness he didn’t get nominated, but other than that, to make claims this crime of lust equates in any way to George Bush and his pathology, is kind of silly, if you ask me. Bill Clinton fucked everything within reach, and lied about it, and wasn’t a half bad president.

  37. 37
    Ed Marshall says:

    It’s good to be an officer of the court. You thought all animals, or even all pigs were created equal? Welcome to the judicial system.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @cathyx: John could have been drinking beer at the time and imagining sitting next to GW. After all who would you like to share a beer with. That was an important policy topic.

  39. 39
    John Cole says:

    Good lord. This blog has been around for almost ten years and some of you are still not clued in to the fact that I am an idiot? It’s true. I know it. I deal with it. I don’t leave sharp shit around, all the poisonous cleaners are nowhere near the liquor, etc. I’ve grown to overcome my idiocy and to work around it.

    Christ, I can barely make it through the day without injuring myself doing a household chore and my pets outsmart me. How many more clues do you need?

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @WaterGirl: be safe

  41. 41
    Suzan says:

    Glad to see someone beat me to it. And surrendering your law license is a big f—ing deal (although probably not for Edwards who I doubt will practice law again.) You spent your life at the profession and after a loss of license, you can’t get most legal jobs. Think of it as cutting off your right hand. (Again, probably doesn’t work with Edwards who is rich, would be bad for the rest of us.)

  42. 42
    NobodySpecial says:

    I liked the “Two Americas” theme, especially when very few people were talking about the obvious class divides in America and instead trying to paper them over with Lee Greenwood and the Dow Jones numbers.

    That said, Obama was always my first choice, Edwards was second because no way in hell I’d vote for Hillary ‘Love me some Iraq war” Clinton.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @John Cole: And we love you for it.

  44. 44
    Tonal Crow says:

    Second, since when is a law license a get out of jail free card?…

    Who said it was? Plenty of lawyers get charged, convicted, and imprisoned.

    You know who else loses their livelihood when they are found breaking the law? Everyone else on the planet….

    Oh bullshit. People plead to reduced charges hundreds of times daily, and many others are never even charged, despite overwhelming evidence of guilt of serious crimes (e.g., Bush’s on-air confession to ordering torture).

    Now show us on the doll where the big bad lawyer touched you, John.

  45. 45
    Josie says:

    @WaterGirl: That is so scary after all that has happened. I’m sure your pets are wondering wtf. Keep us updated, if possible.

  46. 46
    superluminR droid says:

    Ok Cole, good work but could you at least give some of us a heads up WRT popcorn?

  47. 47
    Lurker says:

    @WaterGirl: Ditto what PurpleGirl said. I wish you safety as well.

  48. 48
    Martin says:


    Well, losing a law license is a pretty big deal. It’s kind of like a big, big fine, especially for an attorney with Edwards’ rep. It’s also a pretty shameful thing on a professional level, akin to stripping a soldier of medals.

    Well, any penalty for wrongdoing has to be a penalty. Virtually nobody who runs for President is going to use their law license. The money is on the speaking tour and other places. So giving it up really isn’t a penalty. The whole point of having a penalty is to deter the behavior.

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    I still can’t believe that I’m defending that slimy bastard.

  50. 50
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Martin: DIdn’t CLinton agree to give up his law license for five years?

  51. 51
    General Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    You convinced me a while ago, so I try to go easy. And you are hardly the only idiot on this blog, present company not excluded.

    But you are the only one that mops naked and is a decent, though rare, make and model republican, rather than a democrat. Get right with that, and you might accidentally discover the secret to fusion energy instead of losing a game of whits with your dog.

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    @John Cole: John, you’re no dumber than the rest of us. You’re simply honest enough to share your idiocy, whereas the rest of us stuff it in a box and bury it in the back yard and hopes to God nobody noticed.

  53. 53
    Martin says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah. And Clinton made how many millions of dollars without it? Big punishment.

  54. 54
    magurakurin says:

    you’re totally wrong on this one Cole. Plea bargains do not amount to a get out jail free card. It isn’t as if Edwards is being charged with murder here. The deal doesn’t seem particularly strange either way in light of the charges.

    And reminding people that you voted for Bush twice, doesn’t really build your credibility in anyway. I, personally, forgive you for it(not that you would or should care and I know you don’t) but just saying, as an argument point…it sucks hard.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @John Cole:
    A man has to know his own weaknesses.

  56. 56
    Warren Terra says:

    In 2004, Edwards tried to run as Bill Clinton II: smart, technocratic DLC democrat with Southern blue-collar origins and a bit of Aw-Shucks in him. I thought that sounded like an electable resume on paper, to the right of my ideal President but I flattered myself on my realism, but somehow Edwards’s speeches never did it for me, and then he was a terrible limp rag as the Veep nominee.

    But something happened right after the 2004 election: John Edwards went into a phonebox, and out sprang Progressive Man!, clad in a cape and tights. Progressive Man! cared about the poor. Progressive Man! was against the war. Progressive Man! was for health care. Progressive Man! was the Democratic base, the core of caring, hardworking people who’d worn out their shoes doorbelling for Howard Dean, told pollsters they wanted. Progressive Man! was, in short, a transparent and thoroughly risible phony, an easily detected attempt to repackage John Edwards from the DLC muddler he’d always been into the sort of candidate a movement could get behind, to recast him as the sort of guy a popular swing against Bush could sweep into the nomination and into office.

    And yet, a large number of committed Liberals bought the whole routine. I guess that when a nationally credible “serious” politician is telling you you’ve been right all along, it’s an easy tale to belive. Obama stole a lot of Edwards’s thunder, but before anyone knew what a PUMA was there was this hard-core group of true believers ready to tell anyone who hadn’t pie filtered them that Edwards was the only true progressive in the race.

    At the time I resented what I took to be their obvious gullibility; with time, I’ve come merely to pity them.

    PS I don’t know if any of it was illegal, but to the best of my notice the thread hasn’t mentioned Edwards’s much-vaunted charitable foundation, which turned out to be entirely phony as well, purely a mechanism for covering his living and traveling expenses and getting him positive attention from the press, and which was dissolved as soon as his electoral prospects were too dead for the foundation to hope of rescuing them.

  57. 57
    mileslarboy says:

    You voted for Bush? TWICE? Why am I reading you???

  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    All clear here in Champaign. Thanks for the good thoughts.

    In about a minute, I turned the TV on, turned it up really loud so I could hear it in the bathroom, collected my communication toys (phone, iPhone, iPad and computer), small mattress to cover part of the tub if we had to get into it, 12 bottles of water, bowl of water for pets.

    I was in the bathroom for 35 minutes, long enough to be really certain that I should put together an emergency kit for next time. I know there are a million websites about this, but has anybody actually put together an emergency kit?

  59. 59
    justawriter says:

    Yeah, Edwards should be put in a cell right beside Mark Sanford … oh.
    There are lots of doctors who butchered patients or used the pharmacy as a personal candyland who lost their licenses and never saw jail time. Same difference.
    I supported Edwards because phony or not, he was the only one talking about the issues I was concerned about. I was afraid Clinton would just lead to a rerun of “Fools for Scandal” and honestly, Obama was my last choice among the major candidates. Why? Well, he gained a national rep on the basis of a single speech in 2004, which had the entire beltway bunch fondling their chubbies. He used that notoriety to fundraise to win a Senate seat. In the Senate the first thing he did was to put his nose firmly between the butt cheeks of Joe Lieberman, who was the sole reason the Democrats lost the 2000 election. They called it “mentoring.” I lost all use for Obama at that point, although I voted for him when I had no other choice. What we got was what I expected. So I won’t apologize for supporting Edwards.

  60. 60
    John Cole says:

    @mileslarboy: I’m in recovery.

  61. 61
    Warren Terra says:


    has anybody actually put together an emergency kit?

    Well, yes, someone has.

  62. 62
    General Stuck says:

    @Warren Terra:

    There was only one quality of Edwards that interested me in the early going of the primaries, and that was his past work defeating big corps as a trial attorney, and his claims of getting tough on big business and Wall Street. Could have been as phony as his family values preening, but there was little reason I could see that he wasn’t willing to knock some corporate heads, which was the most important issue to me at the time. But after the collapse in late 2008 of the economy, bringing to the surface just how rotten things were to the core, and the fragility of it all from total devastation — seems to me Obama might have had the right idea, for now.

    I never thought of Edwards as some big DKos kind of progressive, and those who did think that were kind of dense.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    So who is up for the expense of taking this one to trial? The vast majority of criminal cases plead out. If they did not, the courts could not handle the case load. In this particular case, loss of his law license would probably not be the only penalty he faces, but don’t let that stop you from running around with your fucking hair on fire.

  64. 64
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Apologies if this has been posted before but Edwards is a POS. He prosecuted cases against OB/GYNs based upon his being able to “channel” dead babies. He made a fortune thanks to dead babies, that in all likliehood would have been born dead anyway. He somehow managed to convince juries that the evil doctors were the cause of dead babies, he single handedly caused malpractice insurance for OB/GYNs to go through the roof and as a result many, many OB/GYNs went out of business, they simply could not afford the price of their malpractice insurance. Edwards single handidly put OB/GYN services out of reach in order to enrich himself, there are alot of women who have absolutely no access to OB/GYN services right now because of that mother f**ker. I Hope he rots in hell.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I think the other posters have covered this particular passage very well already:

    You know who else loses their livelihood when they are found breaking the law? Everyone else on the planet, but no one gets to go into the courtroom and say “Tell you what- I’ll stop delivering pizzas in order to avoid a messy trial.”

    Given that losing your law license is a bit more serious than giving up your Domino’s job…

    BTW, the vile war criminals Bush and Cheney are still at large.

  66. 66
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    BTW, the vile war criminals Bush and Cheney are still at large.

    Who needs to pay hush money to yer mistress when you can have her declared an enemy combatant, disappeared and tortured indefinitely?

  67. 67
    shortstop says:

    @Martin: Apparently someone did (puts on slicker and wellies to go out to yard and move box…again).

    @Warren Terra: There were a lot of people, me included, who thought from day one that Edwards was full of crap but nevertheless believed he might actually do something about poverty. As I get older I find myself less interested in whether candidates are paragons of sincerity and more interested in tangible results–you don’t necessarily have to have the first to get the second.

    I don’t know that Edwards would have delivered those results, but the fact that he’s a total greaseball doesn’t necessarily override the fact that he was the only one seriously talking about these things. Full disclosure: I didn’t vote for him in the primary, though.

  68. 68
    Paula says:


    I don’t know that Edwards would have delivered those results, but the fact that he’s a total greaseball doesn’t necessarily override the fact that he was the only one seriously talking about these things.

    I’m not saying you were one of these people, but I seem to remember a lot of crap thrown by Edwards supporters at Obama/HRC people (particularly Obama) that amounted to “talk is cheap, motherfuckers”. I’d have a lot more tolerance for your point if most Edwards supporters on the internet didn’t spend so much of their goddam time expounding on the moral superiority of their candidate — which they apparently only now realize was also based on “just words”.

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: In addition, a professional license holder has valuable property rights in his/her license which cannot be take away without due process. Giving up a law/medical/dental/etc. license involves more than just losing a job.

  70. 70
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I remain convinced that Coburn’s doing the abortions for all the C Street girlfriends. I base this on nothing other than prurience and general bad will.

  71. 71
    shortstop says:

    @Paula: No, I definitely wasn’t one of those people. As I mentioned above, I never believed in the moral superiority of Edwards and didn’t get why a number of people did. I was an Obama supporter, but I wished that both he and Clinton were more tuned into class issues.

  72. 72
    cathyx says:

    @John Cole: At least you have an open mind and are willing to change your stance if you think differently.

  73. 73
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Can you Obots resist the urge to get yer preemptive resentment on? Many, many of us didn’t support Edwards, as should be evidenced by the fact he came in a very very very very very very very very very very very very verrrrrrrrrrrry distant third place in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    I remain convinced that Coburn’s doing the abortions for all the C Street girlfriends. I base this on nothing other than prurience and general bad will.

    Now we’re friends again? I can’t take this hot and cold shit.

  75. 75
    shortstop says:

    @shortstop: Since WP won’t let me edit, I’ll add for Paula: I do get the difference between talk and action, but generally the action doesn’t come without the talk. The reverse is, of course, not necessarily true.

    I still think, as all of you here do, that issues of class and economic disparity are something Dems should be shouting from the rooftops daily and loudly. The events of the past several years have unfortunately made it easier to do so.

  76. 76
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: What hot and cold shit? Because I don’t want to be in anyone’s Survivor alliance? Dang, I thought you were tougher and more cynical than that, JSF. Tell me it wasn’t all an act.

    Gotta go walk the dog in the brief window before all weather hell breaks loose. If I’m not back in half an hour, call Tom Skilling’s “Ask Tom Why!” line and inquire why his brother’s such a fucking sociopath (little joke for Chicago people).

  77. 77
    ciotog says:

    I always thought Edwards was slick, but I never thought Elizabeth was. He’d have gone nowhere without her–though it may be that she was slicker than he.

  78. 78
    eemom says:

    Jeez, am I the only one here who DONATED some of the $$ the scumbag used to cover his dick?

    This “no Democrat should be punished for breaking the law until republicans are punished for breaking bigger laws” is some seriously stoopid shit.

  79. 79
    Paula says:

    The internets has short memories, there are plenty of people online now who will testify to NEVAR supporting Edwards despite the fact that he was well identified by the mainstream press going into 2008 as a favorite of the progressive blogosphere.

    And now, here’s Marcotte calling him “John Edwards: Democrats’ bitterest disappointment”:

    [Aw shucks, I thought Obama was the biggest disappointment?]

  80. 80
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    What hot and cold shit? Because I don’t want to be in anyone’s Survivor alliance? Dang, I thought you were tougher and more cynical than that, JSF. Tell me it wasn’t all an act.

    I’m sorry, shortstop. I’m going to need a loyalty oath or we can’t speak anymore.

  81. 81
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Ya know Marcotte doesn’t blog here, right?

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Fred: Does this mean you are leaving and never coming back?

  83. 83
    Paula says:


    Maybe. Back in ye olde 2008 Balloon Juice was practically the only place on the intertoobs where you could go to *gasp* make fun of John Edwards without getting called a corporate shill.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @eemom: I probably would have voted for him had Ohio’s primary come earlier. As it was, I knew the race was between Obama and Clinton by that time and voted accordingly.

  85. 85
    shortstop says:

    @Paula: I guess I’ll just have to live without you believing me, Paula. I s’pose I could dredge up some old threads from several other blogs in which PUMAs nightly excoriated me for supporting the super-unqualified community organizer with no irreplaceable First Spouse experience whatsoever, but if you’re interested in more than Edwards anti-loyalty oaths (see what I did there?), you could always go find them yourself.

    Supporters of one candidate often find things in other candidates that are admirable. This is known as non-black-and-white thinking. ;) Or, if you like, eschewal of the “you’re either with me or you’re against me” mindset.

    Now walkies!

  86. 86
    uptown says:

    Why does he get to avoid a trial…

    Sounds like they have a weak case and are hoping they can pressure him into a plea bargain.

  87. 87
    eemom says:


    I don’t think Elizabeth was slick. I think she was a human being with faults like anybody else.

    He, on the other hand, is pure scum. Not for the fucking around — for the fact that he was willing to risk us losing the presidency. Also because of the absolutely disgusting lengths he went to to try to hide the truth.

    But I was totally taken in by him, I admit.

  88. 88
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Who was the fucker (something Tom) over at Yglesias that was such a shill for Edwards? Christ, I still wanna punch that guy in the face.

  89. 89
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    oh, I totally would have.

    Sheeyit — so taken in was I, that I remember remarking on another blog at the time that the reason he pulled out before super Tuesday was out of a noble desire to help Obama.


  90. 90
    Paula says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Well, I was making a general point in order to foreground that article written by Amanda Marcotte, but yes, if it will make you feel … better/worse(?), you can think that song is about you, don’t you, don’t you …

  91. 91
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Paula: Things usually are about me. It is a cross I must bear, but I try to do so with a quiet dignity and grace.

  92. 92
    Shoemaker-Levy 9 says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Don’t expect rationality in this regard. The difference between a slick politician and a genuine politician is the genuine politician is better at hiding his bullshit. Obama is every bit the phony that Edwards was (emphasis on was, why do we even care about him anymore?), but that’s perfectly fine with me if he manages to hold the line on important issues. I’m even okay with Obama bagging an intern or two in the broom closet, provided I never get a Ryancare voucher in the mail. Just do the right thing regarding public policy, Mr. President, the rest I don’t give a fuck about.

  93. 93
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Paula: The non-Obots here get tired of you fuckers polluting every thread with your childish resentments of anyone who wasn’t Obama. Much in the same way as you all get tired of the anti-Obots polluting every thread with the anti-Obot nonsense, but unfortunately, they’re the only ones that get banned around here.

  94. 94
    General Stuck says:


    I might have leaned a little more toward Edwards though not sending money, than the others, but when he dropped out in like Jan, or Feb, at first I was for either Hillary or Obama, and would have been pleased if either had won the primary. Of course, after SC, the Clinton’s went full on nuke, teaming up with the wingers against Obama, and that was it for me going all anti Hills to the max, like about everyone on this blog. And as I watched and learned more about Obama, I became the insufferable Obot I is today. And Hills is good as the SoS as well, just not as POTUS.

  95. 95
    Paula says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Haha, “every thread”. You would know, right? Who comes here in his infinite amounts of free time? How I wish I had some of that.

    As is happens, this is hilarious because this is probably the first time I’ve commented at BJ for like a week or two, which given the volume of posting is like missing 2 months.

    EDIT: Wait, how long ago was Bin-laden killed and when was the epic thread of doom for that? Fuckhead, oh chronicler, do you know??

  96. 96
    Warren Terra says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    Petey. Definitely not worth bruising your fists.

    Actually, it became rather sad after Edwards had clearly lost, and Petey’s response was to become massively embittered and hate Yglesias and everything Yglesias touched. He’d comment in every thread that Matt’s posts was exactly the sort of crap he expected from a “trust fund scumbag”. Sadly, most of those comments have been lost in one of The Atlantic‘s commenting software switches.

  97. 97
    General Stuck says:

    Cole, bring the smelling saltz, fuckhead is having another one of his spells where Obots are ruining his blogging mojo, or something. Could you just mention JSF in the next thread post to calm him down some. thanx.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @General Stuck: Once I knew Edwards wasn’t going to make a good run, I easily made the switch to Obama. If Hillary had gotten the nomination, I would have happily campaigned and voted for her. I am glad, looking back, that Edwards was taken out early; the time bomb there was a real danger.

  99. 99
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Warren Terra:


    That’s it!

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Warren Terra: Oh god, Petey. What a scamp that guy was.

  101. 101
    WaterGirl says:

    @Warren Terra: Oh, no!

    Edit: That’s not the kind of company I like to keep.

  102. 102
    shortstop says:

    @Paula: Well, thank dog for that, because my hands are almost too cold to type, much less search for old loud fights with “Donald from Hawaii” and his ilk. That is one brisk wind goin’ on outside.

    @General Stuck: Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to go back and look through those threads at some point. BJ must’ve been a hoot during the primaries.

  103. 103
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    BJ must’ve been a hoot during the primaries.

    They were a lot of fun but Stuck’s hillbilly accent was so strong back then, no one could understand a word he said.

  104. 104
    Nic says:

    Well put: “Tell you what- I’ll stop delivering pizzas in order to avoid a messy trial.”

  105. 105
    Tom Q says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I swear, he was so disappointed Edwards collapsed he was basically rooting for McCain down the stretch. He kept explaining “Team Sedona” was kicking the crap out of “Team Chicago”, even while the polls weere saying otherwise.

  106. 106
    hilzoy says:

    As I understand it, a plea bargain involves pleading guilty in exchange for, normally, something (I mean, I suppose one could give one’s guilty plea away for free, but that seems unlikely.) No trial is needed, and I’d imagine that if he pleads to a felony, he won’t be able to practice law (not that I know enough about the NC bar to say.) Those are, I think, automatic consequences of a plea bargain. It can and normally does include more: fines, jail, etc.

    I saw through Bush, but I had a big advantage, having made a bit of a study of children of famous people, and also of kids who grew up seriously privileged, which made a lot of things about him easy to recognize.

    I didn’t see through Edwards, though I was somewhat baffled by what other people saw in him. I never felt as though I had any kind of sense of who he was, or why he was running, or what made him tick. There was a very engaging facade, but I never thought I had the slightest idea what lay behind it. — I often don’t have *a very detailed sense* of what makes candidates tick, but there are usually some telling incidents lurking around somewhere. In Obama’s case, for instance, both the decision to do community organizing after college and the decision to return to Chicago rather than taking any of the stellar jobs he could have taken after being president of the Harvard Law Review were very interesting (and unusual) choices. With Edwards, I always just drew a blank.

  107. 107
    Nerull says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Yeah, when the rich influential lawyer loses his law license, he’s left with being simply rich and influential, making money off of book sales and speaking fees. While the Dominos guy is in much better state, since all his has to face is possibly losing his home and living on the streets. It’s easy to see which is more serious.

    Oh, wait…

  108. 108
    Libertini says:

    @eemom: You’re not the only one. I was so sold on the “story” of Two Americas that I didn’t see what a complete bullshitter he was. I maxed out for that guy! I was sad when he dropped out, but I felt physically ill when the story finally broke about this mistress and “love” child.

    I still and will always give him credit for saying things that desperately needed to be said, whether he meant them or not, then or now. Someone else should take that ball and run with it.

    Also too, many have already said it, plea bargains are not a free pass, and lots of people besides lawyers are given that option.

  109. 109
    Admiral_Komack says:

    Looks like Johnny boy is going to find out about “two Americas” real soon.
    Don’t drop the Breck shampoo, buddy!

  110. 110
    irmaladuce says:

    justwriter: you aren’t from Illinois, are you? Obama had that Senate race locked up way before the Convention speech. It’s why he got the invite. He was about to become only the third black Senator since Reconstruction. So you’re wrong to say that his spot at the convention propelled him to the Senate. That was already going to happen. The Convention speech is important because it got people to think of him as a presidential contender.

  111. 111
    Cam says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: You need to put down the insurance industry Kool-aid, buddy. Edwards handled a number of ob/gyn cases, but he is most widely known in the legal community for a large verdict on behalf of a young girl who was disemboweled when she sat on and was sucked into an uncovered pool drain. In his closing argument, he referred to his late son Wade. He did not “channel dead babies” in this or any other case. (See

    His OB cases were based on the doctors’ failure to perform a c-section in cases where the baby was in obvious distress, resulting in cerebral palsy caused by oxygen deprivation in utero. The parties’ expert witnesses may have disagreed as to whether a particular child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a failure to promptly perform a c-section, but brain damage from in-utero oxygen deprivation is a recognized cause of cerebral palsy. (See

    If a claimant can prove his/her cerebral palsy was due to a doctor’s failure to perform a timely c-section, why shouldn’t the doctor be required to compensate the victim for the injury and cost of care?

  112. 112
    irmaladuce says:

    @Paula Ugh. That article reads like a tear-stained diary entry. It figures that I’d have to roll my eyes at the first thing I’ve read by Marcotte since she decided to illustrate her book with drawings of savage Africans attacking white women.

  113. 113
    irmaladuce says:

    @eemom: that’s precious

  114. 114
    Kadin says:

    The money could be considered campaign contributions, and therefore illegal, if prosecutors can show that Mr. Edwards helped orchestrate the cover-up with it or knew that the money would be used for such a cover-up.

    DOJ’s position seems a bit weird to me: afaict, they’re saying that, because covering up the affair would have helped Edwards get elected, a cover-up would count as part of his campaign. Therefore any money spent on a cover-up is, by definition, campaign money, therefore subject to federal regulations on campaign contributions and such. Whereas if the money wasn’t spent on a cover-up, it doesn’t count as campaign contributions, so Edwards could do whatever (non-campaign-related activities) he liked with it.

  115. 115
    Tim in SF says:

    Hey John Cole: You’re out of your fuckin’ mind if you really think an Edwards presidency would have been worse than what we got in the second Bush term.

  116. 116
    Dream On says:

    @justawriter: This.

  117. 117
    LosGatosCA says:


    You got there the firstest.

    The complete criminal justice system has been diverted to provide Springeresque public entertainment to blot out the pain of the empire decaying, unemployment, their wealth decimated by the Galtian overlords.

    But by FSM we got Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, John Edwards on the fucking run.

    Whatever keeps the public focused on the shiny objects, I guess.

  118. 118
    dave says:

    To be honest, I actually think that using campaign funds to cover up an affair is a perfectly appropriate use of those funds and I fully expect that some portion of my campaign donations to any candidate will go towards hiding any skeletons that candidate might have in his or her closet.

    Frankly, I guarantee that every candidate in the history of politics as used at least some campaign funds to conceal negative things about themselves.

  119. 119
    Judas Escargot says:


    There were a lot of people, me included, who thought from day one that Edwards was full of crap but nevertheless believed he might actually do something about poverty. As I get older I find myself less interested in whether candidates are paragons of sincerity and more interested in tangible results—you don’t necessarily have to have the first to get the second.

    Yeah, this: Most of the great liberal politicians of the past were cold, ruthless bastards behind the scenes.

    To loosely paraphrase Hugh Hefner: I don’t particularly care why a politician supports the same policy I do. I just want him/her to get it done.

  120. 120
    RGuy says:

    I’m not sure I get that everyone he talked about was bullshit. As a husband and everything like that yeah, he’s a douchebag for what he did to his wife and his kids and the people that supported his campaign. I’m not defending his mistress payments and he has to face the consequences for that but I don’t think one automatically invalidates everything else.

    Whatever though, I feel bad for his kids.

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