Sometimes Total Bastards Are Correct

Perhaps to commemorate his acquittal today, words from a very bad man who is nevertheless one of those rare politicians who actually understands what is necessary to save this country:

Even better, Youtube commenters— the lowest life form in the known universe– get it right with regards to this video:

“I agree 100% accurate. He’s a phony, fraud, cheat, and criminal. But that was one hell of an of-the-cuff speech.”

“As disgusting as he was towards his wife, this message he speaks here is 1000% true”

“The people with the power are not just going to give it up. We have to take it back. We have to demand government FOR THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE”

Via Matt Yglesias’s Twitter.

138 replies
  1. 1

    Dude, if I wanted your retweets, I’d subscribe.

  2. 2
    Mike Goetz says:

    I really did like Edwards, blast him. He was/is so right and so eloquent about it.

    A shameful waste.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    Honest question because I really can’t remember: What specific policies did Edwards have that Obama (and Clinton) did not?

  4. 4
    Cassidy says:

    I think it’s interesting in that a politician having a mistress, lying and doing shady things with campaign money isn’t exactly new or low compared to the standards of…well, politicians. I wonder how much of the anger directed towards Edwards, from liberals, is based around speeches like that? Was this a guy who finally got it and some/we are mad because he tanked the message by being a shit?

  5. 5
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @Baud: He was more intent on the public option, IIRC. Anyway: I think style/tone matters. A lot.

  6. 6
    WeeBey says:

    Better yet, which bills did Senator John Edwards champion that became laws and improved the lives of this nation’s poor?

  7. 7
    David Koch says:

    Freddie you really are a retard.

    Edwards voted for the Bankruptcy bill, which was evil.

    He voted to repeal Glass-Steagll. He voted for the PNTR wt China, the worst corporatist trade agreement, evah.

    He co-wrote the Iraq war resolution with his buddy Joe Libermann.

    Here’s the videos you should post: all his warmongering lies on Iraq

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SSLn75%C3%976Vs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAa5KaLIKtQ

  8. 8
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor: I’ll be sure to file the paperwork for your refund.

  9. 9
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @David Koch: Yeah, posting this speech was an endorsement of everything about Edwards, not of the speech itself. Right? Oh, no, actually. Wrong.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    He was more intent on the public option, IIRC. Anyway: I think style/tone matters. A lot.

    Maybe so, but if that’s the main difference, IMHO it doesn’t justify the continuing internecine warfare about Edwards’ legacy.

  11. 11
    Yutsano says:

    @Cassidy: I never bought into Edwards. I honestly can’t tell you why, other than he sounded too lofty and short of actual plans to get his ideas enacted. Then again he may not have been far enough in the process to do that. The fact that he risked the White House to Grandpa Walnuts and Snowbilly Snooki makes him ineligible for any further public office. I can’t trust him now.

  12. 12
    WeeBey says:

    The joy of this post is that the phrase “he lowest life form in the known universe” is directly under the picture to which it applies.

  13. 13
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @Baud: As I hope is clear from calling him a bastard, I think Edwards was a deeply flawed candidate and I’m glad he didn’t secure the nomination. But in this particular speech, where he stresses the need for a confrontational, direct approach from Democrats, I think he was exactly correct.

  14. 14
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I always liked Elizabeth better, she seemed more real some how. May be she should have run for office instead of him.

  15. 15
    PeakVT says:

    Edwards is dead and gone (politically). Let the dead rest in peace.

  16. 16
    lamh35 says:

    So the rehabilitation of John Edwards by the old Edward supporters began right after the verdicts were read.

    Wonder how soon will he begin running for office again and how soon the donations will begin to pour in again.

    I don’t really care that Edwards was a cheatin’ scum, I don’t even care if he gave his jump off a job, but the idea that John Edwards and later on Elizabeth Edwards was perfectly comfortable running for President in today’s political climate with the shit on their backs pisses me off to no end and if that makes me unforgiving then too bad. I mean even after he ended his campaign, the Edwards camp was still lobbying Obama for his endorsement and to be on the ticket.

    So sorry, F’em. Dont’ think he deserved to go to prison, but have no interest in seeing in public office anytime soon (His press conference at the end was basically a campaign speech)

  17. 17
    Cassidy says:

    @Yutsano: I get that. Personally, he wasn’t my guy either, but I wouldn’t have been heartbroken had he won (before all this came out). It just seems that he went from “Savior of the Poor” and “Two America’s” to having his name followed by a spitting sound very quickly. And aside from doing that stuff as part of a POTUS election, his behavior isn’t far outside the standard we have of politicians. Just something I was thinking on.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @Freddie deBoer: No worries. My comment wasn’t directed at you, but at prior debates I’ve seen in some Edwards threads.

  19. 19
    David Koch says:

    Freddie,

    Name one thing – one thing – Edwards did in his six years in the Senate that you like. One thing.

  20. 20
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @lamh35: Of course he’s a dead political entity. But what he’s saying here about rhetoric and tactics is, I think, worthwhile. That’s all I’m saaying.

  21. 21
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @David Koch: His hair. I can’t get enough.

  22. 22
    David Koch says:

    Hilarious, Freddie quoting neoliberal Matt Yglesias.

  23. 23
    max hats says:

    @David Koch:

    Preferring style over substance in politics is the very essence of the netroots kinda dude Freddie so very much is.

    Looking forward to the next breakthrough Freddie post, where we get 13 paragraphs explaining that “Keynesian economics” actually means “the economics of keys” because like, the words are similar, and also, conservatives exist, therefore

  24. 24
    Cato says:

    When he was Senator from NC, the Breck Girl was a DLC, free-trading centrist. He also voted for the Iraq War which you hate so much. He only became a leftist in 2008. The man is a principle-free chameleon.

    “Progressives” sure are easy to sucker.

  25. 25
    Freddie deBoer says:

    Yeah, I mean, if there’s one thing I’m known for on the Internet, it’s my regard for neoliberals.

  26. 26
    David Koch says:

    Iraq thanks John Edwards and Joe Libermann for writing Bush’s blank check in Iraq.

    http://www.nocaptionneeded.com.....p-dead.png

  27. 27
    max hats says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    Have you bothered to look up what “neoliberal” actually means, yet?

  28. 28
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @max hats: It would come as a great surprise to the Netroots people that I’m a Netroots person.

    Incidentally, if you want an endorsement of the idea that political rhetoric matters, you might consider the writing and speeches of one Barack Obama.

  29. 29
    David Koch says:

    This post, more than any other, displays Freddi’s bankrupt political and low intellectual qualities.

  30. 30
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @max hats: I’m going to go ahead and keep my own council on that question, thanks. If I need a refresher I’ll be sure to look you up.

  31. 31
    max hats says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    Says they won’t vote for Obama, thinks John Edwards has a lot of great things to say, gets flustered when people point out that John Edwards actually had really shitty ideas on almost everything – I may be misreading your politics, but you have to admit you’re really running down the checklist.

  32. 32
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @David Koch: Homeslice: I argued against Megan McArdle and her commentariate for three years, in enemy territory. Your lame partyline bullshit does not impress me. Trust me. I’ve been through it all.

  33. 33
    max hats says:

    @Freddie deBoer:

    There is also wikipedia, which is pretty accessible and gets it pretty right, or like, pretty much any political science textbook ever written if that helps. Glad to be of service!

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @Cato: Coming from a Willard supporter, that’s pretty rich. Tell me again why should we vote for Willard? You never have laid out a good case for his candidacy.

  35. 35
    Freddie deBoer says:

    @max hats: No, I actually said that the stuff he said in this particular two minute clip was correct. That’s my stance in this post. You can’t actually find much to disagree with on that, but you have to try, so you start saying things about me which aren’t true. Which is cool; I feel little diminished.

  36. 36
    beltane says:

    It doesn’t happen very often, but I am in complete agreement with Cato on this one,

  37. 37
    Cato says:

    And after reading Game Change it is abundantly clear this guy was not just “a bastard” but was suffering (is suffering?) from an advanced case of megalomania, even more so than the typical politician. Not exactly the personality type I want with his finger on the button.

  38. 38
    Cassidy says:

    @Cato: …says the guy supporting the mega-rich, entitled corporate candidate.

  39. 39
    brantl says:

    @Baud: He gave an honest shit about the poor, and he wasn’t apologetic about it. The Democrats, other than Edwards, never talk about the poor. That’s really a sack of shit that it happens to be true.

  40. 40
    Cato says:

    @Cassidy:

    Romney doesn’t suffer from megalomania. And neither does Obama. At least not to any degree greater than typical politicians.

    In fact being born into wealth and the son of a Governor, Romney is probably less likely to develop it than someone who had a meteoric rise from nothing. He’s used to the pressure.

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    It’s probably better to view the video and the arguments as if it was of some nobody who made some statement before a city council or county commission somewhere, and who then wasn’t heard from again.

    True things can be said by horrible people, and wonderful people can speak most wrongly.

    Even when I liked Edwards’ role in the 2008 campaign, it was for his rhetorical role — I never believed he’d actually stick to the defiant principles he enunciated if he had gained office, because he had never done so when he had held office before, in fact quite the opposite.

  42. 42
    jrg says:

    nevertheless one of those rare politicians who actually understands what is necessary to save this country

    You’ve got to be shitting me. He oozes narcissism, even for a politician. He ran in the Dem primary knowing he had an illegitimate bun in the oven. His own staff members agreed they would out him if it looked like he might win, in order to prevent the Dems getting slaughtered in the general.

    I can’t believe you’re that naive.

  43. 43
    El Cid says:

    Also, I’m not sure, but I think he might have been the son of a millworker.

  44. 44
    beltane says:

    @max hats: Hell, a few minutes of reading the comments section of any Guardian story relating to the Eurozone crisis is sufficient to get a decent understanding of the evils of neoliberalism.

  45. 45
    Laertes says:

    @Cassidy:

    Was this a guy who finally got it and some/we are mad because he tanked the message by being a shit?

    Yes.

  46. 46
    Heliopause says:

    a very bad man

    et tu, Freddie?

    Isn’t it enough to say that he’s an ordinary person (in sexual terms;about half of people have affairs at some point in their lives) who fucked up? Are we required to dip our toes in the hysterical American antisex surf every minute of every day?

    Youtube commenters—the lowest life form in the known universe

    You at least got this part right.

  47. 47
    brantl says:

    @David Koch: Hey, David? Kiss my ass. Grow some manners.

  48. 48
    lamh35 says:

    @jrg: like I said, I really couldn’t care less that Edwards has a jump off, even if he did cheat on his cancer-stricken wife (ya know who else did that…Newt Gingrich. John Edwards = Newt Gingrich in that regard), it’s the idea that he was putting the Dems chance at the presidency in the hands his ability to keep his jump off from jumping ship and on his ability to what…charm.

    Dude essentially took his supporters money even though he knew this story could explode at any minute. he was playing with fire. If I had given money to Edwards, I’d be pissed.

  49. 49
    Jeff Spender says:

    In other news, zombies.

    Also, too: sheeple.

    I have an idea to start a conspiracy theory website with conspiracies I make up out of thin air and see how many I can get to catch on.

    I’ll fake the evidence and make the stories seem to be just on the cusp of being believable.

  50. 50
    max hats says:

    @beltane:

    I’m not saying neoliberalism is great, I’m saying Freddie’s previous post on the matter had little to nothing to do with the actual meaning of neoliberalism. “Liberal” in the philosophical sense does not equal “liberal” in the contemporary American political lexicon, and “neoliberal” is fundamentally a philosophical term. Freddie mistakenly used “neoliberal” to mean “modern American moderate political liberal” and that is not at all what it means. He also rather hilarious linked it fundamentally to “conservatism,” when neoliberalism long precedes conservatism as used also in the contemporary context.

  51. 51
    lacp says:

    Christ, it was easy enough to tell the guy was a POS even before he held political office – he made his fortune with bogus medical lawsuits.

    I’m not even gonna bother with the clip, even if it’s the bestest speechifying since Abraham Lincoln delivered Caesar’s funeral oration. I can get the same effect watching some bozo wearing a white lab coat peddling pills on the teevee and wanting you to think he’s a doctor.

  52. 52
    Linda Featheringill says:

    His message was absolutely true.

    Maybe someday someone else will pick up that banner and will be strong enough to carry it without being a complete stupid asshole.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    DeBore still ready to spread his legs like an alternate juror for the Southern-fried phony who said pretty things, but lacked the voting record to match it.

  54. 54
    Sly says:

    I disdain bully pulpit nonsense as much as the next man, but would concede that political rhetoric does play an important role in accumulating and effectively deploying political capital (it’s less important that virtually everything else).

    But John Fucking Edwards?

    John Edwards’s 2008 campaign consisted of little more than a litany of apologies to the left for all the stupid policies he championed and voted for as a Senator, interspersed with populist rhetoric heaped on to crowds who didn’t know his record because they didn’t care to know. And those of us who pointed this out were often ridiculed for being suckers for “empty suits” and career politicians.

    At least Dennis Kucinich did nothing during his time in office. A useless demagogue at least poses no threat to anyone. Edwards actively undermined many of the causes his own supporters had been deluded into thinking he championed, and that is far, far worse than anything even the most feckless, crybaby backbencher could do.

  55. 55
    John Cole says:

    SHORTER THIS ENTIRE FUCKING THREAD:

    Freddie: John Edwards, despite being a total scumbag, at one point said “2+2=4” and, he was right.

    David Koch and others in full on troll mode: BUT HE WAS ALSO IN FAVOR OF THE IRAW WAR DLC ARGLE BARGLE SCREAMS OF RAGE SO THERFORE 2+2 CAN NOT POSSIBLY EQUAL 4.

    Yeah. Liberals are smarter and better than conservatives.

    Wankers.

  56. 56
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @lacp:

    Well bully for you. I’m glad you’re so smart. If I admit that you’re more discerning than I am, will you shut up?

    Or do you actually have anything to offer the discussion other than how smart you are?

  57. 57
    askew says:

    @WeeBey:

    Exactly. The guy was an awful Senator who pushed the Iraq War, supported the bankruptcy bill, etc. But, because he uses populist rhetoric the blogosphere melted and treated him like the 2nd coming instead of the slimeball that he has always been.

  58. 58
    Hill Dweller says:

    OT: Willard opened his bizarre press conference this afternoon with a blatant lie about the IG finding corruption in the Solyndra loan. Nothing about that statement is tethered to reality, but I had heard nothing about it from the press until Maddow pointed out on her show tonight.

    Are we at the point where Romney can falsely accuse the President of criminal behavior without as much as a peep from the press? I realize they want a horse race, but this is getting ridiculous.

  59. 59
    Cacti says:

    @John Cole:

    Yeah. Liberals are smarter and better than conservatives

    Keep fighting the good fight for soda consumption, fearless bloghost.

  60. 60
    Laertes says:

    I’ll say this much for Edwards: When he cared to try, he really knew how to tell lefties what we wanted to hear. At the time, I was snookered. Though I was pretty much always in Obama’s camp, I really liked Edwards.

    In hindsight, he was obviously a weasel who didn’t mean a word of what he said, but he sure knew how to tell pretty lies.

    There are lessons I can learn from that, but they’re really obvious ones and they shouldn’t need learning. Molly Ivins always said that figuring out where a politician stands is easy: “Check the record!” Pretty speeches or not, Edwards was obviously not a genuine Liberal, and no amount of hate from the Right can turn a shallow opportunist into a worthwhile ally.

  61. 61
    Yutsano says:

    @Hill Dweller: IOKIYAR. Ad cash. Also. Too.

  62. 62
    jrg says:

    @John Cole: Give me a fucking break. No one’s saying 2+2 doesn’t equal 4, we’re saying that he would say or do anything, even put the Dems at risk for his own personal gain. “understands what is necessary to save this country”, my ass.

    He’s every bit as unprincipled as Romney, he just happens to not lie from time to time.

  63. 63
    lacp says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Dunno what your problem is – none of the people I know liked Edwards for the very reason I stated, and we’re not geniuses. It’s not like I’m revealing some hidden knowledge. If you know something about him that’s to his credit, great. I’d love to know what it is.

  64. 64
    Davis X. Machina says:

    He was with us on everything except the war.

    Now where did I hear that before… it rings a distant bell.

  65. 65
    Cassidy says:

    One of my favorite fiction passages:

    The personal, as everyone’s so fucking fond of saying, is political. So if some idiot politician, some power player, tries to execute policies that harm you or those you care about, take it personally. Get angry. The Machinery of Justice will not serve you here – it is slow and cold, and it is theirs, hardware and soft-. Only the little people suffer at the hands of Justice; the creatures of power slide out from under with a wink and a grin. If you want justice, you will have to claw it from them. Make it personal. Do as much damage as you can. Get your message across. That way you stand a far better chance of being taken seriously next time. Of being considered dangerous. And make no mistake about this: being taken seriously, being considered dangerous, marks the difference – the only difference in their eyes – between players and little people. Players they will make deals with. Little people they liquidate. And time and again they cream your liquidation, your displacement, your torture and brutal execution with the ultimate insult that it’s just business, it’s politics, it’s the way of the world, it’s a tough life, and that it’s nothing personal. Well, fuck them. Make it personal.
    Things I Should Have Learnt by Now, Volume II

    I think it applies here.

  66. 66
    Egg Berry says:

    ITT, FDB trolls his haterz.

  67. 67
    askew says:

    @brantl:

    @Baud: He gave an honest shit about the poor, and he wasn’t apologetic about it. The Democrats, other than Edwards, never talk about the poor. That’s really a sack of shit that it happens to be true.

    You are deluded if you think that Edwards actually gives a shit about anyone but himself. His whole populist spiel was about as real as Romney’s “liberal” spiel from when he was running for the Senate against Kennedy.

  68. 68
    Laertes says:

    @jrg:

    “understands what is necessary to save this country”, my ass.

    This. Edwards was absolutely right. But he didn’t mean it. FDB gives him too much credit. All Edwards knew was how to craft a message and stay on it. He’s Mitt Romney with charisma.

  69. 69
    Cacti says:

    Living in North Carolina during his political rise, I was onto Edwards pretty early in the game.

    It started when I learned that his “My Daddy was a mill worker” was a creative way of saying “My father was plant manager at a textile factory”.

  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    He wasn’t more into the public option. That is nonsense. His plan was almost identical to the one Clinton proposed.

    And thank goodness he didn’t get the nomination or we would have President McCain.

  71. 71
    Jeff Spender says:

    I honestly never bought Edwards’ rap. He looked phony to me and I just never trusted anything the man said.

    Seems my instincts served me well on this one.

    I have a funny story, though.

    I went to Grand Rapids in 2008 when Obama was there to give a speech. It was broadcast on CNN because this was the speech where John Edwards endorsed Obama after dropped out of the primaries.

    After Obama delivered his speech, he and Edwards toured the barricade and shook hands. I was up there and shook Obama’s hand (dude has huge hands…), and then when I shook Edwards’ hand, I reached back and realized he took the band-aid on my hand with him.

    Gross.

  72. 72
    Cacti says:

    @MomSense:

    And thank goodness he didn’t get the nomination or we would have President McCain.

    And we’d be in year 4 of the glorious war for make liberation of ebil muslin Iran.

  73. 73
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Edwards didn’t hold up to basic scrutiny, regardless of this speech or that speech.

    And it didn’t have anything to do with his personal behavior.

    He was a blue dog Democrat who worked pretty hard for one of the two Americas he spent a good time complaining about when he realized it was a good way to the nomination.

    ETA: By their fruit ye shall know them.

  74. 74
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @lacp:

    So now you’ve segued into saying how smart all your friends are. Sigh.

    Let me ask you this: To phrase it in Occupy terms, what can the 99% do about the stranglehold the 1% has on us?

  75. 75
    beltane says:

    Initially, the only reason I didn’t care for Edwards was that he subconsciously reminded me of Ralph Reed and I could never get past that. The fact that someone with a voting record similar to Evan Bayh’s was able to win over so many progressives by adopting a more populist tone is more a reflection on the weakness of the Left in this country than it is on John Edwards as a candidate.

  76. 76
    Punchy says:

    John Edwards looks like Jack Tripper.

  77. 77
    Cacti says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    He was a blue dog Democrat who worked pretty hard for one of the two Americas he spent a good time complaining about when he realized it was a good way to the nomination.

    And he had Willard’s sense of optics. Dropping 6 million on a 28,000 sq ft compound in Orange County, while speechifying on the injustice of the “two Americas”.

  78. 78
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Nothing against Edwards the man. He looks like the kind of guy you’d like to have a beer baby with.

  79. 79
    askew says:

    @beltane:

    I think the Left knew he was a phony. His primary support came from the netroots who love loud speeches more than they do reality or actions. They have fallen over and over again for these loser politicians who talk a good game but never deliver on anything.

  80. 80
    David Koch says:

    @John Cole:

    yeah, you’re so smart. you supported the iraq war (along with the Breck Girl), and you spit on Dirty fucking hippies like me who marched against it.

    It was easy for you to come out against it, years later, once it became political poison.

    go ahead, tell me how dumb i am. go ahead. right after you tell me how you voted for Bush and cheney twice.

    Go ahead.

    How dare you.

  81. 81
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Nothing against Edwards the man. He looks like the kind of guy you’d like to have a baby with.

    :-)

  82. 82
    lacp says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Still don’t get your point. Edward’s problems were evident to anybody willing to look; smarts had nothing to do with it, although this particular theme seems to mean something to you and you appear to think it means something to me.

    Regarding the 99%, I think we’re screwed. The 1% at the controls appear to have lost touch with reality and think they can drive the economy into the ground whenever they feel like it and somehow things will all work out. That just can’t go on forever.

  83. 83
    David Koch says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    I was up there and shook Obama’s hand (dude has huge hands…)

    I guess it’s true. I guess it’s not a myth. Once you shake a black, you never go back.

  84. 84
    David Koch says:

    @John Cole: You know who else said 2+2=4

    “I shall give a propagandist reason for starting the war. Never mind whether it’s plausible or not. The victor will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not.” 22 August, 1939

  85. 85
    ruemara says:

    I have no shame about supporting Edwards, I did not truly know the man. Now, he may have the right rhetoric but based on the fact that he spent his time after the campaign, well, whoring and generally being a doofus, I think I’ll just agree that it is lovely to hear but this is the perfect example of a politician who is really just words. Unlike BO, who may not talk about 2 Americas or marriage equality or any beloved phraseology, but when things are totaled up, he actually does things. Sorry, can’t help Edwards with his rehabilitation

  86. 86
    Bruce S says:

    “one of those rare politicians who actually understands what is necessary to save this country”

    Uh…no! Talk is cheap. This guy was a total fucking phony. That’s not what is “necessary to save this country.” Not by a long shot. I didn’t much like Edwards before his utter douchebagginess was apparent to all.

  87. 87
    MomSense says:

    This video always seemed like the real Edwards to me.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AE847UXu3Q

  88. 88

    @Freddie deBoer:

    I’ll be sure to file the paperwork for your refund.

    Don’t bother. It was worth every penny.

  89. 89

    @Hill Dweller: At least Willard’s lies didn’t get out there. Of the reports I saw, the press treated it as a dueling stunt along with Axelrod’s press conference in Massachusetts.

  90. 90
    Cacti says:

    @Bruce S:

    Uh…no! Talk is cheap. This guy was a total fucking phony

    If Teddy Roosevelt’s motto was “Speak softly, and carry a big stick” the firebaggers would be “Shout loudly and flail empty hands”.

  91. 91
    horatius says:

    @Baud: Single payer for one.

  92. 92
    David Koch says:

    @horatius: he never supported single payer. never.

    to the contrary, in an interview with Rolling Stone, he demonized it, while using right wing memes to denigrate government.

    Edwards is also careful to temper his progressivism with more centrist positions. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Edwards … even demonized single-payer health care: “Do you think the American people want the same people who responded to Hurricane Katrina to run their health-care system?”

  93. 93

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Yes, but it’s obvious that he knew what the problem was. After all, what did he really have to gain by telling us at that point what still plagues us today? Lets face it, would Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama ever give that kind of speech?

  94. 94
    horatius says:

    @Cato: Wrong moron. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be a soicopath, a recent psychiatric study says. I’d look it up on google for you, but I can’t be bothered to give the time of day to Mitt’s personal cocksucker.

  95. 95

    @askew: Oh, the irony!! Whether he believed it or not, he actually voiced the problem!! That’s all he did. He basically handed OWS their raison d’être

  96. 96
    jheartney says:

    I can’t believe the number of pixels being spilled over some guy whose future political prospects are even dimmer than mine (and mine are nonexistent).

  97. 97
    ruemara says:

    @jheartney: You’d be surprised how often America loves a comeback. It may not be national office, but it could be local or at least punditry. That’s my dour prediction for the day. Plus, at least 1 more Justin Bieber album.

  98. 98
    jheartney says:

    @ruemara: I remember after O.J. was acquitted there were people saying he’d make a comeback. I even recall an interview with some dim bulb who thought he could go back to selling endorsements. Didn’t turn out that way.

    Edwards might work his way back to punditry, I suppose, if he wants to. But no one is going to donate to or volunteer for somebody who was willing to run for president while this crap was just waiting to come out. Edwards risked having the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee destroyed by an obvious scandal in the middle of a campaign. That’s something you don’t forgive.

    My guess is he goes back to Wall Street. Lots of money and nobody cares about ethics.

  99. 99
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    You know what, Cole? You suck.

    99% of your own posts are out-the-ass parrots of whoever is the loudest tweety-bird in the twittertree at the moment, to the merits and substance of whose opinions you give zero independent thought.

    Then you hire clowns like this glorified 12 year old brat to post daily 8000 word essays on the topic Why I Am Smart Today.

    And then you hurl insults at the great unwashed rest of us who are, in fact, collectively responsible for making this blog something a hell of a lot more interesting than the uninspired and frequently tedious musings of you and 98% of your chosen fellow FPers can possibly account for on your own
    — just for calling you on your bullshit once in a while.

    But, every once in a while you admit you’re full of shit, so I guess it evens out. Or something.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    chrismealy says:

    Freddie, all you do is carp about other people on the left, and then you get mad when people point out that Edwards was a shit when it counted. Come on.

  102. 102
    gaz says:

    @chrismealy: Selective reading? I distinctly remember Freddie going after at least one winger, (hint, her name is Naomi) and that’s just off the top of my head. Just sayin’

  103. 103
    ShadeTail says:

    @David Koch:

    Please spare us your egotistical wanking. “Oh, how dare you not bow down to me as your superior?!” Because you aren’t. You are wrong about so much shit (the most recent I’ve noticed being your idiocy about Matt Taibi last evening), and unlike Mr. Cole, you refuse to acknowledge it even when it becomes obvious. So shut the fuck up, asshole.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Can I play the Populist Savior game too? “Inequality is bad and we should totally fix it by Doing Things! Vote for me, I truly get what’s necessary for saving this country!”

  105. 105
    gaz says:

    @ShadeTail: I just assumed he was being snarky. Must be the screenname. I don’t take him particularly seriously. Still, some of his parody is pretty awful, and runs afoul of Poe’s Law. – We all have our bad days, I guess.

    In any case, who the fuck knows what his positions are? I can rarely tell when he’s being earnest. I just generally assume he’s not.

  106. 106
    eemom says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But style/tone matters! A lot! And public option!

  107. 107
    gaz says:

    When my step-father began masturbating over a potential Kerry/Edwards prez ticket I pretty much knew he would end up being a washout.
    My step-father (bless his heart) is one of those low-information “independents” who can’t decide what the fuck his principles are. He listens to limbaugh, and is fine with teh ghey marriages… yeah, I know. To his credit, he eventually unwrongs himself years after the fact, only to be wrong again about something else. I’ve gone as far as to tell him just to listen to me and save himself the time and effort of all of his cognitive dissonance. Poor guy.

  108. 108
    AxelFoley says:

    @askew:

    I think the Left knew he was a phony. His primary support came from the netroots who love loud speeches more than they do reality or actions. They have fallen over and over again for these loser politicians who talk a good game but never deliver on anything.

    Bingo.

    You’d think President Obama would be their wet dream come true, but they hate him with a passion. Which makes me question whether they ever truly wanted to get anything done. Then I look at the likes of Hamsher and Greenwald and the answer becomes clear.

  109. 109
    NR says:

    @AxelFoley: Why would a conservative Republican in Democrat’s clothing be the left’s dream come true?

  110. 110
    Paula says:

    [eating popcorn]

  111. 111
    Paula says:

    @chrismealy:

    style/tone MATTERS

  112. 112
    sparrow says:

    @Sly: This is pretty much my opinion, and much better stated. Thanks.

  113. 113
    AxelFoley says:

    @NR:

    @AxelFoley: Why would a conservative Republican in Democrat’s clothing be the left’s dream come true?

    Exhibit A right here, folks.

  114. 114
    MBL says:

    YouTube commenters cannot accurately be described as the lowest life form in the universe so long as there is even one single Juggalo left.

  115. 115
    xian says:

    @Freddie deBoer: don’t we always get truthtelling from those whose political careers are over: retired generals and administration officials and disgraced ex-candidates and the like? Isn’t it easier to speak truth when you don’t have to manage actual politics?

  116. 116
    xian says:

    @MomSense: yeah, it’s funny how the public option is now a thing people “remember” being specifically called out as a point of contention before 2008.

  117. 117
    xian says:

    @David Koch: exactly, there’s some weird combo of projection, wishful thinking, and revisionist history going on here, specifically around the public option and how Obama has, as always, “sold us out.”

  118. 118
    xian says:

    @Phil Perspective: because OWS never would have twigged to the growing, systematic unfairness in this country if they hadn’t been led by the nose to this insight by the rhetoric of a failed politician, yes?

  119. 119
    chopper says:

    @John Cole:

    edwards could say 2 and 2 is 4, i could give a shit. i don’t look for his statements on math issues, and i don’t look for his statements on political issues either.

    he talked a big game on poverty and never once did anything in his political role about it. instead he voted for onerous sacks of shit like the bankruptcy bill which made shit worse for poor people. he got in line first to send our kids off to war in iraq, guaranteeing a bunch of fucked-up unemployable vets came home in the process.

    all the guy was ever good at was looking good and selling out.

  120. 120
    kay says:

    @jheartney:

    Edwards risked having the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee destroyed by an obvious scandal in the middle of a campaign. That’s something you don’t forgive.

    I’m in the camp that say Edwards was a blue dog Democrat who moved rhetorically Left only for the primary, because he saw an opening there, but I don’t agree with this.

    Edwards was never going to win the primary, because very few people were voting for him. He had very little support among primary voters and caucus goers, and that should be mentioned, because it’s true.

    This is anecdotal, and local, but we did a straw poll here at the beginning of the 2008 primary and (much to my surprise, because I was listening to national political commentary) Edwards came in behind almost everyone. White working class voters. The people in that room were “supposed to be” the Edwards voters. They weren’t. Clinton came in first by a mile, and Obama was second. Obama was the upset. I had no idea he had that much support in a white, rural county.

    Edwards wouldn’t have won because he didn’t have the necessary support from the Democratic primary electorate and caucus-going base, which is why he kept losing.

  121. 121
    Pen says:

    @eemom: Nobody’s making you read this site. iSight be good for your blood pressure to go somewhere else if you think Cole or most of the readers give a shit about your complaints.

  122. 122
    kay says:

    The Edwards thing is sort of interesting to me because I think he took a space that Clinton later moved toward, successfully. I wonder if Clinton would have figured out earlier that her best argument and “persona” was hard-working, practical, middle class defender, not “I am the most experienced and extremely tough and hawkish” if Edwards hadn’t been handed that whole populist realm by political media. Because she did figure it out, and it worked for her, and she seemed comfortable and “real” with it.

    It’s all speculation, and it doesn’t matter, but I do wonder why she didn’t get there faster.

  123. 123
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @kay: I honestly think Clinton’s people got hung up on demonstrating that a woman could lead a war effort, and they never quite got over that. But I don’t know if she had much of a populist record herself. I remember hearing that she did well connecting with upstate New Yorkers, but I don’t remember what that was supposed to be based on, personality, policy, both, or neither.

  124. 124
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But I don’t know if she had much of a populist record herself. I remember hearing that she did well connecting with upstate New Yorkers, but I don’t remember what that was supposed to be based on, personality, policy, both, or neither.

    Oh, I agree. She’s not really a populist. I was just going with the standard here, which is “populist rhetoric that connects”.

    Clinton was actually better than Edwards at that, after she stopped pretending to be a 4 star general or whatever the hell she was doing for months. If “connect” means “wins votes” not “wins Chris Matthews”, Hillary was the middle class rhetoric person, and she was good at it.

    I sort of resent Edwards claiming the populist mantle, because there are real populists in the Democratic Party, in the Senate, right now, and he wasn’t one of them.

    We followed the bankruptcy bill in this law office with our pathetic faxes and such, and I think Edwards supported the bankruptcy bill because of gaming, which is just disgusting. Credit card companies love them some gamblers. All those ill-advised cash advances. 2 Americas, indeed.

  125. 125
    eemom says:

    @Pen:

    Sight be good for your blood pressure to go somewhere else if you think Cole or most of the readers give a shit about your complaints.

    Sight, or sight not. Regardless, I love it how every time I post a comment like that some obscure nobody like you crawls out of the woodwork to tell me they don’t care what I think. It’s so convincing.

  126. 126
    flukebucket says:

    Well. Now he says God is not through with him yet. So I guess there is still more to come.

  127. 127
    kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I also think the Edwards jury did a wonderful job. They were given this absolutely impossible question, where they were told to determine whether Edwards donors intended the donations to go to hush money to his mistress. I read the jury instructions three times and I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. They’re goddammned civic heroes, as far as I’m concerned, those jurors :)
    They took the duty seriously and forged ahead. Not the alternates, who are insane, but the actual jurors.
    The prosecution, defense and judge handed them this big fucking mess and said “We can’t even figure this law out. Here. You do it”. Which is not their job.
    My husband does a lot of jury trials and he felt sorry for them.

  128. 128
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Edwards is no different than Clinton or Kennedy. Great politicians, but lousy husbands.

  129. 129
    PLH in NYC says:

    George Carlin said it better.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYIC0eZYEtI

  130. 130
    jheartney says:

    @kay: I’d agree that in the event, Edwards wasn’t ever close to winning. Instead he was third of the top three, which to my way of thinking is uncomfortably close. It’s not hard to imagine something bad knocking out either or both the frontrunners (scandals, missteps, accidents, unexpected revelations), which would have left him the leader. Presidential primaries are all about temporary winners who go on to lose.

    In any case he was out on the hustings making the case for himself, with money and audience and volunteers. Those people weren’t in it to promote a candidate with a hidden ticking bomb attached, which was what Edwards was. It’s unforgivable that he would even ask for these peoples’ money, time and support with that scandal lurking underneath.

  131. 131

    I’m sure people will slam me for this, but I don’t really care. I liked Edwards from the time I first really heard about him, in 2004 when he was running for president the first time. I can’t recall the debates in 2004, but I remember that in 2008, he was the only one up there on the stage who was talking abut poverty. I won’t forget that.

    So, yeah, he did a shitty thing cheating on his wife. He was reckless. He was ambitious. I understand that, and I’m not going to sit here and try to tell people that it didn’t happen or that it wasn’t his fault. I think he’s a basically good guy who did some bad things.

    I never understood the charge that he was a phony or anything like that. And I know that when he began his political career, he was a moderate in his voting. All I can see is that he changed. It happens. I don’t know why; maybe he saw things anew later in his term in the Senate. Maybe running for president changed his outlook; I don’t know.

    But I thought his short talk yesterday was about as good as it could have been. He wned up to what he’d done, thanked those who’d helped him and said that he hopes there wwill be things he can do to help do away with poverty. I hope he finds something. I guess he knows he won’t hold office again, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do good work to help the poor as they try to climb up the ladder.

  132. 132
    Bruce S says:

    @eemom:

    “some obscure nobody”

    You kind of set the Gold Standard for this concept. You’re one of the creepiest, most steeped-in-self-regard commenters on this blog, and that’s saying a lot. Never once have I learned a goddam thing reading your spew – except that you are very good at radiating contempt when confronted with an opposing opinion or a criticism of some shoddy, vulgar and/or hysterical retort. Not a pretty sight.

  133. 133
    eemom says:

    @Bruce S:

    And yet, STILL worth all that linguistic exertion on your part!

    I have previously observed that you are a pompous ass whose opinion is meaningless to me. Not gonna knock myself out finding new adjectives to belabor the point.

  134. 134
    eemom says:

    @Horrendo Slapp (formerly Jimperson Zibb, Duncan Dönitz, Otto Graf von Pfmidtnöchtler-Pízsmőgy, Mumphrey, et al.):

    I never understood the charge that he was a phony or anything like that.

    The charge is based on the fact that notwithstanding his eloquence on the topic he never did jack shit to help the poor, and was in fact a total suck up to the rich, including, IIRC, a prolific investor in hedge funds.

  135. 135
    Harry says:

    @eemom:

    You’re the nastiest commenter here.

    I feel sorry for your kids, whatever species they are.

  136. 136
    vernon says:

    @Bruce S:

    eemom is the most extreme case of the delusion that Being An Asshole = Witty Snark I’ve ever seen … like on the ENTIRE internet.

  137. 137
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @eemom:

    And yet, STILL worth all that linguistic exertion on your part!

    Effort ≠ worth. Cockroaches are worth the effort to exterminate.

    Also, for the record, Edwards words are worth little because that’s all they are. That’s all they seem to have ever been with him.

  138. 138
    Binky Bear says:

    John Edwards was 1/3 as awful as Newt Gingrich and yet he got persecuted and abused and repudiated.

    This is a stupid country.

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