Jewish World Review May 4, 2012/ 12 Iyar, 5772
The Edwards trial is a sorry affair
By Dan K. Thomasson
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Whatever the outcome of the federal prosecution of former Sen. John Edwards, one thing is abundantly clear -- all the principal players involved deserve one another.
About the only saving grace -- if there is one at all -- in this tawdry version of a bedroom farce is that Edwards failed in his multiple attempts to reach the White House either as a candidate for the top job or as Sen. John Kerry's running mate in 2004. How lucky we should consider ourselves.
Any doubt about that statement has been eliminated by the barrage of testimony so far in a case that will cost taxpayers millions and prove nothing more than what they already knew -- that unrestrained ambition can be dangerous particularly when it is possessed by someone whose moral and ethical behavior are conditions that have little place in politics.
Edwards' former chief toady, Andrew Young, and his wife -- the main witnesses against the philandering presidential wannabe -- have testified to a litany of immoral and maybe illegal behavior they claim under oath that Edwards engaged in while desperately seeking to keep a child-producing affair with one Rielle Hunter from derailing his bid for greater things. One of these was to ask this obvious sycophant to claim fatherhood of the baby. Young's wife not only backed up his allegations, she told of the anger she felt over the proposal. That is until she didn't any longer and went along with it.
But wait a minute. What did the once drooling couple get out of this? Apparently the management of a whole lot of money from two super-wealthy Edwards supporters who had given money to Edwards to use as he pleased, which was to take care of his mistress so she wouldn't blow the whistle and end his campaign. One of the things the dough reportedly went for was the construction of an expensive new home for the Youngs. Was this a gross misuse of campaign money? The government claims yes although the circumstances seem otherwise at times and there is a substantial argument about whether the money actually was a gift and not a campaign contribution.
Then there is the question of what Edwards' lawyer wife knew about all this and when did she know it to quote a famous line from another Washington scandal. Well, there has been considerable intimation if nothing else that Elizabeth Edwards knew plenty and was as interested for a time in protecting her husband's ambition as he was, despite her terminal illness. The comparison to Lady Macbeth is irresistible, just as Edwards was in the beginning to a Democratic Party that loves his kind.
Here was a blow-dried, handsome millionaire lawyer with Southern liberal roots and a common man upbringing, good-looking children, and an aggressive, intelligent wife. He had made his pile in the courtroom taking on the corporate scallywags the Democrats hate and put up as boogey men in every election. He won a seat in the Senate in his first political outing and almost instantly began laying plans for even bigger things. He was a perfect example of what Lyndon Johnson called a cross every president must bear -- the knowledge that an overwhelming majority of the senators from both parties, including those with the least tenure, think they can do the job better than the guy in the Oval Office.
In many ways he was like a young Albert Gore who thought about nothing but being president and tried it unsuccessfully in his freshman year. Edwards, however, lacked Gore's political or social pedigree.
There was a time when it seemed Edwards might finally make it. But Barack Obama with only two years in the Senate was steamrolling onward, the beneficiary of a nation enthralled over the prospect of electing its first African American president.
Now with his former wife gone, his relationship with Hunter at arm's length, some of his children disaffected and his reputation and career in tatters and a "love child" to attend to, Edwards is fighting to stay out of prison. It is a pathetic sight and one that paints no one in a good light, including his prosecutors.
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