Let's play, "Who is the Bigger Doofus?"
Today's contestants: Elliot Spitzer, Gov. of NY, and user of (illegal) prostitution services.
And he'll be playing John Edwards, ex-Senator and (now ex) candidate for political office.
Arguments for Spitzer being the bigger Doofus:
1. He systematically abused his offices, from prosecutor to Governor, to attack the financial sector of the entire U.S., which happens to be headquartered in NY. He did nothing to prevent actual abuses of the Enron or credit crunch type, but he extorted huge amounts of money, and cost taxpayers and investors billions of dollars with absurd charges and investigations. A dangerous, narcissistic demagogue.
2. He paid a girl to touch his winky. He's married, but he spent tens of thousands of dollars on the winky-touching thing. This is illegal. I don't think it should be, but it is. And since Doofus #1 had made a career of being Mr. Moral, it matters that it was illegal. But he also broke a promise: HE WAS MARRIED. As far as his wife knew, they were "happily" married.
Arguments for Edwards being the bigger Doofus:
1. He systematically abused the legal system, extorting billions of dollars from corporations and small businesses that may or may not have directly harmed individuals. He was an ambulance-chasing trial lawyer who bankrupted dozens of companies. And then he took the majority of the funds that were "won" in these cases, so he could build a $6 million, 40,000 sq ft mansion in Chapel Hill with its own indoor hardwood halfcourt basketball court. He also has several other homes, again from intercepting money that was supposed to pass from bankrupted companies where workers lost jobs to people who had been harmed, possibly in some cases by something the company had done.
Then, Edwards decided he needed to give back. He created a small charity designed to provide college scholarships (just pulled the plug on this), and ran for U.S. Senate. He was, by all accounts of staffers who really know, the very worst Senator since...well, the very worst Senator. Lazy, unprepared, uninterested. (These same staffers, who work for Repubs, claim Hillary Clinton was one of the BEST they ever saw, by the way). Then he ran for Prez, and then he "worked" at the UNC Law School (at least, he had an office!). And then he ran for Prez again. On a platform of giving other people's money to poor people. This was a lot like his law career: use the system take money at gunpoint from people who worked for it and created jobs, and give it to other people. This scam didn't work as well, because (1) voters couldn't pay him as much as plaintiffs, so it wasn't as profitable, and (2) voters are apparently not as gullible as juries.
2. He found a girl who apparently wanted to touch his winky, for free. This makes some sense, because Edwards is MUCH better looking than Spitzer, I have to admit. The downside is that Edwards is MARRIED, to a brave woman who has supported him through two Prez campaigns, even though in the first she was ill with, and now appears to be dying from, breast cancer. Edwards told his wife of the affair in 2006, and she STILL supported him for the Presidency in 2008, never saying a word. But it appears that Edwards did NOT break off the affair, as he had promised, but in fact visited his girlfriend at the Beverly Hills Hilton IN THE PAST MONTH!
Now, folks, it's time to play. In terms of moral character, it's a toss-up, a zero-zero tie. In terms of the moral content of the action, I have to give the nod to Edwards here. Spitzer lied to his wife, but he paid good money for the services. Edwards may well have fathered Rielle Hunter's child, the affair has been going on for years, and apparently continues to go on, and ELIZABETH IS DYING, FERCRISSAKES! Elizabeth tried to support Edwards in his most recent campaign, EVEN AFTER SHE KNEW OF THE AFFAIR, and Edwards still went back to see the other woman.
Not close. Edwards is a MUCH bigger doofus. You have to give Spitzer credit for his damage to the economic system, and his amazing self-promotion, but Edwards wins.
To check my conclusion, I asked my own panel of female experts.
My hairdresser: "Wheech one is worse? Hell, I keel them both." (She is a Puertorriquena, and I don't think she is actually kidding. I think she'd use a knife, and I shudder to think HOW she'd use it).
My wife: "If you even touched another woman, I'd shoot you." (How did this get to be about me? Sweetie? Dear?)
My colleague at Duke: "Edwards is a much bigger &$@$^ing $#&%$#." (She ignored the rules, where "Doofus" is the category, but I'm assuming she MEANT Doofus. This woman is a liberal Dem, but this issue is a little deeper than politics.)