Saturday, August 09, 2008

WITBD? Edwards or Spitzer?

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.)


Angus said...

It's Edwards. Hands (or should I say pants?)down.

Anonymous said...

This is one story I wish wasn't public, and I actually don't like Edwards at all. As my better half succinctly stated: "The ick factor is just too high on this one for it to be public." I guess that's why the main stream media decided to avoid it as well, they still have morals. (insert sarcasm here).

The thing that really struck me was his appeal for sympathy. The line where he said: "No one can beat me up more than I've already beaten up myself." Ummmmmm - I'm sorry life is so cruel to you. Really, please accept no public responsibility for your behavior, after all, you were "99% truthful." I think the people that gave their time and money to his campaign have a right to beat him up more than he has done already (See former campaign manager's statement). Other than that, I'm looking forward to how UNC spins this one.

Anonymous said...

The mainstream media say Edwards' palace is actually only 28000 square feet. And THEY have fact checkers! So, I'll vote for Spitzer. dave.s.

Anonymous said...

Funny; I was just having a conversation about this at dinner last night. We noted that Dems appear to mess around with 1. consenting 2. age appropriate 3. opposite-sex 4. single individuals. This is in pretty stark contrast with the once-a-week bits we hear about GOPers (e.g., here, here, here, here, etc. etc.).

Anonymous said...

You have a hairdresser? You must not see much of her :) . Then again, who am I to talk. The Lord is my barber.

Angus said...

The lord is my barber, I shall not want.

He maketh me lie down to get shampooed. He restoreth my highlights.

yeah though I have male pattern baldness, I will fear no dandruff. For he is with me. His clippers and combs will comfort me.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will get free haircuts forever.

Tom said...

Both get points for the fact that their wives stood up for them after they knew. Spitzer loses all that back again for making his wife stand beside him on the platform of shame, but he gains a bit for quitting promptly.

Edwards loses big (1) for continuing the affair while the wife delt with dying, (2) for clinging to his hopes of power past the point of any reasonable hope, and (3 -- biggest!) for continuing to lie about it after he knew -- must have known -- that (a) it would excruciating punishment for his wife and (b) the lie was sure to be exposed.

The winner: Edwards, but "dofus" isn't the right word... and that reminds me of a story:

Citizen (speaking to immigrant who stubbed his toe in a store): You should sue for that!

Chinese immigrant: I may sue person for such a tiny ding?!

Citizen: Well... if you can stand the sleaze, you can.

Immigrant: prease excuse my poor Engrise, what is "srease"?

Citizen: Hmmm... did you ever hear of John Edwards?

Unknown said...

Prison Rodeo makes a fair point, I suppose. The "I want to meet you with a wide stance in the men's room" approach of Larry Craig is much, much worse.

But no one is defending Larry Craig.

The real question is why so many women seem SO mad at Edwards. I mean, they are RIPPING him.

I don't think you can accuse Angus or me of being pro-Repub, though, dude. Angus has this wierd thing for McCain, but only as the lesser of two Weebles.

And I'm so mad I am running as a Libertarian.

Here is the generalization: Democrats can't keep their pants zippled, and Republicans steal money. Except for the Democrats who steal money, and the Republican who can't keep their pants zipped up.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. (You won't hear me defending Spitzer/Edwards/etc., either).

And you're right about our double-X-chromosome sistren, too. My spouse, a UNC-CH alum who was as pro-Edwards as they came in the primaries, is *bitter*.

[For the record, I'd give the award to Edwards.]

Anonymous said...

"He was an ambulance-chasing trial lawyer who bankrupted dozens of companies."

Really? Is there a list somewhere of the 24+ companies he bankrupted?

-- MaxSpeak

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