Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On Edwards

Devastating pieces about the woman Edwards’ fell in with.   
First, Dowd just lashes him to pieces, in her column Saturday.  The Jay McInerney line had me laughing out aloud.  But you have to have read some of McInerney's books - Bright Lights, Big City, The Good Life, and the one in which the heroine - Alison Poole - is based on Lisa Druck (a.k.a. Rielle Hunter), called Story of My Life (1989), and now being reprinted as Amazon is out as of Monday afternoon. 
Second, farther down, a pretty devasting piece from Newsweek that made the front pages of both NYC tabloids on Monday.   It's the story of a reporter and his source, flirtation, courtship, and clearly a dance - with the reporter.  
I must say, though the Newsweek reporter claims she nice (she sent him flowers when his father died), she seems to me to be the worst kind of devil, using “spirituality” and “the power of now” as a come-on.  It’s all pretty astonishing, that a smart man like Edwards could buy that bunk.   
Personally, it disturbs me because she belittles (making it seem like a trend for a shallow party girl) some things I care about.  But she perverts them in selfish ways, the most selfish.  
It’s wrong for the same reasons a yoga teacher shouldn’t sleep with her student.   You pervert something (“yoga”) that can bring “wholeness” or a “sense of completeness”, or even simply “feeling better,” into something it’s not (“love”) in order to get sex or status or a job you’re not qualified for.      
The ever reliable New York Observer has more.   Hunter introduced herself:
At an event with supporters and donors at a New York City restaurant, Hunter introduced herself to some of Edwards' staff and gave them her business cards, saying she was a producer, and was allowed to briefly meet Edwards, according accounts given by Hunter and Edwards' staff.
I'm suspect of anyone who completely changes their name, as she did in 1994.  She was 30. 

Three salient differences between Edwards and Clinton:
  1. Edwards didn't lie under oath, believing, arrogantly, that he was not subject to the law or that he had to tell the truth in his deposition.  It was for this transgression and illegality that Bill Clinton was disbarred.  And he should have been.  And he should have been impeached.  
  2. Hunter got a contract job; Lewinsky got an interview with the UN Ambassador.   To me and why Clinton's transgression still makes my head explode (while Edwards just makes me sad), is that Lewinsky worked for Clinton, she was clearly suborninate - an intern, not a contract player.    Hunter may have gotten a job she wasn't qualified for but she was a peer, not a suborninate.  Lewinsky on the other hand was a very young women, an intern, who was still learning that how the world works and how to work in the world.  And what Clinton taught her is that it's productive to get down on your knees for powerful men.  That makes me very angry.  Still.   
  3. Clinton had a record as a sexual predator - coming onto women who had no interest and using his powerful position to get and intimidate women (Jones and Wiley).   That's harassment.  Edwards, so far, has not exhibited that behavior (though pretty strange rationalizations, to be sure).  
While I worked on Capitol Hill I had to fend off such agressions and constantly be on guard.    And still, despite the fact that I did not submit, I was treated by other woman as if I wanted this attention or liked this behavior.  Female bosses on Capitol Hill would not take me to meetings because the dumb ass men in the room would pay more attention to me, the underling, than to her.    I got all the grief but none of the gratutity.  
So I still resent the fact that men like Clinton go unpunished and protected by their wives - who, like my former boss - seemed to blamed the young woman rather than the other way around.   

I think that's why I still have a viceral reaction to Clinton in a way that this news about Edwards just doesn't inspire.  
The go-to blog on the Edwards sadness is Mickey Kaus at Slate.  He's been talking about this for months and months and months.  (It's where I first heard of it).     
And here's a piece about why Elizabeth Edwards, knowing what she did, thought her husband should run.   

My mom liked Edwards.  A lot.  His focus on poverty really appealed to her, because she grew up poor.  

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