Wednesday, December 12, 2007

This is a serious post about John Edwards, and not just an excuse to show this totally hot college football pic

Oh, my lord.

Is it any wonder that our presidential campaigns are, in terms of integrity, like a notch below reality TV? Man, look at what the press is writing about. The Washington Post, THE FREAKING WASHINGTON POST, is doing these really silly little “profiles” of the candidates.

What that really means is that they assign one reporter to make fun of the way the candidate speaks, one to make fun of the way they dress, one to come up with bitchy little “Facts you didn’t know” and so on.

Tuesday’s target was John Edwards. And yes, don’t you worry, there are hair jokes aplenty.

Readers, I can’t even bear to discuss with you the column wherein a Robin Givhan cracks wise about Edwards’s wardrobe. Check it out only if you have a strong stomach and an even stronger will to survive, because after only a couple of sentences, the temptation to kill yourself will be powerful.

Here, I’ll give you just a teeny tiny little taste of its heinousness, but seriously, do not read the following if you have entertained thoughts of suicide in the last six months, or have experienced a depression lasting more than one day: “He pairs his faded jeans with sport jackets in that baby-boomer way, rather than a metrosexual way.”

Yeah. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But, like I said, there’s really very little point in criticizing tripe like that, even if it is appearing in a newspaper generally respected around the world.

Hey readers, even I get tired of shooting fish in a barrel.

On the other hand, when a famous columnist like Dana Milbank takes aim at Edwards, one is forced to sort of pay attention. Because, well, other people sort of do as well.

In case you haven’t figured out what the RNC-dictated media script is on Edwards this campaign, he’s “the millionaire who pretends to care about poor people.”

Yeah, it kinds sounds like the script against Kerry in ’04, but hey, if it ain’t broke, right?

But let’s get to the Milbank version of the script:

"What America needs right now is America needs a fighter," says the candidate, who was a trial lawyer and a Democratic senator from North Carolina. "Let me tell you why we need a fighter. There's a wall around Washington, and we need to take that wall down. The American people are on the outside, and on the other side -- on the inside -- are the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy."

Sounds like a bit of class warfare -- coming from a man with a 28,000-square-foot house, $30 million in assets and a $400 haircut.

"This is not class warfare," he continues. "This is the truth."

Okay, a couple of points:

1. RE: the haircut. He was in LOS ANGELES. You cannot get a stylist to come to your hotel room and cut your hair for less than $400, people. But take a look at Dana Milbank and tell me whether you think this man has ever paid more than 20 bucks for a haircut in his life.

2. Re-read the quote from Edwards he uses at the beginning. Is there ONE SINGLE WORD OF IT that is not true, and more importantly, is not desperately in need of saying?

3. Should we not commend a man who has amassed some personal wealth (about 1/10 the wealth Mitt Romney has amassed, BTW) and who has centered his campaign for president around the plight of the poor and those others who are getting screwed by the Beltway?

4. What the fuck is wrong with class warfare? This is charge frequently leveled at Democrats by Republicans (and soon thereafter, the media) and yet no one really ever explains what is so horrifying about admitting the fucking truth about this country, which is that MONEY WINS. THE END.


Still, we know that Edwards means what he says. We know this because he says everything loudly, shouting from beginning to end as he denounces the "rigged" system in Washington.

Although I understand, Dana, that you are probably directly quoting Edwards when you use the word “rigged,” I also understand that there is a definite hint of air-quote-y-ness going on as well. You’re being sarcastic, and I’m not sure why that is, because isn’t the system in Washington rigged? With no air quotes? Isn’t it rigged? I think it is rigged, Dana. And I think you know it’s rigged. And so I’m not sure what your fucking sarcastic little point is when you say that a rich man cares that it’s rigged in favor of people like him.


For further evidence of sincerity, he swaps his trademark smile for a pained squint when he speaks about the "disappointment" of the parents who have no money for their children's college, and he shakes his fist when he demands removal of the "wall."

Wow. I wonder if Edwards also closes his eyes when he “sleeps,” and opens his mouth to “eat.” What a phony.

Look, readers, I can’t even stand to go over the rest of it with you. Go check it out if you want, or, better yet, don’t. I’ll be here, waiting for some coverage of Edwards that isn’t a complete load of disingenuous bullshit.

Because Edwards is a serious candidate. And he would make a good president. A better president, I think, than either Obama or Clinton. Joe Biden would be a good president, too. So would Chris Dodd, for that matter.

There. I said it.


Dad E said...

I like Edwards and I like Biden. Both know how to enact needed change AND have the courage to do so.

But the other Democratic candidates would also be better for the country than any of the Republican candidates. Especially the smarmy one.

Bubs said...

You are so right. I think Edwards and Richardson are the best candidates, and I confess to having a soft spot for Edwards because he kicked off his campaign in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Thanks also for touching on the "class warfare" thing. Here's the really infuriating part--the social conservative right wing of the GOP has been waging class war against "elites", working up and using working class resentment against the wealthy to smear candidates like Edwards, while simultaneously pushing policies that cater to those "elites" and screwing the working person.

I'm going to drink now.

Chris said...

Edwards has been growing on me lately. I think it's ridiculous to suggest that if someone is wealthy they couldn't possibly be sincere in their desire to help poor people. If that's true, then all these Republican candidates should come clean and tell poor people in this country that they can't and won't help them because, well, they're rich and they don't have to.

kirby said...

I'm hoping Edwards makes it on the ticket one way or another.

SkylersDad said...

Are you really going to diss your own sisters campaign and not even mention here? Tsk tsk...

vikkitikkitavi said...

DadE: Edwards and Biden would be a great team, but Biden would never make it on a national ticket I'm afraid. I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks that Richardson all but has the veep spot sewed up.

Bubs: Excellent point about the Republicans, who are always crying "class warfare" when the Dems talk about the poor, but love to incite resentment themselves. Not by bringing up real issues, of course, but by pointing out the John Kerry windsurfs.

Chris: I know. It's the most illogical and contradictory strategy there is, and yet it's been very successful, thanks to the media's reluctance to point out how fucking stupid it is.

Kirby: Me too. I was disappointed in his performance against Cheney in the debates in 04, but he seems like a much different guy now. Of course the press doesn't want to talk about him, but he is a long way from being out of it.

SkyDad: When am I going to talk about my sister's campaign? When she stops dodging the issues. You can't build an entire presidential run on banana subsidies alone.

David said...

I kep saying Chris Dodd and people keep telling me to shut the hell up.

dguzman said...

You hit the nail right square on the fucking head and drove it into the wood with one awesome blow, Vik. This is a brilliant and insightful analysis into typical media fluff that passes for "news" these days. And the biggest problem? You nailed that too: "the media's reluctance to point out how fucking stupid it is."

You are right ON, sister. Keep on truckin'.

dguzman said...

sorry to double-comment, but I wanted you to know I linked to ya. Again--great post!

Splotchy said...

I can't say it any better than d.

You are right ON, sister. Keep on truckin'.

Randal Graves said...

If you're rich and don't care about poor people, it's okay because you're being ideologically pure.

If you're rich and care about poor people, you care for purely selfish, political reasons.

I hate these fuckers.

Great post.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

The media says it's disingenous bullshit when a rich white guy points out the obvious like Edwards does. Then when people like you point it out, and thank you for donig so, they say you are responsible for all the partisan bickering.

Larry Jones said...

John Edwards polls better against Republicans in a national election than any of the other Democratic candidates, including Clinton and Obama. Even if it's only a couple of percentage points, we know the GOP cheats, so we may need that small edge next November.

But he has a history of beating up on powerful corporations, and he's had the temerity to say that he'll keep doing it as President. Powerful corporations own the newspapers and the networks, so no one should be surprised that Edwards' obvious intelligence, compassion, eloquence, honesty and qualifications are marginalized on TV/radio and in the big papers. They don't want him in the White House, protecting people from them, regulating them and possibly reducing their unconscionable profit margins. Personally, that's exactly what I want.

I'm a one-issue voter this time: The war. Except for Clinton, I trust all the Dems to work to end it as quickly as possible. Some would be better than others at this, but at least John Edwards has publicly repudiated his vote giving Bush war powers, admitted he was wrong and apologized to us for it. Clinton and the rest of them are still pretending that they didn't have enough information in those days before the invasion.

So Edwards got rich helping people fight the corporatocracy. What do I care? In what way does that make him less qualified than Ronald Reagan to be President? Edwards made a lot of money in his career as as an attorney, but I'll bet he knows that as President the big paychecks will stop. Yet he still wants the job. Maybe he's just telling the truth when he says he wants to fight to correct this status qou in which "... people are on the outside, and on the other side -- on the inside -- are the powerful, the well-connected and the very wealthy."

The primaries are topsy turvy this year. No one knows how it will shake out. Losing in New Hampshire no longer means you're all done. Corporate media can't ignore a guy with California's delegates on his side. We're Blue here on the coast, and smart. We have the power to shake up this race, and we should do it.

I was wearing my faded jeans and sports jacket just last night, and I was totally going for a boomer look. Metrosexual, whatever the fuck that is... eewww.

Simon Glickman and Sera Gamble said...

You are wasting your prodigious gifts of observation and commentary on a feckless, insular poophead like Dana Milbank. No one outside the Beltway gives one good goddamn what he or the rest of the regal punditocracy have to say. That's one big reason newspapers have lost so much ground to blogs (which is of course why they spend so much time vomiting forth their seemingly limitless bile against bloggers).

In any case: love you, hate them. Carry on.

deadspot said...

"They Only Call It Class Warfare When They're Losing"

If I had the time and will to blog I'd come up with more than a title.

Grant Miller said...

That's an older picture of D. Milbank. He doesn't have that much hair anymore it appears.

And I'd prefer class warfare over real warfare any day.

'Bubbles' said...

Great post! I was waiting to hear where you were throwing your support. Contrary to popular belief, we at home moms don't always follow Oprah's lead. :D

'Bubbles' said...

Great post! I was waiting to hear where you were throwing your support. Contrary to popular belief, we at home moms don't always follow Oprah's lead. :D

'Bubbles' said...

Great post! I was waiting to hear where you were throwing your support. Contrary to popular belief, we at home moms don't always follow Oprah's lead. :D

'Bubbles' said...


Michael K said...

Milbank seems like he just wants to make smart ass comments on Olberman's show rather than do any real reporting.