Elizabeth Edwards Comments On John’s Confession

Elizabeth Edwards has a post at Daily Kos about her husband’s confession of earlier today that the accusations about him having had an affair are true. I don’t she she has helped the situation. She complains that “a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.”

Elizabeth Edwards is in a poor position to accuse anyone other than her husband of lying. The National Enquirer may or may not have been right on every accusation but it has not yet been proven that they were lying. In contrast, it is clear that John Edwards has been lying since last October when he has denied having had an affair with Rielle Hunter.

Her main accusation that The National Enquirer lied is based upon the denial that Edwards is the father of Hunter’s child. Possibly they were lying, but it is also possible that either they are correct, or that if they were incorrect they did believe that Edwards was the father. Knowing that Edwards has been lying about the affair since they exposed it last October, it is understandable that anyone would also suspect that Edwards was the father. There has still not been an explanation of the pictures–which may or may not mean that Edwards is the father. Short of a paternity test, Elizabeth and John Edwards are going to have to live with the fact that there remains reason to believe John is the one lying on this point. He very will might also be lying to Elizabeth as if John is the father it would mean that the affair continued after the recurrence of Elizabeth’s cancer was known, and after John claims the affair was over.

There’s this thing about being caught in a lie. People tend to assume, often correctly, that other things you say are also lies.

Lee Stranahan brings up another good point. If she knew about the affair she should have never let John run for president this year. Imagine if Edwards had won the nomination, and then this story broke. Besides, it still might have been possible for Edwards to run in the future if he had admitted the affair. Knowledge of an affair in one’s past does not prevent one from running for president. John McCain is proof of that.

I think there is good reason why Edwards did not take this route. He has been more interested in immediate gratification in his search for power. While I agree with Stranahan on this point, I disagree when he writes “I believe that the Edwards are both sincere in their stated positions about poverty, health care and other issues.” Even before this scandal, I believed Edwards was one of the biggest phonys in politics of either party, as I have often written in the past. This is a guy who has shown no real interest in public service unless he could have the big prize.

Edwards’ major talent has been in enriching himself while conning supporters into believing he was acting altruistically, beginning in the days in which he specialized in convincing southern juries that birth defects were the fault of medical malpractice. He served a single term in the Senate and used this purely as a stepping stone to run for president or vice-president in 2004 and then got out. While running with Kerry he was more interested in positioning himself for a future run than in helping the ticket. He quickly changed from a moderate Democrat to a populist progressive based upon gaining support in Iowa and in the netroots. I don’t think that Edwards was capable of sitting out and waiting to run down the road. This route would also require that he do something of value to keep himself in consideration for the future, and I don’t think Edwards is capable of that.

In the past when I have written of my opinion of Edwards, some on the left agreed and many disagreed. Today’s events should give more people reason to reconsider their opinion of John Edwards. This is especially true of those of you who might have contributed time or money to his campaign under false pretenses.

Fact Check Accuses McCain of Misrepresenting Obama’s Tax Proposals, Again

A couple of weeks ago I showed how Factcheck.org and other sources were demonstrating that John McCain was distorting Obama’s record and position on taxes. Factcheck.org reports that McCain is at it again. From their summary:

McCain released three new ads with multiple false and misleading claims about Obama’s tax proposals.

  • A TV spot claims Obama once voted for a tax increase “on people making just $42,000 a year.” That’s true for a single taxpayer, who would have seen a tax increase of $15 for the year – if the measure had been enacted. But the ad shows a woman with two children, and as a single mother, she would not have been affected unless she made more than $62,150. The increase that Obama once supported as part of a Democratic budget bill is not part of his current tax plan anyway.
  • A Spanish-language radio ad claims the measure Obama supported would have raised taxes on “families” making $42,000, which is simply false. Even a single mother with one child would have been able to make $58,650 without being affected. A family of four with income up to $90,000 would not have been affected.
  • The TV ad claims in a graphic that Obama would “raise taxes on middle class.” In fact, Obama’s plan promises cuts for middle-income taxpayers and would increase rates only for persons with family incomes above $250,000 or with individual incomes above $200,000.
  • The radio ad claims Obama would increase taxes “on the sale of your home.” In fact, home-sale profits of up to $500,000 per couple would continue to be exempt from capital gains taxes. Very few sales would see an increase under Obama’s proposal to raise the capital gains rate.
  • A second radio ad, in English, says, “Obama has a history of raising taxes” on middle-class Americans. But that’s false. It refers to a vote that did not actually result in a tax increase and could not have done so.
These ads continue what’s become a pattern of misrepresentation by the McCain campaign about his opponent’s tax proposals.

The full article gives further detail on these distortions as well as repeating previous distortions from McCain. The article concludes by noting, “These ads continue his long-running pattern of deception on taxes.”

John Edwards on Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

A few days ago I discussed a post by Mickey Klaus on reasons to cover the Edwards scandal. While there was validity to his charges of hypocrisy, I found this to be one of the weaker reasons for the media to cover the story. The argument for hypocrisy now looks greater after seeing this quotation from Edwards on the Monica Lewinsky scandal from February 12, 1999:

I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.

Another quotation gives some insight into what was probably going on in Edwards’ mind when caught:

We have a man who has just been confronted with this problem, who is political by nature. And do we really believe that the first thing he thought about is, “I’m going to go protect myself legally'”? I suspect the first thing he thought about is “I’m going to protect myself politically.” He was worried about his family finding out. He was worried about the rest of the staff finding out. He was worried about the press finding out.

Bill Clinton and John Edwards are not the only ones involved in presidential politics to be caught having had an affair. John McCain is a senior member of that club. Like Edwards, McCain even cheated on a wife who was suffering from medical problems, having left his wife after she was severely injured in an automobile accident. Interesting that the right wing bloggers are understandably piling on Edwards for his affair but ignoring McCain’s past conduct.

Edwards Admits To Affair With Rielle Hunter

As I predicted yesterday, the impact of John Edwards’ affair with Rielle Hunter on his role at the Democratic Convention has provided the mainstream media with a reason to cover the story after initially ignoring it. Additional newspapers covered the story today as Democratic leaders pressed Edwards for a response. After previously claiming that “The story is false, it’s completely untrue, it’s ridiculous, ” Edwards has now admitted to the affair. He denies the accusations that he is the father of Hunter’s child.

Edwards, sounding like a lawyer arguing a weak case before a jury, did stress the point that his wife’s cancer was in remission at the time of the affair–a fact which will likely do nothing to reduce the damage to his reputation. Should Edwards turn out to be the father, despite his denials, this would show that the affair continued after the recurrence of Elizabeth’s cancer. He also admits to a recent meeting in a hotel room with Hunter and, while he says Elizabeth was aware of the affair, he says she was unaware of this meeting. Edwards denies recent stories that he has been paying hush money to Hunter.

The entire story of the shady lawyer turned opportunistic politician whose integrity was already in question (except to supporters who placed partisanship over reality) being caught in such an affair while his wife is battling cancer sounds like a second rate political thriller. The irony is Rielle Hunter has already been a fictional character of sorts. As I posted a couple of days ago, Hunter had previously dated novelist Jay McInerney. McInerney modeled Allison Price, a drug using bimbo in his book Story of My Life, on Hunter. In an unusual cross appearance in books by different novelists, Bret Easton Ellis also used the character in two of his novels, American Psycho and Glamorama.

Rice: Obama Would Keep America Safe

While the McCain campaign has resorted to using a Rove-style campaign based upon capitalizing on fear, at least one prominent Republican is not sticking to the standard Republican script In an interview with The Politico, Condoleezza Rice was asked, “Would you feel safe with a President Obama?” Her reply:

“Oh, the United States will be fine,” she responded. “I think that we are having an important debate about how we keep the country safe. I think we are having an important debate about our responsibilities, our obligations, our interests in the Middle East in the wake of the now increasing evidence of success in Iraq. Those are important judgments for the American people to make.”

She does say she is a Republican and shows a preference for McCain, but at least she doesn’t take the usual Republican line that we will be attacked by terrorists and die if a Democrati is elected. Perhaps she realizes that this actually happened on the watch of a Republican, not Democratic, president. She also says she is not interested in running with McCain.

Clinton Revealed

The Atlantic Monthly should have an amusing story now that they obtained internal memos from the Clinton campaign. The Trail reports:

Just when you thought everyone had moved on… former advisers to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are in a tizzy over an upcoming piece in the Atlantic Monthly that chronicles the inner workings of the now-defunct campaign. Of particular concern are nearly 200 internal memos that the author, Josh Green, obtained — 130 or so of which he plans to scan in and post online. When the piece is published sometime next week, readers will be able to scroll through the memos, from senior strategists such as Mark Penn, Harold Ickes and Geoff Garin, and see what exactly was going on inside the infamously fractured Clinton organization. That has some former team members in a panic.

Actually we knew that it is not the case that everyone had moved on–which might make these emails even more amusing. The PUMA groups continue to repeat all the nonsense put out by the Clinton campaign which anyone with half a functioning brain would have seen through. I doubt that the memos outright admit that most of their claims during the campaign were absurdities raised in the hopes of political gain, but possibly the memos might give some clue. Unfortunately those kooks in the PUMA groups who continue to repeat the Clinton talking points are probably incapable of analyzing these memos rationally.

Our Second Anniversary

Just in case anyone is searching for an excuse to have a drink today, today marks the second anniversary of the starting of the Liberal Values blog. I imagine that, as backers of Barack Obama in this year’s election, wine would be more appropriate as opposed to beer (unless you prefer to stand up to the people who write about such stereotypes). Should you prefer to celebrate with a mixed drink, the most recent revision of the official Liberal Values Appletini recipe was posted here after last year’s blogiversary.