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John Edwards Fiddled While America Burned

by William Hughes Monday, Aug. 11, 2008 at 2:54 PM

John Edwards’ sleazy extramarital affair reminded me of the excesses in the final days of the Roman Empire. In 2006, Edwards began his trysts with his mistress. He stopped lying about the seedy affair on Aug. 8, 2008. Meanwhile, about 1,955 U.S. troops died in the Iraq War. While Edwards was “doing” his paramour, others in Washington, D.C., like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been “doing” the public about ending the war and impeachment.

 John Edwards Fiddle...
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“History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.” - Edward Gibbon, author of “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

It is rare when I agree with an editorial in Rupert Murdock’s rag--the “New York Post.” But, on Aug. 9, 2008, the tabloid got it right when it ranted about John Edwards’ extramarital affair, while running, in 2006, for president in the Democracy Party primaries. The “Post” roared about the fallen political star: “His entire presidential campaign was based on hypocrisy and deception. Indeed, nearly every word out of the former trial lawyer’s mouth dripped with insincerity and faleshood...Edwards’ campaign...[has] essentially been one big con. He played the role of champion of the poor--while raking in mammoth legal fees and spending on himself and his family like a pampered prince. Who can forget his 0 haircuts last year, paid for by his campaign?”

At the same time Edwards was engaging in his sordid affair with his mistress, U.S. troops were dying daily in Iraq in a preemptive war orchestrated by the real Masters of Deception--the Bush-Cheney Gang. (1) The economy continued to tank, too, as mortgage foreclosures reached Depression Era levels. (2) The lying Edwards not only left his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth down, he left the troops, who are in harm’s way, and the American taxpayers down, too. His belated confession of having become “increasingly egocentric and narcissistic,” however, rings with the truth. In fact, much of the same could be said about many other arrogant politicos, who hang out today in Washington, D.C.

Take House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for example! Let me suggest that she suffers also from a bad case of an over inflated ego. Although, I’m sure the former Baltimorean will insist otherwise. The voters gave the Democrats a mandate in the Nov. 7, 2006 election to end the war. Instead of bringing the conflict to a quick conclusion, as they promised the people, Speaker Pelosi, and her hawkish cronies, allowed it to go on with no end in sight. She also insisted, contrary to her oath of office, “on taking impeachment off the table.” I’ve written before and I will say it again: Pelosi is out of her element! (3) She isn’t up to the job of Speaker and is totally clueless about the importance of the U.S. Constitution in the role of the Republic. While the country has been going down the tube, she’s been writing a book that glorifies her self-importance. If that isn’t an example of an ego running amuck, I don’t know what is.

My fondest hope, and this would be poetic justice, is that the “Peace Mom,” Cindy Sheehan, a splendid activist who is running as an an Independent against Pelosi in the November general election out in San Francisco, CA, will teach her a lesson that she won’t soon forget. Sheehan’s candidacy continues to pick up steam. (4)

Getting back to the “NY Post’s” righteous tirade on Edwards. It continued: “He admitted he hadn’t been fully honest when he denied reports [in the ‘National Enquirer’] of the affair...But why should anyone believe anything this guy says? Want hypocrisy! Consider what this two-timing former senator [a Democrat from North Carolina] had to say about Bill Clinton’s philandering: ‘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.’” The “Post’s” rejoinder: “Captain Renault couldn’t have been more ‘shocked’ about gambling in Casablanca...The good news is that Edwards--who once was even being considered as Barack Obama’s vice presidential running mate--may be at the end of his political career. We can only hope.”

The Edwards’ scandal reeks with so much sleaze that the “NY Daily News,” owned by the Neocon Morty Zuckerman, was also correct in his harsh editorial on Edwards’ disgusting behavior. It scolded him this way on Aug. 9th: “Here now is a man who went happily philandering as he was about to start a run for the White House--and who gave his sexual partner a job and paid her out of his campaign funds. [Reportedly, 4,000.] And, then had the gall to ask Democrats to to vote for him on the false pretense that he was an honest man--and despite the fact that his candidacy was doomed...So, now Edwards has been reduced to denying that he fathered his partner’s child--and declaring that he is willing to be tested to prove his lack of paternity...Americans, large of heart, forgive many offenders. Flat out liars, not so much.”

Keep in mind that while Edwards was repeatedly indulging himself with his mistress and/or lying to the media and his fellow Democrats with regards to his ultra seedy affair, (it began in 2006, and he stopped lying about it on Aug. 8, 2008, when he publicly admitted his culpability), an estimated 1,955 U.S. troop died in Iraq. Thousands more were seriously wounded in combat and also hundreds of billions of dollars were wasted on the war and on reconstruction.

Indeed, Edwards’ massive ego and rampant narcissism came with a heavy price tag. His duty as a presidential candidate was to raise issues, such as the legality and morality of the Iraq War, and to insist that it be debated in the public arena, and that those responsible for wrongfully launching the war be brought to account. Instead, like the sybarites who helped to bring down the Roman Empire, Edwards was behind closed doors, and in plush hotel suites around the country, engaging in illicit conduct with his paramour. Talk about a betrayal!

Finally, while Edwards was “doing” his kept woman, many elected politicians, like Speaker Pelosi, have been “doing” the American people! Edwards, thankfully, has been found out! When will the people wake up and bring down those others, who have also so egregiously broken the public’s trust?


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©2008, William Hughes, All Rights Reserved.

William Hughes’ videos can be found at: His latest book, “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party,” is available on Amazon. Email Contact:

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