The Other McCain

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First Person Plural: The John Edwards Scandal and America’s Discredited Elite

Posted on | April 27, 2012 | 13 Comments

The pronoun obtrudes in this item on the John Edwards trial:

What did Young, or any of us, see in Edwards? What did Edwards see in Hunter, for whom he risked his marriage, despite telling Young, according to his testimony yesterday, “that she was ‘a crazy slut,’ and there was a ‘one-in-three chance’ that it was his child.” In quoting that, I don’t mean to imply that his characterization was in any sense fair; but it does say a good deal about, first, a view of women, and, second, about the assumption that the view is widely enough shared that one would talk that way in a bid for support. Rielle Hunter may not be the most sympathetic figure . . . but that adds no points to Edwards’s column. It only makes the story more unpleasant.

Who is “us,” these people who saw something in Edwards? Members of the Council on Foreign Relations? Summa cum laude graduates of Harvard? Just a couple of items on Amy Davidson’s bio there.

Populism is a political sentiment inspired by the belief that the elites have screwed things up, because they don’t actually know what they’re doing. When a society begins to fail — and America is now nearly a half-century into the failure that began in the mid-1960s — the elites are often the last to recognize or acknowledge what has gone wrong.

Certainly, it would never occur to Amy Davidson to use the first-person plural to describe those who are most responsible for what’s gone wrong in America. Yet if she ever saw John Edwards as anything other than a phony — a slick-talking hustler — hasn’t her judgment been thoroughly discredited? And if she had surrounded herself with other such fools (the “us” of whom she speaks, none of whom apparently detected Edwards’s fundamental bogusness) doesn’t this discredit not only Davidson, but also the entire elite class to which she belongs?

Give Edwards credit for speaking the truth about one thing: Rielle Hunter (neé Lisa Druck) was indeed a crazy slut. Daughter of a wealthy Florida lawyer, Lisa Druck once dated novelist Jay McInerny, who created a character in one his novels based on Lisa/Rielle. McInerny describes the character as “an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year-old.” As for the “crazy” part, Newsweek reporter Jonathan Darman described meeting Hunter in 2007:

She told me her name and asked me what my astrological sign was, which I thought was a little unusual. . . . She was fiercely devoted to astrology and New Age spirituality. She’d been a New York party girl, she’d been married and divorced, she’d been a seeker and a teacher and was a firm believer in the power of truth.
She told me that she had met Edwards at a bar, at the Regency Hotel in New York. She thought he was giving off a special “energy.” . . .
Her speech was peppered with New Age jargon — human beings were dragged down by “blockages” to their actual potential; history was the story of souls entering and escaping our field of consciousness. A seminal book for her had been Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” Her purpose on this Earth, she said, was to help raise awareness about all this, to help the unenlightened become better reflections of their true, repressed selves.

Crazy — and obviously Edwards must have known she was crazy when he met her, yet he hooked up with the “crazy slut,” didn’t he? And all those people belonging to the elite “us” for whom Amy Davidson speaks, they couldn’t see through Edwards’s phony act.

Like the man said, there are “two Americas,” one of which includes Harvard graduates who make a show of being offended by Edwards’s blunt description of his demented, promiscuous mistress. Davidson’s display of indignation is intended to distract us from the elite’s failure to spot Edwards’s fraudulence. Of course, this was hardly the worst of the elite’s failures, but it is rather a telling clue: Whenever the elite become enthralled by a “populist” (as Edwards was once commonly described), they invariably prefer the phony populists.

We furthermore recall that former Edwards blogger Amanda Marcotte declared in 2008 that the scandal was not hypocrisy and therefore was “officially None Of Our Business,” adding that the reporters covering the scandal “don’t know journalism from rooting around in the trash.” To which declaration I replied at the time:

Am I the only one who remembers how the John-and-His-Heroic-Cancer-Survivor-Wife story was sold to the public as symbolic of Edwards’ incredible sensitivity and caring? That Edwards was engaged in a game of make-believe — attempting to benefit politically from a reputation as a loyal husband while simultaneously shagging Rielle Hunter — ought to be hypocrisy enough for anyone, regardless of his political positions.
Amanda Marcotte’s feminist “principles” are exposed as self-deception and self-degradation.

Edwards swindled more than $700,000 out of elderly heiress Bunny Mellon to get hush money to try to cover up his affair, but who cares about illegal campaign contributions, eh? Nobody, unless you were gullible enough to fall for all that phony noise about “a system in which huge amounts of money continue to flow unregulated into the campaign process.” Besides, $700,000 isn’t much in one of the “two Americas,” the one to which Bunny Mellon belongs.

Perhaps the heiresses and the Harvard graduates and the other members of the elite suppose that their loss of credibility has gone unnoticed by the rest of us. Perhaps they believe that their right to lecture us — to tell us what to think — is unimpeded by their serial embarrassments, which they refuse even to acknowledge, much less apologize for.

What words could ever describe the vast contempt that Amy Davidson and her ilk have toward the rest of America? That they once would have wished to see John Edwards rule over us is perhaps as fitting an expression of that contempt as one might wish, were it not for the SCOAMF who indeed rules over us.

Teresa Koch observes that “the people in whom the American people place their trust aren’t worthy of that trust.” 

Her observation — that America as a nation has been (and is being) betrayed by its elites — is worth quoting not because it is a particularly rare insight, but rather because it is such widespread knowledge among those who are not part of Amy Davidson’s “us.”




13 Responses to “First Person Plural: The John Edwards Scandal and America’s Discredited Elite”

  1. Bob Belvedere
    April 27th, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    Well put.

  2. Pathfinder's wife
    April 27th, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Heh, if she was into New Age jibber jabber, then she was hardly committed to finding the truth.

    These b&*&*^7ds that rule us all are no better than their grand vizer counterparts of feudal times (which should be a “here’s your sign” for us peasants); no better than a certain king of the sun and his idiot parties; no better than a certain Roman fiddle player.

    Not to go all class warfare (but there is one and there’s no denying it), but either the Bastille is going to wind up being stormed, a great Khan is going to show up one day on our borders, or the peasants are finally (after centuries of progress towards some small bit of freedom) going to lie down in the dust and accept their lot forever.
    I’m actually afraid it might be the latter.

  3. Smarter Than The Elites: John Edwards Fooled The Fools - The POH Diaries
    April 27th, 2012 @ 9:07 am

    […] asks the question, “What did Young, or any of us, see in Edwards?” R.S. McCain rightly asks the question right back: Who is “us,” these people who saw something in Edwards? Members of the Council on […]

  4. jwallin
    April 27th, 2012 @ 9:26 am

    I think they were well aware of Edwards’ fraudulence but chose to ignore it because of a “he’s one of us” attitude.

    Channeling victim’s in court but for a good cause.
    Making millions off bogus claims but supporting Democrats.

    He was a SUCCESSFUL scam artist. (they’re wishing Obama had as much skill.)

    This is the aftermath and it’s really faded into history for most of the leftists’ that pounded the drums for him. They’ve moved on to bigger and better scam artists and 3 card monte dealers. (Obama is just the more notorious of many).

    They’re also getting a sense that they and their minions of the media have used up what storage they had of good will and trust they built up over the last 50 years.

    Like the mark in a scam they’ve realized they’ve spent gold on blank paper and wishful thinking and the piper is at the door with some large friends to help him collect.

    They’re hoping if they can appear amazed and shocked at the outcomes of their relentless drive to socialism and big government will allow them to escape any blame or fault.

    Too bad Gore invented the Internet then as we have years of proof how venal, self centered and morally bankrupt the left has been. And how they were aide by their counterparts in the the supposed “loyal opposition” on the right who turn out to be of similar mind and goal, just better at verbal camouflage.

    Forget Obama. If we could put a real conservative in as House Speaker instead of the weeping willow who is “leading” now or removed the useless puss mouthed pinch faced McConnell from his position as guardian of Reid’s back we’d have been better off these last 3 years.

    I am so disgusted with Congress and it’s so called leaders, I may just fold my hands and just sit back and watch it all blow up. Why not?  They’re going to let it anyway. Why drag it out?

  5. Fred Beloit
    April 27th, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    Amanda Marcotte??? Don’t you know she is one of OUR favorite harpies? And you are trashing her, she the gallant amazonian? For shame. But if I never hear of her again… I guess I never hear of her again.

  6. teresakoch
    April 27th, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    Great post!  (And thanks for the mention…..)

  7. ThePaganTemple
    April 27th, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    I remember after Obama won the nomination in 2008, there were some (though not many) proposing Edwards as Obama’s running mate. But there were more-a HELL of a lot more-who seriously mentioned him as a potential AG, and even Supreme Court Justice. I remember at the time dreading such a prospect, one of which might have come to fruition had it not been for the scandal suddenly breaking out in earnest. Now I kind of wish it hadn’t broken when it did. It would be loads of fun watching the Justice Department fall apart over this crazy shit, in addition to Fast And Furious, and who knows what else.

  8. richard mcenroe
    April 27th, 2012 @ 10:58 am

     That’s why Democrats like an immigrant population with 500 years’ experience of being peons.

  9. Adjoran
    April 27th, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Edwards slick presentation and great hair was all most liberals needed to love him.  The fact he was a sleazy, lying trial lawyer who contributed to raising the cost of medical care was, for them, a positive thing.

    At first I felt very sorry for his family, but Elizabeth wasn’t above trying to exploit her sickness to advance his career, and was intent on forcing a socialist regime on America.  It’s difficult to maintain a high level of sympathy for the enemy.

    Alas, I’m still an imperfect Christian.  In dealing with the Marxists among us, I’m one for gutting them with rusty knives, strangling them with their own entrails, and repenting later.

  10. ThePaganTemple
    April 27th, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

     Not only did she and he use her sickness, but he at least used his own son’s death in an auto accident to full advantage. They were both a couple of creeps. I haven’t forgotten how Elizabeth Edwards harassed their neighbor over his driveway, and over him having a gun. Screw the both of them.

  11. Bob Belvedere
    April 27th, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

    The great Rasputin said that yielding to temptation was needed to proceed to repentance and salvation, so you’re good.

  12. ThePaganTemple
    April 27th, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

     Hard to argue with a guy who could go weeks without bathing and still get any woman he wanted.

  13. Adobe_Walls
    April 27th, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

    Sounds like a plan.