Re: Film At 11

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A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said he was the father of the child.
Jeebus, were they just passing her around the campaign bus?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:20 PM
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Ongoing score:
Enquirer 2
NYT 0


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:21 PM
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A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said he was the father of the child.

Whoa.

I guess she really supported the campaign, huh?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:21 PM
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Damnit. If ABC didn't have some weird block against Cmd-C on their page, I wouldn't have been pwned.

Also, the real victim here is everybody who rightly wants to see Kaus marginalized.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:22 PM
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Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Oh, well, as long as he didn't love her, that's ok, then.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:23 PM
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Enquirer 2
NYT 0

Because the New York Times has never reported an accurate story before?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:23 PM
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It's weird that he should 'fess up to the affair but not the kid. One would think that if he wasn't really the father, then he wouldn't have to admit the affair - but that if he really is the kid's father, then he'd admit it at this point.

This way, the question is still open: Why no paternity test?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:23 PM
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Now I'm hoping it wasn't a threesome. You can just imagine how they know that Young is the father and not Edwards.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:24 PM
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It's weird that he should 'fess up to the affair but not the kid.

He says the timing of the birth rules it out.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:25 PM
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Also, the real victim here is everybody who rightly wants to see Kaus marginalized.

No fucking kidding. I'm pissed at Edwards for giving that asswipe something to crow about.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:25 PM
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1: Alternate explanation: she was sowing her wild oats and having a fine old time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:26 PM
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Why no paternity test?

Presumably he's holding out for a spot on the Maury show.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:26 PM
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I guess it's fortunate that he didn't win the nomination, huh?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:26 PM
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I don't get 5. The explanation offered works just fine for me....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:27 PM
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Aw, jeez. You know, this depresses me largely because it's going to make Mickey Kaus so goddam happy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:27 PM
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Good thing he lost, I suppose.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:27 PM
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I'm surprised that a man of his stature wouldn't have held out for a filmmaker who was at least a journeyman.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:27 PM
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Please no film.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:28 PM
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He says the timing of the birth rules it out.

And for a guy who cheated on his terminally ill wife while running for president, he sure knows a little something about timing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:28 PM
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Because the New York Times has never reported an accurate story before?

Well, this affair might conceivably fall under the heading of "all the news that's fit to print". As was said in these forums earlier- it was not the unbelievability of the story but the source that was the problem. Problem solved.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:28 PM
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Please don't let that mean there's a sex tape.

Don't be a hater, Becks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:29 PM
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I think we're all in agreement that it's a good thing he wasn't the nominee, that we hope there's no video, and that we all resent the expected Kaus gloating.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:29 PM
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Please let no one make Elizabeth Edwards appear in public being supportive.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:30 PM
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5: I think he's going with the Eddie Murphy defense: "Yeah, I fucked her! But I made love to you." Next up: "Is it really sex if it's just a blow job?"


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:31 PM
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Though if she melts him with the heat of her rage, having developed a new superpower, that would be okay.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:31 PM
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Fuckity fuck fuck. I know we already had this conversation, but I am so pissed off at him for cheating on Elizabeth, for humiliating her and their kids, and for fucking up his political future.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:31 PM
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19: And for a guy who cheated on his terminally ill wife while running for president, he sure knows a little something about timing.

Well, yes:

Edwards made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife's cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:32 PM
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cheated on his terminally ill wife

According to the current explanation, the affair ended before the recurrence was diagnosed. Not that that really makes any difference one way or the other.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:32 PM
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He says the timing of the birth rules it out.

Right. But the kid was the only real evidence of the affair - the only reason that the matter was still being discussed. Why admit the affair if a paternity test would get him off the hook for the kid?

Or, conversely, if he's lying about the kid, it's hard to see what good it does him to admit the affair. I don't see what purpose this serves. I don't think this will shut the Enquirer up.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:34 PM
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Oh, well, as long as he didn't love her, that's ok, then.

I haven't seen the transcript, but I suspect the love bit may have been in response to a specific question, rather than offered up unbidden.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:34 PM
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As was said in these forums earlier- it was not the unbelievability of the story but the source that was the problem.

Right, which is why they didn't report on it earlier: a single source in the National Enquirer doesn't really cut it. If I say I've got this great scoop on George Bush getting a blowjob from a tranny hooker, and my one source on this is my cousin's weird psycho friend who drinks rubbing alcohol and hears voices at night, I shouldn't pout and complain when the Paper Of Record isn't rushing to pick up my story.

Problem solved.

Right, so now papers like the Times can write their stories about this. If they continued to ignore the story after Edwards publicly confessed on Nightline, that'd be a bit of a problem.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:34 PM
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Though if she melts him with the heat of her rage, having developed a new superpower, that would be okay.

I think he said EE has known about this slipup for a while.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:35 PM
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Am I the only infantile person goggling at "Midline Groove"? (And googling, here is a Kos diary from late 2006 which includes links to some of the "webisodes" produced by Midline. Some of them were her in Steeltown.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:35 PM
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Well, maybe there is an explanation for further dissembling by Edwards - maybe denying being the father gets him off the hook for having an affair while his wife was sick.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:36 PM
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32: She didn't know about the recent meeting, though she did know about the 2006 affair.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:37 PM
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but I am so pissed off at him for cheating on Elizabeth, for humiliating her and their kids, and for fucking up his political future

In practical terms, I totally agree. On principle... Why should this be humiliating to Elizabeth -- so far, I've heard of nothing for her to be ashamed of.

Oh, well, as long as he didn't love her, that's ok, then.

Yeah, that line just makes him sound like twice the ass.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:37 PM
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a single source in the National Enquirer doesn't really cut it.

I'm not sure what the basis for this is. The Enquirer is pretty good on the sex stuff, I thought. Didn't they get the dress, etc. first in the Lewinsky thing?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:40 PM
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Is she at least hotter than Monica?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:42 PM
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39

This is so fucked up. We've all been happy that he forced Clinton and Obama to the left in terms of their stated issue positions in the primary, which hopefully Obama will stick to, which makes we want to say it's a good thing he ran. But if he'd won it'd have been a disaster, so it's only a good thing that he ran it he expected to lose.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:44 PM
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33: It looks like the actual Midline Groove stuff is gone. The one live YouTube from Pittsburgh linked at the diary appears to be from someone else.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:44 PM
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The only thing that really bothers me is pain for EE or the kids, and any personal betrayal that occasioned that pain. Other than that, fuck it. I hope he had a good time.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:46 PM
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23: What if she said convincingly she had proposed he get his jollies elsewhere due to treatment side effects and they loved and supported each other throughout? Not that it would happen, but it looks like he's wrapped up the political phase of his career.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:48 PM
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Is she at least hotter than Monica?

If you like the WTF facial expression more than zaftig JAPs


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:48 PM
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But the kid was the only real evidence of the affair

Plus the photos of him visiting her hotel room in the middle of the night.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:49 PM
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Hey, she's kind of age-appropriate, at least.

John Edwards: man enough to keep his poorly thought out extramarital affairs in 1/2+7 compliance.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:51 PM
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Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter

Well, you know, we all needed a little cheering up after 2004.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:51 PM
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What if she said convincingly she had proposed he get his jollies elsewhere due to treatment side effects and they loved and supported each other throughout?

It's still a shitty thing for a public figure to do. He should have known that the media would wallow in this, and it wasn't fair for him to put his family through that.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:52 PM
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Hmmm, last September at Huffington Post, Sam Stein had a post entitled "Edwards Mystery: Innocuous Videos Suddenly Shrouded In Secrecy".

He does not really hnt at an affair in the article, but he does include this:

My reportorial curiosity thoroughly piqued, I decided to dig further.

Who is Rielle Hunter? The Newsweek item said Edwards met the aspiring actress and filmmaker in a New York City bar. A call to the Screen Actors Guild elicited the following exchange:

Screen Actors Guild: "This performer chooses not to list her contact information in the membership database."

HuffPost: "So if I wanted to contact her about her work with web video?"

SAG: "Well, I don't know what to tell you. It's up to the performer to choose whether they are listed or not."

A check of the movie database IMDB.com listed her as a director and actor in the short Billy Bob and Them. And an Internet write up of a 2005 interview she apparently gave to Breathe Magazine described her as a "formerly hard-partying girl who claims that she found enlightenment."

[pretend that is all blockquoted]
The article is now tagged with all of the things you would expect.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:53 PM
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Yeah, 'but he didn't love her' sounds like the new 'I did not inhale'.

SCMT has got this one correct: aside from the pain he caused his wife, I hope he had a good time; on the other hand, it doesn't make sense to admit it if he isn't the father. On the third hand, well, apparently he figured he was busted, so he might as well come clean.

Hrmmm. SILLY SEASON!

So, is Joe Lieberman gay, or what?

max
['He's make a great VP pick, yes he would.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:53 PM
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36

"In practical terms, I totally agree. On principle... Why should this be humiliating to Elizabeth -- so far, I've heard of nothing for her to be ashamed of."

When someone cheats on you there is always a suggestion that you are inadequate in some way. And there are questions about your judgement in entering into or continuing the relationship.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:53 PM
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*headdesk*

Dammit. I really liked Edwards, too. And EE is just amazing. And he really did do important things in the Democratic primary, by forcing both Clinton and Obama to move left so as to not be outflanked (that's a nice change from the usual move-right Democrats usually have to do).

Dammit.

Also, Kaus can go to hell.


Posted by: NBarnes | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:54 PM
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Okay, so...

...why admit the affair? He wants to put this behind us in order to...?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:54 PM
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The Enquirer is pretty good on anything where there's a decent chance of getting sued, since they've been there done that. That's what convinced me that there was something to this - the details of the whole hotel meetup were really specific and could have easily been verified during a lawsuit, and Edwards' behavior was just so damn weird.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:54 PM
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it's only a good thing that he ran it he expected to lose.

No; it's a good thing he ran *because* he lost. Whether or not he expected to, is irrelevant.

38 and 43 are gross. I realize, of course, that having had affairs with famous married men, both women are therefore open season for whatever kind of crap people want to sling at them, but it doesn't make the people doing the slinging look good.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:55 PM
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When someone cheats on you there is always a suggestion that you are inadequate in some way.

Nah. Just means that you're involved with a human being, a species which has proven over history to be remarkably weak around this particular issue.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:56 PM
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JAPs

Deprecated.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:57 PM
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When someone cheats on you there is always a suggestion that you are inadequate in some way.

I'm sorry I cheated on you, James.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:57 PM
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Shorter 55: Bestiality -- your only reliable route to truly loyal sex partners. ("Here, Fido!")


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:57 PM
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Getting knocked up in a campaign bus orgie actually demonstrates some pretty impressive fertility for a 44 years old.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:57 PM
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Maybe he admitted it now in order to prevent it coming up during the DNCC?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:58 PM
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Gawker -- which has an unseemly Kausian bee in its bonnet over this story -- claims that Rielle Hunter is the inspiration for Jay McInerney's (coke-addled, entitled) "Alison Poole" character. (RH and JM used to date.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 1:59 PM
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Shearer's right. I have always felt that Bill cheating on Hillary was one injury, and that letting everyone on earth know that he had cheated on her was another injury. Which I don't doubt Di, for example, gets, given that she drew the distinction between practice and principle.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:00 PM
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Is the name Rielle common in some circles?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:02 PM
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Some of them were her in Steeltown.

Yeah, but I checked - with the timing, Kai couldn't be hers.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:03 PM
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54, 56

Use of offensive terms in reaction to offensive question. Humor is not an exact science, ya know.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:03 PM
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50: Okay, look. DK said that in practical terms she agreed, but that on principle, EE has nothing to be ashamed of.

Is your response, that cheating suggests the cheated-on-partner's inadequacy and impugns her (or his) judgment, meant to describe a *factual* (practical) state of affairs--in other words, that whether or not it is *right* to have these reactions, these are the reactions people will have? Because if so, you're egregiously misreading DK, who made it very clear that she recognizes that.

Or is your response meant to describe a *principle* (and therefore an actual substantive response to DK), i.e., that you believe that EE may actually *be* inadequte, and that her judgment is actually in question? Because if so, that's egregiously shocking.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:04 PM
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64: Not her real name, apparently.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:04 PM
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45: I've never heard the 1/2+7 thing but it sounds exactly right to me.
22 can fuck 18
30 can fuck 22
46 can fuck 30
78 can fuck 46
EVERYONE"S HAPPY!


Posted by: bend | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:05 PM
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66: Fair enough. Might wanna work on tone there, though ;)

letting everyone on earth know that he had cheated on her was another injury

He tried quite manfully, actually, to avoid doing this, if you recall.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:05 PM
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70. I love that WTF? picture that they ran. So perfect.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:07 PM
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I'm inclined to look pretty forgivingly on this sort of thing, but I can't fathom why people think they can keep it a secret, especially if someone else stands to benefit by revealing that secret.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:08 PM
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If this does destroy Edwards' political future, it is because he admitted the affair. George Bush can forever claim he thought there were WMD's in Iraq, and therefore not be hounded forever with "Are you lying to us once again, Mr President?" Same with Nixon.

You can always lie about sex. Back in the Clinton days, I thought a gentleman always either kept silent or lied about sex. I see no reason other than very old problems with paternity to talk about who you fucked.

Which brings up another question:Edwards is rich, and has heirs. Now you may not think that the difference between 1/2 and 1/3 of hundreds of millions is important, but I have seen families destroyed over a coffee table. Edwards' may be confessin' on EE's demand.

Was it to avoid embarrassments at the convention?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:08 PM
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I can't fathom why people think they can keep it a secret

Human beings have a remarkable capacity for self-deception and self-serving rationalization.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:10 PM
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I'm not sure what the basis for this is. The Enquirer is pretty good on the sex stuff, I thought.

Says who, other than Slate? The Enquirer prints lots of stuff that's not actually true, they don't follow and aren't expected by their readers and editors to follow any kind of journalistic standard, they publish for entertainment instead of accuracy. They are, in other words, a supermarket tabloid. When the Enquirer says, "we caught Public Figure X in sex scandal Y," it doesn't mean it can't be true, but it shouldn't be afforded the kind of weight that we'd give to, say, any other source of information, including Magic 8-balls and entrail scrying, because it's the job of the National Enquirer to catch public figures in sex scandals, whether or not those sex scandals are real.

Didn't they get the dress, etc. first in the Lewinsky thing?

I thought that was Drudge.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:10 PM
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69:The hell with that. If I ever get another chance, I may, just might, worry whether she's legal. But I ain't promisin'


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:10 PM
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He tried quite manfully, actually, to avoid doing this, if you recall.

Nature of the beast. If he'd knocked up Lewinsky and she decided to keep it, I'd count that as yet another injury to Hillary. And I'd blame Bill a fair bit even if he had tried to get Lewinsky to have an abortion and she'd refused.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:13 PM
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Was it to avoid embarrassments at the convention?

I kinda doubt we'll be seeing Edwards at the convention.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:13 PM
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67

"Or is your response meant to describe a *principle* (and therefore an actual substantive response to DK), i.e., that you believe that EE may actually *be* inadequte, and that her judgment is actually in question? Because if so, that's egregiously shocking."

If in fact EE has known since 2006 then you can certainly question her judgement with regard to supporting JE's Presidential run.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:13 PM
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Don't forget the alien abductions, stras. Agent Kay said so.

http://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Men-in-Black.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:16 PM
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If EE knew, you have to assume they had speeches written for "what if the story breaks during the campaign." Goodness only knows what the plan was, but they must have had a plan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:16 PM
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The Enquirer prints lots of stuff that's not actually true

Like what? Is their error rate really worse than WaPo/NYT/LAT? I think, as someone else said, that they get sued a lot, and that's a pretty good reason to be careful.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:16 PM
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Human beings have a remarkable capacity for self-deception and self-serving rationalization.

Actually, this isn't true for me. I mean, there've been a few times when I realized that I hadn't been looking at things realistically, but there were always sound reasons, generally beyond my control.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:16 PM
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Goodness only knows what the plan was, but they must have had a plan.

Seeing as how the story did break (for some value of "break") last fall, seems that the plan was to deny everything and have Andrew Young take the bullet. Apparently, the plan was flawed.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:20 PM
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Yeah, come to think of it, that does indicate poor planning.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:21 PM
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75

"... The Enquirer prints lots of stuff that's not actually true, they don't follow and aren't expected by their readers and editors to follow any kind of journalistic standard, they publish for entertainment instead of accuracy. ..."

But they are subject to libel laws and they are capable of paying a sizable judgement so I don't expect them to just make up false and libelous information about a notable trial lawyer.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:22 PM
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I'm not sure why people are so convinced it had to come out. I assume that most of them don't, even when people are looking.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:23 PM
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Andrew Young seems to be a pretty dedicated supporter of Edwards. Maybe a little too dedicated.

Wait, you don't think...


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:23 PM
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I kinda doubt we'll be seeing Edwards at the convention.

If this is the case, then let's abandon the tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness. Or simply feeling bad for EE. Has Edwards hurt our chances for Healthcare? Has he done grave damage to the Party and the country with his fuckin dick?

Bets? Edwards will be there, and speaking from the podium. And my first guess is that is the reason for the confessin, now.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:24 PM
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No doubt Kaus is doing the full Gastineau over this admission, but he doesn't have any more of a point than he did yesterday. The practice of family newspapers not to print rumors from supermarket tabloids is no less sound just because one of those rumors panned out.

Kaus would probably maintain that, prior to its confirmation, this rumor was somehow different from the others about Obama's love child or Bush's affair with Condoleeza Rice. But that boils down to "Kaus had a feeling about this one", and he's so comically incapable of exercising impartial judgment in such matters(goes for all of his fellow travellers as well) that it ought to be obvious why that can't possibly be a journalistic canon.


Posted by: kth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:25 PM
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Has Edwards hurt our chances for Healthcare?

If an extramarital affair by a guy with 19 delegates hurts our chances for healthcare, then this country doesn't deserve it anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:26 PM
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If in fact EE has known since 2006 then you can certainly question her judgement with regard to supporting JE's Presidential run.

You can do whatever you like. But how she might choose to address issues in her marriage are kind of none of your business. And if she thought JE's campaign was beneficial to advancing a political agenda she supports -- an opinion shared by many here -- it's sort of ridiculous to suggest she had some sort of obligation to sacrifice the political benefit of his campaign just because you think the aggrieved spouse is supposed to rend her garments and gnash her teeth in despair.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:27 PM
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Edwards will be there, and speaking from the podium.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:27 PM
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I didn't realize until 93 (probably gone now or soon) that the ToS was a real person and not a bizarre bot.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:29 PM
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91:No, remember how happy this blog was about the powerful spokesperson for Healthcare EE would be when Obama signed her on?

Maybe now, at every speech & meeting she will be surrounded by reporters and has been rendered ineffective by Edwards' fuckin dick.

The scandal in itself won't kill Healthcare, but it probably weakens one of our more powerful tools.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:31 PM
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67: I agree with you, but you're letting him bait you.


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:31 PM
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94:Bets?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:31 PM
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But they are subject to libel laws

It's incredibly difficult to press a successful libel suit as a public figure in the U.S. And that's just fine - I like my free speech protections as robust as possible - but we should keep that in mind when we consider the fact that most of the public figures who get smeared by the Enquirer don't end up suing them, and not because the Enquirer's articles are true, but because the bar for libel in the country is really, really high.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:32 PM
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If in fact EE has known since 2006 then you can certainly question her judgement with regard to supporting JE's Presidential run.

Damnit to hell, I keep agreeing with Shearer today. I gotta get my meds checked.

God knows I don't hold it against any cuckolded spouse to pretend that nothing happened, but a presidential campaign is different. Millions of Americans put their faith in Edwards as a candidate, some in part because of the touching story of their marriage, and EE consciously went along with the deception. I don't really think any less of EE because of this (God bless her, really), but if she was counseling JE to go ahead with the run (which is the official story), I think one can fault her political judgment.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:34 PM
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it's sort of ridiculous to suggest she had some sort of obligation to sacrifice the political benefit of his campaign just because you think the aggrieved spouse is supposed to rend her garments and gnash her teeth in despair.

To be fair, the concern is that it's sort of irresponsible to run if there's a skeleton in the closet like this, not that her own personal reaction to the situation is somehow inappropriate.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:34 PM
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No one mentioned yet that Edwards put her on the campaign (PAC?) payroll during the affair, and gave her a job for which she had no experience, and in which she did nothing of value. Her job permitted her to travel with Edwards at campaign expense. This campaign was chronically short of money. As a contributor, I'm pissed.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:36 PM
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but we should keep that in mind when we consider the fact that most of the public figures who get smeared by the Enquirer don't end up suing them, and not because the Enquirer's articles are true, but because the bar for libel in the country is really, really high.

And this is based on what, the level of tumescence you found between your legs when you stuck your hands down your pants? Name names if you're thinking of specific examples where we know the Enquirer was wrong.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:38 PM
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I wonder how much more coverage this story will get than the Russian invasion of South Ossetia?


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:40 PM
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When was the last time anyone cared what Kaus wrote? With this story, hasn't he repurposed himself as a different kind of journalist? Can we expect him to break the next Brangelina Scandal?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:41 PM
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Bet you that he's going to be speaking from the podium in Denver? Sure, Bob, name it. Proceeds to charity, of course. Or wine. Either way's fine with me.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:41 PM
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101: But the consensus seems to be that his run did push the campaign in a direction alot of us are happy with, and he didn't exactly win so it's not clear that his skeletons hurt "the cause" at all. Surely, you realize that all of the candidates have skeletons of one sort or another in their closets.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:42 PM
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I'm saddened that the ToS is a Zappa fan, just as I am saddened that he's a Quine fan.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:42 PM
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107: Exactly.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:42 PM
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the concern is that it's sort of irresponsible to run if there's a skeleton in the closet like this

Obviously nobody's going to call this a politically smart move (even as we agree that it should be politically irrelevant), but I don't buy the assumption that it would have been fatal to his candidacy had he been the nominee. And if skeleton-free closets are a prerequisite to responsible office-seeking, well. Our last Dem president was elected despite being cornered into more-or-less admitting marital infidelity, no?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:44 PM
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And this is based on what

Sounds like it's based on a pretty straightforward understanding of libel law in the U.S. Stras isn't trying to prove that the Enquirer's stories are true, just that the imagined threat of a libel suit is hardly a sound basis for presuming the truth of such stories.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:45 PM
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It does look like the "webisodes" made it back onto YouTube. In this one I am pretty sure he talking to her during the credits when he jokingly says, "Very graceful, cameragirl". (Credits list two cameramen, her and a guy.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:45 PM
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104: I wonder how much more coverage this story will get than the Russian invasion of South Ossetia?

In other news, Pliggett raises a point I was thinking about even as I was running down links and watching videos about the Edwards stuff. We all suck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:49 PM
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Name names if you're thinking of specific examples where we know the Enquirer was wrong.

Carol Burnett. The way I've heard it, the Enquirer got a lot more careful after that suit showed it couldn't get away with complete bullshit simply because it was writing about public figures. No idea if that's true, or if so how long the effect lasted. (Granted, accusations of public drunkenness in the company of Henry Kissinger are particular egregious.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:50 PM
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Surely, you realize that all of the candidates have skeletons of one sort or another in their closets.

If Obama is gonna admit to being the Antichrist or Precursor, I hope he waits until after he is inaugurated.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:50 PM
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I think that the ToS is fairly typical of Quine and Zappa fans. He is also an enormous admirer of the positivist, proto-fascist book-burner who wrote:

Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:51 PM
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106:That Edwards, even on Wednesday afternoon, will never speak to the convention in Denver? Since I think the purpose of the revelation now is to make Edwards in some sense politically viable again (nobody has given any better explanation), I will take that bet.

I have no money, so my side of the wager will involve never ever commenting at the Edge again, or taking three days off Unfogged. Worth its weight in gold, some would say.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:55 PM
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Stras isn't trying to prove that the Enquirer's stories are true, just that the imagined threat of a libel suit is hardly a sound basis for presuming the truth of such stories.

He's arguing that the Enquirer's stories are less likely to be true than other major media. And however likely a win is in any suit--something I'm a bit unclear about--there are still legal costs to be worried about, especially if your business is scandal, you're widely read, and it makes sense to sue and settle.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:55 PM
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Holy shit. Was the Troll of Sorrow here and I missed him?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:56 PM
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I think that the ToS is fairly typical of ... Zappa fans

is insane.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:56 PM
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114: But that was 1981.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:56 PM
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116: Bite my ass, Emerson.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:57 PM
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By and large, each of us would probably make the world a better place, and improve our own life, by taking three days off Unfogged. Not just you, Bob.

It wouldn't necessarily bring world peace any closer, but it would be that many small candles burning against the looming darkness.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 2:58 PM
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fairly typical of ... Zappa fans

We are a motley and varied bunch, Emerson.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:00 PM
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121: Yeah, that's why I said I didn't know if the effect was real, or, if so, how long it lasted. But it was meant in (non-committal) support of your point that the Enquirer is not completely unmoored from truth concerns.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:00 PM
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Apparently the Riell Huinter rumor has been out there awhile.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:01 PM
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The truth hurts.

Ann Coulter is a Deadhead, too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:02 PM
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Ann Coulter is a Deadhead, too.

But hardly a typical one. Same problem with your Zappa claim.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:05 PM
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potchkeh, they got burned in the Carol Burnett case because they made up the story, rather than merely repeating it, and because there isn't a question of public debate being chilled if they can't make up shit about Joey Bishop or Ann-Margret. But if the rumor is "real", and the public figure a politician rather than a celebrity, there's almost nothing they can't print.

SCMT, there's no easy way to disprove a tabloid rumor; i.e., no easy way to prove that Obama does not, in fact, have an illegitimate child, or that George Bush is not, in fact, carrying on with Condoleeza Rice. Suffice to say, the vast majority of the stories they publish go uncorroborated.


Posted by: kth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:05 PM
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He obviously picked the most thoroughly calculated time to admit it- Friday afternoon that's also the first day of the Olympics. You only get a chance to air that kind of laundry every four years.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:06 PM
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125: Ah, I see. I'm an idiot. I'm not sure why, exactly, I'm irritated by attacks on the integrity of the Enquirer, except that it strikes me as directly parallel to "Who cares what those rubes at Knight-Ridder say; WaPo and the NYT say the case for war is good!" And that this argument by Establishment is made by stras makes it too, too precious for easy consumption.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:06 PM
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And however likely a win is in any suit--something I'm a bit unclear about

Tim, to be libel in the US, you don't just have to prove that the published material is untrue, but that the publishers knew it was untrue when they decided to publish it. That's a remarkably high bar; almost every other Western country has lower standards when it comes to proving libel, which has lead to the phenomenon of venue-shopping in recent years - suing in UK courts rather than US courts to take advantage of more plaintiff-friendly laws, for example.

As for stuff that's untrue making it into the Enquirer: do you think Condi Rice is both sleeping with George Bush and a lesbian? I mean, I suppose Bush could also be a secret transsexual, but at some point the odds just kind of lean against it, don't you think?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:06 PM
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I read an anonymous comment about Pierre Boulez and now it's gone. Was that the ToS? He didn't seem so bad.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:08 PM
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Sleeping with George Bush turned her lesbian, stras. Page 3.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:09 PM
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no easy way to prove that Obama does not, in fact, have an illegitimate child, or that George Bush is not, in fact, carrying on with Condoleeza Rice.

I genuinely don't know: have they made either of those claims?

I think, in the end, you measure these things, as elsewhere by hit rate as these stories come out. I'm an in-line consumer of the Enquirer, at best, so maybe I'm missing something, but Brangelina is having twins, Brittney does seem to be a mess, etc.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:11 PM
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Well, Hume didn't believe in induction at all, so obviously you guys will never believe my no matter how much data I put up. I'm only trying to convince real world people, not people who believe that physical objects are unreal and that fat men on the tracks will stop trolley cars.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:11 PM
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132 sounds entirely plausible.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:11 PM
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I'm not sure why, exactly, I'm irritated by attacks on the integrity of the Enquirer, except that it strikes me as directly parallel to "Who cares what those rubes at Knight-Ridder say; WaPo and the NYT say the case for war is good!"

Knight-Ridder is an actual news service with actual reporters who do actual reporting. The National Enquirer, for the umpteenth time, is a fucking tabloid. They are not in the journalism business. As in, not just outside the Emm Ess Emm. As in, their job isn't even to pretend to reflect the truth. It's to peddle juicy gossip. "Gossip" does not come with multiple reliable sources, copious research and transcripts of taped interviews available upon request. Gossip is fucking gossip. And while gossip might stumble onto something true once in a while, it's not a substitute for actual fucking reporting.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:15 PM
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||

The pitiful "Agony of Defeat" Slovenian ski-jumper went into coaching and coached a world champion. He only became aware of his fame very late.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:16 PM
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109

"Sounds like it's based on a pretty straightforward understanding of libel law in the U.S. Stras isn't trying to prove that the Enquirer's stories are true, just that the imagined threat of a libel suit is hardly a sound basis for presuming the truth of such stories."

Depends on the story. If you publish a story with numerous details saying you caught Edwards in a tryst in the Beverly Hills Hilton and Edwards can prove he was in New York at the time you are exposing yourself to a massive libel judgement.

You want to hedge, you write something like the NYT story on McCain.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:22 PM
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136: Didn't the Enquirer have people stalking Edwards? Sounds like they were trying to find something out. Why, I don't know, as it would have, apparently, no bearing on what they'll print. Perhaps it was some sort of income redistribution plan.

The specific distinction you're drawing between "reporting" and whatever project the Enquirer is up to is not all that clear. Beyond, "Oh, but those guys over there are professionals, they really try their best," I mean.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:24 PM
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Small nitpick with stras's otherwise spot-on account of the low deterrent power of libel suits: the threshold for libel against a public figure is that the claim is demonstrably false, and that the publisher EITHER knew it was false OR printed it with "reckless disregard for the truth". Even under the slightly broader definition of libel, it's a high bar to clear.

Also, because "truth is a defense" in libel cases, the defendant is entitled to extensive discovery of evidence that could be germane to the question of truth or falsehood: documents, records, sworn depositions from witnesses, etc. Most public figures do not want to expose their affairs to that kind of scrutiny. The only real risk in getting sued for libel by a public figure is that it can cost a lot of money to defend the suit.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:26 PM
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137 - Emerson, that was great. I love that he didn't get hurt much, that his life sounds pretty good and that he sounds entertained by the whole thing.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:26 PM
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Depends on the story. If you publish a story with numerous details saying you caught Edwards in a tryst in the Beverly Hills Hilton and Edwards can prove he was in New York at the time you are exposing yourself to a massive libel judgement.

IANAL, but if I were the editor, and I had sources for the story who were willing to sign a sworn statement before we went to print, I wouldn't fear the libel suit at all, largely for the reason of 140.2. That said, I would offer the public figure a chance to comment on the story, and if they stated that the candidate was in NYC, I would print the denial.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:29 PM
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Cala, you were the first to mention EE knowing about the affair in 2006. Was that from Edward's interview to ABC?

96- I will join Ari in that bet. I would be shocked to loose, but if I do, I will honor the 3 day abstinence rule.

I think he admitted to the affair because the paternity test is looming. If it comes out positive, it will be much less of a shock to the public, given they already know he screwed her. If he didn't love her then, I'm guessing he really doesn't love her now.

Edwards says he never paid Hunter to keep her mouth shut, but admitted it was possible that some of his friends did without telling him.

He is an asshole.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:34 PM
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Come on, Quineans and Zappistas! I was having so much fun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:34 PM
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91 gets it pretty much exactly right.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:35 PM
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Let us, for example, imagine EE having a conversation with John in which she says "well, I think you'd be a great president, honey, but you know, that affair you had--I just don't think it's politically smart of you to run." Suddenly the criticism would be that she was trying to get back at him, threatening not to support his run, blah blah. If she says "go for it," then she's got "bad judgment."

Basically, I guess the upshot is that any woman whose husband has an affair is a total loser. Poor stupid bitch.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:37 PM
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Zappatistas?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:37 PM
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The specific distinction you're drawing between "reporting" and whatever project the Enquirer is up to is not all that clear.

One group attempts to adhere to some set of journalistic standards. The other group is trying to get sex scandals, and doesn't seem to care all that much about whether those scandals are rooted in reality (see, again, George Bush's affair with lesbian Condi).

We can bitch and whine about how bad and biased and flawed the coverage in the New York Times is, but it's not the goddamn National Enquirer, and when you pretend otherwise you're just playing dumb.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:38 PM
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The link in 137 is pretty wonderful.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:41 PM
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143: I'm pretty sure it was in the linked article.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:41 PM
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I think he admitted to the affair because the paternity test is looming. If it comes out positive

If it comes out positive, it means he is still lying his ass off to Elizabeth; that he has cost her kids millions of dollars;that he didn't use a condom; and that he is a piece of shit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:43 PM
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"Every time I'm on ABC, I crash." Beautiful.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:43 PM
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I think he admitted to the affair because the paternity test is looming.

Why would you think that? Is somebody going to force her to take one? She's clearly already dealt with this however she intends to do so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:44 PM
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Granted, accusations of public drunkennessappearances in the company of Henry Kissinger are particular egregious


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:45 PM
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142

"IANAL, but if I were the editor, and I had sources for the story who were willing to sign a sworn statement before we went to print, I wouldn't fear the libel suit at all, largely for the reason of 140.2. That said, I would offer the public figure a chance to comment on the story, and if they stated that the candidate was in NYC, I would print the denial."

Here some of the sources were staff reporters. They say they did offer Edwards a chance to comment but he hid in a bathroom instead.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:45 PM
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he is still lying his ass off to Elizabeth

Or perhaps the two of them have decided it's not the public's fucking business and are both "lying" accordingly.

that he has cost her kids millions of dollars

Both of their kids, first of all. And second, failing to inherit is not the same as actually "losing" money. And third, honestly, wtf? Assuming the man would do the minimally decent thing and pay child support, you're going to quibble about the money? Gross.

that he didn't use a condom

Sometimes they fail! No, really.

and that he is a piece of shit.

It seems clear that you already think this, so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:48 PM
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146

"Basically, I guess the upshot is that any woman whose husband has an affair is a total loser. Poor stupid bitch."

No, the upshot is that in many cases someone will disagree with your decision no matter what it is. So what? If you can't take criticism you shouldn't be in politics.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:49 PM
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but if I do, I will honor the 3 day abstinence rule.

WTF is this rule?!?!

Now we can't have sex if we are wrong about something on Unfogged?? Who came up with that rule?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:50 PM
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--


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:50 PM
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157: In this case, you, James, are the person lobbing accusations of her having "poor judgment" as a result of her husband's affair. And then trying to excuse them with the "so what? if you can't take criticism, stay out of politics" nonsense.

Elizabeth Edwards isn't reading this thread. I am, and so are you. You're saying things that are offensive, and I'm pointing that out. If you want to give EE advice, perhaps you should write to her directly, explaining to her how poor her judgment is. After all, she chose to be involved in politics.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:52 PM
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Now we can't have sex if we are wrong about something on Unfogged?? Who came up with that rule?

Heebie, because she's immune to it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:53 PM
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153:When more than 8 zeros are at stake, people get fricking radical. I don't know what the story is here, but various degrees of extortion seem likely.

God, what an idiot. "Half your age plus 7" shit. The older ones are smart. The woman was apparently a loser looking toward a catfood retirement, and the multi-millionaire celebrity thought she was all whirly-eyed at his wonderfulness.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:53 PM
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162 isn't the *most* misogynist statement ever on Unfogged, but it certainly belongs in the hall of fame.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:56 PM
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ToS, you Nazi, none of your communications here seem intended to evoke a cogent rational response.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:57 PM
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Assuming the man would do the minimally decent thing and pay child support, you're going to quibble about the money? Gross.

So b, you wouldn't be upset if your family income suddenly took a few thousand a month hit, and maybe you lost your house? No biggy?

And it isn't about child support, it is about inheritance and lawsuits.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 3:59 PM
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163:Misogynist? Hey, I would look at a "44 yr old aspiring actor" in the same way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:00 PM
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153- I'm not so sure about that, Apo.
My Enquirering mind wants to know why, if the affair is over, did he meet her at the hotel in Beverly Hills? Just as we have no idea what agreements and/or arrangements he made with his wife, we also have no idea what agreements he has made with Ms. Hunter. Why do you assume she has finished dealing with it?


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:01 PM
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Jesus, Bob, the Edwardses are not going to lose their house.

And few here, least of all you, care whether the Edwards kids inherit $5 million each or 10. The effect will be exactly the same as if they had a new full sibling instead of a half sibling.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:01 PM
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165: If Mr. B. had another child who needed support, you damn right I'd expect us as a family to ensure that that child was supported. The Edwards certainly aren't in a position where their children wouild be impoverished by another mouth to feed. And for that matter, thankfully, we aren't either, and we're certainly nowhere near as rich as they are.

And any lawsuits are entirely in your imagination at this point, I believe.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:01 PM
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169 is just bad faith, implying there wouldn't be any anger or disappointment at a "surprise" loss of income. Of course, I shouldn't read minds, but I suspect most women would be upset.

But what do I know, as a msogynist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:06 PM
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Question: Do the reports from the National Enquirer about Bush's drinking get a brand-new airing now?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:08 PM
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This is why we need to acknowledge the Empire we have created, so that the bastard, sorry "love child", of a prominent political family can be shipped off to a far part of the world with an important sounding job, after appropriate schooling, of course.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:08 PM
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And for that matter, thankfully, we aren't either,

Can't wait to meet Pseudonymous Bastard.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:08 PM
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And few here, least of all you, care whether the Edwards kids inherit $5 million each or 10.

The point isn't whether I care, but whether Elizabeth & the kids would care.

Nobody has examined this woman closely. This is her first child? From a campaign affair(s)? If she has been careful for thirty years, why did she slip now?

1 acting credit, and she describes herself as an "aspiring actress?" How many producing or filmmaking credits? Did she have a house?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:10 PM
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I'm sure most women would be upset.

I'm also sure that most women would be upset by having total strangers hypothesize about their husbands' affairs under the guise of "sympathy" for them.

I take umbrage at the accusation of "bad faith" in refusing to engage in a completely fictionalized scenario about losing a house I don't actually own and how I'd feel regarding an event about which my feelings would be no one's business but my own. When did you stop beating your wife, Bob? And what would you do if she were raped?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:10 PM
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I'm also sure that most women would be upset by having total strangers hypothesize about their husbands' affairs under the guise of "sympathy" for them.

Exactly.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:13 PM
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Did he rape her after he beat her? Enquiring minds want to know!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:13 PM
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Yr lying again, JE (not to say libellous and boring, or maybe drunk). While positivism may lack in some respects, it does tend to remove a certain sort of emotion-driven moralism, whether of biblethumpers or the Sally-Fields-left, like you and your pals at the Weblog semenary.

Better some Tanqs and tonics with a secularist like Christopher Hitchens---maybe not a Bert Russell but at least has read his Hume, Voltaire, and founding fathers for that matter---than to associate with these sunday school postmodernists, who find more common ground with any and all varieties of monotheism (not to say some great role model like Heidegger).........and insist on their ethics-via-intuition, ad nauseum . FIN


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:15 PM
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about their husbands' affairs under the guise of "sympathy" for them.

Not so much sympathy, but given that apparently most involved have been and are still lying, I am just trying to figure out what's going on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:15 PM
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179: Why? How is it your business at all?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:19 PM
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We can bitch and whine about how bad and biased and flawed the coverage in the New York Times is, but it's not the goddamn National Enquirer, and when you pretend otherwise you're just playing dumb.

Take it up with Somerby's archives, stras.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:19 PM
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I would imagine that Elizabeth would not have been happy about this stuff, but I doubt that she's calculating inheritances or worried about a forced reduction in spending.

ToS, positivism, atheism, Quine, Hume, and sobriety have not worked for you. FIN.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:19 PM
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Meanwhile, Atrios wins the thread.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:24 PM
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180:Hell, I didn't write the post.

Because I really wanted to see Edwards in the Obama cabinet.

Because people-watching is fun. It has even been indulged on this blog. Fancy band-aids! It seems to create trouble here when adultery is involved.

I always gave Big Bill a few points because he didn't fuck Lewinsky.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:24 PM
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||

More importantly, I think I may actually go through with a Crazy Blind Date this evening...

|>


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:28 PM
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but I doubt that she's calculating inheritances

The rich are different. there's real money at stake.
Example:Anna Nicole Smith. Damn, why'd that go to court? I mean, who would care.

Elizabeth may be concerned about her kids goin thru probate hell after she's gone because the jerk couldn't keep it in his pants.

I'm not a prude, but all the games people play in search of money or orgasms have gotten really boring...nah, they were borin to me when I was twenty.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:30 PM
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I may be naive, but I think that Elizabeth and Anna Nicole are not very similar.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:31 PM
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I do feel sympathy for Elizabeth Edwards. She is someone I respect, and because she wrote an autobiography, went on talk shows, gave public speeches, and stood next to her husband during the primary, on some level she is familiar to me. I like her.

Of course, some of the outrage is projection.

But the woman is not going to see her children grow up. And the man she is married to and whose vision she supports made a really bad decision. He is a public figure who was running for office, in 2006 that decision had already been made. The affair wasn't for "love," so he was just horny?? Umm, bad choice. What ever the reason for the affair, Edwards is someone that I wanted to trust. If he is not smart enough to keep his dick in his pants prior to an election, than that is frustrating to me. The fact that he did what he did to his wife is their business, but if I feel frustrated by his behavior, I can't imagine how she feels.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:32 PM
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I may be naive, but I think that Elizabeth and Anna Nicole are not very similar.

Looksist.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:37 PM
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183: An early candidate for thread-winning comment among Atrios's commenters is this one:

Look, "Petey" has already claimed that the child is his. What more do you want from him?



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:37 PM
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If I had a niece, daughter, or granddaughter who was thinking of married a very ambitious man, I'd try to talk her out of it if possible. If not, I tell her to expect him to be unfaithful and to be clear in her mind about how she wanted to deal with that.

I am not in outrageous mode. I think that this is the best advice for a case like that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:42 PM
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all the games people play in search of money or orgasms have gotten really boring

You seem fascinated by this, actually.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:43 PM
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191: The unambitious are equally capable.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:44 PM
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I actually doubt it, Di. I think that non-dominant men are more likely to be faithful. Of course, there are lazy dominant men whose ambition is to get by without working.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:46 PM
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193: No doubt, but presumably ambition comes along with a certain sense of entitlement, which makes it even more likely.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:47 PM
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194 is very silly. Dominance and ambition are not the same thing, and sexual behavior is yet a third variable altogether.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:48 PM
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Wrongshore with Anna Nicole


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:49 PM
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193: I think that's where Chris Rock's dictum kicks in: men cheat up to ability. I'm not claiming that's true, just that it would explain why you should worry more about the ambitious in particular, insofar as that's a proxy for the someday-successful, and success increases the ability to cheat.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:49 PM
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I don't know where the widespread belief that the National Enquirer is usually right has come from. I'm guessing the NE somehow managed a successful whisper campaign to that effect.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:50 PM
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Ambition and dominance are pretty close. I don't mean it in the sense of who fucks on top. Some men believe that the world exists to serve them.

And yes, two or maybe three variables, but I'm saying that there's a correlation. Specifically, I think that most very ambitious men will cheat.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:51 PM
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192:"Boring" wasn't the first word that came to mind, and isn't accurate, but since most of the human race seems obsessed with money, power, and/or orgasms, I changed it to something kinder.

I do watch the Show, this trainwreck & Carnivale.

I don't understand it. At all. What did Edwards prove? To whom?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:52 PM
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the widespread belief that the National Enquirer is usually right


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:53 PM
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Ambition and dominance are pretty close.

I beg to differ. And I didn't think you meant it in the sense of who fucks on top. Give me some credit.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:53 PM
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What did Edwards prove?

This isn't exactly insulating you from the charge of misogyny, Bob, the idea that the point of fucking is to "prove" something to an audience.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:54 PM
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199: The National Enquirer made a business decision to adopt a few actual journalistic standards, oh, say 30 years ago, after they were successfully sued by Carol Burnett. Their subject matter is sleazy and their reporting methods are vile, but they consistently get the goods on stuff like this. Contra stras, once they reported it, you had a pretty good idea it was true.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:55 PM
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Petey's response is here.

Boring. Sigh.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 4:58 PM
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Ambition and dominance are pretty close

I disagree, too. Ambition, in my mind, is about wanting to succeed, excel, advance. Dominance is about wanting to control, manipulate, subdue. In some cases the two traits work together, but not invariably.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:01 PM
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B, I did say "very ambitious". But even at the ordinary ambitious level, I think you're wrong.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:02 PM
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Wikipedia, which is usually a go-to source for this sort of thing, has only a middlin'-quality summary of the National Enquirer's journalistic exploits under "Noted stories and lawsuits," but only makes a weak pass at putting the Carol Burnett case in its proper perspective.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:03 PM
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Dream on, girls.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:10 PM
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210: s/b "ladeez."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:11 PM
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210: Hey, no skin off my teeth either way. I don't date very ambitious dudes anyway.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:12 PM
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I can rarely avoid encountering stories about families & money.

Two days after Nadar's spectacle, Manet and his mistress Suzanne Leenhoff made their own, less spectacular, departure from Paris. Manet's mother and two brothers had witnessed a marriage contract between him and Suzanne, who was then age thirty-three. According to the terms of the contract, Manet would receive the 10,000-franc advance on his inheritance from the proceeds of selling the fifteen acres of family land in Gennevilliers. This sum would al- low him officially to set up home with Suzanne and Léon. The contract stipu- lated, curiously, that these 10,000 francs would return to Manet's mother should he predecease her with no children of his own. 19 This rather mean- spirited provision, no doubt added at the insistence of Eugénie Manet, indi- cated that Léon, who would suffer under its application, was probably not Manet's flesh and blood. It also indicated how Eugénie--known to her chil- dren as "Manetmaman"--nourished a robust dislike for her prospective daughter-in-law, whose misfortune in giving birth out of wedlock she once re- ferred to as a "crime" in need of "punishment." 20 Manet's joyful anticipation of his forthcoming marriage must have been tempered by the knowledge that, as long as Eugénie was alive, domestic tranquillity could not be guaranteed.

...Ross Kinf, The Jusgement of Paris


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:14 PM
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You know, not to contribute to the bubbling undercurrent of misogyny that's burst its way through the thread's crust, but I sort of wonder whether Edwards' choice to meet with her in the hotel room and now come clean in this way may have to do with potential blackmail attempts. I'm sure he wanted a cabinet position (or maybe even another veep run, for all you'd have to think he knew it was never in the cards), and it's possible that Hunter had or insinuated she had something on him more damning than just the affair that could interfere with those prospects, and he met with her in the hopes of keeping it quiet, even knowing the kid wasn't his. The fact that he chose such amazingly good timing looks to me like a favor to Obama or the Democrats more generally, and he might have decided to come clean as a "fuck you" to Hunter after being told by the campaign/party "no chance in hell".


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:16 PM
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Smart move, Di.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:18 PM
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208: How many ambitious men have you dated, John?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:19 PM
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204:I don't see that as being gendered, heteronormative. or misogynist. There is no basic "need" to fuck, any need for partners like food or air.

And it has always seemed to me that most people are constantly trying to validate or justify themselves. if only to themselves.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:21 PM
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So anything you do that isn't strictly for survival* is something you're doing to perform for others. That would explain why I love having people watch me watching television, then.

*Allowing, for the sake of argument, that fucking isn't actually necessary for survival, despite the ridiculousness of that claim.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:23 PM
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210: Dream on, girls.

John Emerson: objectively a 1950s sit-com dad.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:24 PM
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Bob, if you're still around, that's a fine bet. How about if, on my end, I put up $250 to the Obama campaign? I can't really choose not to comment at EotAW ever again. And I often take three days or more off from this place. That said, if you've got a better idea than my $250, that's just fine.

As for all of this other stuff, I'm genuinely disgusted that Edwards was running for president with this particular skeleton rattling around in his closet. Such behavior strikes me as the very embodiment of narcissism. But I never really liked him all that much -- after the '04 veep debate, I should say -- even if his domestic policy profile was terrific. I'm also let down -- not to be confused with surprised or outraged -- that he cheated on Elizabeth. And yet, I suspect I only feel that way because, as I've said before, I admire her so much.

In the end, though, the affair is between the two of them, and, unfortunately, their kids. I/we have no personal relationship with these people, no matter how often we see them on tv. Right now, he's a private citizen who didn't get the job that he really wanted. Boo fucking hoo. Turns out he shouldn't have applied for it in the first place. And the primary voters were right not to let his candidacy advance. As for Elizabeth, I hope this crap doesn't disturb what peace she has in her life. And I hope that their kids have excellent therapists.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:27 PM
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I have known lots of ambitious men of all ages, both at college and at the medical school where I worked. I have a reasonable idea of how they work.

Dating is irrelevant. Being faithful while dating is easy, because if you want to go elsewhere you can just quit dating and date the other person.

Even if they're nice guys, which many aren't, successful ambitious men are subject a lot of temptation other guys aren't, and most successful men are in the public eye a lot and in convenient public places a lot.

Some of the exceptions are unauspicious: guys like Nixon, or insecure geeks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:28 PM
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...that fucking isn't actually necessary for survival, despite the ridiculousness of that claim.

Wow, Emerson, we're zombies!

I have known people who have said, "if I don't get a date Saturday night or get laid, I'll just die", but I haven't met many who claimed it was literal truth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:30 PM
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221: Dating does rather give you a better view on whether people are "dominant" in their domestic relationships, compared to their ambitions in terms of public and private life. Therefore, not exactly irrelevant.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:31 PM
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My own dad totally loved my sociopath brother in law, who had a tremendous work ethic and was very ambitious. From what my sister says, he got worse as he got more successful. Success was everything to him, and it required him to cheat my sister out of the divorce settlement in order to avoid breaking up his business. (He couldn't have borrowed against it, because he was in debt to the max already).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:33 PM
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Dear Bob,

What's necessary for an individual may or may not be necessary for the species. And what's necessary for the species is usually extremely difficult for the individual to willingly forego.

Also, I suspect that Emerson gets some on occasion, relationship or no.

Sincerely,

The Bitch


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:34 PM
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B, of course, with you no one is dominant.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:35 PM
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Oh no! Misogyny! Oh gosh, I'm sorry.


Posted by: Everyone | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:36 PM
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220:Ari you are on. It is my speculation that the confession was to clear the way for an Edwards' convention role.

I am saying John. I expect Elizabeth to give a speech.

If I lose, the silent days immediately after the convention will be a sacrifice.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:36 PM
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B and LR, what dvice would you give in a comparable situation?

By and large I think that expecting faithfulness is dangerous for anyone M or F, gay or straight, and everyone should always have contingency plans. But I think that that's especially true of ambitious, competitive guys with a sense of destiny and entitlement who absolutely need to be number one and who treat every situation as competition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:39 PM
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P.S. Also, what's necessary for an individual doesn't necessarily end up being necessary at every stage or moment of that individual's life. Human beings need to gestate, but not at the age of 35. They need intensive nurturing, but not at the age of 28. And they need sex, but apparently not once they're over the hill.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:39 PM
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225:Yes, dear.

hmmm. interesting.

Is Emerson more of a man because he "gets some" or just more human?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:41 PM
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230:Honestly, you are digging gravel pits for yourself. What is this, biological determinism?

What I actually expected was more along the lines of: "It's fun, you fool." I don't have much of an answer to gustibus dist...whatever.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:47 PM
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John Edwards has an affair, and a nation blog is torn asunder!

No, I didn't notice NPR news reporting on events in Georgia, or rather, Ossetia, this evening, but Edwards got several minutes. Then again, I just heard 20 or 30 minutes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:48 PM
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229: You know my answer to this: I think that people should talk about what is and isn't acceptable to them within a marriage well before getting engaged. This is what I would advise *everyone*.

If someone I loved --a man or a woman--asked my advice about marrying a politically ambitious partner, I would say that it seems to me that they (the person asking) would have to be willing to accept a *lot* of compromise and hardship, and were they really willing to do that, and did they and their ambitious partner communicate very well together and work very well as a team? Which really, is what any marriage requires, because every marriage is going to have its rough spots.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:48 PM
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231: You decide.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:50 PM
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I am thinking that the timing was coordinated with Obama and he purposefully went public just before Obama's vacation. So Barack will be out of the way and not required to field questions during the time when this will get the most scrutiny. I suspect that Edwards realized that the gig was up after the Enquirer story and consulted with the campaign/Obama himself.

At least I would like to believe that Edwards could step outside his own little world of himself enough to do something like that to help with damage control.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:51 PM
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232: Knowing something about biology does not make one a biological determinist, my dear.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:51 PM
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Statement from EE on DKos.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:55 PM
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||

Are the opening ceremonies cracking anybody else up? Humans are bits!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:55 PM
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||

Holy whoah. Nice fireworks!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:56 PM
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Mad props to China on the opening ceremonies. Frickin' awesome!


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:57 PM
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229: Advice that wasn't predicated on the assumption that my female relatives necessarily need my advice in handling their relationships, or that was predicated on the idea that they would never have absorbed similar (near mythical) ideas about the putative character of "ambitious men", or that it would automatically bother them if in this particular case it turned out to be true.

If I had a daughter who was adult but still very young (18-25, say), who was dating someone I had bad feelings about based on what amounts to folklore, I certainly wouldn't cop to that, just continue encouraging her to maintain independence/responsibility for her own life and not to define herself in terms of her romantic relationships. More specific bad feelings about a particular individual based on specific observations I might try to address, depending on how worrisome I thought they were - but "he might fuck around on you someday" wouldn't be one of them, more like "I have good reason to suspect he is a pedophile or an axe-murderer".


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:57 PM
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I disagree with many people here about the idea that openness of communication will be enough. Someone at age 25 has no idea what they'll be like, or what they'll want, or what they'll do at age 40 or 45. So basically, while honest communication is good, each partner also is going to have to be prepared for contingencies outside what's agreed on.

In the case of highly competitive, ambitious guys one solution is to just balance the good and the bad. My mom ended up confident that the good outweighed the bad. She had some rough years, though, 5 or 10.

I thought that my sister was too obsessed with the unfaithfulness part, though there were a lot of other things about the guy that I thought were worse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:57 PM
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234.1 gets it exactly right. The basic problem is that monogamy as an unexamined norm which often makes it impossible to bring it up at all.
While this can easily explained from biological and cultural points of view, I don't think it can be justified at all on moral grounds.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 5:59 PM
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243: Yes, people change. That's *why* being able to talk about stuff matters. Duh.

238: EE continues to be a classy broad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:00 PM
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||

Man they musta stood next to a hell of a lot of musicians.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:00 PM
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239-241: Hell yes. Especially the glowstick drumming. Nicely done.

Some of the early segments seem like they were designed to fuck with any epileptics in the audience.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:04 PM
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243: Yes, but first of all who said that communication would be enough? The second point is that at least to my knowledge communication about this is rare.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:04 PM
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242: So you're opposed to the old giving advice to the young, and think that there's no communicable knowledge about life and that everyone already knows everything they need to know? I was presupposing that my opinion was wanted, which is not a rare or impossible situation.

What I said it may agree with things that you think are folklore (some of it feminist folklore) or which you think is folklore, but I do have a certain amount of knowledge and life experience. I'm sure that there's a refutation somewhere of everything I've said, but the refutations might be wrong too.

One of the things about marriage is that you lose independence/responsibility for your own life. I'm not a big advocate of marriage at all, but basically the two partners are bonded in a way that might make many wonderful things possible, but which reduces independence. Marriage is a kind of investment where, if it's a mistake, you don't back out cost-free.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:06 PM
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a classy broad

Jesus, B. Must you?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:06 PM
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249.1: John, you're constructing silly straw men, which is really kind of uncharacteristically beneath you.

250: I'm assuming that, like most classy broads, EE has a sense of humor and wouldn't object to the phrase.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:08 PM
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243: each partner also is going to have to be prepared for contingencies outside what's agreed on.

Yes, but in the realm of younger-female-relatives specifically, most of the preparing for these contingencies really has nothing to do with talking to them about relationships, but about their finances, job prospects, and just encouraging them to see themselves as independent and worthy individuals in their own right who can make their own decisions about relationships, instead of calling for the smelling salts if they're ever betrayed in love. Being cheated on sucks a lot, but an awful lot of people freak out about it way more than is warranted, and it winds up being more damaging than it has to be. Personally, this would be something I'd want my female kin to avoid, and I don't think pulling them aside to warn them of the wiles of ambitious men is the kind of thing that would encourage them to take a more sensible attitude.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:08 PM
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238 is perfect.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:08 PM
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I absolutely don't think that talking things out works as well as you think, B. I've known people who found out that the relationship they'd talked out wasn't as good as it was talked.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:09 PM
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If you can talk it out, sing it out!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:10 PM
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248: B seemed very optimistic about communication.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:10 PM
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John, it's also entirely possible that your niece or granddaughter or whoever will wind up being the ambitious one confronted with the temptation to cheat one day.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:11 PM
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249: I was presupposing that my opinion was wanted, which is not a rare or impossible situation.

If "wanted" means "asked for", then fine. But I do think women get entirely too much unsolicited advice, and it's shitty to contribute to that.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:13 PM
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But I do think women get entirely too much unsolicited advice, and it's shitty to contribute to that.

I try to always point out to women that they get too much unsolicited advice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:13 PM
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Touche, Di. That very thing has happened.

I suppose that I should have framed what I said in gender neutral language, without assuming that it's more likely to flow in one direction than the other. Even though it almost certainly is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:15 PM
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I do wish the NBC commentators at the Olympics would just STFU.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:17 PM
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The thing about the advice of old people, though, is that 90% of everyone's advice is crap, and age doesn't really play into it at all, no matter how much we like to flatter ourselves about the wisdom of age or the hip, futuristic with-it-ness of youth.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:23 PM
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B., who like you is also an adult, John, was answering the question about what advice she would give to someone getting married. I'm certainly not claiming that my advice, brilliant though it is, is a guarantee of anything.

It is, however, my experience as an adult woman with a 20+ year relationship, that being able to communicate *through* and *about* the inevitable difficult patches is necessary to lasting relationships of any kind. No, it is not a guarantee. But it pretty much *is* a guarantee of failure, imho, if you can't talk through shit.

No doubt in Woebegon there are couples who survive despite appalling communication skills because both partners are hemmed in by social sanctions against divorce, or because one or the other partner is a doormat; I'm assuming, however, that this is largely the exception rather than the rule, and that it's definitely not the hallmark of a *good* relationship; if I were asked, I would advise people in those situations to file for divorce.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:23 PM
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There's also a difference, you know, between a couple that makes promises about shit and a couple that actually has good fundamentals in place and is good at talking together about difficult topics. Which is why I keep emphasizing *good* communication skills between a *couple*, rather than some pie-in-the-sky bullshit about "making promises" or "talking."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:27 PM
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262: I don't agree with the idea that advice is mostly crap and that it's wrong ever to give it. (You didn't quite say that, but pretty near). There are even people who actually want advice when making decisions.

263: I'm not against communication. I'm just saying that it's a finite resource and often breaks down, and that often enough one partner thinks communication is OK when it's not.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:32 PM
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263: No doubt in Woebegon there are couples who survive despite appalling communication skills because both partners are hemmed in by social sanctions against divorce, or because one or the other partner is a doormat; I'm assuming, however, that this is largely the exception rather than the rule, and that it's definitely not the hallmark of a *good* relationship; if I were asked, I would advise people in those situations to file for divorce.

Eh, you're being a little unfair, here. It's entirely the realm of possibility for people to basically have marriages that are 100% business arrangements, even if they never explicitly acknowledged it, and to be happy within them. The Betty Friedan scenarios (for other gender, at this point) suck, and there's never a guarantee that either partner will suddenly decide they might want a more romantic relationship, but I think for some people the business arrangement marriage is what makes them happiest and what's best for them as people.

On the third hand, certain kinds of non-communication can be good communication, so.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:34 PM
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266: Won't suddenly decide, rather.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:35 PM
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Has Edwards' statement not been linked here yet? Score one for fleur and bob and the rest about the paternity test.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:39 PM
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265.2: Yes, it does break down. Which is again why you want to *start* with both people really feeling comfortable being open and talking with the other person, because when shit breaks down--as it will--they will have that baseline of trust to rely on, hopefully. Because you have to have something to hang onto, and some skills to work with.

I mean, what is your alternate advice? "Dont get married"? "Expect him to cheat"? Advising people to enter into marriage with secrets and suspicions is not terribly helpful, and few people who are in love are likely to listen to those telling them not to marry.

266: I think that its possible to have good non-explicit or non-verbal communication, sure. But both people need to understand on some level that thats what they have.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:42 PM
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268: I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby

Oh, the potential hilarity.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:43 PM
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I mean, what is your alternate advice? "Dont get married"? "Expect him to cheat"?

Yes and yes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 6:44 PM
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not to contribute to the bubbling undercurrent of misogyny that's burst its way through the thread's crust, but I sort of wonder whether Edwards' choice to meet with her in the hotel room and now come clean in this way may have to do with potential blackmail attempts

How is suggesting that a woman did something unsavory misogynist?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:06 PM
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261: Amen.

Some of the opening ceremony stuff is very cool, but I can't let go of the thought that the amount spent on just the ceremony is probably bigger than the GNP of several small countries.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:11 PM
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273: I don't think you're supposed to.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:13 PM
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I'm not supposed to think? 'Cause I'm a woman? Nice, Sifu.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:14 PM
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271: Good luck with both of those, then.

272: Condemning EE is misogynist, as is going beyond saying that a woman did something unsavory to making comments about her appearance or that she's a "loser". The presumption that women are the victims of bad cheating men is condescending, if not merely misogynist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:15 PM
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I resent you people who get decent television reception.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:16 PM
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268:I think he doth protest too much. Edwards does seem to go out of his way to say it is not his baby and he has not/will not support it. To me, that is not important to the public story, and that he emphasizes it leads me to believe paternity is important to the private story. The private story seems to partly include a very strong denial of paternity made by Edwards to Elizabeth & the kids.

I don't know if it is his kid or not. I am willing to bet we will find out for sure.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:16 PM
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275: hey, it's science.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:17 PM
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272: When it's couched in the "she's a gold-digger" trope and accompanied by such charming lines as "The woman was apparently a loser looking toward a catfood retirement". And, yeah, speculating as I did was contributing to that.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:18 PM
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276.2: I think the use of "misogynist" is rather overheated in this whole discussion. But I realize we'll have to agree to disagree about that.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:19 PM
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281: Well, admittedly it was mostly aimed at Bob (in my case and Rocky's, I gather) and therefore, by conventional Unfogged assumptions, a kind of being baited. But other than that, yeah.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:20 PM
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276:The comment about the 44-yr-old "aspiring actress" with one acting credit to her name being a loser may have been a little harsh but is not gender specific.

The are actors who started late, as second careers like Dennis Farina. But at 44, you can be an "actor" in dinner theatre or local/regional theatre and have the right to call yourself one. It is not that difficult to find work acting, it is just hard to make a living at it.

But calling yourself an "aspiring actor" while not actually acting is like calling oneself a "novelist" despite never having been published.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:25 PM
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276: So what do you think a woman should do when deciding whether to marry a guy who is likely to cheat? Not marry him, or expect him to cheat?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:27 PM
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No worse. It is like calling oneself a novelist with being published or even doin any writing.

Actors and aspiring actresses act. There is always a stage available.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:31 PM
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I think that people in general should expect that marriage is going to involve some serious difficulties, and that they should expect those, and that hopefully they have a solid enough foundation of mutual trust and the ability to talk through hard things that their marriages will survive. And that, or some variation thereof, is the advice I would give any and every person who was planning to get married.

I also think that giving advice of the "don't marry him" or "expect him to cheat" kind is at best useless and at worst actively destructive, and that therefore--whatever my private opinions about people's engagements--I would never offer either of those statements, and certainly not under the guise of "advice."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:34 PM
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293 is disingenuous. The comment was gender-specific, inasmuch as it was about an actual person who is a woman, and the disagreement isn't about actors and whether or not actors in their 40s are losers. Nice try at moving the goalposts yet again, though, bob.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:38 PM
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So if someone's marrying a sociopath, you should keep your mouth shut?

I didn't meet my sociopath bil until it was too late, but I could tell right away. Suppose I'd talked to my sister while she was still making up her mind?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:38 PM
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This angle has likely been hashed to bits elsewhere, but I wrote it half an hour ago and I rant.

This comes as no surprise, but the fact that political figures in this country are subject to intense scrutiny and judgment of their personal lives is deplorable, and follows a distinct historical trend. Mary Catherine linked to an essay about this a while back, which I think I did save, but my management of linked sites of interest is deplorable in turn. I'll try to find it later.

The point is this: what if we were to discover at some point that Obama had had an affair? Would we decide that he'd had no right to run for office, and if he loses the election, that it was due to temerity and an excess of narcissism? The McCain campaign is so far actually brilliant in its approach on this.

What if we were to decide, if Obama loses, that it was because he's black (or mixed, too foreign, in any case), that he was absurdly premature in pressing the boundaries of what is, let's face it, the predominantly white Christian ethos of this country? Would we say that he'd been downright irresponsible in running for office at all?

It's unfortunate as hell that this news about Edwards has come out, but if we have any hope of separating celebrity from higher office, we need to begin to insist again on a separation between public and private.

God, this irritates me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:39 PM
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predominantly white Christian ethos

t'aint much Christian about it, as far as I can see.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:40 PM
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288: We're talking about actual sociopaths here, as opposed to "ambitious men who we think are likely to cheat"? Because that's a totally different situation. If someone I loved were going to marry someone who I truly thought was a sociopath, I would do whatever was in my power to stop it, of course. I sure as shit wouldn't restrain myself to telling them "don't marry him, but if you do, expect him to be unfaithful."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:42 PM
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and whether or not actors in their 40s are losers.

That's absurd, and doesn't address the point. The woman in question is not an actor, like Nicole Kidman, and was not described or self-described as such. That is actually the point, that she is not actually an "actress" which I guess includes most NY waiters, but an "aspiring actress" This is a phrase I have not encountered before.

My guess that the phrase "aspiring actress" is Los Angeles code language.

Besides I guess the implication that any criticism or suspicion about any woman is in itself misogynist.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:46 PM
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But it pretty much *is* a guarantee of failure, imho, if you can't talk through shit.

Ayup. Got the scars right here from learning that one the hard way.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:47 PM
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289

"What if we were to decide, if Obama loses, that it was because he's black (or mixed, too foreign, in any case), that he was absurdly premature in pressing the boundaries of what is, let's face it, the predominantly white Christian ethos of this country? Would we say that he'd been downright irresponsible in running for office at all?"

No, because Obama wasn't concealing any of this.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:47 PM
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The guy is not the kind of sociopath who you read about in the newspapers. He's just a selfish, self-centered guy with no empathy who uses and manipulates everyone and lies when he has to. He's may have committed felonies, but he's never been arrested.

A lot of successful ambitious people are like that. Mostly men.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:47 PM
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Am I the only person who likes Edwards *more* because of his self-flagellating statement? He comes across as sincerely sorry and appropriately embarrassed, and he seems to have correctly identified the contributory factors to his failure of character.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:51 PM
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I mean the implications were pretty plain. If anyone has more information on her, please lead me to it.

"He is working on his Phd"
"At 44? What, had a career and come back to school?"
"No, just been working on his Phd for twenty years."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:52 PM
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292

"... This is a phrase I have not encountered before"

"aspiring actress" produces 205000 hits on google so it is not exactly rare.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:52 PM
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Besides I guess the implication that any criticism or suspicion about any woman is in itself misogynist.

Yes, this is so clearly what I mean and how I think. Congratulations, Bob!

295: So you're asking what I would say to someone who was going to marry a guy I thought was a dick?

It's happened. Generally I've had plenty of opportunity leading up to the engagement to hear my loved one complain about dickish behavior and fights, and to say things like, "maybe you should leave him" and so forth. Once the engagement's announced, I say "congratulations" and maybe "best of luck." I defy you or anyone to come up with a situation where someone's said "don't marry him" and had that do anything other than drive a wedge between them and the loved one they're so concerned about, which is precisely the opposite of what you want to happen in a situation like that.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:53 PM
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if we have any hope of separating celebrity from higher office, we need to begin to insist again on a separation between public and private.

Sure, once the schmucks in higher office stop lecturing me about what I should or shouldn't do in private. Until then the hypocrites are fair game.

Edwards has done what millions of Americans do every year. Big deal. On the other hand, most of those haven't claimed to be good enough to lead the whole country out of the mess it's in. IMO someone making a claim to special had better BE special.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:54 PM
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No, because Obama wasn't concealing any of this.

OK then. Suppose it comes out that Obama reallly *is* the Antichrist....


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:54 PM
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298:Shearer, of course there are lots of twenty year old "aspiring actresses", as there are 25 year old doctoral candidates. Good luck to the kids.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:56 PM
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291: I sure as shit wouldn't restrain myself to telling them "don't marry him, but if you do, expect him to be unfaithful."

I really don't think this advice, no matter how sound, would work on someone who'd be interested in marrying a sociopath in the first place, if the similar experience of my cousin is much of an indication.

In practical terms, I think the fact that my uncle (who's a cop) taught her a lot about the basics of self-defense and what to do in bad situations/how to talk to cops - I'm not talking about physical fighting, here, more psychological stuff, like what to do during and after a mugging, and all that. He definitely tried to dissuade her from dating her boyfriend, too, but I think the practical advice and the knowledge our family would always take her back is what made the difference in her eventually getting the fuck away from him and coming back to us.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:56 PM
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296: No. Both he and his wife's statements sound precisely as sincere and classy as I would expect, which is to say, "very."


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 7:57 PM
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300: Candidates who haven't made a big deal out of their *moral* superiority in private matters, or made the morality of private matters into central political issues for their campaign, should be allowed to have the same private vs. public distinction as the rest of us.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:00 PM
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The thing about the advice of old people, though, is that 90% of everyone's advice is crap, and age doesn't really play into it at all, no matter how much we like to flatter ourselves about the wisdom of age
I disagree with this. One must be prone to reflection, I think to garnish wisdom from the trials of life. Many people are NOT. But some are. Emerson, in my opinion, is.(Both prone to reflection and by Unfogged standards, old.) Although I rarely agree with him.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:01 PM
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OK, let me back up. This isn't really about what you should say to someone before they get married to the wrong person, or about whether people should give advice to other people, or whether women/girls are more vulnerable than men/boys, or whether the old have anything to teach the young. All touchy issues here, but not issues I wanted to talk about.

What I meant to say was that I think that highly competitive, ambitious people with a sense of destiny tend to be selfish and inconsiderate of others, above all their spouses. On the other hand, they can also be interesting, attractive, exciting, and good providers. And someone who marries one of them is taking their chances, and among the chances is unfaithfulness. And I think that people should know that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:04 PM
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Fleur, I told you not to marry Knecht. But did you listen? No.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:07 PM
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307: And someone who marries one of them is taking their chances, and among the chances is unfaithfulness. And I think that people should know that.

What I find baffling is that you seem to think most women - hell, most people - don't already know this or have at least absorbed that it's the widely accepted cultural wisdom.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:07 PM
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309: They know it. They just think it doesn't apply to their special case, their darling wouldn't be like that.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:13 PM
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They don't, LR. My sister didn't. Lots of women don't. Lots of their parents and families don't. If they did, they wouldn't be so heartbroken and surprised.

Even somewhat worldly people think that their own spouse, with no evidence, is different than all the others.

How often does a woman marry with the idea that "When we're 45 or 50 he may well dump me for a 25 year old?"

I don't understand your bafflement.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:13 PM
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297

"I mean the implications were pretty plain. If anyone has more information on her, please lead me to it."

See here .

"On the deleted pages, the 44-year-old Hunter (formerly known as Lisa Druck) discusses her former hard partying days, her search for enlightenment, and her issues with drugs and debt. There is a 2005 interview she did with one-time boyfriend Jay McInerney, in which the celebrated novelist reveals that Hunter was the basis for Alison Poole, the main character of his book, Story of My Life.

"It was narrated in the first person," McInerney writes in the intro to the interview, "from the point of view of an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year old who was, shall we say, inspired by Lisa [aka Rielle].""


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:16 PM
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I'm working on it, but information on Reille Hunter is hard to find. Her one acting credit, incidentally, was in a short she herself wrote and produced in 2000. She is not listed with SAG.

I did find this by Jay McInerney:

The way I remember it, I first met Rielle Hunter in a nightclub called Nells in early 1987, although the circumstances of our first meeting seem to be in dispute. In my defense I can only say that events of that decade are not always as clearly etched in memory as we might wish, and neither of us was living a very sober or reflective life back then. At that time Rielle's name was Lisa Druck, and when she wasn't out at nightclubs she was taking acting classes. We dated for only a few months, but in that period I spent a lot of time with Lisa and her friends, whose behavior intrigued and appalled me to such an extent that I ended up basing a novel on the experience. The novel was called Story of My Life, and it was narrated in the first person from the point of view of an ostensibly jaded, cocaine- addled, sexually voracious 20-year-old who was, shall we say, inspired by Lisa. I certainly thought of Alison Poole as a sympathetic and ultimately endearing character. One of her most striking traits was her obsession with truth-telling and her horror of being lied to, something that I certainly took directly from Lisa. When Lisa moved to Calfornia and got married I lost track of her, though I was reminded of her whenever someone would ask me, at book signings and lectures, what I imagined happened to Alison Poole after the book ended -- whether I saw her as turning her life around or not. Through the grapevine I picked up occasional reports from the West Coast. I heard that Lisa had changed her name to Rielle, that she'd gotten divorced, and that she was increasingly engaged in various spiritual quests which she attempted to explain to me when I finally ran into her; all I could tell for certain was that she was a far happier person than I remembered. Recently she returned to Manhattan and one sunny afternoon in Washington Square Park, attempted to enlighten me on the subject of her own enlightenment.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:19 PM
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Dammit, Shearer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:20 PM
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301: They know it. They just think it doesn't apply to their special case, their darling wouldn't be like that.

Well, yeah, true. But I don't think any amount of telling them that no, it really does count for them too, is going to disabuse them of the fact until they experience it for themselves. I also think it's more common amongst women who were raised in more "traditional" households, or whatever you want to call it, but that's kind of another debate all together.

311: How often does a woman marry with the idea that "When we're 45 or 50 he may well dump me for a 25 year old?"

I don't see it put in that terms, but almost everyone I know under the age of forty, who's married or married-equivalent, has basically taken it as a given that divorce of some kind is always a possibility and should be prepared for as an eventuality, whether or not they acknowledge that kind of scenario as potential or not (and some do). Most of the exceptions were either raised in super-traditional households, or, well, like my cousin.

Maybe it's a generational thing, specifically between generations who grew up when divorce either didn't exist or was shameful, and those who've grown up with it either affecting them or at least being ubiquitous?


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:22 PM
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As I've said, marriage is like a lottery ticket, with about a 60% payoff. But people seem so surprised and hurt when it doesn't work.

Maybe younger people are more jaded. But few here are reacting to Edwards in a jaded way.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:24 PM
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305

"Candidates who haven't made a big deal out of their *moral* superiority in private matters, or made the morality of private matters into central political issues for their campaign, should be allowed to have the same private vs. public distinction as the rest of us."

Edwards on Clinton

"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," Edwards said in 1999. "It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."

Live by the sword ... .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:25 PM
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Whatever, James. Congratulations on going hunting for something that would give you an excuse to pass judgment, and having found it. Well done.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:29 PM
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316: As I've said, marriage is like a lottery ticket, with about a 60% payoff. But people seem so surprised and hurt when it doesn't work.

How's that different from anything else in the culture that's lionized out of porportion to it's actual incidence (like certain careers or standards of material success)? Or, hell, unfortunately, home ownership and "the American dream".

People can and do get over it, though, particularly for younger people. It's kind of harder to see a divorce as the end of the world when you grew up with the expectation that both partners would work anyway, and when your parents are both remarried and happy (or divorced and single but manifestly happier than they were), which describes... oh, about half of my entire social circle. You can be really sad and upset when your marriage ends and still not have been naive in going into it, I think.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:36 PM
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I didn't say it was different. The convergence of marriage and success is what I'm talking about. Not the ideal marriage in the sky.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:41 PM
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Come on. How do you imagine this conversation going down? "Sweetie, the man you love is ambitious, so even though you're the one engaged to him, I know better than you, I can tell he's going to cheat on you, so you best steel yourself up for that. No, no, darling, I know, I just met him. But he's a lawyer, so I know."

The best way, the best way this conversation ends is with her telling you to go fuck yourself. I say best, because it shows she has the presence of mind and strength of character to tell meddlers to fuck off.

You're not doing anything but salving your own conscience. And it's ridiculous to think the only guys (or women, for that matter -- don't we cheat as often as men?) that cheat are the ambitious ones. Or that it's perfectly predictable whether someone cheats when he's 50 because of how he acts (in the ten minutes you knew him, of course) when he's 25.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:42 PM
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320: The convergence of marriage and success is what I'm talking about. Not the ideal marriage in the sky.

What does that even mean, dude?


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:43 PM
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321: or women, for that matter -- don't we cheat as often as men?

Yup. Which is one of the more boggling things about this thread, really, specifically in the reactions people seem to be projecting onto EE.


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:45 PM
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It means that American marriage is what it is because it's like most of the rest of American life, and that the obsession with success and money which is characteristic of American life shapes American marriage. I'm not talking about marriage as such, just marriage here and now. And that ambitious, aggressive, competitive people tend not to make good spouses. though they're good at being successful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:48 PM
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321; I have abstracted out (307) the specific question of whether it's possible to give advice in this situation. It was a mental experiment, except without trolley cars. But thanks for caring.

But my first impression of my prospective brother in law was exactly right, and it took my sister more than 25 years to get free of him. Jerks sometimes tip their hand.

I still say that extremely ambitious people are not good spouses, except if they marry someone willing to make a lot of concessions. They're just too wrapped up in themselves and their careers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:57 PM
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Congratulations on cheating as much as men, ladies. Soon your upper body strength will be as good as men's too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 8:58 PM
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326: Never! And while they may cheat just as much, we cheat faster and more explosively.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 9:02 PM
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325: "Thanks for caring"? Please. Your 307 still says "I think people should know that," and in the abstract knowing that ambitious men are more likely to cheat (if that's even true; cheating's not limited to the upper middle class.) doesn't actually help anyone make decisions about their individual spouse. Especially if you consider that extremely ambitious people are often attracted to other ambitious people.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 9:09 PM
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325: I still say that extremely ambitious people are not good spouses

You seem not to be allowing for anyone's definition of "good spouse" but your own, nor willing to entertain the possibility that people who have different definitions of "good spouse" really could have made that determination correctly.

Look, it really sucks what happened to your sister, and your BIL sounds like an egregious shit and I think it's to your credit that you resent him on her behalf. But even if what you're saying would have helped her in the specific, it's certainly not applicable to the general case, or even necessarily other cases of women of a similar mindset to your sister who wound up married to assholes.

Also, since you've insinuated before that the pattern you're talking about is gendered (and I agree), let me just point out that it's shitty to constantly be warning women of the potential treachery of men, while basically excusing it at the same time by means of effectively saying "that's just how men are".


Posted by: Lunar Rockette | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 9:11 PM
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but if we have any hope of separating celebrity from higher office, we need to begin to insist again on a separation between public and private.

God, yes. Honestly, this is one reason why I prefer the British-style parliamentary monarchy over the American-style republic. With "the Crown" rather than "the people" bearing much of the representational-symbolic weight, and then a Royal Family rather than a First Family to stand in the glare of the media and serve up celebrity-sheet gossip and scandal (and the thing is: you don't expect the Queen to buy the same brand of bacon as you do at the grocery, it's just understood that she doesn't, whereas the First Lady is now expected to pretend she has a membership card to the Costco...) ... well, there's more possibility of keeping the political sphere somewhat separate from the media circus, I think. Of course, the cult of celebrity is everywhere now, and I'm not saying that the British PM, say, can escape its reach. But it's a question of degree, I guess.

What's bizarre about the American case is the fiction that aspirants to the highest offices in the land are just regular folk, who will, just as a matter of course (unless they're decadent secular humanists or something, of course), adhere to "mainstream" (bourgeois, middle-class, Christian, or whatever you want to call it), codes of conduct in their personal lives. Which codes of conduct I basically (with the usual caveats and qualifications) endorse, by the way, because I'm not like the rest of you hipsters...But people who run for high office are not like the rest of us, as Emerson notes above. And, precisely because they're extraordinarily ambitious and ego-driven, there's a good chance many of these people will turn out to be not such lovely people in their personal lives.

If America were a place where a regular person really could aspire to the presidency, that would be one thing, and a very good thing at that. But the combination of actual hierarchical (and fairly closed, I might add) elite and ideal/fictional free and open democracy is probably responsible for a lot of really bad media coverage which tends to lead voters astray.

It also tends to quite strongly favour the GOP...but I'd better stop rambling now, before I say something snarky to Mr. Shearer ....


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 9:20 PM
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Congratulations on cheating as much as men, ladies laydeez.

Fixed that for you.

And I agree with you that extremely ambitious people do not, in general (there are always exceptions, of course), make for good spouses.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 9:29 PM
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Taking the divorce statistics + some bump for people who stay in bad marriages for various reasons ... perhaps people do not, in general (and there are always exceptions, of course), make for good spouses.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 9:46 PM
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Okay, John's clarified his question pretty well I think and is getting a little piled on.

It interests me that you said you could spot your ex-BIL's sociopathy right away and your sister didn't. It interests me because I am personally fucking ignorant/naive and never spot these things until it's way too late in my own life (though I'm a little better when it comes to people involved with my friends) and I'd love to know how to spot these things.

My best friend's husband sucks and I had reservations before she got married and I have much, much bigger reservations now and I hate how he treats her and I had no idea at the time what I could say to her to talk her out of it or now to be supportive. And to the extent anyone saw through UNG sooner, I think about what someone could have said to me to wake me the fuck up. (And, fine, I'm glad I didn't figure it out before I got married, 'cause I got Rory, but sooner still would have been good.)

Telling me he was bad news was useless. Not many, but some folks did express concern about his allergies to work and it just made me defensive and want to protect him -- us against the world! They just don't understand. And, of course, made me feel all judged, "How stupid are you that you're with such a loser?" But what might have made a difference would have been people saying not that they didn't like him, but that they were bothered by how he treated me. Not "He's such a loser because he doesn't work" but instead, "He doesn't seem to appreciate how much you are doing to support your family."

Actually, the threadjack where I broke up with the Libertarian and several of you kind of coached me through that was eye-opening in this regard. I didn't like how I was being treated, but I also needed to hear that I didn't deserve it. It sounds silly to say that -- I swear I'm not stupid -- but "maybe I'm overreacting," "he didn't really mean it like that," etc. The kind of guys I think John is talking about and certainly the kind of guy I have had a bad habit of getting involved with, are incredibly skilled at manipulating that and sowing self-doubt.

But, John, I do think what you are talking about really isn't ambition so much as narcissism and it's confusing because they are trying to paint themselves as ambitious. But there's a difference between ambitious and grandiose. And dear God, if you can spot that, find a way to communicate it to your niece or daughter or granddaughter.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 10:22 PM
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Okay, John's clarified his question pretty well I think and is getting a little piled on.

Yeah, John always gets at least a little bit piled on in these threads, mostly, I think, because he refuses to pretend to believe in what Johnson once called "the triumph of hope over experience."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 10:41 PM
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John isn't being piled on, ffs. He was arguing with two people who disagreed with him. And I, at least, am hardly "pretending" to believe in some naive bullshit about which I lack experience.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 11:02 PM
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Plus what, his brilliant insight is that marriage is difficult and likely to fail, and that sometimes you can tell that a given marriage is a Bad Idea and wouldn't it be nice if you could warn people away from it?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 11:05 PM
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But there's a difference between ambitious and grandiose.

One is an effect of the other. Being ambitious and successful at it easily leads to grandiose, as Edwards and any number of Tinseltown twits have proven. There are all too many parasites eager to puff up egos beyond any healthy state of inflation.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 11:12 PM
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As a consolation prize, if the FXXNews folk dwell on this, and suggest that an unfaithful man should not ever be considered for the presidency, it will allow the rest of us to bring up McCain's banging of the then-24-year-old Cindy whilst married to wife No #1. Y'know, the ex-model who lost her looks in an accident and got, oooh, *old*, and had to be traded in for a younger wife.

Personally, I don't give a fuck whom anyone fucks, as long as he or she maintains a some discretion and doesn't a) rape anyone of any age, b) inflict themselves on sheep, etc, or c) rant against others' behaviour whilst engaging in the same conduct. If this country weren't so full of National-Enquirer-reading, Jerry-Springer-watching, hypocritically-salivating, faux-upright, sexually-obsessed/uptight prats, and the "press" would exercise a little taste when it came to matters involving consenting adults, we'd all be better off.

BTW, unless one lives in Louisiana, it is perfectly permissible to disinherit one's spawn, and/or give unequal amounts to different children. [In Louisiana, a parent must provide for a child under 24 years of age, unless said child has been violent/abusive towards a parent, is in jail for life, has married, or has not made any contact for two years.] I suspect that the Edwards have engaged in fairly complex estate planning, given that they know she's terminally ill, that will protect the children of their marriage even if he remarries and has more [or doesn't remarry and has more].


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 08- 8-08 11:59 PM
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re: 338

24! 24 years of age!?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 12:44 AM
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It's Louisiana. They have the Napoleonic code.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:34 AM
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"When we're 45 or 50 he may well dump me for a 25 year old?"

Maybe not:

Evidence is given that among college-educated couples, the percentages of divorces initiated by women is approximately 90%.



Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:02 AM
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Now if only the National Enquirer had, in mid 1932, found out about that affair FDR was having........


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:33 AM
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335 -- "Piled on" wasn't the best word choice. What I meant was he was raising a valid concern which wasn't getting a fair shake. Which...

336 -- ... yes, sometimes you can tell that a given marriage is a Bad Idea and it would be nice if you could warn people away from it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 4:33 AM
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I deny that I have to marry a very ambitious man to know anything about very ambitious men.

One of the many privileges men have is to hear what men say about their wives, girlfriends, and dates when they're not around. It widely varies, and allows you to develop general ideas about various types of guys.

Suppose I rephrase and just say that a very high proportion of very ambitious, successful men are selfish narcissists? But they're better equipped to get away with it than sleazeballs, bums, and the like.

Most of what I've said might be reworked to describe gay or lesbian relationships, or ambitious, competitive, narcissistic women, but I'm just talking about this one topic.

You guys are still waiting for Prince Charming, I fear.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:21 AM
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You guys are still waiting for Prince Charming, I fear.

I think I'm the only one in the conversation about whom this could fairly be said -- and I'm mostly agreeing with your point.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:25 AM
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What if she said convincingly she had proposed he get his jollies elsewhere due to treatment side effects and they loved and supported each other throughout? Not that it would happen, but it looks like he's wrapped up the political phase of his career.

Nigella Lawson's late husband did that when he was dying of cancer and writing about the dying publicly n the Times. I'm not sure whether it was Saatchi that she hooked up with at that.

That scenario isn't really applicable in this case, because the affair was said to be over by the time her cancer recurred. In her dailykos diary, she said something about having the cancer recur making it easier to deal with the pain of the affair.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:30 AM
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||

Chen Xiexia won the women's 48 kg (105 pounds) category and set an Olympic record. She lifted 209 pounds in the snatch and 258 pounds in the clean and jerk.

In a general philosophical sense the top women don't have the upper body strength of men, but not too many guys could do this.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:31 AM
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People still seem to want the hope the handsome prince isn't a jerk.

Highly competitive people compete with everyone, including their spouses and children, and want to defeat them all, and often do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:38 AM
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348: Sure. I just think you are cutting the unattractive, slacker toads too much of a break. They pretty much suck just as much as Prince Charming.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:47 AM
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349: Wasn't my intention. And in fact, I did mention that successful narcissists have a lot to offer in terms of being good providers and making life interesting, which isn't really true of the slackers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 5:59 AM
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Di, did you go on a CBD?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 6:11 AM
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Di, did you go on a CBD?

Yea, did you? Because if you cared about us and our need for gossip, then no small obstacle would have stopped you.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 7:05 AM
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Here are some excerpts from an old interview with Riehl.

Noted without comment: One of the great things about John Edwards is that he's so open and willing to try new things and do things in new ways.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 7:06 AM
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353: "That would be in the butt, Bob."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 7:28 AM
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You guys are still waiting for Prince Charming, I fear.

Yeah, that's it. Someday I hope to have a little narcissist of my own who will love me.

And if we're talking hope over experience.... How much is hoping you're the one with the magic foresight to be the hero? Look, if shivbunny and I divorce, I can tell you exactly what people will say. Stupid shivbunny, for marrying a woman so much more educated than him, they all want out. Stupid Cala, for marrying a redneck, couldn't she see that she was supposed to marry someone of quality? We could all see right away!

I can do this for pretty much any couple I know, including the ones with 30 year-old marriages. It's really easy to say 'I knew from the first minute!' when the relationship has already failed. Lots of marriages fail. This makes it a pretty easy game. I bet EE is getting people saying right now, they knew from the first minute.

But even if you can tell someone's marriage is a Bad Idea, the likelihood that you're going to get the person to listen to you is very small. This is a good thing. You can be supportive, like Di mentions, but if you want to protect your niece, teach her to think for herself, not to wait for Uncle John's approval when she brings someone home. to have confidence in herself, not to wait anxiously for approval of boyfriends.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 7:51 AM
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If you're not a narcissist. you're cool, Cala. You don't strike me as one.

Again, I bracketed out the possibility of anyone actually taking my advice (307), or of my actually giving advice. It was just a hypothetical trolley car problem, without the trolley car.

If there were anyone who could be expected to predict every marriage to fail, that would be me. But actually I don't. But I very have a bad feeling about some of them.

There are cultures where advice-giving is not regarded as an abomination, but ours isn't one of them.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:01 AM
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Don't marry a trolley if you've struggled with your weight.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:02 AM
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354:I didn't think people got pregnant that way, but I've been told I don't understand biology.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:04 AM
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Let me expand. I've been dealing with various sorts of cultural politics, personal-liberation politics, gender politics, relationship ideology, self-help, etc., for 30-40 years now. A lot of people seem to think that if we got rid of heteronormativity, patriarchy, puritanism, etc., everything would be fine then.

But we'd still be living in an individualist, competitive society divided into rich and poor, bosses and workers, full professors and adjuncts, etc. And we'd still have a lot of ambitious, competitive people who treat others, including their families, mostly instrumentally. Because for a lot of people, success is everything. Period.

I don't think that you can take American life as it is and then add on all the good things like gender equality, environmentalism, colorblindness, etc.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:10 AM
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There are cultures where advice-giving is not regarded as an abomination, but ours isn't one of them.

Hang on. Advice-giving is hardly an abomination in this culture. Expecting that giving someone advice means they do exactly what you want them to do might be an abomination, but it probably should be. And 'don't marry this guy' isn't really advice ('thanks, I'll take that under consideration'), but a desire to be giving an order.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:14 AM
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We're really quibbling a lot about unstated things in my trolley-car hypothetical. B. was able to taunt me into formulating my advice as commands ("Don't marry him, and expect him to cheat if you do"), but advice-giving wasn't the issue I wanted to talk about.

My point was that there are a lot of extremely ambitious people in our society, and they're dynamic and exciting and can give someone a good, interesting life, but many of them tend to be narcissistic and selfish so you should be prepared for the things narcissistic, selfish people do, including cheating.

I was trying to give a little context to the Edwards story. As a championship-level player, he doesn't seem like that bad a guy.

There's the other thing, too -- Nixon almost certainly never cheated, but what does that say about him?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:22 AM
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Nixon almost certainly never cheated, but what does that say about him?

Ugly as shit.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:24 AM
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Nixon almost certainly never cheated, but what does that say about him?

That he was really, really ugly?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:24 AM
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Tiny penis.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:25 AM
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Nah, lots of ugly guys get some.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:26 AM
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Yeah, Nixon had ugly and charmless both going on. Just ugly probably wouldn't have been a problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:34 AM
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Not all creeps are sexy and charming. (Actually, Nixon was probably a resentful Nice Guy.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:37 AM
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Nah, lots of ugly guys get some.

Not everyone has your rarified standards, Emerson.

I think you're getting so much pushback because of the moralizing terms you've used and the specific harm on which you've chosen to focus. I seem to remember Apo saying that, in his experience, the best relationships were between people who were relatively unambitious. Gawd only knows how true that is across the board, but it struck me at the time as pretty convincing. (To be fair, I'd heard something similar from a number of people before, so I was sort of primed for the message.) There are limited resources among a couple, and ambitious people are going to want, I would think, the majority to be deployed towards the ends of their ambition. Which leaves the partner at a bit of a loss unless his or her goals identical. Some people are OK with that, many only think they're OK with that, and some have sorted out some better solution to which most of us don't have access.

I don't think it's wrong to warn people about this, but without information that allows you to characterize the people in the relationship, you're probably not going to have very good specific advice.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 8:47 AM
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Again, sorry about the trolley car niece. Forget the bitch!

People shouldn't expect hyper-competitive people to treat them well, even in marriage. Or especially. And there are lots and lots of them, and many are extremely successful.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:03 AM
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If the father is really either Edwards and Andrew Young, is a paternity test really needed?


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:32 AM
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John's getting so much pushback because he's constructing a strawman: "personal-liberation politics" etc. vs. common sense and sound advice. And because he's making an awful lot of assumptions about placing, e.g., me on the modern, impractical, side of that line. Which is, in a word, horseshit; the line he's drawing is nonsense, and the presumptions he applies to me--communication is some kind of idealistic guarantee of Perfect Romantic Bliss and Love Ever After vs. the old-fashioned Some Men Are Just Bad wisdom--are silly and, frankly, insulting.

And I didn't taunt you into giving advice, John; you started by saying that the advice you would give would be X, and then asked *me* what advice *I'd* give.

I like you a great deal, but sometimes I feel like you confuse what I say with the script in your head of the modern swinging' feminist, and it's irritating.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:42 AM
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370:Different Andy Young, by about a generation

1) I don't think GWB has cheated
2) I don't think Barack has cheated
3) This doesn't mean that the current President and the next President are the same in all ways. But both, I think, do not like to reveal themselves, but for opposite reasons. GWB because of the scales & forked tongue. Obama because the light would blind mere mortals.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:44 AM
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B, I've been dealing with this stuff for 30+ years. It's not imaginary. We both have our ways of seeing these things, and they're different.

These are all very touchy subjects about which people have intense feelings and commitments, and usually I don't talk about them at all with people I think I disagree with. I do talk about them here, though, because we do try to talk about touchy subjects here at times.

I'm sorry I ever mentioned a hypothetical niece or hypothetical advice. In truth I have never tried to talk anyone out of a marriage, no matter how awful it looked. Advice-giving isn't the topic I wanted to talk about. (And as Di found out, in my actual family the niece is the hyperambitious selfish one, not he husband).

I may have misreprented your position. Mostly I've had my hands full defending (and restating) my own position, which has been under pretty heavy attack from several directions.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:54 AM
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which has been under pretty heavy attack from several directions.

I'll give you another direction. I just think you are pandering with a particularly smooth style.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:03 AM
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Becks:"Aspiring filmmaker"? Did she make secret sex/blackmail tapes?
Outraged Laydeez:Wait a minute. The New Age flake is twooly in love. She's the victim here.
John, sternly:All (ambitious) men are beasts, and young laydeez must be protected.
Laydeez:Oh John, you sexist, you. But you're sweet.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:13 AM
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Water off a duck's back, Bob.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:33 AM
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--


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:51 AM
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Has anyone here counseled a friend not to marry a particular person to whom s/he was already affianced? The only case of it in my circle ended in a completely ruptured friendship that is only now being the teensiest bit repaired (and no, none of the players is CA or I).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:57 AM
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378: yes, once. Not a friend (but someone who asked for the advice)


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:00 AM
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Buck (before I met him) gave a friend a "You don't have to go through with this" talk the night before his wedding. the concern wasn't so much that the friend was marrying someone evil, but that he didn't actually think all that much of her and would be both unhappy and mean to her. But the night before is really too late for that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:03 AM
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378: no. I have been a party to much concerned hoping that one of the engaged parties will come to their senses in time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:04 AM
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Has anyone here counseled a friend not to marry a particular person to whom s/he was already affianced?

I really, really wish someone had done this with my brother. I was a sophomore in college at the time and did not have the wherewithal nor the clout to do such a thing.

Loosely google-proofing just because they've got kids now and y'know, I'm tactful like that.


Posted by: H-G | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:06 AM
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A friend greeted another friend's announcement of his engagement with: 'my wedding gift to you should be a pre-nup.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:07 AM
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'my wedding gift to you should be a pre-nup.'

It's somethin' that you need to have.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:11 AM
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Yeah, he didn't mean it in the '... because wise couples discuss financial matter sense' but in the 'she's a golddigger' sense.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:17 AM
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Actually, come to think of it, when I found out that my inveterate pussyhound friend who has always cheated on his girlfriends/fiancées/former wife was going to ask his sweet but young and naive girlfriend to marry him I told him to let the poor girl be. He just sort of laughed and tutted at me.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:17 AM
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A friend of mine claims that he knew he was making a mistake as he was getting married (the first time). He went on to marry a younger, hotter person later, so maybe it's just retrospection talking, but still. I wonder how common this is, and how it correlates with divorce.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:18 AM
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385: did she decline to hang with a broke neighbor?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:19 AM
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but in the 'she's a golddigger' sense.

That's how Josh meant it, too. Cause if she leaves your ass, she's gonna leave with half.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:20 AM
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I wonder how common this is, and how it correlates with divorce.

I think that the John Gottman guy did a study that showed that couple heading for divorce, over time begin to recount their courtship in sourer and sourer terms, even though when first married they recounted their courtship in rosy terms. Enough so that he claims that having a sour memory of one's courtship is a solid predictor of who will divorce down the road.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:23 AM
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378 - I was asked to do this by someone who wasn't willing to chance his friendship with the future groom but who thought I might have the necessary combination of distance and bitter experience. I made a sort of half-hearted attempt to raise the issue but it became clear that all I was going to accomplish would be making an enemy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:39 AM
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351, 352: In the category of further evidence that I will be alone for the rest of my miserable -- but entertaining! -- life...

No, did not go on the CBD. Guy sent a text 5 minutes before the scheduled date that he'd be 45 minutes late, could I wait? Um, no, no I couldn't. Truthfully, I had realized at least ten minutes before that that I wasn't really ready to get back out there anyway, so in reality it was thoughtful of the guy to give me such a convenient, credible excuse.

Because Will craves gossip, though, I will confess that in a moment of pathetic loneliness (or lonely patheticness?), I instead "crashed" (with permission/invitation) my friend's date. Which would be a ho hum kind of "what a supportive friend" story if I didn't add that she is dating a boy who originally had a(n unrequited) thing for me and who she fears is secretly still "in love" with me and who, indeed, the minute she stepped outside for a smoke proceeded to tell me how much he's been missing me. Of course, she's the one who grabbed my ass half a dozen times and planted a sloppy kiss on me when I dropped them off, so...

Also, the Libertarian just -- and I mean just this second -- emailed to tell me that he actually kind of loved me.

I had already decided to steam clean my carpets today. Now I have revised that to a plan to steam clean my carpets while downing a bottle of wine.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 12:56 PM
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Friends don't let friends drink and steam-clean.

Actually, that sounds like an excellent plan.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:00 PM
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Plus! If I spill red wine? Instant solution! Now that I see it's your b-day, LB, the first glass is raised in your honor.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:02 PM
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A close friend of mine recently married a terrible guy. He nitpicks, he can't control his mood, he's controlling, and he just isn't nice to her.

He's also boring, and not all that smart.

It really is a problem. How do you avoid your close friend's spouse? I can't declare a girls' night every time I want to see her, but otherwise she always manages to bring him along. It looks like she and I are moving to lunches and meeting for coffee in the afternoon (while he is at work) and away from long evenings of food and wine. Sad.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:06 PM
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That is indeed sad, Blume. Maybe you can plan "couples" evenings, and persuade Sifu to drag the boy off and out of the way for awhile?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:13 PM
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Sifu will thank you, certainly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:16 PM
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How do you avoid your close friend's spouse?

We lucked out; they moved to Kansas.

Di's recommendation sounds excellent.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:23 PM
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persuade Sifu to drag the boy off and out of the way for awhile?

Don't you start!

There is a conspiracy already well established to make me the designated dude friend who can keep this guy company while the girls hang out. You can guess, I'm sure, the problem.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 1:59 PM
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A couple of options.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:04 PM
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Wow, I thought Sifu and Blume liked me. sniff.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:05 PM
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You married one of Blume's friends? Score!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:07 PM
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Dude, my heart goes out to you as you get corralled into being the fall guy.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:09 PM
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I don't think Blume actually wants to do that to me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:18 PM
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A gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do, Sifu.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 2:19 PM
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333

"My best friend's husband sucks and I had reservations before she got married and I have much, much bigger reservations now and I hate how he treats her and I had no idea at the time what I could say to her to talk her out of it or now to be supportive. And to the extent anyone saw through UNG sooner, I think about what someone could have said to me to wake me the fuck up. ..."

I think it is pretty useless to warn people about someone after they have entered into a sexual relationship. People are not objective about sex partners particularly at the start. So perhaps the best you can do is push a long engagement and hope they will come to their senses on their own.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 3:38 PM
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338

"BTW, unless one lives in Louisiana, it is perfectly permissible to disinherit one's spawn, and/or give unequal amounts to different children. [In Louisiana, a parent must provide for a child under 24 years of age, unless said child has been violent/abusive towards a parent, is in jail for life, has married, or has not made any contact for two years.] ..."

I don't believe you are ever allowed to completely disinherit minor children. You have to provide enough so they don't need public support. And I expect if you are rich you may be obligated to provide more as in a divorce.

As I recall in Louisiana you formerly could not disinherit even adult children but some rich guy who really hated his kid lobbied for 20 years to change the law and eventually succeeded.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 3:45 PM
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As I recall in Louisiana you formerly could not disinherit even adult children but some rich guy who really hated his kid lobbied for 20 years to change the law and eventually succeeded.

I really admire people who set goals and work diligently to achieve them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 3:58 PM
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407: In most states, minors can be left nothing, as a surviving parent has the obligation to support any children. In the event of a divorce, the only obligation is the payment of outstanding child support, usually at present value, for the term of the child's minority. In CA, there's also a provision for a "family allowance" that can be set by the court that can provide for the spouse/children.

My sister's ex screwed over their minor kids - the same ones he tried to get custody of, declaring that they were 'the most important thing in his life' . Shortly before he died, he inherited a million or so and left it all to Wife No 2, not a penny to his spawn. My ex is pretty much doing the same, tho' our kid is now an adult - if he predeceases Wife No 2, she gets everything; that's the way it's been since they married, when the Offspring was 9.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 4:06 PM
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Re: Warning people: When the Biophysicist and I got together, I ran him past a couple of my closest friends, demanding that they be honest with their assessments. Everyone I knew admitted that they had loathed The Boyfriend Who Hated Me after we broke up. They all love the Biophysicist, however. Several have made it a point to let me know that they really really like him, whilst they really really hated the BFWHM.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 4:13 PM
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409

"In most states, minors can be left nothing, as a surviving parent has the obligation to support any children. ..."

If the surviving parent is a spouse then they can claim part of the estate.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 4:21 PM
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n but some rich guy who really hated his kid lobbied for 20 years to change the law and eventually succeeded.

Now that's some ambition.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 4:42 PM
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Maybe you can plan "couples" evenings, and persuade Sifu to drag the boy off and out of the way for awhile?

Alas, if this were a sort of guy such that I wouldn't feel bad about doing this, I don't think we would have a situation to begin with.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 6:56 PM
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Mary Catherine at 330:

If America were a place where a regular person really could aspire to the presidency, that would be one thing, and a very good thing at that.

I can't imagine the kind of place the US would have to be for this to be a good thing. A regular person can't run this country.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:02 PM
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Blume: Buy the fellow video games. A satellite sports package. A compound bow. Whatever floats his boat, away from you and your friend.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:29 PM
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What not regular about Bill Clinton?

(Other than the physical thing hinted at, but never explained in a way that I got it).


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:32 PM
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What's


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:33 PM
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Corkscrew penis.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:40 PM
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Like a warthog.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 9:41 PM
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416: Yeah, Clinton was "just folk" (for real, I cannot recommend Philip Roth's The Plot Against America highly enough), and barefoot boy made good, and the closest thing to regular people that the White House had seen in a very long time indeed. And he got impeached over a sex scandal. Which, oddly enough, never seems to happen to Republican politicians...Which may be because Republicans never engage in conduct that might give rise to sex scandals, being such sturdy and stalwart upholders of "family values" and etc., but I must confess I doubt this very much indeed.

Are you seriously trying to suggest that the US political system really is free and open because Bill Clinton was born in a trailer park in Arkansas, or are you just engaging in the bloodsport that apparently unites Democrats and Republicans alike, which sport we might call 'bashing on the Clintons'? If the latter: Well, okay, go for for it, I guess, but please understand that you have just made Newt Gingrich smile. If the former: Um.... (Obligatory disclaimer: I have no idea where Bill Clinton was actually born, and I of course mean no disrespect to the inhabitants of Arkansas trailer parks. I'm just going with the dominant narrative about Bill Clinton...).



Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:04 PM
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420 -- I was going to ask in the same comment what made Bob Dole irregular. Or Bruce Babbitt, to pick one of the 1988 aspirants.

I'm not engaging in a bloodsport. I don't even understand what you mean. Is Karenna Schiff regular? Is her dad? John Edwards seems all too regular just right now. In 1991, I'd have thought the then First Lady of Arkansas pretty regular -- she's had some interesting experience since then, but isn't she basically the same person, just older and wiser? And living in a world that she helped make.

The US political system is free and open just like pro basketball. No one just wanders in off the street, having never played organized basketball, and gets to play in the NBA (much less make a list of the 43 best single season players ever). If someone wants a career in politics, she can pursue it; with talent and luck -- both are required -- she might well make the pros. It helps to be rich, for a political career, just as it helps to be tall for a basketball career. A few non-tall (let's say, under 6'2") players can make it, with talent enough.

My congressman is a regular guy, I think. Lawyer at a medium firm, several (2 in each house) terms in the state legislature, the usual stuff. Dad was a civil servant. Could he compete for one of the Senate seats a few years down the road? He's thought to have the ambition -- and looked into it before our last election. Beat a Kennedy to get the nomination first time he ran for the House.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:39 PM
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Speaking of Arizona politicians, this guy had an interesting career. Regular?


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 10:58 PM
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421: Chris Van Hollen rocks. Is he a "regular guy"? Does he cheat on his wife?

Who cares? I mean, okay, his wife probably does. But I don't.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:06 PM
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Looking at the fellow who did get that Senate seat, 20 years in the state house -- 8 as speaker -- 20 more in the US House. A Jewish attorney from Baltimore, was just past his 23d birthday when first elected to the state legislature. I'm not sure my anonymous co-commenter would say that Sen. Cardin rocks, but he's another example of what looks like a pretty ordinary guy following a pretty ordinary career path. I don't know from what pool MC and Parsi would replace his ilk, but it's far from obvious that some other pool would yield better results.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:19 PM
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Yeah, okay, Nápi: the cumulative effect of your handful of anecdotes quite selectively surely points in the direction of the US political system as free and open to all, and perhaps even especially inviting to those who are not tall who were born in trailer parks. Probably nobody would suggest otherwise who wasn't a ne'er-do-well, or a malcontent, or a long-haired layabout, or something.

I'm sorry I even dared to question what I had only ever heard about "the World's Greatest Democracy TM," and I feel duly chastened, and am ready to make amends.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:25 PM
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Surely someone has done an internationally comparative biographical background study of the elected and appointed officials in various political systems. I suspect that the US system is more open near the top and more closed at the bottom than it used to be, partly for the same reason: attempts to make the system more professional and meritocratic open it up for people at the top (Congress, Presidency, Governor, cabinet levels) who would have lacked the right connections in earlier eras and close it at the bottom (lower level state, municipal, local regulatory) those whose lack of professional status and credentials would have been overcome by machine-style connections.

I just made this story up. Anyway, wealth and connections remain important. I doubt many people think otherwise.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:39 PM
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Whoops, the anonymity was an accident. Yes, Ben Cardin also rocks !

Mary C., I'm not sure what you're looking for here. Yes, wealth (and whiteness and maleness) are big electoral advantages in this country, but the populism you propose is a double-edged sword. George W. Bush, in 2004, probably did win a majority of the vote in this country.

It isn't just rich people who suck. Regular folks in the U.S. are pretty awful, too.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 9-08 11:40 PM
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Jesus Christ MC, what a load of straw.

I only have one congressman, by the way. And my other senator is a woman. MSW, worked for Catholic charities, before running (at the age of 34) for a seat on the Baltimore City Council. Her parents ran a grocery store. I suppose you could say I was selective in not mentioning my congressman's predecessor, who came from blue collar Italian-American roots, and was a junior college instructor before running for Congress. (She'd been in the state legislature before that, and had served on the county commission for women, an advocacy group).

I didn't say anything about a comparison betwen the US and any other country, but I would be interested to hear of a more "open" system, and what makes it so.

"Free and open to all" isn't exactly clear to me. If you want elective office, you have to (a) run and (b) win. That is you have to want it badly enough, and speak to somethng that enough people -- first the money/inside people, then the voters -- want. The first group can be overcome, with talent/drive enough, and don't play nearly the role in the minors that they do in the majors.

"Ne'er-do-well" and "long haired layabout" Huh.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 6:19 AM
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425: You know, he's not really saying any of the things you're imputing to him here. He didn't say 'free and open.' He said 'a regular guy.' And I'm taking that to mean 'from an unremarkable background', and that's true of quite a lot of representatives. I'd say the real gatekeepers in national politics tend to be educational, and there's a good question of whether someone who has spent 20 years in politics counts as regular, but one doesn't really need to be born pedigreed to compete (though it doesn't hurt.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 6:23 AM
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I suspect that the US system is more open near the top and more closed at the bottom than it used to be, partly for the same reason: attempts to make the system more professional and meritocratic open it up for people at the top

If the U.S. political system works like the rest of the country's stratification system, this might well be right: as best we can tell, mobility in the U.S. is pretty good, as long as you're not trying to escape from the bottom 20 or 30 percent of the system. This kind of pattern of exclusion is different from the sort of system where, e.g., circulation is pretty good from the bottom up to the top fifth or tenth, but access to the elite is effectively closed.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 7:24 AM
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Phil Nugent:

One downside of the MSM's feeling that it needs to justify covering the greasy little private scandals that it so badly wants to cover that it has to find ways to treat them as serious indicators of character instead of as the fun, sordid little cheap thrill sessions they really are is that they tend to be more judgemental in such matters rather than in their handling of issues that really matter. The press corps will titter and make snarky little jokes about McCain's negative ads and the White House's torture policy without actually coming out and saying, what kind of human beings behave this way? They must be the scum of the earth. That would be making the mistake of being other than subjective about what is, in the end, "just politics", but if you can catch a politician in a lie about his sex life, you can make like Max von Sydow holding forth over Linda Blair's bed, denouncing this evil, evil, evil. Much as I enjoy gossip, I think it takes a lot of the fun out of it when I hear people actually having the presumption to weigh in other people's marriages, presuming to understand the intricacies of something so complex and emotionally many-sided that it can only really be understood by two people, and maybe not always even them.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 8:23 AM
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Nuget must be cheating.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 8:43 AM
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Let us not praise famous men.

when I hear people actually having the presumption to weigh in other people's marriages

When I start seeing people refrain from making positive judgements about strangers & acquaintances, couples & realtionships I will give this BS a little respect. But I seem to remember marriages being celebrated on this blog, as if we could:

understand the intricacies of something so complex and emotionally many-sided that it can only really be understood by two people, and maybe not always even them.

If we can't judge the "bad" ones, we can't judge the "good" ones either. And should never congratulate or admire any person or couple.

Until then, this is just "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 10:43 AM
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It isn't as of we haven't made judgements about McCain & his marital history. And I don't quite understand why this new principle of non-judgementalism can't extend into other areas of behavior, motivations, intentions. Shall we not judge Cheney? Shall we not judge OJ?

I'll believe this is a principle, rather than just the usual tribal self-justification and bourgeois lace-curtain bullshit whwn I start seeing it consistently practiced.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:04 AM
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I'm embarrassed to have been surprised by this reflection: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton were all of fairly humble or "ordinary" origins.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:25 AM
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It isn't as of we haven't made judgements about McCain & his marital history.

I haven't. Given the sky-high divorce rate for returning Vietnam vets, even where both parties weren't disabled and disfigured upon return, I don't think there's any revealing lesson to be taken from his divorce. Your mileage may vary, I guess.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:27 AM
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424: I don't know from what pool MC and Parsi would replace his ilk

I haven't read further than 424 in this conversation, but all I meant in my comment was that running this country requires, to my mind, some training and experience in law and/or economics at the very least. "Regular people" don't have that training. That is all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:31 AM
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Bob is right; anybody who congratuled Blume or I has a duty to judge John Edwards, or, for that matter, anybody else with a less-than-obviously-perfect marriage.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:31 AM
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436:Before we are too self-congratulatory, maybe we should spend some time looking for countries where elected (or non-elected leaders) really do always come from the hereditary aristocracy.

Some of these, like China, have gone through catastrophic political changes, but I would contend that those count. If, hypothetically, you have a South American nation with 17 military coups each time installing a plebian general as Commandante, you can say that country is not ruled by an aristocracy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:37 AM
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438:People can do what they like. But if it is just a matter of manners or politeness not to comment on another's private life, a mere kindness observed in the breach. we can maybe stop channeling Jesus:"JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED"

I personally do choose to praise, admire, or congratulate less than most, out of: 1) experience, 2) attempting to avoid this hypocrisy, 3) a strong belief in the absolute and unchangeable depravity of each human being.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:47 AM
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I think that we should be examining Blume and Sifu's relationship much more critically. We have a responsibility here.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:06 PM
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I guess then this is the time to come out and admit that I sent Sifu an email nitpicking about the grammar in 438.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:08 PM
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442:There, John, Blume has given you something to work with. I know how I feel about my partners correcting my grammer in public conversations. The one that is left alive knows better.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:21 PM
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Congratule on finally making that clear, bob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:23 PM
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Congratule on finally making that clear, bob.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:23 PM
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Both spelling and grammar. Blume is long-suffering indeed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:26 PM
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I should make Sifu hang out with my friend's terrible husband as payback.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:28 PM
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That would seem only right. Can he spell? (The husband?)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 12:32 PM
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444:Don't congratule me, ST

445:I thought I told you.

I'm bored. Can we talk about Flaubert? Somebody on the net compared me to B & P, which really stung. I think it shows a shallow understanding of that novel to have contempt for the protagonists, just as shallow as having contempt for Emma Bovary.

But while I was at Wiki, I determined that I really should read Education Sentimentale. I just picked up the book on Manet for something light. But the book is actually equally about both Manet and Ernest Meissonier, and has a deeper point to make than just documenting the end of Realism & Classicism and the birth of Impressionism. Meissonier may have been a bourgeois with a limited imagination, but he was on the barricades in 1830 and 1870, while the Impressionists all ran away or hid.

This is, I hear, supposed to be progress or something. We is all way cool now. Flaubert, from what I read, addresses this new enlightenment in ES.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 1:19 PM
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Do we really know enough about Emma Bovary to pass judgment on her marriage?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 1:27 PM
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In Flaubert's Salammbô, many wrongly take Schahabarim to be a villain, rather than as the enigmatic figure that the structure of the book requires.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 1:42 PM
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"Regular people" don't have that training.

I was wondering if my own children could be considered "regular" for purposes of this conversation.

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Not the worst thing to teach kids and dogs, understanding the copious need for exceptions.



Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 2:08 PM
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435: LBJ, Ike, Truman, Hoover, Coolidge, McKinley.

Harding and Wilson aren't totally out of place on that list, although their origins weren't as humble as some.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 2:19 PM
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I should make Sifu hang out with my friend's terrible husband as payback.

Doesn't Sifu play with things that explode or otherwise make lots of fire, and robots. I mean accidents happen right?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 2:33 PM
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One more, and then I'm done.

Paterson's father is a lawyer, a child of immigrants.
Pataki's father was a mailman.
Cuomo's father owned a store in South Jamaica.
Carey's father was an Irish immigrant, and ran a small business.

It's basically a hereditary plutocracy.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 2:47 PM
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455: Those are all day jobs. You could have listed the off-the-books jobs to give a clearer picture:

Gang connections.
Greek gang connections.
Mob mob connections. (Pride of place.)
Irish mob connections.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 2:50 PM
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The other cases that came to mind: Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:00 PM
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People seem to be referring to "regular" people in terms of their origins, and I hope it's clear that I haven't been. I don't care where you came from: if you wound up well-schooled, trained, and eventually experienced in the ways of governance, you are not regular people.

This is an academic point. I doubt that MC, who originally raised it, I think, meant that carpenters and bricklayers should be candidates for national office.

More widely, the point is that applicants for national office are applying for jobs that come with requisite qualifications. Why anyone would think that the fact that your basic regular person can't do that job reveals a fundamental failing in the US political system is beyond me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:01 PM
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437

"I haven't read further than 424 in this conversation, but all I meant in my comment was that running this country requires, to my mind, some training and experience in law and/or economics at the very least. ..."

Eisenhower didn't have either and he did fine. In my opinion you need to be a good manager and have some PR sense.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:06 PM
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If that's the point, it would be rather trivial (regular people are not presidential material or presidents), and there's no disagreement here. But that doesn't explain half of what MC or Napi were saying (one wouldn't argue about whether U.S. political system is free and open to all if we were just talking about the job qualifications.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:07 PM
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I'm embarrassed to have been surprised by this reflection: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton were all of fairly humble or "ordinary" origins.

Of that bunch, Carter had the least "humble" origins. The Robert Scheer profile made his family sound quite well established (in Plains GA)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:26 PM
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460: Correct, I took it to be a trivial, or at least noncontroversial, point. Whatever MC and Napi are discussing is apparently a different matter.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:30 PM
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458:Cultural Revolution

Although the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, it is still trying to use the old ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the exploiting classes to corrupt the masses, capture their minds, and endeavor to stage a comeback. The proletariat must do just the opposite: It must meet head-on every challenge of the bourgeoisie in the ideological field and use the new ideas, culture, customs, and habits of the proletariat to change the mental outlook of the whole of society. At present, our objective is to struggle against and crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road, to criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois academic "authorities" and the ideology of the bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes and to transform education, literature and art, and all other parts of the superstructure that do not correspond to the socialist economic base, so as to facilitate the consolidation and development of the socialist system.

Just kidding. I think. Because professionalisation
and credentialism in art, communications, & especially politics is probably a bad idea.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:35 PM
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456 -- Alternatives to the country club set, I'll grant you that. My point is only that the Spitzers, Bushes, Kennedys, Roosevelts, and Rockefellers are not the only people in the political game, and indeed are rarer than the sons (and increasingly daughters) of the middle class. I also think that, in terms of policy, the plutocrats are pretty much indistinguishable from the 'regular' people. I suppose this is a function of how narrow the door is that one has to pass through; or maybe it's also about general preferences of the populace. I don't think Reagan beat Carter just because rich people wanted a tax break. (Although they did, and that helped immeasurably.)


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:37 PM
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Coming in late, but elected politicians (like media) mediate between the power structure and the average citizen. There are good reasons why the politicians should be somewhat ordinary, even if they're really working for the rich. Likewise, a degree of the common touch helps the mouthpieces on TV. By and large these people claim to be as commonplace as they can manage to, even at the cost of Bush-Kennedy fakery, and many of them really are of commonplace origin.

But even if Daschle, for example, originally was from SD and from an ordinary family, now he's from DC and he's very well off. Being able to talk to South Dakotans was part of his skill set.

In the case of overrepresented jurisdictions like SD, the ability to deliver pork probably outweighs the down home touch. And then again, many common people like to be represented by someone classier than them, as long as they seem friendly and useful.

In the professional areas of power it's pretty meritocratic, granted that some areas (econ) require elite education. (But Rove has a year of college somewhere in Utah).

In the end, though, what's important is loyalties and affiliations. Just because Reagan's dad was a bum who did nothing for him, Reagan had no loyalty to his dad or his dad's class. (Likeway Rove has no loyalty to his gay birth father). All his life people with money helpe him out and gave him some of the money, until he himself was a person with money. And he was a very grateful guy (who also probably congratulated himself for making it on his own).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 3:52 PM
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