Re: The Edwards Thing

1

This is a good news for Petey.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:01 AM
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OH GOD IF ONLY HE HADN'T SPLIT THE ANTI-OBAMA VOTE WITH HILLARY, WE COULD HAVE BEEN SPARED THIS NIGHTMARISH EXISTENCE WHICH WE NOW ENDURE


Posted by: OPINIONATED PETEY | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:05 AM
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What's the new news in this article? That Elizabeth Edwards knew about the affair in 2006?

Weird. She was recklessly lying to the country too!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:07 AM
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Eh. Who cares.

Elderly politician in midlife crisis has affair with younger woman on staff? Wake me when we get to the diapers and rocking horses stage.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:10 AM
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I think that every goddamn married politician in the country should be required to have an affair and an illegitimate child before even running for office. Including the laydeez. Sure, that's not fair because illegitimacy is more wear and tear on women than men, but tough shit. But an abortion counts. Lesbians and the gays are home free.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:01 AM
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What about those of us who are infertile and/or impotent? Illegitimate adoption?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:03 AM
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Become gay.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:23 AM
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Yup, he's a dick. I worked on that campaign, and no regrets. He was clearly the most left wing of the three candidates who were considered viable before the primaries. I'm not friends with him or his wife, he wasn't running for America's best spouse, so why should I care? The only problem was the political impact if and when it was revealed. So that I mind. The rest - fuck it. Berlusconi is awful, but not because he fucks around. The Polish Twins don't (it's unclear if Jaroslaw ever has had sex, if so it's a well kept secret, and I know people who used to be quite close to him), they're also personally completely non-corrupt, as opposed to using cronyism and patronage as ways to further their political power, and tolerating corruption when they feel it is politically advantageous to them. But they still suck.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:51 AM
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Emerson is correct here. If a guy can't hush up a simple bastard, how's he going to handle the vast amounts of conspiracy, skulduggery and concealment involved in being President of the USA?


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:22 AM
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How do you know Edwards' bastard would be simple? Unfair to bastards! Many of them are extremely smart. Including my nephew.

(Does it count if the two parents are (a) neither of them politicians and (b) already in a moderately committed relationship (c) not committing adultery?)


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:31 AM
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Illegitimate adoption?

Adopt from a Third World baby-stealing operation?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:34 AM
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Don't be dense, Jes. He means a simple bastard as opposed to a compound bastard.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:39 AM
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The last lines of that article don't sound too promising.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:48 AM
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10: oh come on, it's the same race as him, the mother's not a prostitute or a journalist, it's not twins, illegitimate children don't come any easier to cover up than this. It was a low tariff dive and he muffed it.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 4:02 AM
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"Low tariff dive"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:06 AM
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Yes, a a low tariff dive. And he muffed it. He muffed the dive. Do you see how I did that? I'm wasted on this crowd.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:09 AM
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Great Scott, dsquared is ogged.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:12 AM
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Maybe it's not one simple bastard, maybe this is just the tip of a complex John Edwards bastard iceberg. Maybe he's the most bastard-covering-up bastard in the history of mankind with bastards by queens, actresses, Supreme Court Justices and talk show hosts, and this one just happened to slip through.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:33 AM
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18: entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:37 AM
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A necessarily complex John Edwards bastard iceberg.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:42 AM
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I'm not getting this -- is any of this news? This is the same story that broke almost a year ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:43 AM
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re: 21

I've not been following it, but I thought the 'new' bit was that Elizabeth Edwards didn't want him to run, but he ran anyway?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:47 AM
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News repeats itself, first on cable, second on Oprah.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:50 AM
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I just saw that on yahoo news. There was an excerpt from the book. I hope that whatever she earns is separate property. Do you think that if she dumped him she could have an independent political life of her own. I think she'd be great working on healthcare or Elizabeth Wasrren-type issues.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:52 AM
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Also news, I think, that she isn't sure anymore they're staying together. (I'm surprised she's making things public before a conclusion to the matter, book or no book.)


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 5:57 AM
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The real news is the investigation. Really lucky he lost.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:05 AM
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MoDo's column today is about the book, asking what on earth Elizabeth was hoping to accomplish with it. For once I actually find myself agreeing with Dowd.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:07 AM
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I did not watch the Monica Lewinsky interview, but I'm feeling prurient enough to watch this one.

As I said, I wonder if she could do something on her own. I have a totally non-representative sample, but my uncle in PDBS is a hard-core Republican. He worked for one of the Republican Governors, ran a campaign for a Republican Congressional Candidate in the Nixon era. (Nixon wouldn't help with funding though, and they lost to a priest.)

His girlfriend voted in 2008 for Obama, but said that she would never vote for him again if he appointed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. They both voted for Bush in 04. He's kind of a loose Congregationalist--social club in PDBS--and she's a lingering Catholic, but she's pissed about the abuse stuff.

He just wants low taxes, is happy enough to let people who want lots of guns in other states to have them, doesn't care about torture (people do what they have to do) was generally pro war though he knew that it would be unpopular politically. I found him slightly homophobic in that he made a joke about the ferry in Provincetown and the fairies, but most of the time he can't be bothered to care, since it doesn't affect him etc.

In 2004 he thought that Kerry was a big fake. He's thought that since he saw Kerry get spit on by a Vet at a Vietnam rally. (He has bizarre feelings about T collectors who tried to make change as slowly as possible to prevent one from catching a train.) Couldn't stand Teresa Heinz Kerry either.

I said something about John Edwards, and I got the typical smarmy trial lawyer response. However, I said that I really liked Elizabeth Edwards, and he said that she was indeed great.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:09 AM
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"Do you think that if she dumped him she could have an independent political life of her own. I think she'd be great working on healthcare or Elizabeth Wasrren-type issues."

Yes, but my understanding is that, tragically, she's likely to die within a couple of years.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:10 AM
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what on earth Elizabeth was hoping to accomplish with it.

27: Make some money of her own before the divorce?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:11 AM
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entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem sed orcia elviaque okeydokey est


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 6:30 AM
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(I'm surprised she's making things public before a conclusion to the matter, book or no book.)

I find this bizarre. And kind of tacky, frankly.

LB, it's the same story, but then again, when the story is about how someone is telling the story ('Elizabeth Edwards finally speaks', 'Elizabeth Edwards gives her side of the story'), it's a new story.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:00 AM
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27: I haven't read Dowd yet, but that was my reaction, too. Publishing the book seems vengeful and bitter, which, hey, she's entitled to be. Though I don't think think she'll come across that way to most; she's got a very sympathetic case.

If it were about the money, there are other books she could have written and other ways she could be talking in public.

That sounds more critical of her than I mean to be. I'm mostly just mystified.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:00 AM
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It's not the affair so much as the fact that he chose to have his affair with a woman who is obviously a wackjob. I think Republicans do a lot better on this front than Democrats. GOP politicians live in a world where a certain genteel hypocrisy is taken for granted. They also have more guilt and shame attached to sex, so they do a better job of hiding it. It's the same dynamic that gets victims punished while bullies thrive: The bully knows how to do his or her thing with a low risk of being caught, and knows how to lie his or her way out of the worst consequences. The victim, OTOH, has no such skill set, so when they finally fight back they are much more likely to get busted.

As further evidence for my hypothesis, consider the periodic cruising related scandals in the GOP - Those guys are getting busted because their social matrix has accommodations for heterosexual affairs that fit the script, but homosexual ones are much harder to carry off due to the lack of an appropriate script.

If you're a politician looking to have an affair, the key is to make a careful choice of partner. The partner should
(1) be a member of your extended social circle (so there are perfectly innocent reasons to meet and so you have good channels of communication if you can't speak directly),
(2) Not not not be a subordinate, employee, or contractor,
(3) share a common understanding of the importance of maintaining decorum,
(4) be married (to increase the amount of skin in the game of concealment),
(5) be emotionally stable
(6) be financially stable enough that if the National Inquirer comes around flashing big checks he or she will wave them off, or at least be so invested in maintaining the lie that big checks won't sway them.

Edwards violated all six, as did Clinton.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:10 AM
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Also, I'm with teraz kurwa my in 8 (though I'll have to take his or her word on the Polish Twins). I don't regret supporting Edwards and giving him money, but I was wondering just the other day when it will be safe to wear my campaign shirt again. Probably never.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:11 AM
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"He had the distinction of having defeated General Belgrano in battle, at dominoes and at arm-wrestling, and had banned the study of the philosophy of William of Occam on the grounds that he saw no reason why there should not be limitless unnecessary multiplication of entities."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:12 AM
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The affair alone doesn't bother me nearly as much as the self-deception that it wouldn't be a problem in 2008. There was a time when a politician's mistress would have been politely ignored (though maybe not one with a baby), but that isn't this time. Had he been the nominee, I'm not sure his candidacy would have survived it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:16 AM
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he said that she was indeed great.

He says that because she isn't running for office. If she was, he'd hate her too. It's a Pavlovian response, not a rational one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:19 AM
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Had he been the nominee, I'm not sure his candidacy would have survived it.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have. It's hard to survive becoming a punchline. It's a shame because I still believe that, on a policy level, he would have been head-and-shoulders better than Obama, especially when it came to dealing with the banks and the auto companies.

But if my aunt had testicles, she'd be my uncle.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:21 AM
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The otherwise-useless* Slate ladies' auxiliary posted a surprisingly not-wholly-flattering-to-Elizabeth-Edwards comment last week.

* Except for Susannah Breslin.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:22 AM
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as did Clinton

Which is why he is the King of the Horndogs. Whatever your moral judgment, he was the pure specimen.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:23 AM
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He had the distinction of having defeated General Belgrano in battle

As did Wreford-Brown.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:29 AM
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But if my aunt had testicles, she'd be my uncle.

Is this the dirty version of "If my aunt had wheels, she'd be a wagon"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:29 AM
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It's hard to survive becoming a punchline.

And there's almost no chance that Edwards would have been able to wear the revelation well enough to avoid that. One has to wonder what he had to be thinking. Sure, from the article, he argued to Elizabeth that dropping out right after he announced his candidacy would lead to speculation about why he did so, but that doesn't make sense as a reason to think that running is a good idea.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:30 AM
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43: I've heard the former hundreds of times and the latter zero, so I think the latter is the non-dirty version of the former.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:31 AM
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The version I grew up hearing in my house was "if frogs had wings, they wouldn't bump their butts so much."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:36 AM
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The Yiddish version, translated because I don't know it in the original, is "If my grandmother had balls, she'd be my grandfather." The one I grew up with was "If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a teacart." Given my actual grandmother, that changed to "If my grandmother had treads, she'd be a Sherman tank."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:39 AM
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||

I've decided I no longer want to wallow in depravity. Instead I want to be mired in indolence.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:42 AM
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Moreover, Edwards *could* be a super-valuable voice right now, even out of office. Except this will now always be everybody's first association.

Really, there just aren't that many people left in American politics who even talk about labor issues since Wall Street bought Washington. It's a big loss.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:43 AM
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E. Edwards, while totally awesome, has always been a little more open and vulnerable than calculating. There were a couple of incidents on the campaign trail that I sort of wondered about. I'm not quite remembering the details of them now, but they were occasions when she confronted people emotionally.

As for J. Edwards, I'm mostly disappointed because I always mistrusted him, but for irrational reasons that have nothing to do with his affair. How can I learn from that!?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:50 AM
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I always liked him, and I'm really pissed at him for the same reason Apo is -- there's no one in national politics saying the same stuff he was, and by pulling this shit he's made himself useless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:53 AM
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i think public people's affairs should be kept private and it's nobody's business who sleeps with who in their private lives
just it shouldn't be of course 16-yo sisters in law


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:54 AM
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I'm not quite remembering the details of them now, but they were occasions when she confronted people emotionally.

She called out Ann Coulter on live TV, which was a little awkward.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:55 AM
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I still believe that, on a policy level, he would have been head-and-shoulders better than Obama

Edwards talked a better game than Obama, certainly. That's why I supported him at first. But the degree of self-deception necessary to convince yourself that you can hide an affair and, possibly, an illegitimate child while running for President casts a lot of doubt on the man's actual political skills, if you ask me. I mean, that's practically Bushian.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:55 AM
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41
Which is why he is the King of the Horndogs. Whatever your moral judgment, he was the pure specimen.

Yeah, a friend of a co-worker, who by a bizarre coincidence recently began working here, told a story about meeting the Clintons and Hillary's college friend Mary Steenburgen while waiting tables. While talking to them, FOACW gushed about Steenburgen and how much he liked her movies. Bill Clinton reportedly interjected, "Yeah, isn't she hot?"


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:56 AM
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A former work colleague* of mine once bumped into Clinton while jogging in the park here.

He had his security detail with him and was jogging himself. He apparently still managed to flirt with her.

* really quite preternaturally attractive, fwiw.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:59 AM
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But the degree of self-deception necessary to convince yourself that you can hide an affair and, possibly, an illegitimate child while running for President casts a lot of doubt on the man's actual political skills, if you ask me.

Oh, I don't know how self-deceived he was. Having the affair was one thing -- a fuckup, but an ordinary kind of fuckup. Once that was done, I could see going ahead with the campaign in a 'shoot the moon' kind of way; knowing it'd probably blow up, but figuring that if it did, he was politically no worse off than if he'd pulled out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:00 AM
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57: he was politically no worse off than if he'd pulled out.
Oh, I don't know about that


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:03 AM
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Oh wait, one more rule:
(7) Use goddamn birth control for Pete's sake!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:09 AM
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(7) Use goddamn birth control for Petey's sake!


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:10 AM
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I do still buy (oh, in a 70-30 kind of level of certainty way) that the kid isn't his. That's checkable, and I don't see what he gets, once the affair's out in the open, by delaying the revelation that the kid is his too.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:12 AM
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I'm really pissed at him for the same reason Apo is

I'm not pissed off at Edwards; I'm disappointed that we have this schizophrenic prurient/puritan society that feels like it's anybody's business what goes in other people's marriages and, further, that it gives them any reason to judge non-marital questions based on that.

I don't hold affairs against people because, hell, I would have almost no friends left. Affairs happen all the time and they don't reveal nearly as much about a person as everybody seems to believe they do, much less how fit they are for their job. I don't believe they give you any useful insight into Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, John McCain, Ted Haggard, or Newt Gingrich, either, in exactly the same sense that knowing my dentist was banging the hygienist after hours tells me nothing about the quality of the dental care I've gotten or will get in the future.

This has long been a particular pet peeve of mine.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:14 AM
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On a quiet street where old ghosts meet
I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should
A creature made of clay -
When the angel woos the clay he'd lose
His wings at the dawning of the day.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:15 AM
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Once that was done, I could see going ahead with the campaign in a 'shoot the moon' kind of way; knowing it'd probably blow up, but figuring that if it did, he was politically no worse off than if he'd pulled out.

If he had somehow gotten the nomination, the other 299,999,999 Americans would have been considerably worse off, though.


Posted by: Duvall | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:16 AM
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Yeah, I'm not too far off that; I will get judgmental about how people treat each other, but I don't think fidelity or the lack thereof has anything to do with professional competence or 'character' in a way that relates to professional performance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:18 AM
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i'd think if the child is his it's like that, a mitigating/ alleviating factor in the eyes of the wife perhaps, that the affair was a serious thing for the two involved, just to think generally, not about politicians
if it was for the looks and youngness, that would be really like insulting, for the wife i mean


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:19 AM
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@63: shorter that poem -- "I feel bad because I was too good for her" (i like it too but i can make no other sense of the last two lines than we angels should not fall for mere mortals)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:23 AM
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Yup, he's a dick. I worked on that campaign, and no regrets. He was clearly the most left wing of the three candidates who were considered viable before the primaries.

I supported Edwards early on too, for the same reason. But it *is* relevant that he's a dick. He's irresponsible, stupid, and selfish -- I've heard other personal things about him that make that evident as well. Obama has many of the policy flaws that I was worried about before his election, but it's also clear that Obama has a fantastic temperment for the Presidency, just really good character. And that matters a lot.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:25 AM
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When I said that the state has no business in the bedrooms of the nation, I meant also that the nation has no business in our bedrooms. You southerners should have paid more attention. It worked out well here.

(and please, drop the faking religious fervor for votes thing too, it makes you all look like idiots)


Posted by: Pierre Elliot Trudeau | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:26 AM
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The new part of the Edwards affair story isn't in that linked article: the whole business about his PAC being under investigation for pay-offs to Rielle Hunter.

O what a tangled web we weave...


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:27 AM
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67: Yes, it seems like a high-falutin' and nasty take-off on "How could I expect to soar with eagles in the morning if I wallowed with the pigs in the evening".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:27 AM
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Come on. Edwards is obviously not stupid, and I'm not sure what you mean by 'selfish' other than 'he had an affair'. If we lived in Apo's world, where this wouldn't have been a scandal, what would you mean by saying he had poor character for the Presidency?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:27 AM
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MoDo's column today is about the book, asking what on earth Elizabeth was hoping to accomplish with it.

My guess is she was hoping to have a voice as a way of recovering some dignity in a situation that I would expect made her feel publicly and personally humiliated. It's a concrete way of asserting, "I matter. My feelings about this matter."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:28 AM
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But it *is* relevant that he's a dick. He's irresponsible, stupid, and selfish

I agree with this. I don't care about the moral transgression qua moral transgression, but I do think the decision-making process that went into it, knowing you're in the public eye, reflects a character flaw that would show up in his professional life as well.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:29 AM
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But we don't live in Apo's world, and the fact that we don't is pretty darn salient to the case at hand.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:29 AM
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"a creature made of clay" is I think meant to refer to the narrator, not to the other person...

That I had wooed not as I should [being] a creature made of clay.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:30 AM
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62
I'm not pissed off at Edwards; I'm disappointed that we have this schizophrenic prurient/puritan society that feels like it's anybody's business what goes in other people's marriages and, further, that it gives them any reason to judge non-marital questions based on that.

The two aren't mutually exclusive. I wish we lived in a less prurient/puritan society. But given the society we live in, Edwards was a moron or drunk on ego to have the affair, and given that he had had the affair, he selfishly put not just himself but his supporters and causes at risk by going ahead with the campaign.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:32 AM
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Ignore 76 - just looked up the full version and indeed the irritating interpretation "I was too good for her" is correct.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:33 AM
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Pwned by 74, 75.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:34 AM
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@63/67/71patrick kavanagh, also a dick!

"On Raglan Road" was first published as a poem in the Irish Press on 3 October 1946 under the title "Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away." Peter Kavanagh, Patrick's brother, said that "it was written about Patrick's girlfriend Hilda [Moriaty] but to avoid embarrassment he used the name of my girlfriend in the title."

the full version somewhat sways you to understanding that he's being wry and self-deprecating when he describes himself as an "angel" (angel in the sense of idiot), but even so!

whose sung version is best? (ps i hate van morrison)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:34 AM
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67,71:Backwards. He woo'd her not as he should.

Verse 3, immediately preceding

I gave her gifts of the mind
I gave her the secret sign
That's known to the artists
Who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint, I did not stint,
I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair
Like clouds over fields of May.

He regrets his foolish arrogance and sense of superiority. There is obviously a Galatea/Pygmalion allusion going here.

The last two lines are difficult, I admit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:35 AM
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74 and 75 are correct IMO. A bit of crumpet on the side isn't that big of a deal, but how you go about getting it and dealing with the consequences is a useful clue about your character. Edwards did it with a woman who is clearly a bit of a nut, and under circumstances where he had a high probability of being caught, as well as engaging in shifty behavior with payments to her company.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:35 AM
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72: Selfish in that he wanted to/continued to run for president with every reason to believe that this would come out, and, as we live in America as it is, would without question sabotage his campaign?
Apparently a lot of folks who worked with him in 2004 strongly suspected the affair (R&J weren't very discreet on a trip to Africa) and confronted him with it (he denied it) and refused to come on board for 2008. I don't care whom anyone fucks, but a lot of other folks and our gossipy media sure seem to.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:35 AM
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74, 75, 77: Thing is, I can think of lots and lots and lots of people who fuck up around sex but not otherwise. I don't think there's anything about Clinton's presidency, for example, that would indicate that he was an out of control loose cannon, thinking only of his own gratification, except the Lewinsky thing. I disagreed with him about plenty of stuff, but everything else was sensible, controlled, and reasonable. Same with Spitzer.

It just doesn't seem to me, as a matter of empirical psychology, that sexual bad behavior has much of a relationship to other categories of bad behavior.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:36 AM
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I will get judgmental about how people treat each other, but I don't think fidelity or the lack thereof has anything to do with professional competence or 'character' in a way that relates to professional performance.

I disagree. If you are the kind of guy who would lie to your wife for purposes of personal self-gratification, you are likely also the kind of person who will take liberties with the truth in service of personal gain in the professional realm. This has been consistent with my observations of faithful and unfaithful colleagues.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:36 AM
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I wish we lived in a less prurient/puritan
so he like pioneered towards that society perhaps


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:37 AM
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I was really trying to find some song or poem about Parnell and Kitty, but had little luck. There was one person who says that "Raglan Road" does refer to Parnell, and some of the imagery is political.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:38 AM
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Eh, I could be wrong. I just think that sexual indiscretions are overused as diagnostic of general incompetence and bad character.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:39 AM
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86: this would surely entail running on a platform of "first white-house threesome"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:40 AM
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that sexual bad behavior has much of a relationship to other categories of bad behavior.

It doesn't, for the rest of us. The problem is that there's no such thing as just sexual bad behavior in a vacuum, when you're in the public eye. It's only "sexual bad behavior with extremely high stakes and high likelihood of being found out". Which changes the mental yoga necessary to commit the crime.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:40 AM
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>i>whose sung version is best? (ps i hate van morrison)

Joan Osborne received the most votes on the thread.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:40 AM
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72, meet 24.

And Edwards obviously is stupid.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:43 AM
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Eh, I could be wrong. I just think that sexual indiscretions are overused as diagnostic of general incompetence and bad character.

That may be. However, insisting on running for president when you know that there is an excellent chance it will all blow up in your face, fucking over your entire party after eight years of the fucking Bush administration is an excellent diagnostic of hubris and irresponsibility.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:44 AM
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Why oh why can't one of these politicians, knowing they are sunk anyway, avoid getting caught up in stupid petty lies --- and instead use the platform to properly tell off the public and media about being so childish about the private lives of public figures. Assuming he or she hadn't made hypocritical statements about this sort of thing previously, of course.


Posted by: wishful thinking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:46 AM
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instead use the platform to properly tell off the public and media about being so childish about the private lives of public figures.

Because once you're in that position, your proper telling off is unlikely to carry much weight, I suspect.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:48 AM
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I'm not sure don't think Edwards was a very principled or with very strongly held opinions about that many things, and also not one who was very imaginative or thought ahead that much. He could well have turned out be more rightwing than Obama.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:54 AM
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Assuming he or she hadn't made hypocritical statements about this sort of thing previously, of course.

Isn't this a problem for Edwards, though, whose hedge against claims that he was too slick by a half was, "Look at my fabulous wife! Our perfect marriage! The devotion with which I shower her!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:55 AM
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extramarital affair of a politician and people all get like excited, i don't get it, it's their three of them lives and nobody else's business
that she wrote a book about it, maybe she has her reasons, i wouldn't buy to learn like what happened, but i sympathize with her, it's hard for anyone to experience personal betrayal of the one who's supposed to be the closest and i wish the book sales would serve her well
personally she still stays with him, so it's her decision, she chose to stand with him during the campaign, so if knowingly of the affair
then it's really nobody's business to judge whether he should have run the campaign etc


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:57 AM
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We really should do as advised us and not refer to comments without quoting: The investigation points in the direction of him being a dick.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:58 AM
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95: If you do it poorly, sure. But I think it could be done well, if you are unrepentant about the bullshit proxy parts of all this, rather than being defensive. "X involves these people, and not all of you. I am working it out with them. And not you".

And then use that to launch into (again, not defensively) a careful analysis of all of the ways this sort of thing makes our political process more stupid (and it does). Use the sacrifice of your career on an altar of stupidity to open up a discussion about that altar, then walk away.

I'm not saying that we should celebrate infidelity in politicians or anything. But the American public and media has no reasonable sense of perspective about these things, and it can be terribly damaging to the political process. The race to the bottom of mud-slinging and witch hunts has made it necessary to present "decent" people, at the expense of decent people.


Posted by: wishful thinking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 8:59 AM
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Edwards obviously is stupid.

This is insane. He's obviously not stupid. But he made the same sort of dumb decision around sex that billions of people have made before him, and billions more will make after him.

This has been consistent with my observations of faithful and unfaithful colleagues.

I respectfully submit that you have no idea which of your colleagues are faithful, but instead know which ones do a poor job of hiding it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:00 AM
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Isn't this a problem for Edwards, though

Agreed. I don't expect Edwards had either the principles or the guts for such an approach. But somebody has to do something, or it will continue to get worse.


Posted by: wishful thinking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:00 AM
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I see no reason to think the US public cars about affairs. They probably would have cared about tis one because the special circumstances.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:02 AM
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101 is right.

Here in the UK I can think of at least one politician who took the 'fuck off, it's none of your business' line and then continued as party leader.


Posted by: natttarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:04 AM
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Letter rationing hits Sweden.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:04 AM
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101: Why are you so sure he's not stupid?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:08 AM
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I respectfully submit that you have no idea which of your colleagues are faithful, but instead know which ones do a poor job of hiding it.

To be fair, "a poor job of hiding it" is exactly the criticism that most people here at leveling on Edwards.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:08 AM
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But I think it could be done well, if you are unrepentant about the bullshit proxy parts of all this, rather than being defensive. "X involves these people, and not all of you. I am working it out with them. And not you".

Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) did this on his first or second day in office. There were a couple of days of wisecracking, but then the story was over. Barney Frank has had a much longer career than one would expect for a politician whose gay lover was operating a prostitution ring out of the pol's home. These examples show that there's some progress being made and that dealing forthrightly with personal matters can work.

However, something especially crazy kicks in at the Presidential level. It's as though we accept that our representatives and governors are ordinary, fallible mortals, but we want our Presidents to be god-kings. At the minimum, the symbolic bullshittery of the national press corps would make any admission of fallibility into a major distraction.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:08 AM
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"Edwards obviously is stupid."

Well, let's say Edwards have worse judgment than other top politicians.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:09 AM
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||
Ron Paul's son is named Rand. That is all.
|>

...

|| (ok, short for Randall, but still) |>


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:10 AM
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However, something especially crazy kicks in at the Presidential level.

This is true, and while it was the only arena I was thinking of, I didn't make that clear. I'm certain that some lower level offices have been successful in this tack (which unsurprisingly doesn't change anything at the national/presidential level)


Posted by: wishful thinking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:11 AM
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Why are you so sure he's not stupid?

He was my senator for six years; I've watched him up close. You could make a plausible case for unprincipled and reckless, but stupid? Please.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:11 AM
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95: Better question: why don't well-informed voters like many of those present here in the Unfoggedtariat use these occasions as an opportunity to rebuke the attempt to use people's sex lives as a political weapon? Why are so many so palpably eager to write off your Edwardses and Spitzers, so many of the same people who didn't write of your Clintons or (to go back a bit) your JFKs? There's not even any consistency about it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:14 AM
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Some of it is meta-electability gaming -- I'd probably have stopped working for Edwards if the story had come out while he was still in the race, despite not thinking it was relevant, because I would have assumed he was toast.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:16 AM
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I'm trying, DS! As an aside, I know LOTS of Democrats--particularly women--who wrote off Bill Clinton.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:17 AM
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Letter rationing hits Sweden.

Now they must be called Swn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:17 AM
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"However, something especially crazy kicks in at the Presidential level. It's as though we accept that our representatives and governors are ordinary, fallible mortals, but we want our Presidents to be god-kings."

I see no reason to think that is true. Clinton wasn't hurt much by it w the public in 92, was he? Or even Giuliani.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:20 AM
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114: Some of it is meta-electability gaming

That's the feeling I get, and it doesn't make sense. Didn't we all see the Republicans damage themselves electorally with their shrieking about Clinton's privates and things like the Starr Report?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:20 AM
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we want our Presidents to be god-kings

Is this really so much to ask?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:22 AM
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Come on. Edwards is obviously not stupid, and I'm not sure what you mean by 'selfish' other than 'he had an affair'. If we lived in Apo's world, where this wouldn't have been a scandal, what would you mean by saying he had poor character for the Presidency?

well, to be clear, this dovetails with other things I've heard about him from ex-staffers. Those were feeding into my "selfish and irresponsible" judgement, and making me judge him more harshly than e.g. Spitzer. Anyway, Edwards didn't just have an affair, he had an affair with a woman who he was paying out of campaign funds. That directly exposes him to legal prosecution. Pretty irresponsible.

The Presidency is in part a ceremonial position and like it or not, Presidential popularity depends on people's sense of your personal life. Clinton's "slick willie" image and his affair while in office directly contributed to GW Bush's election. Likewise, Obama's clear committment to his family has helped insulate him against all kinds of vague right-wing slanders that he's somehow suspicious and un-American. The stakes are high here.

I agree in principle that in some alternate, less puritanical world affairs might not bear directly on fitness for the Presidency, but in this real world we live in they do.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:24 AM
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Clinton wasn't hurt much by it w the public in 92, was he?

In '92, Lewinsky hadn't happened and Paula Jones hadn't filed her lawsuit. Moreover, Clinton won with only 43% of the vote.

Didn't we all see the Republicans damage themselves electorally with their shrieking about Clinton's privates and things like the Starr Report?

You mean by gaining seats in Congress and (sort of) winning the presidency in 2000?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:25 AM
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The Presidency is in part a ceremonial position

And in other part is a full 1/3 of the government.

As for Clinton and Giuliani, you'll notice that Clinton was under constant attack from a howling pack of scandal-hunters and that Giuliani didn't win a single primary.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:27 AM
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115: I know LOTS of Democrats--particularly women--who wrote off Bill Clinton.

True, I suppose, but it wasn't enough to bring him down.

Clinton's "slick willie" image and his affair while in office directly contributed to GW Bush's election

Except it was Gore who got elected. Dubya was appointed by the Supreme Court. I suppose you could say the Clenis may have contributed to making it a close enough call for those shenanigans to work.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:27 AM
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I suppose you could say the Clenis may have contributed to making it a close enough call for those shenanigans to work.

Only indirectly, insofar as it made Gore resistant to using the Clenis on the campaign trail.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:29 AM
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121.1: Gennifer Flowers, though. (But Stuttering John helped defuse that one in the greatest press conference evah.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:30 AM
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There are all kinds of reasons people care more about this affair: Elizabeth is a celebrity, and well liked. The fact that the affair and lying was so close to the election, not in the past. The cancer and the baby. Maybe he was vulnerable on being moralistic and insincere. And really, he has come across as a total douchebag. Remember that defensive interview?

But I still don't think it would have hurt him much at all in the general election. In a 2000 type election, maybe.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:31 AM
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In '92, the disclosure of the Gennifer Flowers affair was considered nearly a killing-blow to the Clinton campaign. He was the "Comeback Kid," remember? Hilary had to sit down with him and like Barbara Walters for what must have been a humiliating personal interview about how they prayed together and become stronger for the experience etc etc. It was a big deal in '92, but the later revelations have tended to overshadow that part.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:31 AM
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121: They made gains in the House before the Lewinsky scandal, in 1994. Their handling of the scandal is generally believed to have cost them 5 seats in the 1998 midterm elections (Newt Gingrich's other antics didn't help either).

General frustration at their inability to bring down "Slick Willy" may arguably have contributed to escalating wingnut insanity during the Nineties, but I'd find it hard to make a convincing case that that wouldn't have happened anyway, since that's just the consistent pattern of movementarian response to any kind of political reverse whatsoever.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:33 AM
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There's also the fact of the alleged improper payouts. That wasn't a factor until now, but might have been if he made it to the general.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:34 AM
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(Newt Gingrich's other antics didn't help either)

What, like the affairs?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:34 AM
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127: Was it? I don't remember it playing that big a part in the campaign at all. Of course, I wasn't following electoral campaigns then with anywhere near the zeal I follow them now.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:35 AM
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They made gains in the House before the Lewinsky scandal, in 1994

Yes, you're right. Sorry.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:35 AM
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127: He got a temporary hit in the polls, as any bad publicity will cause.

More generally, affairs hurt politically even though the public doesn't care, because the US media go nuts.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:38 AM
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even though the public doesn't care

Mmm, I think it's more accurate to say the public doesn't care about the ones committed by their side.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:40 AM
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As I remember it, it was a huge flap that looked as if it would end his campaign, but it resolved really quickly -- maybe less than a month from when it hit to when it was clear it wasn't going to bring him down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:40 AM
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131, 136---Maybe I'm remembering it wrong. I was young and Mormon then.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:42 AM
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MoDo's column today is about the book, asking what on earth Elizabeth was hoping to accomplish with it.

It would be nice if MoDo regularly asked this about her own column.

But he made the same sort of dumb decision around sex that billions of people have made before him

Given that the consequences of his decision clearly might have included, among other things, McCain/Palin replacing all but one of the liberalish members of the Supreme Court, I think you're not giving him credit for just how world-historically dumb it was.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:43 AM
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She called out Ann Coulter on live TV, which was a little awkward completely awesome and puts to shame everyone who should have done so and didn't.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:44 AM
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Mmm, I think it's more accurate to say the public doesn't care about the ones committed by their side.

I think this is pretty accurate, that is largely an issue of partisanship. But the general acceptance of this sort of shameful domination of media cycles by scandal and counter scandal and the general slinging of mud has meant that particularly at the presidential, but largely at the national level, the quality of political discourse is on average pathetic, and has become increasingly worse since Reagan/Carter at any rate. I'm not sure how much of this can be blamed merely on changes in media (television lends itself to theatrics, not discourse) and connectivity.


Posted by: wishful thinking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:47 AM
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Given that the consequences of his decision

The potential consequences of affairs are generally dire, if on a more personal level--disease, divorce, losing custody of your children, getting shot, etc. And yet, it's an unfailingly common scenario. There's a reason infidelity is a central theme of (ex recto statistic) half of our literature throughout recorded human history.

clearly

In retrospect, but we know how finely hindsight works.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:48 AM
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138 I think also reflects the idea that we largely get the discourse and media we deserve. Both politicians and media groups are largely panderers by nature; the true blame lies squarely on us.


Posted by: wishful thinking | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:49 AM
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When Flowers first hit it was viewed as sure death. Some of that was carry-over from the Gary Hart, "Monkey Business" stuff. It is an odd dynamic in which the press played/plays a huge role. Part of their resentment of Clinton was that they could not take him down* (but it is more complicated than that, since beofre Hart they covered for Repub and Dem alike, and even afterwards covered for George HW).

*And they took it out on Gore. Heathers and the Heatherettes (male Heathers) beating up the class nerd because they couldn't touch the too cool for school guy**.

This comment drenched in 100% pure narrative.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:52 AM
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"And yet, it's an unfailingly common scenario."

I think it varies a great deal between countries. Pretty rare in Sweden (unless we just lie about it more in surveys).


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:52 AM
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unless we just lie about it more in surveys

probably.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:53 AM
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62

... in exactly the same sense that knowing my dentist was banging the hygienist after hours tells me nothing about the quality of the dental care I've gotten or will get in the future.

I don't agree, there are all sorts of possible problems here.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:56 AM
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After all, who knows if the dental chair is really clean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:58 AM
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140: I'm with you on the bullshit ways infidelity plays out in politics, and I agree that it shouldn't matter. But Edwards knows full well what kind of society we live in, and he should have been able to gauge the immense risk he was taking on a level far, far greater than the personal.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:59 AM
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Uh, doc, is that toothpaste there in the spit sink?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:00 AM
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84

It just doesn't seem to me, as a matter of empirical psychology, that sexual bad behavior has much of a relationship to other categories of bad behavior.

Including with 16yo sisters in law?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:00 AM
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149: Nope. See the earlier thread, passim, for my thoughts on what aggravated that situation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:02 AM
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But Edwards knows full well what kind of society we live in, and he should have been able to gauge the immense risk he was taking on a level far, far greater than the personal.

Also relevant is that it seems that he was aware of this risk; it's the reason he gave to Elizabeth for not dropping out after he told her of the affair. They'll start digging, it will come out.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:05 AM
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there are all sorts of possible problems movies here.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:07 AM
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I think it's more accurate to say the public doesn'tconservatives don't care about the ones committed by their side.

I mean, you don't actually personally care if a Republican politician has an affair, do you?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:08 AM
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84, 149: I saw an Austrailian government report on recidivism in sex offenders which really turned my understanding the issue upside down. One of the important patterns that the Australian group saw in the data was that when sex offenders are arrested again, they are just as likely to be arrested for *other* crimes as they are for sex offenses. The researchers conclussed that sex offenders were not a not a unique class of criminals in terms of their behavior patterns. They are instead, general purpose predators with poor impulse control.

I don't know how this translates to people whose sexual problems are not criminal. It does indicate that lacking self control in the sexual domain can spill over into other domains.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:09 AM
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152: It's a Philip Roth novel. It might make a good movie - one half Jews ranting at each other and the other half porn.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:10 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:15 AM
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re: 154

But those aren't the same thing at all. Evidence, anecdotal and otherwise, suggests that some sort of mild sexual incontinence is damn near universal. it's a whole different species from criminal sexual behaviour.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:16 AM
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"mild sexual incontinence"?

What is that? Nocturnal emissions?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:17 AM
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Does "sexual incontinence" belong most on the pseudonym list, or the band name list?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:18 AM
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Another factor in the significance of affairs in US politics is that sex sells. The media would much rather go with the sex story than the story about income inequality or exploitative labor conditions in chicken processing plants.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:23 AM
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Di, are the lawyers who screw around on their husbands/wives worse lawyers or just worse people? Going over our postwar presidents in my head, I'd say the most decent person was Carter, and the best president was LBJ. The latter by all accounts was a grade A asshole. Carter on the other hand, while not as bad as he's generally made out to be, was not a particularly effective politician.

NB my view of Carter is not about his politics, but I am always bewildered by the way that the guy who was probably the most right wing postwar Democratic president has a reputation as some sort of radical left wing one.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:23 AM
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It's the way Carter was treated as a punching bag by the right. Kind of like the way I'll still get into huge arguments about what a travesty Whitewater and the rest was -- Clinton wasn't great, but the witchhunt was such a nightmare that it overshadows his not-greatness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:28 AM
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||

When you guys have a moment, I need some practical advice. I posted my question in the Ask the Mineshaft thread which promptly died.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:30 AM
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re: 158

Inability to keep it in one's pants, etc whatever you want to call it.

The number of people I know who have never ever ever ever had some kind of sexual indiscretion [mild or not] with someone other than their partner is vanishingly small. The number who make a regular habit of it, or who pursue it compulsively, also very small.

But if we are making absolute sexual fidelity a condition of office, we are definitely into 'god-King' territory.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:30 AM
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61

I do still buy (oh, in a 70-30 kind of level of certainty way) that the kid isn't his. That's checkable, and I don't see what he gets, once the affair's out in the open, by delaying the revelation that the kid is his too.

I would say at least 70-30 the other way.

Speaking of paternity odds what are yours for Jefferson, Hemings? I would say 60-40 that he is the father of at least one of her children.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:30 AM
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165: I thought that they did genetic testing which proved that he was the father.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:32 AM
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I thought it was the way Carter has led his life outside the presidency.

There's something to be said for the "greatest ex-president" label often hung on him, after all. Of all the presidents I've been alive to have any sort of sense of as living people, he's the only one who ever struck me as a fundamentally decent human being (regardless of what we might disagree about). It's quite amazing to me that such a person could survive to national level politics, looking at the playing field.


Posted by: Earnest B. Overly | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:34 AM
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Carter definitely had a right-wing foreign policy. It's been my impression that the three-decade campaign of character assassination against him was almost entirely the result of his attempts to make energy conservation some sort of priority for both the country and for average people.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:37 AM
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166: No. She hasn't sought testing and JE hasn't sought it himself or encouraged her to. The Nat'l Enquirer however has said they've stolen a used diaper and intend to find out for themselves. Fun, eh?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:37 AM
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150

Nope. See the earlier thread, passim, for my thoughts on what aggravated that situation.

In a way I am more inclined to be sympathetic in the sil case as I can more easily see that as what the law used to call an irresistible impulse (triggered by a totally unexpected opportunity). Of course if in reality he had been scheming to seduce her since she was 8 that would be different.

Whereas someone like Edwards should have had plenty of experience dealing with approaches by attractive women.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:40 AM
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166: I was reading Shearer literally. I was thinking about the actual Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemmings. Her kids were his, right?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:42 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:43 AM
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166 169

I think the reference was to Jefferson-Hemings where DNA testing has basically shown the father was in the Jefferson line but not necessarily Jefferson himself (the most plausible alternative being his brother).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:43 AM
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165, 166: While I don't remember the facts precisely, if I've got them straight in my head I'd put Jefferson as the father of at least one of Hemings' children at better than 90%. What I'm remembering is that genetic testing narrowed the possible fathers to either Jefferson, or a man descended from Jefferson's paternal grandfather; one such candidate existed (a nephew? Can't remember.) who was or could have been present at a time when he could have fathered Hemings' kid. Again, IIRC, there was no evidence of a contemporaneous belief that the nephew was sleeping with Hemings, and a lot of evidence that people thought Jefferson was.

The genetic test, with no other evidence, gets it to 50% odds that it was Jefferson; add the gossip at the time, and the total absence of gossip (if I'm remembering it right) about the other candidate, and that gets me up to 90%.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:45 AM
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I have to wonder what it was like for them when the cancer story broke in March 2007. That's when the John-Elizabeth relationship became a central feature of his personal appeal, and the bomb strapped to him was guaranteed to blow up a whole bunch more stuff than before if it went off.

And, yeah, I was a huge Edwards booster for years. Even now you have to love the way he started the bidding on every lefty issue (global warming and health care especially) with a nice high opening bid. His health care plan, seen as a game-changing proposal at the time, is now the basic blueprint that Max Baucus is presenting as the consensus Democratic option. The dude's career is over, but the policy lives on.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:46 AM
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The number of people I know who have never ever ever ever had some kind of sexual indiscretion [mild or not] with someone other than their partner is vanishingly small.

Interesting. I never have, and I can say with assurance that my closest friends never have either, with one notable exception. IOW my experience is the opposite.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:50 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:57 AM
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Obama has many of the policy flaws that I was worried about before his election, but it's also clear that Obama has a fantastic temperment for the Presidency, just really good character

This really isn't clear at all. Your character is revealed by your actions, not by your demeanor, and so far Obama has continued the Bush-Paulson policy of funneling hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, continued the Bush foreign policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, expanded our dungeons at Bagram and declared that prisoners there have no rights, and put climate-change policy on the back burner. None of this speaks well of his character.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:58 AM
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You know, I don't entirely understand the mechanism by which the careers come to a screeching halt. I've followed the news stories, but the impression I get is that the politicians concede and that ends their careers, because everyone knows that the careers are over.

Is that necessarily true, though? What if they brazened it out, like Vitters, who was caught going to prostitutes to get diapered, and then returned to the Senate.

I don't think Edwards is a good example, because he was facing an immediate choice by the voters. But in other cases, does the career-ending come from an electoral eviction or from concession?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:59 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:01 AM
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In general, it appears that for Democratic politicians, sexual indiscretions end their careers, while for Republican politicians, it has no effect whatsoever on anything and nobody even imagines that they might step down or be pressured to step down. The exceptions being Bill Clinton, and Republicans who are revealed as being gay.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:01 AM
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Oh, and yeah, Democrats are definitely being hypocritical in our steadfast support of Napoleon.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:02 AM
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I can say with assurance that my closest friends never have either, with one notable exception. IOW my experience is the opposite.

Yeah, this. I've seen more tempted friends very consciously back away from potential infidelity than I know of stories about having affairs. To my knowledge, infidelity isn't common in my circles and I think I'd know. People confide shit to me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:03 AM
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175.2: I definitely appreciate everything Edwards did in the primaries, especially on healthcare. I can't imagine what kind of sub-DLC mush the Dems would be peddling today if someone hadn't tried to raise the bar a couple notches back then.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:07 AM
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185: I think there's two things going on -- genuinely different attitudes toward infidelity in different social groups both culminates in different rates of infidelity, and in how intensely people keep it under wraps. People may generally tell you stuff, but if you're in a social group where screwing around is viewed as a serious and uncommon transgression, that's going to reduce the chances that they'll talk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:12 AM
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No doubt, but I hear other very uncomfortable confessions. I can't know, of course, but I think I'd be cued in. (Also, Sacramento is such a small town. I'd hear talk or see something.)

You're right, though. All I can really assert is that my crowd, like togolosh's, is not one where near-everybody has an affair that they would tell a confidant. I have seen the opposite, where people are tempted by an affair and do a lot of self-monitoring so they don't have one.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:20 AM
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togolosh, Megan; in my experience people are far more likely to confide things to you if they do not expect to be judged about them. I don't know anything about your individual situations, but the more judgemental a social group seems to be about something, the less likely they are to be open with each other about it --- even if the friendships are old, and strong.

Perhaps relevant: an acquaintance of mine once commented that he had no idea how many of his friends had had affairs, until he was outed (amongst their circle, I mean) for his. I guess some people felt like it was safe to talk to him about, then.

Anyway, both in my varied experience, and in what I've read of the study of this sort of thing, it seems that the vast majority of people have at least some minor indiscretion, as it was put, in their past.

In particular, I suspect that here:
I can say with assurance that my closest friends never have either, with one notable exception

your assurance is misplaced. It is, of course, possible that your group of friends is just very unusual group.

Alternatively, "sexual indescretion [minor or not]" may be doing a lot of work here, as definitions will vary wildly. Is a drunken make-out session counted, or not?

[can't stay away, can I /lunch]


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:24 AM
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Maybe ttaM's friends just confide in him more.

My experience is just like ttaM's, really. Granted my sample group includes lots of writers, painters, musicians and general artiste-y types... but the craziest people I've known in this respect have been either cooks or philosophy students, for some reason.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:26 AM
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I'm trying to assess the likelihood that I'd get other confessions but not confessions of infidelity. It is a possibility, but not my first explanation. (Bolstered by the lack of circumstantial evidence of affairs; I'm telling you, in Sacramento you'd get caught.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:36 AM
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I'd say that probably a majority of people I've known have at some point cheated in a serious relationship, but not a large one. FWIW women significantly more than men. Quite a few people seem to be psychologically wired for fidelity in serious relationships. I was rather surprised when I found that out about myself. It seems that even with permission from a gf and opportunity with an attractive woman, I won't. This has nothing to do with me being moral or good, or whatever, anymore than the fact that I have a strong sexual preference towards dark hair. I am not including drunken makeout sessions though, so this may be a question of definitions.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:36 AM
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soup - yes indeed, an unusual group. I have a very small group of people I'd call closest friends, and they are all more than willing to confide humiliating personal failures to me. It's part of what makes a person a close friend, namely a willingness to expose weaknesses and a supportive attitude towards handling them. All are friends in part because what we get from each other is encouragement to be a better person and comfort when we inevitably backslide. I strongly suspect that the dynamic LB talks about in 187 makes people outside that group unwilling to confide in me about an affair, but that's really fine with me.

That said, there is one who will almost certainly have an affair eventually, just based on temperament.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:41 AM
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Napoleon wasn't all that sexy. His wife shamelessly cheated on him, and while he had his share of concubine-like relationships, he was reported to be graceless, ill at ease and unimpressive.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:44 AM
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I'm trying to assess the likelihood that I'd get other confessions but not confessions of infidelity.

This sort of thing is obviously hard to asses. My claim is nothing particular about infidelity, rather that people are more likely to confess/discuss things with you that they are comfortable you will not be judgemental about. Much like the way that people self-censor if they assume you will share what you are told.

I suspect this is often a strong effect in the case of infidelity, is all.

Of course this is all anectdotal, based only on trying to figure out why I have historically been told a lot of things, sometimes exclusively, with no immediately obvious reason that would be the case. I've been told many things that could be very damaging to people (felonies, potential marriage wreckage, etc.) --- obviously the risk of this damage was somehow less to these people than the reward of getting it off their chest or whatever. I think there is a very strong element of trust though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:44 AM
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ABLE WAS I ERE I SAW ELBA .... LAYDEEZ!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED NAPOLEON | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:47 AM
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194: Googling reveals that this is not true. He had issues with women, but was sexy enough.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:49 AM
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This sort of thing is obviously hard to asses. My claim is nothing particular about infidelity, rather that people are more likely to confess/discuss things with you that they are comfortable you will not be judgemental about.

Not just being judgemental or non-judgemental. If I were to give my friends the impression that I am wistful because I can't find someone to love me and be intimate with me, then my friends probably would not confide in me about infidelities, because it might make me respond not with empathy, but with resentment that this person has two women who want him and I have none.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:51 AM
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Re. Jefferson and Hemmings: near 100%. This excellent book, which just won the Pulitzer for history, and this much less excellent book, by the same author, make an incredibly strong case.

Re. Edwards: Apo's almost certainly right that in most instances we learn nearly nothing about personal character from revelations of sexual indiscretion. But others here are surely right such a point doesn't answer the question about judgment/priorities in this particular case. Because, it seems to me, the stakes were unusually high here. And Edwards was gambling with other people's money.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:51 AM
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195.last - Yeah, an ability to STFU about potentially awesome gossip leads to getting lots of potentially awesome gossip once word gets around that you don't leak. I have some awesomely awesome stories of the gossipy kind that I can never tell. Sad, really.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:52 AM
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Heh. Now I'm wondering if I give off a judgmental vibe in blogland. In person, my approach is acceptance and an anecdote about how I felt exactly the same way once, and then finding the most generous explanation for everyone's behavior.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:54 AM
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It seems that even with permission from a gf and opportunity with an attractive woman, I won't.

What the hell is wrong with you? (slaps teraz up side his head)


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:55 AM
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197 gives a pretty funny mental image.


Posted by: David Weman | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:56 AM
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201: Maybe not judgmental, so much as "Megan wouldn't ever do this kind of thing, I don't want her to know that I did"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:59 AM
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the craziest people I've known in this respect have been either cooks or philosophy students, for some reason.

Oh, the tales neb could tell.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:00 PM
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There's a book about Napoleon's sex life by one Masson -- not the controversial Masson of our era, however.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:02 PM
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Aren't chefs/cooks always the craziest people one knows?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:03 PM
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That's in line with Sherry's themes about exposing weaknesses to reassure others, invite closeness, and stop having to expend the energy to project false fronts. I've learned a lot from her.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:04 PM
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206: I read that as "Mason". Damned freemasons spreading rumors and taking over the Italian government!


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:05 PM
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207: The notable exception I refer to in 176 is a former cook. Anecdata.

I think that theater folk should be included in the cook/philosopher philandering club. Those people fuck like rabbits, I tell ya. Rabbits!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:10 PM
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Now I'm wondering if I give off a judgmental vibe in blogland.

Um, yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:16 PM
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211: Judgmentalist!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:21 PM
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My first year of grad school, everyone in my department was married to someone else in the department and cheating on them with yet another person in the department. OK, this is a slight exaggeration, but nearly the truth and rippled out into no end of drama (engagments broken and extra in-department gf dumped when sister of another dept. member visited + elopement!) It prompted Ja/m/ie Re/d/field to shake his head and sigh, "Haven't these people ever heard of exogamy?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:27 PM
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I'm telling you, in Sacramento you'd get caught

Sacramento has nearly half a million people in it. How many of them do you know?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:28 PM
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Haven't these people ever heard of exogamy masturbation?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:29 PM
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I believe it. The medium, which is only pixels without people attached, you know, brings out the guidelines I apply to myself. I believe that contrasts with my in-person demeanor, in which I'm interested and sympathetic with the way people are human. This strikes me as similar to how people keep insisting that I am SO INTENSE, MAN on the internet, which I also don't get because I'm way amiable and mellow in person.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:31 PM
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183

In general, it appears that for Democratic politicians, sexual indiscretions end their careers, while for Republican politicians, it has no effect whatsoever on anything and nobody even imagines that they might step down or be pressured to step down. The exceptions being Bill Clinton, and Republicans who are revealed as being gay.

This is selective perception. See Vito Fossella or Don Sherwood .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:31 PM
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The Midtown area is four square miles and where my acquaintances live and hang out. After ten years and three big circles, I'd guess I'm at most one person away from everyone my rough age and social class. I never meet anyone that I can't place somewhere. But more, it gets back to the talk. I honest to god hear if someone is seen at the park with someone not-her-spouse.

I have no idea what people are doing in the suburbs. Probably all cheating on each other or something.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:35 PM
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180

This really isn't clear at all. Your character is revealed by your actions, not by your demeanor, and so far Obama has continued the Bush-Paulson policy of funneling hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to Wall Street, continued the Bush foreign policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, expanded our dungeons at Bagram and declared that prisoners there have no rights, and put climate-change policy on the back burner. None of this speaks well of his character.

I believe character was being used in the judicial temperment sense not the agrees with me about everything sense.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:38 PM
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218: Maybe cheaters tend not to hang out together in the parks where everyone they know is? That sounds as if you'd notice people being entirely unguarded, but anyone crafty enough to meet fifteen minutes away in a diner outside of town wouldn't show up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:41 PM
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143: Do you have to lord everything over us? We know you guys have low rates of violent crime, a rationally planned economy, and statuesque good looks. We don't need to hear every positive statistic from northern Europe.

ok, I'm off to go eat too much fatty food and wonder who on campus is packing heat.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:44 PM
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Vito Fossella -- DUI, blood alcohol content 0.17, actually sent to jail. That's a complicating factor.

Don Sherwood -- did not retire in disgrace, ran for reelection, lost by something like 52%-48%. And this was not only after reports of an affair, but after reports of physically abusing his mistress (though no indictment or conviction).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:45 PM
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Aren't chefs/cooks always the craziest people one knows?

They are usually up there, at any rate. Musicians, too.

Actually, I think this is very dependent on your social circle. I think I've mentioned here before how I've tendex to drift through social circles often, which sometimes gives me a different perspective (I suspect this is largely because I've wandered about a fair bit in both the geographic an socio-economic senses).

Anyway, I once has a social circle where the cooks were pretty much filling up the stable end of the spectrum. After all they had regular (ish) jobs and had to be functional enough to wield sharp objects. It was an interesting time, that.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:46 PM
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222: No, I am more inclined to believe that the complicating factor with Fossella was the secret second family.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:46 PM
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I believe character was being used in the judicial temperment sense not the agrees with me about everything sense

Temperament isn't character. And nothing about Obama's policy priorities suggests a remarkably judicial temperament, either.


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:54 PM
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Surely there can be an aphorism along the lines of, "If the cooks are your social bedrock, then beware the tectonics of your world."

Okay, maybe not.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 12:59 PM
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Fossella's also one of seven NY seats that have flipped from R to D in the past six years (compared with 0 in the other direction). Not to say his peccadilloes didn't grease those skids, but there's a easily recognizable trens at work there as well.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:00 PM
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but it's also clear that Obama has a fantastic temperment for the Presidency, just really good character


This really isn't clear at all. Your character is revealed by your actions, not by your demeanor

I think PGD tripped himself up here by using "character" as a synonym or explicative for temperament. Earlier in his comment he'd already said that he though Obama is making policy mistakes, so I really think he meant "temperament." And Obama's temperament as Pres has been unassailable - he's played it cool, he has reassured the public, he has brought the hammer down (as with the Chrysler bondholders) without making anyone (except wingnuts) think he's a bully, and he's driven the rightwing into a self-defeating frenzy without enacting policies just for spite (or narrow partisan gain).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:00 PM
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225: I think you mean judicious. And I think you're wrong regardless. Still, it's good to see you.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:00 PM
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Di, are the lawyers who screw around on their husbands/wives worse lawyers or just worse people?

This, of course, depends on subjective judgment calls about what makes a "good" lawyer. For those who think "win at all costs" is an appropriate lawyering philosophy, and that lying is okay as long as you don't get caught, unfaithful lawyers may well be better. The translation of this to politics is so direct that it's barely even analogy. I take the view that, eg., if we let the client testify to something we know to be untrue, it's bad lawyering, even though it may be very effective. It may advance short term goals, but it is terrible for the system.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:03 PM
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227 totally grosses me out. I mean: Vito Fossella, sexual peccadilloes, and greased skids. Why didn't you just link to a video of three albino dwarfs shitting in an ice cream cone and be done with it?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:03 PM
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three albino dwarfs shitting in an ice cream cone

If you insist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:06 PM
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230: Hrm. This is anecdote, not data, but one of the most professionally ethically stiff-necked lawyers I've ever worked with; someone I'd feel comfortable asking for a gut check from under the assumption that if he thought it was okay, it really was okay, is also someone that I have a pretty firm belief screwed around with another associate at one of my prior employers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:11 PM
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232 is a real letdown.

Also, goddamit, what is the grammatical term for what PGD did in the bit iar and I quoted? Not asymptote, not assonance.

Appositive?

Dammit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:12 PM
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232 is awesome. Gotta keep 'em guessing.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:15 PM
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No matter how many divergent opinions emerge about 232, I'm still not clicking on it. Mama didn't raise no fool.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:21 PM
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229: You think that I'm wrong that the policies listed in 180 are not in fact Obama's policies, or wrong in that escalating unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan in fact reveals a judicious temperament?


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:21 PM
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I swear to God it's nothing but adorable baby kittens. Clicking on it is perfectly safe.

Really.

Honest.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:22 PM
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He thinks you're wrong in saying that the word "temperament" refers to policy decisions, IIR. Calm down.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:23 PM
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Now to go back and edit the link.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:24 PM
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233: Yeah, fair enough -- I'm basing my entire theory mostly (though not entirely) on one particular lawyer who confessed his affair to me (upon direct, but non-judgmental confrontation). When I work with him, I have more than once had to call him on pushing ethical boundaries. Perhaps not an adequate sample.

And I'll concede Apo's point above that my theory as a whole turns on cheaters who are flagrant enough for *me* to know they are cheating. My naivete is legendary, alas, so by the time I know, we're talking someone who is not only unfaithful, but also shameless.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:26 PM
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Calm down.

?


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:41 PM
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If I understand the timeline correctly it was:

1. affair
2. announcement of candidacy
3. revelation to Elizabeth
4. cancer
5. candidacy ends
6. revelation to everyone else

Seems to me as though the cancer gave Edwards a perfectly logical reason to drop out, and he should have done so.

If he had dropped out before Iowa, though, I bet Hillary would be president today.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 1:49 PM
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If he had dropped out before Iowa, though, I bet Hillary would be president today.

That's crazy. You can't be Secretary of State and President. Sheesh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 2:19 PM
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It's often the most straight-laced people who are most likely to screw up . . . They have the most to gain, the screwing around looks so appealing precisely because it's off limits. Or maybe they figure "I've earned this, it all balances out" . . .


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 3:51 PM
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245: No.

Just kidding.

Nice comment, bjk!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 7:52 PM
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The "nice" M/itch is freaking me out.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 9:02 PM
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I'm still just really angry about all the money I gave him---which is money I did not give to house or senate races, money I did not give to defeat prop 8 or prop 9, money I did not give to issue campaigns, and money I won't have when my layoff is complete in a few months and I need to buy into COBRA. At the end of the day, that'


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:27 PM
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Woops. At the end of the day, that's a little hard to get over in this climate.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:28 PM
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249: I agree it sucks. I tell myself that I made the best choice I could given the information at the time.

Sure.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:33 PM
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The "nice" M/itch is freaking me out.

Oh, nonsense. This one time at a rather festive gathering, M/tch nicely asked me, "Hey, Stanley, may I open this bottle of wine you brought?"

And I said something like, "Yes, of course, M/tch. I brought that wine for everyone, so it's appropriate that you do so."

And so he did.

See? M/tch: objectively nice.

(True story!)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:39 PM
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251: That was just a formality, Stanislaus. I was going to punch you in the nose if you said "no".

You didn't get my menacing vibes? I must have been off my game that night.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:47 PM
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253

You sheep-fucking cunt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:58 PM
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254

253: Yes?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 10:59 PM
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255

I apologize. Let's move on.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:02 PM
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256

Yeah, that's what I though you said.

Pussy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:03 PM
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257

I like cheeseburgers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:05 PM
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258

257: I KNEW you'd get over that whole vegetarian phase you were going through!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:07 PM
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259

If "I like cheeseburgers." is ever going replace "Comity!" we're going to need your help, M/tch. C'mon now, be a sport.

[cross-posted to Standpipe's more active blog]


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05- 6-09 11:13 PM
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260

Oops, you're right. Sorry!

258 should read: "I Love You Man."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 3:36 AM
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261

pop report (for bob):

a: of the ten i listened to, the only version of raglan road i think works exactly is by dick gaughan, very dry and held in and advisedly amusedly bitter and private
b: the boys of the lough version (cathal mconnell?) catches a kind of continued wondering innocence about his loss and/or error, which is a nice idea, and he has a gorgeous voice
c: i like the way sineƔd sings "hurriedly", with all four syllables
d: i continue to hope van morrison's voice will speak to me, as i dwindle, but it just doesn't doesn't doesn't
e: i actually thought the osborne was the weakest -- far too slow and gauzy
f: the line everyone has trouble with is "the queen of hearts still making tarts/and i not making hay"


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 05- 7-09 4:18 AM
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