Friday, January 25, 2008

The incredibly dishonest campaign of John Edwards

As a North Carolinian who has followed John Edwards since he first emerged as a millionaire trial lawyer senatorial candidate running ads in a denim shirt, I've thought the guy was a phony. And now Charles Krauthammer sums up exactly what a deceitful liar this guy is.
Edwards has made much of his renunciation of his Iraq War vote. But he has not stopped there. His entire campaign has been an orgy of regret and renunciation.

-- As senator, he voted in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that he now denounces.

-- As senator, he voted for storing nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Twice. He is now fiercely opposed.

-- As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it "radically overhauled."

-- As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it "a good bill ... and I am pleased to support it." He now attacks it.

-- As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. Need I say? He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.

Breathtaking. People can change their minds about something. But everything? The man served one term in the Senate. He left not a single substantial piece of legislation to his name, only an astonishing string of votes on trade, education, civil liberties, energy, bankruptcy and, of course, war that now he not only renounces but inveighs against.

Today he plays the avenging angel, engaged in an "epic struggle" against the great economic malefactors that "have literally," he assures us, "taken over the government." He is angry, embodying the familiar zeal of the convert, ready to immolate anyone who benightedly holds to any revelation other than the zealot's very latest.

Nothing new about a convert. Nothing new about a zealous convert. What is different about Edwards is his endlessly repeated claim that the raging populist of today is what he has always been. That this has been the "cause of my life," the very core of his being, ingrained in him on his father's knee or at the mill or wherever, depending on the anecdote he's telling. You must understand: This is not politics for him. "This fight is deeply personal to me. I've been engaged in it my whole life."
Yeah, sure.

And then Krauthammer delivers this scathing conclusion recalling this Biblical line used in A Man for All Seasons when Thomas More asks the man who just perjured himself in order to get a job in Wales.
It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the whole world. But for 4 percent of the Nevada caucuses?
Ouch. The name of the perjurer whose testimony helped send More to the block? Richard Rich. Now, every time I see John Edwards I'll picture Paul Scofield asking Richard Rich
Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?
John Edwards - the 21st Century Richard Rich.