John Edwards’ Affair is But a Small Token of his Dirtbagness

To think that this guy was 100,000 votes in Ohio from being yours and mine Vice President. The former Senator of the great state of North Carolina, John Edwards, has re-defined what it means to suffer a public implosion, inciting more rage and angst in people who have paid attention to this story than nearly any public affair I have seen in my life. But perhaps a little re-examination of his life will provide a fuller understanding as to why fathering a child with a young campaign aide while running for Presidential office and while your wife is dying of cancer is not even the climax of this dirtbag’s moral compass.

And yes, I exaggerate nothing in describing his latest escapade. John Edwards, 57 years old and married to his trusty sidekick, Elizabeth, for over 30 years, is getting divorced and preparing for a life with his mistress, Rielle Hunter, the mother of his two-year old daughter. His wife was diagnosed with breast cancer before the affair began, and it relapsed and spread to her bones and lungs during the 2008 Presidential campaign. He told his mistress (who he would later call a “slut” and a “freak”) that he would marry her once his wife died. He begged a staffer to pretend the baby was his (for the longest time, he vehemently denied that he was the father). Two of the four children he had with his wife of 33 years are still young (as in, under the age of 12). This guy is a piece of work. But for anyone who knows John Edwards, or has studied his life, these incidents in recent times are not a surprise; in fact, they are the tip of the iceberg.

I confess that I begin my analysis with the presupposition that plaintiff’s trial lawyers are generally less than admirable people, and by “less than admirable” I mean that there is no profession low enough in America to capture what I think of these people, and I am including that profession (if you know what I mean)! But Edwards managed to do the impossible in his legal career, and by impossible, I mean that he made most plaintiff’s trial lawyers look respectable by comparison.

No case was too frivolous for the Carolinian wonder boy, and no case was unwinnable either. He beat down doctors to a point of humiliating submission, and singlehandedly changed malpractice premium costs for an entire region of the country. Medical malpractice cases are a complex thing, I suppose, and I am not sure it is possible to prove my case, but I would propose to you that John Edwards legal war against doctors has to have cost lives over the years, and almost certainly has cost tremendous amounts of suffering and pain (for patients, or as John calls them, “the little guy”). How could this be, you wonder? Wasn’t he just a knight in shining armor taking on an evil medical industry that refused to look out for the little guy? No. Not in the slightest bit. What he did was sue the American Red Cross repeatedly because some blood transfusions went wrong (a tragic freak accident, yes, but a tort, hardly). What he did was put the fear of God in every doctor’s mind in his part of the world that if they slightly over-prescribed (or under-prescribed) a treatment, he would ruin their lives. Treatments that should have been recommended were inevitably avoided because of the threat of John the Dirtbag coming after them. He carved out an impressive niche in tragic cerebral palsy cases, forcing obstetricians and their insurance carriers to settle cases (for huge dollar amounts) to avoid highly dubious accusations that an action (or inaction) on their part led to cerebral palsy in the cases of various infants. How any member of the medical profession ever voted for this wretch of a human being is beyond me. At some point in John’s career he realized that ruining doctor’s lives to enrich himself had hit a ceiling, and he now had to turn his guns on a different classification of victim – one in which torts could really hit high numbers: product liability cases. So he put companies out of business over freak home accidents and pocketed multi-million dollar fees every step of the way. He was notorious for the most contemptible behavior imaginable in the courtroom including claiming that deceased family members of his clients were inside his body talking through him. Like I said, a real piece of work.

So you will have to forgive me if I do not find the idea that he promised to have The Dave Matthews Band play at the wedding to his young mistress after cancer finished ravaging his wife’s insides to be that surprising. From his entire legal career, to his demand for a $55,000 honorarium to speak at UC Davis about poverty, and now on into this unbelievable personal implosion, John Edwards is a seriously flawed moral being. He is sociopathic in every sense of the word. And when he and this bimbo campaign staffer sit on Oprah’s couch in a few years with a new book out talking about the undeniable force of their love, I hope none of you will be appalled or surprised. For with John Edwards, the death of outrage should be long, long behind us.