All Right, John. We Need To Talk

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

The Edwards/Blogrrrls "scandal" continues today.  I really loathe blogger inside-pool (where bloggers criticize bloggers about blogging about blogging, blah, blah, blah), but this has jumped to the mainstream media and become, for reason beyond my comprehension, a genuine campaign issue and a watershed moment for a leading presidential candidate.

The best, sanest take I’ve read is here:

John Edwards?  Get over here.

Sit down.  We need to talk about something.

Here, kid; have a cookie.  Don’t like oatmeal raisin?  Wow, never thought I’d hear that coming from you.  Okay, well, take some lemonade.  Sure thing.

Now, John.  You have decided to make Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan your friends.  Right?  Don’t look away from me.  You asked them to help you, and they agreed.  Right?

Okay.  Well, I have seen how this Bill Donohue and his Catholic-a-gogo friends are treating them.  Michelle Malkin’s not been very nice, either.  And the two of them are doing a lot of screaming about your friends.  So you need to stick up for them.

What?  They’re liabilities?  How?

They said what?


Heh, damn.  Pardon my French, Johnny, but that’s pretty funny.  I know this is serious; do you know?  Wait, come back.  Sit down.  Let’s keep talking.   That’s not the point.

Did you know about these things?  I’m assuming not because I’ve never seen you run home so fast before.  Okay, no.  Okay.  Well, let’s think about this a little more, shall we?

What if these people said something about your wife’s actions like this?  Just think about this for a second.  What if your wife came under this kind of fire for something you did not know she did?  Would you divorce her?

JOHN!  Don’t play like that; this is serious.

You wouldn’t.  Good…  No, no — I knew you were joking.  I think…anyway…

Now, imagine you are the king of the world.  You have a lot of power, probably more than you deserve, but that’s another conversation.  You can tell people what to do.  You can influence a lot of people.  And you hire a lot of friends to help you.  And people complained about all of those friends every single day.

What do you mean they wouldn’t?  They do it all the time, John.  Enough of this leading around — you can’t please everyone, John.  You used your discretion to find the best person for the job.  You stick by it.  A good person and a good leader does not sway with every note of criticism when dealing with matters regarding their friends.  People are not universally popular.  People have opinions.  People are free to express those opinions.

What?  You’re not serious.

The First Amendment. 

Yes, it protects speech.  You should know this…

You do?  Then, what’s the problem?  John, it’s time to grow a pair and tell those people you won’t let them run your life for you.

No.  You cannot compromise on matters like these.  What if they didn’t like your hair?  Or your clothes?  What if they didn’t want you to wear clothes, John?  Would you strip?  DON’T ANSWER THAT…that wife thing still bothers me.  You have to take a stand; you claim you can.  Now is the time to show you will not be intimidated by the evil invective of people who just want to tear you down.

You know the spirit in your heart.  You use it.  Stop pandering to naysayers, and you might be surprised at what might happen.  Stop engaging dishonesty.

I mean it.

Now go and show them that you’re not a coward.  You know the consequences of all actions you take, and you accept them courageously.  Including not making everyone happy.  You understand?

You’re welcome.


Ah.  Yes, John, you can have a cookie.   Now walk – not run — walk back out there, and take a firm stand in defense of your friends.  Because if you can’t stand for them, how will you stand for anyone else?  Worse, how will you stand for yourself?  You’ll make tougher decisions than this.  Now, go on, John.   If we need to talk again, I’ll be here.

Sure thing.