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    Can we separate our Two Americas?

    Dear Elizabeth,

    Normally I’d feel a bit cheeky addressing you by your first name, but by this point, I feel as if I knew you. Last night, I had a gossipy, ribaldly intimate catch-up dinner with an old friend, and I swear I walked out of that restaurant being privy to less about what he’s been doing with his nether parts lately than about what you, your husband, and all your former hangers-on have been doing with yours. I can’t seem to go two days together without clicking on one of my favorite news sources—blamelessly sipping my breakfast tea (Fortnum & Mason, from leaves) and hoping for a provocative new volley in the health-care or jobs-bill debate—only to come upon yet another installment in your little domestic dramas.

    You know, this would all be fine if you were entertaining about it…like, say, Diana, Princess of Wales (RIP), who had a saucy-glam fashion sense, threw herself down palace staircases in fits of despair, and had a host of royal-family elders and handlers arrayed, all espionage-thriller-like, against her.

    But you aren’t. You are not like Diana, Princess of Wales (RIP), who had a saucy-glam fashion sense, threw herself down palace staircases in fits of despair, and had a host of royal-family elders and handlers arrayed, all espionage-thriller-like, against her.

    You are, indeed, NOTHING WHATEVER like Diana, Princess of Wales (RIP), who had a saucy-glam fashion sense, threw herself down palace staircases in fits of despair, and had a host of royal-family elders and handlers arrayed, all espionage-thriller-like, against her.

    You are a fishwife.

    I don’t believe everything I read, but the stories of your high-handed treatment of staff members and aides are too consistent to be dismissed. And seriously, you’re entitled to grieve for your dead son as you see fit, but ABC says, “Among her purported demands was that Young donate $250,000 to the Wade Edwards Foundation, a non-profit group named for the Edwards’ late son, who died in a car accident in 1996.” I read that and think, If he’s so vile, why would you want his money anywhere near your son’s memory, even…no, especially…if it were part of some little revenge plan?

    And if fishman were a word, your husband would be one. He is a central-casting ambitious politician who fell for some adulatory-ass groupie woman, got her pregnant, and then tried to get the most willing adulatory-ass groupie man at hand to take the rap for him. It ultimately didn’t work. He will never be president of anything from here on, probably not even his college alumni club.

    You would be fully justified in jointly doing a Profumo and devoting your lives to anonymous service to others from here on out, but I’m not on crack, so I don’t expect anything like that to happen. Instead…I don’t know, Greece is in trouble at the moment. Maybe the four of you could buy yourselves a nice island in the Aegean and enjoy wrangling over who stole whose husband or sex tape or whatever until Kingdom Come, without its getting into the papers and spoiling my enjoyment of my tea (Fortnum & Mason, from leaves). I’m addressing this to you, still officially the lady of the Edwards household, because I’d very much like you to consider it an invitation. To go away.

    Yrs. faithfully,

    S.

    PS: Walter Olson at Overlawyered has some stuff about that law you’re trying to use to nail Andrew Young for “alienation of affections.” Of course, I’m sure you know all about how your legal team’s strategy works, being an attorney and all.

    3 Responses to “Can we separate our Two Americas?”

    1. Leslie says:

      Hi, Sean—

      For some reason, I keep linking this post with the one on nonreligious conservatives’ take on Palin and your thoughtful, corrective observations that folks have to be willing to take on her weak spots despite the nastiness of most mainstream observers. I think I keep linking the two in my mind because the media response to these two families, the Edwardses and the Palins, to me reflect the reality that only conservatives are able to offer valid criticisms of Palin, which is perhaps why these fair-minded, nonreligious conservatives are wary of offering public criticisms, however valid (and according to Reason magazine, they sure are). I mean, if one were to present a side-by-side comparison of the personal and professional issues exhibited by both families, I would think that the Palin family would come out way ahead in terms of their nonnegative impact (or “impacts,” as academics would say) on the public. But that would not be the response you would hear. Sure, the MSM is having a good laugh over the affair and the baby and Elizabeth’s threatened suit against Andrew Young, but as Mickey Kaus points out, most critics are going after Young, not Elizabeth. (And no, I do not think they would be any fairer to Palin were she in stage-four cancer.) And I’ve never heard any MSM person describe John Edwards as an empty suit or call Elizabeth Edwards insane, though both criticisms are constantly leveled against Palin and, it seems to me, could just as easily apply to the Edwardses (David Broder being a very recent exception). But unfortunate, the MSM is filled with young graduates who have been taught to respond viscerally, emotionally, culturally, and not objectively, however inherently difficult that is in any case. I admit that I do not like listening to Palin talk. Her voice grates, and she speaks in simplistic terms and invokes god way too often for my taste. But what about the president? I honestly do not think he has ever said anything definite about anything, and I do not remember his campaign having much more than slogans to offer the voters. But of course, he said it well, and that’s what matters. It’s all form over substance with the MSM, and when you know that going in, there is the very legitimate fear that your balanced observations will be twisted and used against you.

    2. Sean says:

      The contrast really is stark, yes. (The whole flap over whether Palin was wearing a black bracelet as a remembrance of her son who’s deployed, and what nefarious element of her character that illustrated, was especially striking.) But then, the Edwardses very much resemble the Clintons, and the media contorted themselves to make non-stories of their Dogpatch-isms, too.

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