'Theft by suckering'

America's political system has a new disgraced face

  • Follow Editorials

John Edwards’ crimes were tough to prove, even tougher to stomach.

Let’s be real: Few honest observers doubt he did what they said he did – use huge campaign contributions to hide a mistress and illegitimate child from view in the 2008 presidential election in order to convince the public he was every bit the gallant knight he portrayed himself to be.

He didn’t know anything about it all. Yeah, right.

But the beauty of our criminal justice system is that, even in highly politicized cases, the burden of proof for the government is a high threshold. In this case, that bar couldn’t be hurdled.

Yet, if what Edwards did wasn’t a crime, it oughta be. Call it “high cynicism” or “theft by suckering.” It doesn’t get much more brazen. Big donors were used to keep mistress Rielle Hunter both quiet and comfortable and off the public’s radar, in order to further the false image he tried to get us all to buy.

John Edwards – known for his pretty-boy looks and locks and a charm so seductive that an alternate juror was even accused of flirting with him – is now the disgraced face of an American political system that couldn’t possibly become more vapid and superficial but probably will, as a result of his getting off scot-free.

Much as Bill Clinton singlehandedly lowered the standards of a nation by having illicit sex in the Oval Office itself and perjuring himself under oath about another affair, only to survive impeachment, so the Edwards case ratchets down the already low public opinion and frequent narcissistic behavior of politicians.

Edwards even tried to play the self-flagellating victim on the courthouse steps after being acquitted on one charge and winning an apparently decisive mistrial on five others. Give it a few weeks. If this case follows precedent, the man who did all the above while his wife was dying of cancer will soon be lampooning his sins in funny commercials or on late-night television, and won’t that just be endearing and redemptive.

Meanwhile, Edwards aide Andrew Young established a new low for toadies – not only helping Edwards hide the mistress and child, but even publicly claiming the child was his. Somehow, he got his wife to go along with the embarrassment.

Note to self: No politician is worth that kind of prostration. Let the Edwards affair be a red flag to suckers and sycophants everywhere: Be careful at what golden calfs you toss your coin.

Comments (33) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
KSL
129967
Points
KSL 06/03/12 - 11:08 pm
7
2
John Edwards is a sleazy

John Edwards is a sleazy lawyer want to be big time politician who was stupid enough to get caught with his pants down before he was owed enormous political favors. He was so out-sleazed by Clinton.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/03/12 - 11:50 pm
5
8
AACOS writes:"John Edwards’

AACOS writes:"John Edwards’ crimes were tough to prove,"

Time to stop reading right there. I know it galls you and many others but the news we all saw and read(even on Fox) said acquitted on 1 count and a hung jury on others. So, is it our esteemed Oracles of Broad Street who now hold the power of a conviction of crimes in America?

When did we give up the doctrine of Innocent until PROVEN guilty and turn that power over to the Opinion staff of the Augusta Chronicle?

This is not a defense of John Edwards in anyway. This is about a thoroughly agreed upon tenet of American jurisprudence. One that everyone of us should always be ready to protect. When we start turning over the power of the judiciary to the opinion writers, is when our Republic really will fall. On that I think any rational person can agree.

Oh, by the way KSL, even "Sleazy Lawyers" are innocent until proven guilty.

Stercus accidit
120
Points
Stercus accidit 06/04/12 - 12:17 am
12
0
Why is it that politicians

Why is it that politicians can violate the Geneva Convention, unlawfully have politically contrary employees fired from government jobs, violate the Hatch act, make decisions affecting their campaign contributors without acknowledging the conflict of interest, and funnel government contracts to their friends without scandal, but any time there's a mistress, it's always a huge scandal?

Americans need to get their heads out of their pants and realize what's actually important.

itsanotherday1
43317
Points
itsanotherday1 06/04/12 - 12:48 am
8
3
RA; what, specifically, do

RA; what, specifically, do you disagree with in the assertions of the ACES summary?

They said "tough to prove". Well, considering the charges and difficulty of tracking which campaign dollar went where, that seems accurate.

OJ Simpson got off too, but is there any doubt in a thinking person's mind that he was guilty? (conspiracy theorists aside)

Do you disagree with the assessment of Andrew Young?

Didn't ACES basically pre-empt your rant entirely with this statement? :

"But the beauty of our criminal justice system is that, even in highly politicized cases, the burden of proof for the government is a high threshold. In this case, that bar couldn’t be hurdled."

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 06/04/12 - 02:44 am
8
1
RA actually has a point. ACEs

RA actually has a point. ACEs should have couched its first sentence with alleged or accussed since they were talking all crimes for which he was being tried. The rest is pretty much straight up opinion. I'm sure, and I'm not appalled to say that the final chapter on John Edwards has not been written. I pray the last chapters are positive.

JohnBrownAug
1962
Points
JohnBrownAug 06/04/12 - 05:02 am
6
3
The public has a right to

The public has a right to express its opinion of guilt or innocence. The press is not an officer of the court, nor are commenters. It's obvious what happened.

Maybe we should give up on morality among office holders and let presidents openly parade around with their Monica's. If this was not diversion of campaign funds, the law is worthless. Maybe it's time to admit that, too, and allow all campaign money to be used for personal use.

desertcat6
1140
Points
desertcat6 06/04/12 - 06:27 am
9
0
JohnBrown, We have the right

JohnBrown, We have the right to express our opinion about any number of things. Laws, court rulings, Presidents and a whole slew of other topics. You can even hold an opinion on whether someone is guilty of a crime before, during or after a trail. I, for one, am glad we don't convict on the basis of public opinion, but on the rule of law, strength of evidence, and the ability of the prosecution to present a case. John Edwards wasn't ruled not guilty on the other charges, the charges were not proven to the jury's satisfaction and can be retried. According to our legal system, those are unproven crimes. Nothing wrong with expressing the legal truth versus an unproven opinion.

agustinian
689
Points
agustinian 06/04/12 - 06:48 am
2
2
seenitB4
87389
Points
seenitB4 06/04/12 - 07:06 am
7
2
Enough already!!

Since the beginning of time we have had adultery......why do we obsess about this??
Do we need to read the Bible again-again & see that it has been with us FOREVER.....let's start with the 1st Presidents & go down the list....
we really do have some important problems facing us in our government......BIG problems...I'm more concerned about my 401k going bye bye......my social security checks arriving each month.....of course I would like for politicians to behave .....but I'm a realist.

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 06/04/12 - 07:10 am
12
4
I wonder if "Retired Army"
Unpublished

I wonder if "Retired Army" feels the as adamant about innocent until proven guilty when it comes to the Zimmerman/Martin case?

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 06/04/12 - 07:26 am
0
0
RETIRED ARMY
Unpublished

Bet you believe old O.J. is innocent too, eh? And SHEA...great post!

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 06/04/12 - 07:34 am
0
0
SEENIT
Unpublished

Ever thought that politicians should be taking up subjects like our suck economy instead of giving the new "page" a wink? This case, just like Bill Clinton getting off without as much as a slap on the wrist, will encourage similar behavior down the road. Politicians, Democrat and Republican, sell themselves as people of honor and family values to get votes. And yes, we should hold their feet to the fire when they prove otherwise. Maybe if they were keeping their clothes on more, they'd be getting some real work done that would actually help the country and its people.

allhans
23676
Points
allhans 06/04/12 - 08:33 am
6
3
RA.."When did we give up the

RA.."When did we give up the doctrine of Innocent until PROVEN guilty and turn that power over to the Opinion staff of the Augusta Chronicle?"

Reminds us of the exaggerated remarks made on the Zimmerman case, doesn't it?

allhans
23676
Points
allhans 06/04/12 - 08:34 am
2
2
Shea..Sorry..I stopped

Shea..Sorry..I stopped reading before I reached yours.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 09:01 am
4
9
Since Shea_Addams and Allhans

Since Shea_Addams and Allhans insist on bringing in unrelated material, there are a few things about the Zimmerman case to consider vs the John Edwards trial. One the Chronicle has not convicted George Zimmerman in it's opinion column before his trial let alone after it. Two, how many unarmed people did John Edwards admittedly shoot and kill? Three, why wasn't John Edwards returned to jail, as a flight risk, for lying to the court about cash on hand and the possession of a passport? Ummmm, because he didn't do that?

Yes, the Chronicle yammers about John Edwards as abusing the public as "suckers and sycophants" so we'll all be waiting for their "opinion" on the jailing of Zimmerman before he is even tried for treating his supporters the same. Credibility is a bear when you lose it, ain't it?

Oh, and just for the record, I personally think that John Edwards did something illegal, but I didn't sit on the jury, I didn't have the evidence presented to me over a painstaking trial and I didn't sit in on jury deliberations for 8 days. So, what would I know or the rest of us really know?

And, here's an afterthought on the Edwards fiasco. At the very least the child was not aborted and in fact has been quite handsomely financially provided for.

southernguy08
499
Points
southernguy08 06/04/12 - 09:10 am
0
0
RETIRED ARMY
Unpublished

One, the Chronicle might not have already convicted Zimmerman, but the Black Panthers have, to the point of death threats that have forced his parents to go into hiding. Two, how many people have PHYSICALLY attacked John Edwards, although he could use a good BS upside that Breck girl face of his? Three, John Edwards, like most white collar criminals, never saw the inside of a jail cell because of one thing...M-O-N-E-Y! Welcome to the real world, RA! Yeah, I'm laughing.

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 06/04/12 - 09:19 am
8
2
I guess I was right. RA
Unpublished

I guess I was right. RA completly changes tone when Zimmerman is brought up. "how many unarmed people did John Edwards admittedly shoot and kill?" So you somehow know that Martin is innocent? hmmm.... how did Zimmerman's head get so bloody? Interesting.

Unrelated material? Accusing someone of being guilty without a trial is NOT unrelated.

justthefacts
21980
Points
justthefacts 06/04/12 - 09:38 am
6
3
Jury makeup

Edwards’s jury, being racially and economically diverse, was never going to reach a consensus. IMO.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 09:42 am
3
8
Addams writes: "So you

Addams writes: "So you somehow know that Martin is innocent?"

No, but I do know he is dead, made that way by a man who seems to have alot of trouble with the truth.

How much cash did you send to Zimmerman's defense fund?

faithson
5158
Points
faithson 06/04/12 - 09:44 am
4
5
If your gonna make a list...

The article makes a good point, the only problem is the partisanship the point is made with... like there are NO republicans that fit this sock !! some actually believe in this 'fair and balanced' illusion by the republican press.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 09:44 am
3
7
jtf writes: "Edwards’s jury,

jtf writes: "Edwards’s jury, being racially and economically diverse, was never going to reach a consensus. IMO."

So, it would be OK if you got to select the jury to get the results you'd like?

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 06/04/12 - 09:45 am
7
3
"retired army" If someone is
Unpublished

"retired army" If someone is beating your head enough to make it bleed, and you have the means to stop them, will you continue to let them beat you?

My point is YOU claim to hold on to innocent until proven guilty.............unless it's Zimmerman...as I predicted.

And I don't send ANYONE defense funds....not sure what point you are trying to make there.

justthefacts
21980
Points
justthefacts 06/04/12 - 09:52 am
5
2
Carleton Duvall
6305
Points
Carleton Duvall 06/04/12 - 09:58 am
8
0
RA Said

So, it would be OK if you got to select the jury to get the results you'd like.

Happens all the time. There are experts that attorneys hire to help them select a jury in high profile cases. These guys know how to select people who would be favorable to the defendant.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 10:04 am
2
7
addams writes: "And I don't

addams writes: "And I don't send ANYONE defense funds....not sure what point you are trying to make there."

Ummmm, that alot of folks who think like you do in the Zimmerman have really been sucked in.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 10:06 am
3
6
Carelton writes: "Happens all

Carelton writes: "Happens all the time. There are experts that attorneys hire to help them select a jury in high profile cases. These guys know how to select people who would be favorable to the defendant."

And the prosecution doesn't?

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 06/04/12 - 10:07 am
6
2
I see....you were simply
Unpublished

I see....you were simply trying to link me with suckers...even though you know nothing about me. I see a pattern forming here.

So If someone is beating your head enough to make it bleed, and you have the means to stop them, will you continue to let them beat you?

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 10:15 am
3
7
desertcat6 writes: "RA

desertcat6 writes: "RA actually has a point. ACEs should have couched its first sentence with alleged or accussed since they were talking all crimes for which he was being tried."

And 6 posters(so far) agree with this, yet there are 7 who don't agree with the principle of my stand, even when I categorically state: "This is not a defense of John Edwards in anyway. This is about a thoroughly agreed upon tenet of American jurisprudence. One that everyone of us should always be ready to protect. When we start turning over the power of the judiciary to the opinion writers, is when our Republic really will fall. On that I think any rational person can agree."

Says much about the "principles" let alone the analytical skills of some of the posters here, doesn't it?

Shea_Addams
1337
Points
Shea_Addams 06/04/12 - 10:17 am
5
2
Are you including me in those
Unpublished

Are you including me in those who disagree that you are innocent until proven guilty? Funny...I never said that. I was just pointing out that YOU are inconsistent with YOUR assertion of innocence until proven guilty.

Says much about someone's principles when they assume they know what someone thinks.....even if they never say it.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 06/04/12 - 10:18 am
2
7
Addams writes: "So If someone

Addams writes: "So If someone is beating your head enough to make it bleed, and you have the means to stop them, will you continue to let them beat you?"

So, if someone you don't know is following you in your own neighborhood and you don't know their intentions, you have the right to be shot for challenging them?

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs