Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards - stop the lies!

American women are not stupid. We've lived through the Clinton administration, the Gary Hart scandal, the awful truth about John F. Kennedy.

Our mothers told us what happened to Eleanor Roosevelt when she found out about Franklin Delano Roosevelt's affair with Lucy Page Mercer Rutherford.

Heck, even Ike had a dirty little affair with an Army woman. We understand. Political men drop their morals as quickly as they drop their commitment to the American people. As easily as they drop their pants.

And we know that political life is filthy with lies.

What we are learning now, however, is that politicians wives are as good at the game as their no-count men.

I saw Elizabeth Edwards on the Today Show this week and wanted to climb into the set, put my arms around her and tell her to stop, stop, stop. No one should have to go through what she is going through to redeem a political animal like John Edwards.

I hate seeing Elizabeth Edwards reduced to an apologist for adultery. I want Elizabeth to look in the camera and tell me the truth - that she is finished with the scum bag who betrayed her - that she has no time, whatsoever, for a man who dishonors her sacrifice and loyalty.

Her son needs to hear from a woman who hold accountable a man who publicly humiliated his mother. Her daughter needs to see her mother stand tall and reclaim her dignity and power.

Elizabeth is a dying woman - if she writes anything at this stage of her life, I want it to be the truth about the awful and irretrievably foul nature of John Edwards betrayal

She's not doing it, however. Instead, she's selling some schmaltz about the virtue of a long-term marriage, even if the marriage is to a sleaze-ball. The woman, I believe, is not only lying to me. She is lying to herself.

John, she tells us, is a good man. So good, she says, that right now, today, he is in El Salvador, working for needy people, exercising his humanitarianism.

I want her to tell us how she really feels. Doesn't John Edwards have a few needy people living in his home? Isn't his wife dying of cancer? Elizabeth seems nonplussed by her neglected, rejected impending death - her mortality means nothing to John, and apparently even less to herself.

Both are more concerned with a book contract mandating these painful, awful, cruel interviews where Elizabeth is forced to tell the world she still "loves" John - although that love is "complicated."

Damn straight it's complicated. He paid another woman $114,000 in campaign funds to sleep with him on the road. That's complicated love, all right. That's the kind of love that throws itself under a train to entertain the passengers; that jumps out of an airplane without a chute to charm a sadist.

John, wandering through El Salvador . . . is anyone asking him if he still loves Elizabeth? I think not.

So, no more lies, Elizabeth. Please, no more clap-trap about "better or worse" or the "loving look" on the face of the man who screwed you and bamboozled the rest of us.

I don't want your children remembering a mother who hung on a cross to redeem a dead, exploitative and abusive relationship.

I don't want it because I'm an American woman, and I'm not stupid.

I want you to step out of your coached role as "help meet" and "long-suffering" wife. I want you to be the first political wife in American history to write the first political truth about the political powerless of political wifery.

Eleanor Roosevelt couldn't do it. Jackie Kennedy didn't do it. Lee Hart wouldn't. Heck, Lee actually said, "If my husband's infidelity doesn't bother me, why should it bother anyone else?"

Well, there's a good question. And you know what? These adulterous men do bother us. They bother us to our national core.


I think of it this way. Elizabeth Edwards abandoned her personal ambition to support her husband's political career. She lost a child to early death. Her future is robbed by the constant pain of a devouring cancer that is destroying her bones.

None of these things were sought out. Elizabeth Edwards asked only to raise a healthy family in a loving home.

She happened, however, to choose a politican as her partner. Nonetheless, if a man cannot keep the faith with a woman like Elizabeth, what hope is there for the rest of us?

That's the question I Elizabeth Edwards to answer- and tell us the truth.

Her book is titled, "Resilience." You must be kidding, Elizabeth. We're not stupid. Neither are you.

Do it, Elizabeth. Before you die, tell us the real story.

Make history.

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