March 22, 2007

The Edwards announcement.

Here's the live feed. We're waiting to hear news about Elizabeth Edwards -- who has battled breast cancer -- and the effect that may have on John Edwards' campaign. The announcement was scheduled for noon, Eastern Time, and it is now a quarter after.

UPDATE: They are about to speak. They have big, warm smiles. Now, he is speaking, describing the new tests she had done, including a bone study and a biopsy, which showed that the cancer had returned. It's "largely confined in bone, which is a good thing." The cancer, he says, is not "curable," but it is "treatable." He says he's "very optimistic."

AND: He's not changing anything about the campaign.

MORE: This is embarrassing, and it looks absurd to turn right around and say this. But such are the hazards of blogging. In fact, it is probably the case that a good person could go either way. And so could a bad person. So, really, nothing is proved about Edwards's character. We don't know the details of this couple's relationship. We should feel sympathetic toward anyone who struggles with a disease in the family, whoever they are, even if some of their decisions are not perfectly selfless. I wouldn't promote or depreciate Edwards for any of this. It's an occasion for sympathy, not judgment.

81 comments:

Fen said...

I hope she's okay. If not, Edwards would be wise to spend his quality time with his wife instead of his campaign. Its not like he has a legit shot to begin with.

David said...

It appears the cancer spread to a rib and was identified early enough for treatment. She will continue fighting the cancer for the rest of her life.

If caught early cancer is not a death warrant. Prayers to her and her family. Early detection is the key!

She has a good attitude!

George said...

Heartbreaking. God have mercy on her and her husband.

Fen said...

Yup. Unselfish courageous, optimistic. She intends to travel with the campaign, business as usual. I wonder what type of treatment she'll be getting? My father had cancer and the radiation & meds made him too weak to travel.

RogerA said...

a few minutes earlier, politico.com had reported Edwards was going to suspend his campaign. First, and most important, best wishes to Ms. Edwards; she faces a tough road ahead because cancer that has metasticized to the bone is difficult to treat and the prognosis is not good.

I agree with Fen entirely. Ms. E is going to need her family support system full time without the distraction of a campaign-- John Edwards is still young, and his wife is going to need him.

Whatever, however--best wishes to the Edwards family for a positive outcome.

monkeyboy said...

I'll add them to my prayers. Its a scary scary thing for everyone involved.

Jennifer said...

How sad! I hope for the best possible outcome for them.

I doubt she would accept his choice to withdraw from the campaign. She seems like a very strong woman.

PatCA said...

My heart goes out to her, to their whole family. They have a tough time ahead.

Beth said...

I've never been convinced that Edwards is in this race for the long haul; I've thought he's in it through the primaries in order to debate and publicize the issues he finds important and wants to see addressed in the platform. I take it those issues are important to Elizabeth Edwards, too, and this is her way of walking the walk. God bless them both.

P. Rich said...

Vote for me, my wife is battling cancer? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over...

MadisonMan said...

I agree she has a great attitude. My best wishes for all of them, but especially for her.

George said...

Back in the '60s, Lyndon Johnson earned a reputation for leaking one way (i.e. making policy head-fakes) then announcing totally contrary policies. He did this, apparently, just to show the press who was boss.

Re: the Politico business above, one hopes that is not the case here. But leaking that you are pulling back and then announcing that you are charging is sharp politics. Macho, too.

Fen said...

leaking that you are pulling back and then announcing that you are charging is sharp politics. Macho, too.

That would imply Edwards is exploiting his wife's cancer for electoral points. I hope thats not the case. "Macho" is not the word I would use to describe such behavior.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

P. Rich: Roger that.

reader_iam said...

It seems to me that it's Elizabeth Edward's decision as to how her family provides support.

She strikes me as a keep moving ahead, keep moving ahead person. Moving forward with the campaign, in which she is deeply involved, is part of that. Who is anyone to say that it would be better for Elizabeth if Edwards quit the campaign to "undistracted" time? That's her call.

I have a cousin who has been battling a brain tumor for seven years. She's had surgery a couple of times, but it can't be removed. She's been on chemo pretty much continuously. No one, no one, including her family, including her doctors, expected her last more than a year or two. Except for her--she simply determined to keep going forward and refused to allow anyone around her to miss a step. We all sort of thought--take it easy, concentrate on quality time. Her response was that her life already WAS about quality time, and she'd prefer to go on with that, thankyouverymuch. Also, she wanted to see her then young children at least make it to college. (They are teen-agers, now).

And here she still is. Her prognosis is not one wit better than it was years ago. Her condition is terminal and incurable, and it wasn't even supposed to be treatable.

Who are we to say how people should react? How their families should react? What constitutes support and quality time?

None of us can really know what we're talking about, when it comes down to it, because it doesn't come down to what WE think.

Good luck and best wishes, Mrs. Edwards.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Without going into Mrs. Edwards condition or it's effect on the campaign, I will note this:

I wathced the announcment live and was struck by the almost deliberate decision to avoid the standard statements of "god's grace" and "...your thoughts and prayers..."

Many times the announcment speech veered into this territory and it's almost reflexive by nature that those terms are used in these situations (just look at the comments thus far). And yet repeatedly they both avoided any mention of God.

Not terribly smart for a candidate alreay labeled as anti-catholic and needing badly to re-assert his bona-fides on the topic.

Naked Lunch said...

Vote for me, my wife is battling cancer? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over...

Well that's nice. Very touching.

Too Many Jims said...

Vote for me, my wife is battling cancer? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over...

You must have been watching a different press conference than I was.

johnstodder said...

For what it's worth, from my experience with a spouse diagnosed with cancer: This is the day after the bad news. There is an element of healthy denial in both of the Edwards. They've invested their hearts and souls in this campaign and want it to continue. They want to stand up to it, this cancer beast, and show the beast who's boss. They want to believe this is just a minor setback. That belief system just might keep her alive.

But if you're outside the Edwards family circle, if you're a Democratic activist or policy wonk trying to figure out which campaign to hook up with, or if you're a fundraiser trying to figure out which way to lean, this news should make you pause. The campaign is at risk. Not only will John Edwards want to focus on his family if the situation deteriorates, the American public will expect him to do that. The question of whether he can finish this campaign remains, sadly, an open one.

I suspect his opponents will be somewhat indulgent of Mr. Edwards' needs, but only up to a point. Politics ain't beanbag.

HRC, in particular, has shown herself in the past to be relentlessly goal focused. Remember her comment during the health care debate that she couldn't be held responsible for what happened to "every undercapitalized business" if her mandates forced them to close? That's her mindset. Are little insignificant people in the way? She'll run them over if necessary. The Edwards' are among those little people now.

Glen said...

Cue Ann Coulter: "the faggot's wife is gonna die so vote for the faggot".

Fen said...

Actually that was you, not Coulter.

Bruce Hayden said...

If she has bone cancer, it could be real bad. A friend of mine has survived breast, ovarian, and skin cancer, but holds little hope for another friend of hers with bone cancer. As Edwards suggests, it can be slowed up. Unfortunately, that often includes amputation.

Doyle said...

Not terribly smart for a candidate alreay labeled as anti-catholic and needing badly to re-assert his bona-fides on the topic.

Shouldn't you be at mass, Molon?

George said...

As cruel as this news is personally for the candidate and his wife, from a political standpoint, it is a gigantic plus.

He's now shed the perception that he's "cute" or a "f-----" because he loves his wife and is standing by her, and this ongoing story will surely win him much sympathetic press and the votes of many, especially women, who will be drawn to him for emotional, not policy, reasons.

Doyle said...

I thought this thread would be less disgusting than this.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Shouldn't you be at mass, Molon?

I skipped it and decided to watch Blues Brothers instead.

I think I brought up a valid point Doyle. Even that utter phoney Kerry would have tossed the Big G a bone in a situation like this.

What's glaring is that this is the perfect time to use such statement knowing full well that the media and your opponents would never attack you on this.

reality check said...

between p. rich, ruth adams, molon, I had to look twice to see if i was at a intelligent civil discourse right wing blog or a nasty uncivil horrid left wing blog.

Pissed Off Hillbilly said...

I guess this pretty well sews up the pity vote.

Internet Ronin said...

Very sad news. Any reappearance is understandably bad news. It is my understanding that it is in the bone makes this very bad news for Elizabeth Edwards and her family.

Reader_iam is right (as she so often is) that this is also ultimately Elizabeth Edwards's decision to make, not his (or ours). Although I have no high regard for John Edwards as a candidate, I've seen no indication that he would do anything so stupid as continue to run for office without Elizabeth Edwards's active encouragement. If she said "Stop!" I am satisfied that he would stop in a heartbeat.

That said, John Stodder is probably correct about their feelings at the moment and the implications for the Edwards campaign (although I do think HRC is not quite the personification of evil that John believes her to be).

As for those heartless few here who appear to lack any sense of decency (much less empathy) and implied that this is a play for sympathy, etc, I have an earnest suggestion:

Please! Go play in the freeway. Now.

And Doyle, it is nice to see that you actually have a heart somewhere, although it is reserved only for those you like, I see. Those who are making you ill here today are only mirroring your usual behavior here day after day after day. Not a pretty picture, I agree.

Doyle said...

Those who are making you ill here today are only mirroring your usual behavior here day after day after day.

Bullshit. Prove it.

Internet Ronin said...

RC: I'm genuinely suprised by only one regular commenter's "contribution" here. (Quote marks for dubious use of the word.)

Rather like the threads over at Cathy Seipp's place. It only takes one or two idiots to ruin a conversation. Only one or two posting there apparently believe that it is appropriate to loudly slander the dead while her grieving daughter and family are reading comments there, but it had its intended effect, I guess.

I simply cannot fathom that kind of hatred, or the partisanship demonstrated here.

Internet Ronin said...

The comment was ill-advised on my part, Doyle, because this thread was an inappropriate place to amplify my personal opinion of your normal daily behavior. Unfortunately, it is too late to delete it.

Revenant said...

If Edwards and his wife are both fine with him continuing to campaign I see no reason to question their judgment.

But unless the cancer is a lot more mild than they're making it sound here, odds of Mrs. Edwards being alive in five years are pretty lousy. Were I in Edwards' position I would not want to spend those years campaigning and/or working the long hours that political jobs require. He's young -- he can always try again in 2012 or 2016.

I think that Edwards will come to regret his decision, later in life. Politics is not as important as spending time with the people you love.

Anthony said...

I think he'll eventually bow out, unless she makes a miraculous recovery. That's just a prediction, not advice. Stodder's right, they're in afight-it-at-all-cost phase, but once the reality sets in, being president probably won't seem as important anymore.

And there's always other people who have some control over a candidate, like donors who think he should/will bow out eventually.

Still, I wish them both the best.

Revenant said...

Via Instapundit, this has some interesting examples of Edwards supporters (prematurely) praising him for dropping out of the race.

Most amusing is Andrew Sullivan's claim that the decision to drop out demonstrates "a simple testament that he has the right priorities and values to be a president of the United States". No word yet on whether his decision NOT to drop out is "a simple testament" to his *lack* of the aforementioned priorities and values, or if this is just the usual "heads I win, tails you lose" commentary from Andy.

PatCA said...

"Rather like the threads over at Cathy Seipp's place."

I thought of that, too, Ronin. The apotheosis of trolldom! Sad. But I had the good fortune to meet Cathy over the last couple years, and I think she would have charmed those trolls into loyal friends eventually.

Joseph Hovsep said...

"heads I win, tails you lose"

I don't think its inconsistent to praise John Edwards for supporting his wife's interests, whether those interests are in withdrawing from the campaign to spend time with family or continuing the political lives they both seem to love. Its the willingness to defer to and support Elizabeth's needs, at the expense of his own personal or political interests that is worthy of praise.

It seems reasonable that Elizabeth would want to continue the campaign, even if John were to have reservations given the circumstances. Elizabeth is an active political partner with her husband and appears to be very invested in and passionate about politics.

Doyle said...

The Ole Perfesser always was a class act.

johnstodder said...

IR,

I don't think Hillary is "the personification of evil." She's just very focused on her goal. She's "in it to win it." She's not going to let up on an opponent for any reason, not even this one.

Obviously, she doesn't wish for misfortune for Edwards or his family, and just as obviously, she won't let herself appear cold-hearted. But in weighing her options at each point of the campaign, I expect her to look out for #1 throughout.

If, as some have suggested here, Elizabeth's cancer starts drawing sympathy votes toward her husband, Hillary's campaign will do what they have to do to halt that trend. You might start seeing stories in the press about whether Edwards will be "too distracted" to finish the campaign, or questioning the appropriateness of picking his ambition over his family's well-being. If so, my first suspicion will be that these stories are plants from her camp.

I'm not saying that would be evil. It's calculating, to be sure. But such speculation is based on a fair reading of her history. Like her husband, she's a candidate of the Charles Darwin school: Politics is about survival of the fittest.

reality check said...

ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A HERO: Or something like that: "It really can't be both, can it? That Mr. Edwards would have been heroic for dropping out, and that he's also a hero for carrying on?"
posted at 03:42 PM by Glenn Reynolds


Yes, in fact you can be heroic for dropping out, and you can be heroic for carrying on. We have art and literature and real life examples that celebrate both.

I sincerely shocked that such a moderate, intelligent, civil objective pundit as Glenn Reynolds would permit himself to snipe like this.

Glenn Reynolds is the discourser!

Internet Ronin said...

I'm with you all the way there, RC! Reynolds's snark wasn't something I expected to read. Although he seems to be twitting the Sullivans of this world, and not Edwards, that doesn't make it any better. Very poor judgment on his part, IMO. (I was going to add "and poor taste" but it is a tasteless remark.)

Revenant said...

I don't think its inconsistent to praise John Edwards for supporting his wife's interests, whether those interests are in withdrawing from the campaign to spend time with family or continuing the political lives they both seem to love.

It would, indeed, not be inconsistent for somebody to do that. But neither Sullivan nor the DailyKos commenter did that -- Sullivan's first post was neither aware of nor considerate of the wife's wishes, and the Kos poster cited dropping out as "the ONLY decision", emphasis his.

I would further note that it strains credulity to think that Sullivan meant "John Edwards does what his wife wants him to do" when he said Edwards has "the right priorities and values to be a president of the United States".

reality check said...

IR, please, I beg of you, stop agreeing with me. My head is hurting.

Think of the children! Won't someone think of the children?

reality check said...

(I'm kidding IR). :)

Jan said...

At the risk of seeming heartless, I think it would be wise to consider some realities here. Given what we know about her cancer, there is a very real possibility, if not a probability, that Edward's wife will be very near death shortly after the new president (whomever that may be) takes office. Is John Edwards really thinking about what's good for the country by continuing his campaign? I honestly couldn't vote for any candidate facing the high likelihood of such a huge emotional trauma at the absolute worst possible time. The decision to carry on strikes me as recklessly short-sighted.

Revenant said...

Is John Edwards really thinking about what's good for the country by continuing his campaign?

John Edwards has no chance whatsoever of becoming President, and he and his wife both know it. This is about building political capital and getting his name out there so that he can be President at some later date.

He isn't going to be in a position where his wife's health prevents him from carrying out crucial responsibilities.

Internet Ronin said...

Don't worry RC - this, too, shall pass! LOL! (And, fear not, I knew you were joking the first time - I'm not completely humor impaired ;-)

Internet Ronin said...

Jan: If that's the way you feel, then that's the way you should vote. The likelihood of me voting for John Edwards is about as great as me NOT leaving the country should Sam Brownback find himself in the Oval Office. But, whether or not Elizabeth Edwards is about to be at death's door would not change my vote one way or the other.

If X is one of the 2008 nominees and spouse Y dies in a car accident two weeks before election day, it will not change my vote. If Y is in a coma the last month of the election and "everyone" knows it is only a matter of time, and probably a short time at that, it will not change my vote. And depending on who the opponent (Z) is, if X is the one in the coma, I may still vote for X!

Cat said...

RC and IR - Glenn Reynolds didn't say that - it was a quote from the linked NY Sun article talking about people using the Edwards cancer for politics. Such as Andrew Sullivan.

I checked it out because Glenn is not a sniper, nor has he ever wished anyone ill health. He's not mean.

What Glenn said was: "ELIZABETH EDWARDS' CANCER HAS COME BACK, but the Edwards campaign will continue. Please send Elizabeth Edwards your best wishes for a full recovery."

Kind of different from what you posted. I don't suppose you will apologize.

Internet Ronin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reality check said...

Uh, sorry cat, I quoted Reynold's post in full. Sure, it's linked quote from elsewhere, but it's the quote he chose to use, and he didn't disclaim it anywhere.

There's not a heh or an indeed or a WTF.

He thinks the sentiment is worthy of a post and he makes no effort to distance himself from it, why am I under any obligation to think that quote doesn't represent Reynolds?

So you're wrong and what I posted was accurate.... I suspect you won't apologize to me.

Internet Ronin said...

Cat - I saw the other remark. I saw it was a quote. No, I won't apologize. I have also occasionally corresponded with Reynolds for a number of years and let him know personally of my opinion. I feel the quote and the link were inappropriate under the circumstances

Thank you for expressing yours, though.

johnstodder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johnstodder said...

I'm with Cat. Instapundit frequently links to things just because they're part of the buzz. Unless he says he endorses it, I don't think that can be assumed.

Meanwhile, I thought this was an interesting observation, by Seth Godin, the marketing author and blogger:

For an hour, hundreds of news stories stated (with authority) that John was going to leave the campaign because of Elizabeth's relapse. And then the campaign announced the real news. So in the next hour, one by one, all the media which minutes ago had been so certain of the facts turned around and printed new facts. And the thing is, it looks like someone in the Edwards camp changed their mind, when actually, there was exactly one announcement.

In the old asynchronous days, of course, we would have only heard the last story, the real one.

Same thing happens with rats at the KFC or with your brand. When the news cycle is reduced to seconds, rumours become facts even when they're not true.


(Sorry, I don't know how to hyperlink text on this thread.)

Internet Ronin said...

John: In reply to your comment a bit earlier: I think any campaign will take advantage of every opportunity presented to advance its agenda, and that the Clintons are not all that more vicious than most today. Thus, if the tough race ends up being Obama - Edwards (a highly unlikely example, I agree), the same thing would happen. [See: Hillary 1984 Commercial]

Cedarford said...

Like Glen Reynolds - I kind of thought the eventual media reaction would be to praise the Edwards couple for "heroism" no matter what path they took.

American society, as part of the therapeutic culture that has taken over so much.....has utterly confused victimhood with heroism.

We'd be writing the same thing about another marginal candidate in similar circumstances. Probably will.

But for now, we will get a continuing spate of stories about the "courage", the "determination", the "bravery" of the Edwards couple as they "heroically" sally forth from their 30,000 square foot home to talk of the "two Americas", and how trial lawyers are "fighting" for equality....Then they will quit the race, "nobly" facing the outcome.

Then in a year or so we will hear that a number of medical malpractice lawsuits are being launched because intense hormone treatments for fertility purposes in older women increase the risk of breast cancer dramatically, everyone "knew it", yet it was allowed and caused "hapless victim-heroes".

Steven said...

I feel for both Edwardses. I wish them both well, and would pray to God to give them strength if I believed in God. And I don't object to John Edwards either remaining in or quitting the race over this; it's a personal decision.

But, let's not let sentiment cloud sensible judgment here. Since he has to either stay in the race or drop out, it is certainly not heroic both ways. Unless somebody wants to stake out the position that having a wife with cancer automatically makes you a hero? Nonsense is still nonsense even if it's sentimental nonsense.

Internet Ronin said...

Then again, Steven, those calling him heroic were not their immediate friends, family or advisors. There is a time and place for everything, presumably, and this sure doesn't seem to me like the right time or place to be speaking of heroes, who has a right to be called one, which decision is heroic. Rather too close to dancing on graves for me.

And that is why I find that topic objectionable. YMMV - and it appears it does. Dance away.

johnstodder said...

I think it's a lot more complicated than our "therapeutic culture" or whatever the cliche social diagnosis is nowadays.

When my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and especially after she died, everyone kept telling me how "brave" I was. It drove me crazy at the time. It seemed like a verbal tic. I thought they did it because they wanted me to be brave. Psychologically, they couldn't have stood it if I fell apart. This happened in our early 40s, and was something none of my peers had experienced. Believing I would not fall apart was, I think, a way of keeping the bad news about death at bay.

If anyone was brave, it was my wife, who had horrible invasive surgery in hopes that she might be able to continue helping me raise our kids for a few more years. All I did was hang in there through the shitstorm. What else would I have done? When she finally died, she basically asked permission to stop fighting the pain and the inevitable end.

Edwards and his wife will have to be brave. The campaign is a cakewalk by comparison to what they're dealing with. Maybe they're still campaigning for now because she needs something positive to hang onto. She's clearly been a big part of his team this whole time.

All I'm saying is: The whole debate over whether Edwards and his wife are brave or not is a substitute for being forced to think about what's really happening, which is horrible. It's a way of protecting our sanity. Don't overinterpret it.

hdhouse said...

In re: Cedarford's last comment (3 up and recognizable by the crayon)

When we think that the cesspool of cynicism has been drained, up poops this lout and takes a dump.

Tell me, doesn't making an observation on the day a perfectly good couple/parents/partners announce that one has stage 4 cancer...well, does it make you feel more of a man or something to throw some dirt? Do you go out and brag that your quick and sterling wit, deep and moving prose, and general way with words not heard on this planet since the zenith of character baiting under McCarthy or perhaps earlier....

I mean, sir, do you "get off" when you read what you write? Is that your motive?

Man, you are one sick dude.

Craig Ranapia said...

I wouldn't promote or depreciate Edwards for any of this. It's an occasion for sympathy, not judgment.

Sorry, Professor Althouse, I feel enormous sympathy for Elizabeth Edwards and her family. I have nothing but contempt for politicians, of any stripe, who use their families as campaign props.
Bring back Judy Dean.

Smilin' Jack said...

I wouldn't promote or depreciate Edwards for any of this.

Well, I might like to depreciate him, since he's got plenty of money and I'm sure he'd depreciate me, via taxes, given the chance. But I wouldn't deprecate him.

I think the heroism/bravery thing is just a recognition that he's going through a very rough time, whatever his decision. People such as POWs are often called heroes, even when they really haven't done anything brave or heroic except survive an ordeal.

That said, this situation could put a lot of stress on him during a presidential term, and it's legitimate for voters to take that into consideration.

kyle said...

As background information, for metastatic breast cancer (in this case breast cancer that has returned as a bone metastasis) the 5-year survival is only 26% and the median survival is approximately 2 years. As always with cancer, I hope she beats the odds.

LoafingOaf said...

I doubt she would accept his choice to withdraw from the campaign. She seems like a very strong woman.

The Edwards family seem little more than power-hungry.

From the LA times:
Shrum writes that Edwards, then a North Carolina senator, called his foreign policy and political advisers together in his Washington living room in the fall of 2002 to get their advice. Edwards was "skeptical, even exercised" about the idea of voting yes and his wife Elizabeth was forcefully against it, according to Shrum, who later signed on to John Kerry's presidential campaign.

But Shrum said the consensus among the advisers was that Edwards, just four years in office, did not have the credibility to vote against the resolution and had to support it to be taken seriously on national security. Shrum said Edwards' facial expressions showed he did not like where he was being pushed to go.


Some bravery.

Edwards was as vigorous a supporter of liberating Iraq as Lieberman. Which is good, until you find out the Senator didn't mean a word of it and was solely focused on what would help himself.

Somehow I think the country can survive without politicians who vote for wars they don't believe in solely to advance their own power ambitions.

It's unfortunate his wife is ill, and since a politician like Edwards is useless to the country, he should let go of his lust for power, endorse Obama, and tend to his wife.

Revenant said...

Ronin,

There is a time and place for everything, presumably, and this sure doesn't seem to me like the right time or place to be speaking of heroes, who has a right to be called one, which decision is heroic. Rather too close to dancing on graves for me.

So why are you criticizing Reynolds, who did none of those things, rather than Sullivan and the DailyKos poster, who did?

Sullivan's comment that people with Presidential priorities and values would abandon political campaigns, and the Kos commenter's opinion that dropping out of the race was "the ONLY decision", are a lot more likely to be painful to Edwards and his wife than Reynolds' pointing out Sullivan's contradictory behavior.

Steven has it exactly right:

let's not let sentiment cloud sensible judgment here. Since he has to either stay in the race or drop out, it is certainly not heroic both ways. Unless somebody wants to stake out the position that having a wife with cancer automatically makes you a hero? Nonsense is still nonsense even if it's sentimental nonsense.

And that's why it is laughable to suggest that Instapundit should "apologize". He wished Elizabeth Edwards nothing but the best. The people he made fun of were the people who leapt to label Edwards as heroic and then were left looking like idiots when he did the exact opposite of what they claimed "heroes" did. But the fact that Andrew Sullivan is a preening ass-kisser says nothing bad about the character of the man whose ass is being kissed.

Steven said...

this sure doesn't seem to me like the right time or place to be speaking of heroes, who has a right to be called one, which decision is heroic. Rather too close to dancing on graves for me.

So, you think Andrew Sullivan was inappropriate for speaking on the topic at all?

Or is your standard actually "don't point out somebody's talking total nonsense, if it's sentimental nonsense"?

Internet Ronin said...

Revenant:

And that's why it is laughable to suggest that Instapundit should "apologize".

As I never suggested anyone should apologize for anything, and it is so easily verifiable, I am mystified by your implication that I did.


Glenn Reynolds chose to link to an article containing seemingly contradictory statements by others. Reynolds's lede was not a quote from that article, was not attributed to another and still reads: "ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A HERO: Or something like that:"

You obviously do not think that is snark. I do. It is juvenile snark, in my opinion. I think the article in question was tasteless taunting. We apparently disagree on whether it was tasteless, appropriate at this time, or deserving of any sort of recognition. I am not a supporter of John Edwards, and probably never will be, but it seems to me that this kind of snark is intended to belittle Edwards as well. That's my opinion, Revenant. I expressed it. You seem to have a problem with the fact that I expressed it. I don't understand why you have that problem but that is YOUR problem not mine.

As you may have noted, Reynolds has since modified the post. I remain unimpressed with his original decision to highlight the article and his lede. Fortunately, Reynolds does not exist to make me happy or impressed. Nor do I you.

Internet Ronin said...

Steven, I think Andrew Sullivan opening his fat yap on just about any subject under the sun is an inevitable and unfortunate fact of life. Most of the time, I don't give a rat's ass about almost anything Andrew Sullivan has to say.

I wrote about one thing written by one person that I thought in poor taste, but you want to talk about other people and the things they said, and I am not interested in that conversation.

Revenant said...

You obviously do not think that is snark. I do. It is juvenile snark, in my opinion.

Of course it is snark. But it is a plain and simple fact that it is snark directed at Sullivan and the Kossites, not at Edwards. Unless you're arguing that a personal tragedy renders not only its victim but all of its victims supporters immune to criticism (and if that is your argument then I scoff in your general direction) Reynolds has done nothing wrong here.

And I would note that you nimbly dodged my question as to why you are criticizing Reynolds when it is *Sullivan* who is guilty of the behavior you claim to dislike.

I am not a supporter of John Edwards, and probably never will be, but it seems to me that this kind of snark is intended to belittle Edwards as well.

Neither Reynolds nor myself are responsible for how things "seem" to you. It is glaringly obvious that both Reynolds and the article he linked to were making fun of Edwards' toadies, not of Edwards himself. Reynolds has been nothing but supportive of Edwards and his wife in this latest cancer scare, as Cat noted.

That's my opinion, Revenant. I expressed it. You seem to have a problem with the fact that I expressed it.

Your "opinion" is objectively wrong. That's why I pointed out your mistake. You are criticizing Reynolds for something he never did. You owe him an apology -- and, as noted above, an explanation for why Sullivan and the Kossites have escaped your ire, given that they are plainly guilty of the exact behavior -- declaring what is and isn't heroic in situations like this -- that you falsely claimed Reynolds was guilty of.

Internet Ronin said...

TRY READING WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE FOR ONCE: You don't think Reynolds's lede is snark. I do. I said I do. That is an opinion. And no, it is not objectively wrong no matter how hard you try to make it so.

I commented on Reynolds's post and what I thought of it. You want me to discuss Andrew Sullivan. I am not interested in Andrew Sullivan. You are. Good for you.

I appreciate your concern for my moral character and shall gie it all due consideration, however I do draw the line at receiving instructions from you as to when and to whom I should issue apologies. Your suggestion is rejected as being without merit.

You seem to believe that because I opined about one person's poor judgment I should opine about anyone and everyone you bring to my attention. I have no more interest in playing that game than Ann Althouse does when others here attempt to play it with her.

I have no doubt that this is all somehow closely interconnected in your mind and requires either universal comment or silence. I disagree.

peter hoh said...

Just read through the whole thread and my head is spinning. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that "Once, twice, three times a hero" is snark and is a swipe at Edwards. Seems kind of nasty, to me.

On Sullivan, yes, he embarrassed himself. And I think he's a bit sheepish about it. Blogging is different than writing a book, for instance.

JohnStodder, sorry to hear about your wife's death. Thanks for sharing your story and your insights. Interesting thoughts about projecting bravery as a way of assuring ourselves that everything is really okay, somehow -- but it's really just an attempt to shield ourselves from the grim reality.

People who have been down a particular road have much to tell other people who find themselves on that road, too. The rest of us are just fooling ourselves if we think that we can speak with authority.

Trinity said...

FWIW, I think that both Dean Barnett and Ezra Klein have posts up that offer some thoughts worth pondering. Maybe you'd like to check them out.

reader_iam said...

First--damn it!--I just had a recurrence of one my very legitimate concerns about newblogger. Specifically, though I have been logged in as reader_iam for hours, Google blogger decided to pick up a completely unrelated-to-blogging gmail identity to attach to my last comment here: Trinity. Alarming. I say this just as a cautionary note (since we've been trying to resolve this for a while) and also because while I have a number of unsavory flaws, sock-puppetry isn't one of them.
---
OK. Here's what I actually want to say.

1) When I first read Instapundit's post (prior to seeing it referenced here), I did not take it as snark directed against Edwards. This means nothing with regard to how Reynolds meant it. I have no special insight into his mind, so I could be right or I could be wrong.

Since then, I've read weigh-ins--from people whose reactions I believe are in good faith and which I'm taking at face value, for that reason--both from people who disagree with my take and agree with it. I now think, having read and heard and thought about the reactions here and elsewhere, that the post can legitimately be read in more than one way.

Perhaps it's possible to agree that Instapundit's elliptical approach didn't work particularly well in this specific instance. Who knows? Maybe he'd agree with that assessment. Again, who knows?
---
OK, now here's where I go out on a limb and take liberties, for which I will take potential consequences--which I will deserve, and not just for getting in the middle of other people's fights (which the blogosphere has taught me, as real life never did though it ought to have, is a losing, foolish proposition, generaly speaking).

Internet Ronin is exhibiting some real heat in this thread, as are others. I'm feeling the way that I have IRL, at funerals when you'd think the situation would bring people together, but of course it doesn't. Even more than usual, the talk goes past and the context is either discarded or never acknowledge at all.

What Internet Ronin has not said (and here's the part where I'll earn whatever whacks I get, though it's information I've learned just from blogoreading, here and elsewhere, as opposed to private info) is that he is intimately familiar with serious, progressive illnesses, some ultimately terminal illnesses, of a number of flavors. He also has quite a bit of insight, I daresay, into the family (etc.) dynamics of that, and the attached complexities.

People tend to feel strongly about things, especially the sort of things that the Edwards "story" embodies, for a reason. Especially if/when they can relate.
---
John Stodder: Thank you for sharing some insights from your experience with your wife's illness and death. Those insights can't have been easily earned.

Internet Ronin said...

Thank you, Reader-iam. I agree that there is more than one way to read that post, which is why others disagree with my interpretation. (That's "what makes the world go 'round," I guess.:-)

I imagine that both you and John Stodder will appreciate this post by Dean Barnett: Thoughts on John and Elizabeth Edwards

Ann Althouse said...

Smilin' Jack said...
I wouldn't promote or depreciate Edwards for any of this.

Well, I might like to depreciate him, since he's got plenty of money and I'm sure he'd depreciate me, via taxes, given the chance. But I wouldn't deprecate him.


That was a deliberate word choice, not an error.

Fen said...

Internet Ronin: Glenn Reynolds chose to link to an article containing seemingly contradictory statements by others. Reynolds's lede was not a quote from that article, was not attributed to another and still reads: "ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES A HERO: Or something like that:" You obviously do not think that is snark

I think the lede, while not a quote or attrib, was a valid summation of the article Reynolds linked too. I understand that you & I perceive it differently, thats fine, such is life.

However, what you're not taking into consideration is that Reynolds is not Coulter. He does not have a pattern or history of this kind of snark, so I think he deserves the benefit of doubt - he did not intend it the way you received it.

Revenant said...

TRY READING WHAT I ACTUALLY WRITE FOR ONCE: You don't think Reynolds's lede is snark.

My very first sentence, in the post you are replying to, was:

Of course it is snark.

So I find it highly amusing that you are now whining that I didn't read what you wrote.

I do. I said I do. That is an opinion. And no, it is not objectively wrong no matter how hard you try to make it so.

It is my opinion that you're a child rapist. Don't try claiming that that's objectively false, because opinions can't be wrong. I guess we'll all just have to agree that it is just a matter of opinion whether or not you rape children.

Internet Ronin said...

You have definitely stepped far over the line of decency. Your defamatory statement is in no way remotely similar to what I wrote about that post. You can retract your statement now, or prepare to provide evidence later. Your choice.

What a despicable thing to say about anyone.

Revenant said...

Your defamatory statement is in no way remotely similar to what I wrote about that post.

You can retract your statement now, or prepare to provide evidence later. Your choice.

"It is not objectively wrong no matter how hard you try to make it so."

"I appreciate your concern for my moral character and shall give it all due consideration, however I do draw the line at receiving instructions from you as to when and to whom I should issue apologies. Your suggestion is rejected as being without merit."

reader_iam said...

OK, fine. Y'all want to be "swingers," have at it. Compare away. Size, among y'all, does indeed appear to be matter.

"My dog's better than your dog,
My dog's better than yours.
My dog's better 'cause
He eats Ken-L-Ration,
My dog's better than yours."


Woof Woof Woof Woof

Internet Ronin said...

Size, among y'all, does indeed appear to be matter.

I'm quite satisfied with my equipment and have no interest in discussing that subject here or elsewhere, and never have, but thank you for your concern.

After this conversation yesterday, I decided to refrain from correcting misrepresentations by those likely to project their own child rape fantasies on to others in the course of a discussion.