Several months ago I asked “Has John Edwards flipped out?” in response to an article I’d read about him in which he essentially tried to channel what Jesus’ thoughts would be about the Iraq war, in an attempt to pander to the religious site Beliefnet.com.
Tonight, I think it can be confirmed that Edwards has indeed flipped – and I don’t mean as in a hair flip, I mean, just dived off into conspiracy la la land. Via Ben Smith:
MyDD* flags an intense minute and a half from John Edwards in Creston, Iowa, yesterday in which he heatedly tells an audience that the attention to trivia (I assume the reference here is to his haircuts) is “not an accident” and that “they want to shut me up” to silence his message about ending the war and universalizing health care.
He warns, in the video segment posted by his campaign, that if we don’t beat back these unnamed oligarchs, “They’re going to control the media. They’re going to control what’s being said.”
He doesn’t go into detail about who “they” are, other than a reference to people who make $100 million a year, and compares them to the (actual well-funded, conservative) operation that put the Swift Boat ads on air. He also doesn’t explain exactly how this corporate-media collaboration works, but his audience seems to be rapt.
Here’s the video:
This stuff’s not an accident. Nobody in this room should think this is an accident. You know, I’m out there speaking up for universal healthcare, ending this war in Iraq, speaking up for the poor. They want to shut me up. That’s what this is about. “Let’s distract from people who don’t have health care coverage. Let’s distract from people who can’t feed their children…. Let’s talk about this silly frivolous nothing stuff so that America won’t pay attention.”
They will never silence me. Never.
If we don’t stand up to these people, if we don’t fight em, if we don’t beat them, they’re going to continue to control this country. Thye’re going to control the media. They’re going to control what’s being said. They do not want to hear us talking about health care for everybody.
I’d love the answer to this one: Edwards is clearly blaming this on some type of right wing smear machine, but the main people giving him grief over it are …. the media. Since when did the NYT, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, CNN, ABC, CBS, and USA Today (for starters) start championing right wing causes?
Memo to the self-righteous Silky Phoney: When you run for political office, your every move gets scrutinzed. Everything. Now, you probably think that with all that you’ve done in the name of ‘helping others’, like attempting to channel an unborn child’s thoughts while you were a trial lawyer trying to win a multi-million dollar case that helped make you a wealthy man, starting a poverty center in order to benefit yourself moreso than the poor, and making a solemn promise to voters in 2004 that you and John Kerry would heal diseases like Parkinson’s and others so that men like Christopher Reeve would be able to walk again, that you’re supposed to somehow be immune from the regular heat that political candidates take.
That’s the real issue here. Edwards despises this type of scrutiny, because he’s fully aware that once people start scratching beyond the surface of his carefully crafted image, they’re going to see how phoney he really is. Him trying to blame some mythical right wing smear machine and saying forcefully that ‘they will not silence me’ when no one is trying to any such thing is just a way of whipping his supporters into an outrage so they’ll post about it in an attempt to try to drum up support for his failing campaign, which is what happened here, when in actually he’s apparently become the target of the national press corp who, as John Ambinder opines here, does not like John Edwards. Why, I don’t know, because propping up phoney Democrats has been a hallmark of the mainstream media ever since I can remember, so something apparently has happened along the way to make the mediots distrustful of the former Senator from NC (or SC, depending on what group he’s pandering to). As I’ve said before, I’d really like to find out.
Similar things have happened to Republicans over the years, but in Edwards case the scrutiny is deserved because of the emphasis he puts on being a ‘common man’ who is the savior of the poor, weak, sick etc and how that is at odds with how he conducts himself when he thinks no one is looking. He wanted to keep his public image unblemished long enough to win over a substantial number of voters, but now that the mask is coming off, he’s in defensive, conspiracy mode.
It’s actually rather amusing to watch.
Oh, and since he’s grabbing onto conspiracy theories and running with them these days, I wonder if he ever got around to looking into the allegations that the 9-11 Building 7 Truther informed him about that he said he would ‘look into’?
Sat AM Update: I see Hillary is also engaged in one of the things Democrats do best: playing the victim card – with a twist. She’s doing it to raise campaign cash. CNN’s Political Ticker’s headline on this reads, “Clinton seeks ‘cleavage’ cash” … I’m not going there again! LOL.