hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Monday, January 11, 2010
A small note of sanity in an insane world:


"I am acquainted with Elizabeth Edwards, and was involved in both presidential campaigns. I have heard plenty of stories about Elizabeth, and have personally observed many things. My tales would not sell very many books. The boring truth is, Mrs. Edwards is a highly intelligent woman with an especially kind heart. There is a lot of ambition in politics, but a few are ambitious for their cause rather than for their own ego. Elizabeth Edwards is one of the good guys. . ."

Do me a favor and watch this one hour discussion with Ezra Klein & Elizabeth Edwards.


Then tell me if H & H's description of Edwards as "abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending, crazywoman" are *at all* credible. H & H are basically asking us to believe "Who are you you going to believe, us or your lying eyes?", and then trying to embarass and stun Edwards' supporters from disputing their ridiculous version of events.

Of course, over a period of many fairly stressful years there must have been *times* when Edwards was abusive, intrusive, etc. All of us, at times, are guilty of every sin under the sun. But the conceit of H & H, is that they have the wisdom and judgment to select certain anecdotes which are typical and representative the whole person. Sorry, they don't. If the ordinary member of the beltway establishment had any ability at all to discern character, judgement, wisdom, etc. they wouldn't have been such starfuckers for Bush, would they? And H & H are very ordinary members of the beltway establishment indeed.

So, why the attacks on Elizabeth Edwards from various H & H sources? My guess is that towards the end, and maybe from the beginning, the Edwards campaign consisted of a toxic mixture of very idealistic, maybe naive progressives, and a more careerist, less-policy oriented staffers. My guess is some non-policy staffers may have resented Edwards because she, perhaps unintentionally, made them feel small. As an analogy, think how Sarah Palin feels when people talk policy around her. And via the flapping ears of H & H, these anonymous sources got their revenge. Congratulations.

Ultimately, I think the right way to deal with this kind of stuff is not to try to start a pogrom against H & H, or Kaus, or whomever. Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do (now *that's* condescending:). It's simply to move on, and focus on the things that really matter.

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