Cry humble, and let slip the gnats of war

For weeks now, the Medfly has been following his marching orders and ragging on John Edwards for having a big mansion. The way this works, in case you don't follow the cranks as closely as I do, is that Edwards is to be mocked and scorned as a hypocrite for daring to discuss the inequality between rich and poor when he himself is rich, and derided for his conspicuous spending in having such an ostentatious house.

Now, this is sort of curious, on its face: having money shouldn't disqualify you from noticing that there are inequalities of wealth any more than being well should disqualify you from trying to address the problems of the sick. After all, these are the same guys who utterly reject the chickenhawk argument, and say that their own failure to serve shouldn't disqualify them from being warmongers. And the criticism that you should somehow be ashamed of having a big fancy mansion is not one we normally hear from conservatives.

The Medfly has heard these objections. The Medfly has responded.

1) Edwards made his money as a trial lawyer, not as an industrialist or entrepreneur who built jobs and enriched the economy. Ambulance chasers like Edwards don’t create wealth; they seize wealth from its creators.

The Medfly's first defense: Edwards didn't make his money through real work. He's a lawyer. Boo! Boo lawyers! Boo the occupation that has produced more presidents than any other! Of course, Medved made his money as (first) a film critic and (later) a right-wing talking head drawing a salary from Richard Mellon Scaife, a professional descendent. So he knows a thing or to about earning a productive living: who contributes more to the economy and creates more wealth than pundits and critics?

2) Edwards has built both his Presidential campaigns on the “Two Americas” theme – claiming that there’s profound danger in the emerging gap between a handful of super-rich, absurdly privileged people and the rest of the populace.

Edwards, says the Medfly, should not be allowed to talk about the wealth gap, because he himself is rich. He'd better either stop caring about poor people or stop being rich, because there is no third way. This is the same reasoning that went through the minds of the wealthy when they called people like FDR and Bertrand Russell "class traitors".

3) Has Edwards spoken to his pal Al Gore about his lavish, energy soaking plantation?

It's hard to figure out who the Medfly is making fun of here, because he doesn't believe in global warming. Also, nice use of the word "plantation", there. Anyone inferring that Edwards is some sort of racist slaver better not blame the Medfly, because that was CERTAINLY NOT what he was getting at.

4) As for Edwards exemplifying “The American Dream,” do we really want to identify that timeless vision with conspicuous consumption of the tackiest and most irresponsible sort?

The Medfly's final defense: sure, we want people to get rich, but do they have to be so ticky-tacky about it? I breathlessly await the Medfly making the same argument about Donald Trump, Bill Gates, the Hunts, the Waltons, and the Bushes.

Meanwhile, up in Fuddles, MN, James Lileks still hates hippies.

1 comment:

ortho_bob said...

Medved actually had a pre-film critic career, starting out as a speechwriter for Democrats like Ron Dellums, worked in advertising, wrote a couple of books and seems to have been a good egg -- until he met Dick Cheney in 1979.