Archive - Mar 2014

March 19th

Stop Calling It A Comeback

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Memo to Edwin Edwards: NO. JUST NO. GO AWAY.

I've never covered former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards in You Are Dumb. It's not because he's a Democrat, a claim we'll be covering in more detail in a bit. No, it's because in 2004, when I started this column, Edwin Edwards had already served fourteen months of a ten-year prison sentence.

Now, this was Louisiana, so a politician getting busted on racketeering charges is not all that surprising. But getting ten years, and serving eight or nine of them before getting out on parole is. He got released from parole less than a year ago, so of course he's running for office. Congress. Why the fuck not? It's not like a jury found him guilty of being corrupt twelve years ago. Oh, wait.

Maybe I'm being too harsh. I mean, I'm a supporter of the principles of American justice. I don't think ex-cons of any stripe should be discriminated against by employers because of a criminal history. Edwards has served his sentence, been rehabilitated, and I'm sure looks back on his past mistakes with regret and a promise to be a good public servant this time around.

“It was not about Edwin Edwards the governor. It was about Edwin Edwards who was a friend of people who, for reasons of their own, falsely testified about our relationship after I was out of the governor’s office." - Edwards, on his conviction.

Oh. Well, fuck. I guess all Edwards learned in nearly a decade in jail was nice-sounding ways to say "everyone who got me convicted was a goddamned liar". Odd that he wouldn't be angry or bitter or anything, just anxious to leap back into the selfless public service that is Louisiana politics, but whatever.

OK, let's forget the ethics thing. I mean, this is the state of David Vitter. Let's reduce this to cold, rational political calculation, Edwin Edwards has incredible name recognition in Louisiana. He's been elected and re-elected numerous times in the state. If he wins, Congress will have a solid, reliable Democratic vote.

“I, like the rest of the nation, was caught up in his rhetoric and his promise of a bright future that should be available to us in this country. I’m very disappointed in what he has done. The Keystone pipeline ought to be approved. We have 20,000 people looking for jobs... ” - Edwards, who also said he wouldn't have voted for Obamacare.

Edwards also tried to get out of saying whether he'd voted for Obama by explaining he couldn't have, because he was in prison, because if you're Edwin Edwards, I guess you've decided there's no downside in constantly reminding people you went to prison. Of course, Edwards was out of prison well before the 2012 presidential elections, so he probably could have voted for Obama if he wanted to. And could admit it, if he wanted to. Or could admit that he didn't, if he wanted to.

Fuck Edwin Edwards. We don't need him, we don't want him There's a place for octogenarian ex-convicts, and despite all evidence to the contrary, that place shouldn't be the U.S. Congress.