(1.) The mainstream media let us down yet again by failing to take seriously first rumors and then credible accounts of the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair until there was so much smoke that it's a wonder that all of those notably uncurious political reporters weren't barfing into their arugula salads.
(2.) The New York Times deserves special scorn after running an innuendo-filled piece on an alleged affair between John McCain and a lobbyist but being struck deaf and dumb over the Edwards story, then piously explaining in a story posted after Edwards' confession on the media's obdurance that the world's once greatest newspaper hadn't found anything solid enough to report.
(3.) I take no pleasure in having gotten this one right some time ago, as well as having correctly noted that the National Enquirer, which broke the story and rode it hard, is far more respectable -- or perhaps far less unrespectable -- than its longtime reputation as "trash," as Edwards himself had so dismissively put it until he was smoked out.
(4.) Too many left-of-center bloggers, suffocatingly self-righteous when it comes to the failings and flailings of Republicans, were weepily at sea when the story broke. "Not quite sure what to make of it," wrote one at Talking Points Memo. Well, let me explain: This married guy thought of himself as a train and liked to locomote into a certain tunnel . . .
(5.) Political bloggers who say that they could care less about the affair and write stuff like "it's time for Americans to grow up" need to do some maturing themselves because they're giving politicians in general and adulterous politicians in particular a big fat free pass to obfuscate and lie at will.
(6.) Like Gary Hart, Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer, among many other pols before him, Edwards showed a narcissistic and impulsive streak that blinded him to the recklessness and even danger of his actions. I tried hard to like Edwards because he was one of the very few people willing to address poverty in America, but what if he had become the nominee or even president?
(7.) While Elizabeth Edwards deserves sympathy, she's not off the hook, either. She was key to the cover-up and her husband's continuing campaign, while noting in her own statement that her now-incurable cancer was in remission when her husband was screwing Hunter, as if that explains or forgives anything. Oh, and that the Enquirer is still to blame.
(8.) Edwards said he had been "99 percent honest [but that] is no longer enough," a pathetic statement in and of itself, and that he won't have any more to say. Sorry, John Boy, but you have a helluva lot more explaining to do, specifically to your contributors about funny business with campaign money that went to Hunter, perhaps to buy her silence.
(9.) There is indeed an intimation in Edwards' confession on "Nightline" that Hunter might have tried to extort money from he or his campaign and perhaps he was a victim of a sort. If there was a criminal act, Edwards should report it to the FBI.
(10.) Finally, it's obvious that when it comes to "getting it," Edwards himself remains clueless as to the damage he has done to his wife and family, his many devoted supporters and perhaps even Hunter herself by saying that he didn't love her, didn't father her child, and fessed up to Elizabeth two years ago. As if adultery and violating the public trust are some kind of adjustable wrench.
Photograph from Extra via The Associated Press