Sunday, February 17, 2013

John and Junior: Modern Day Morality Tales

What do two men have in common?


sunset jackson

When the two men are John Edwards and Jesse Jackson Jr., we can think of multiple commonalities.

Both men's first names start with "J."

Both men cheated on their wives.

Both men endorsed Barack Obama for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Both men also had a problem with campaign funds.

John Edwards thought campaign funds were best spent on keeping a mistress.

Jesse Jackson Jr. thought campaign funds were best spent on Eddie Van Halen's old guitar and Michael Jackson's fedora.

Two sleazy crooks.  They once had good names and good images.  What was it about them that destroyed them?

Both of them lost a great deal more than their once-good names.  Jason Zengerle (New York magazine) takes us back to 2008:

Four years later, when Obama ran for president, Jackson was there to help again. He leaned heavily on his fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus to support Obama, going so far as to threaten primary challenges against those who’d endorsed Hillary Clinton—a move that particularly rankled older black congressmen, like Charlie Rangel and John Lewis, who’d known Junior since he was a child. But Jackson’s biggest battles on behalf of Obama were with members of the Jackson family, many of whom were supporting Clinton. When his mother Jackie cut a radio ad for Clinton in South Carolina, the Obama campaign had already aired one that Junior made there; he also worked to raise money for Obama in order to offset the $100,000 his brother Yusef raised for Hillary.

Jesse Jr.’s thorniest task was managing his father. Although the reverend had endorsed Obama, he didn’t always act like it—complaining to a South Carolina newspaper that Obama was “acting like he’s white” and, most infamously, being caught by an open mike saying that “I want to cut [Obama’s] nuts off” for “talking down to black people.” In public, Jesse Jr. was blunt with his push back, saying that he was “deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements” and that his father “should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself.” Privately, he was even more pointed in what he said to his father, telling one Democratic strategist, “I smacked him down.” By the time Obama was elected, there was so much ill will in the Jackson family that Jesse Jr. and his younger brother Jonathan, best friends since childhood, were barely on speaking terms.

"I smacked him down," Junior bragged about his own father.

Now it's the law that's smacking Junior's ass.


John and Junior have also both been topics in Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts.  From May 18, 2008, "The Endorsement" features John and,November 25, 2012's "Sunset Jackson" features Junior.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }