Monday, September 9, 2013

New Louisiana Reality TV Show: “Enabling EWE”

Sunday night in Baton Rouge, the Edwin Edwards Reputation Restoration World Tour rolled into town and along with it came the almost octogenarian interviewer Larry King.

The fact that new father Edwards, 86, sat down with King, 79 (and a father himself in his late 60s), was not news. No, the news was that Louisianians actually paid money to hear Edwards flap his gums about topics as wide ranging as Bobby Jindal (Edwards doesn’t understand the Governor), Syria (The U.S. shouldn’t “pick sides”), Republicans (good to “sleep with”), and his political philosophy (“Serve the needy, not the greedy” – irony not included).

Edwards, the self-proclaimed “Last Great Populist” of Louisiana, has been on his Reputation Restoration World Tour since his release from jail after allegedly receiving millions in kickbacks from potential casino operators.

Sure it’s fun to listen to an old man rattle off one-liners but, like all things, sooner or later the allure wears off.

It’s about that time for EWE to exit stage left.

The clock is ticking Edwin, and it’s not just the biological clock.

Personally, I don’t really care that Edwards doesn’t understand Governor Jindal or that he’s so delusional that he can claim to not serve the greedy when he used public office to enrich himself and his cronies.

But can’t Louisiana champion someone better than Edwards? Someone who was convicted of a crime and abused our trust and then spent years having his friends beg for a pardon so he could be released early and not even have the dignity of serving out his full penance? 

Why do we continue to enable the crooks who steal from us and continue to provide them with a living after they’ve been convicted of swindling from us and abusing their power and our state’s integrity?

So, while we may chuckle when Edwards says “They sent me to prison for life and I came out with a good looking wife,” and  “I learned something good to use Republicans for, sleep with them,” we also need to take a hard look at ourselves.

Aren’t we to blame for enabling EWE?

In fact, the only thing that Edwards said last night that I found remotely truthful was his statement about his current lifestyle as a soon-to-be Reality-TV personality, new father, and public speaker: “I’m so busy and so involved in a lot of things, sometimes I feel like going back to prison to get some rest.”

Now that’s a sentiment that I, and a few FBI agents, could get behind.