Friday Night Open Thread: Victim of Love

Victim is such a subjective term. In the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter saga, who's the victim of their tryst? Rielle? John? Elizabeth? The baby? The Democrats?

With Cameron and Michael Douglas, did being the son of a divorced celebrity dad contribute to his becoming a meth user, or is his famous father the victim because even if he did everything possible to help his now-adult son, his privacy is blown for months to come as he inevitably undergoes the glare of the media spotlight?

Maybe everyone's a victim. Or thinks they're one.

I'm headed out to dinner on this lovely Friday evening. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Hm (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Steve M on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 06:47:35 PM EST
    Pretty sure Elizabeth was the victim.  Everyone else knew what they were getting into.  Well, maybe not the baby... but the baby wouldn't even be around if there had been no affair, so there's only so much to complain about.

    Yup. (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Dr Molly on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 11:09:13 AM EST
    And I would add that the Edwards' kids are also victims. Sucks to be a kid and find out your dad has betrayed your mom. Plus all the embarrassing stuff about your family in the media.

    Wrongful life? I don't envy the baby (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 06:50:54 PM EST
    when she gets a little older.  Mom seems determined to keep her in the spotlight.  

    The victim? (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:00:05 PM EST
    Health care reform.

    Because Edwards would likely be a the center of the debate, and making a lot of sense, were it not for this nonsense.

    Indeed (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by eric on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 09:44:16 PM EST
    as I posted in another thread, Edwards was the only major candidate talking about poverty.  It is sad.

    Victim? (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:14:12 PM EST
    I tend to think of it as "collateral damage".  Who was the victim when dad is a life long alcoholic - back in the good old days.  Everybody is who.  Dad is.  Mom is - for having to deal with the additional stress, messes and possibly financial fallout.  The children are - for have less of a father and less of a mother than they could have had, plus worse if dad was an abusive drunk.

    People with dependency, abuse and addiction problems don't suffer alone, in isolation.  Others suffer right along with them.  Even if the law never gets involved, someone who has to find a new job every year or even more often due to performance problems or absenteeism damages credit, creates financial hardships for their family involved.

    And of course, the hardest truth is that there is no cure and no proven treatment for addiction.  A milligram of prevention is worth a kilogram of treatment.  IOW - unless public mental health care becomes a reality, our addiction rates will remain damagingly high.

    I quite agree. Your first paragraph (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by oldpro on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 08:26:48 PM EST
    perfectly decribes my dysfunctional family.  As the oldest girl of 6, I became a mom when my mother had to go to work to support us.  The collateral damage was extensive, of course, for everyone...including the next generation.

    Still, I've never thought of myself as a victim.  That would imply powerlessness and a certain hopelessness.  It mad me angry...yes...but it also made me strong and determined to have a different life.  I did.

    There are victims who cannot overcome their circumstances but I do think that it is mostly "just life."  Like "Angele's Ashes." Seeing oneself as a victim is likely to undermine real opportunity for change.


    In situations where people make (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:16:21 PM EST
    conscious choices - having an affair, becoming a trafficker in methamphetamine - they are not victims, but when they and others classify themselves as such, it's a good way to avoid taking responsibility for those choices.  Sure, we're all products of our own history and upbringing and circumstance, but that doesn't mean we have no control over our choices.  We do.

    The real victims are those whose lives were adversely affected by choices they did not make.

    Cameron Douglas' use of meth may have led him to selling, but he's not going to prison because he was a user; I think it has something to do with the quantities of the product he was selling.

    Rielle Hunter is no victim, either; not getting the fairy-tale, happily-ever-after ending she may have thought she was going to get doesn't qualify her for victimhood.

    Lots of unhappy people in this world, who look everywhere but within themselves for the key to happiness; maybe Douglas and Hunter are but two of them.

    buying (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 11:33:06 PM EST
    I buy weed an ounce at a time.  not because i sell it but because i hate waiting.  I buy it in 8 packages because when i buy one and keep opening it dries out.  Now that would seem like a dealer buy but it isn't.  I bought a half pound once the same way, had i been caught i would have surely been labeled a dealer.  I am lazy, not a dealer but the "facts" would have determined otherwise......When i was young i sold part of what i bought to offset the cost, not to be a "dealer" but to lower my overall price.  There are far more benefits to purchasing in bulk as a user and far more risks as well.  

    When I found out (none / 0) (#10)
    by Fabian on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:25:36 PM EST
    a former high school classmate was serving time for selling drugs - I didn't blink.  I felt for his wife and their twin babies, but not him.

    It was because he was the school district superintendent and selling the drugs in the high school and to students.


    If Douglas is an addict, he needs help. (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Anne on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:51:49 PM EST
    When my girls got to what I will call the "dangerous years," I used to tell them that millions of people make the choice to drink or try drugs, and most of them never have a problem.  But some do, and you never know which category you're going to end up in when you make that first decision to take a drink, smoke a joint, snort some coke.  I would remind then that they have family history that, if you believe in a genetic component to addiction, stacked the deck against them.  Happily, they are both fine.  Some of the people they knew in high school are not, and they understand now exactly what I was talking about then.

    It's quite likely that the Douglases have tried everything to help their son, to no avail.  It's also possible that their money and their celebrity kept their son from facing some consequences of his addiction before he got into sales and distribution.

    As sorry as I am that Cameron's addiction took him down the road to selling meth, that selling crosses a line that cannot be ignored just because he's an addict.


    The time to get help is before (none / 0) (#26)
    by Fabian on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:46:24 AM EST
    you end up a dealer.

    Then again, you first have to admit you have a problem.  Addicts can have amazing tunnel vision.  That's why friends and families stage interventions because everyone around the addict can see the damage addiction is doing, but the addict can't.  It's not surprising that it takes an arrest for someone to realize they might have a problem.


    Aloha... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Fabian on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:35:32 AM EST
    I'm glad we have better treatment options and hospice care now.  I had two relatives die of cancer back in the bad old days and it was heart breaking.

    My condolences to you, Donald.

    Thanks for sharing this, Donald. (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by oldpro on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:41:16 AM EST
    It's so hard to watch those valiant struggles of loved ones.  My husband lost his cancer battle after 6 years (1988)... One learns a lot about courage and a life well lived in being close to the Trinas of this world.  So young at 48.

    Your post tells so much about you and both the wives you have loved.  I am glad to know you.

    I'm so sorry Donald (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:18:30 AM EST

    Donald, I'm so sorry for your loss. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 09:38:32 AM EST
    I can't help but think that one of the reasons Trina was able to have a good death, is that she had a good life, able to embrace the people she loved along the way, and let go of old hurts and disappointments.

    And you and your wife accepted that embrace, and in letting go of your end of the hurt, allowed her to do the same.  

    That is truly special, Donald - a gift not just to her, but to yourselves; it's so much better to focus on the love we've had in our lives than the hurt.  

    Peace and blessings to all of you.  

    My sympathies, Donald. (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 11:30:55 AM EST
    I'm happy that she's now at peace and no longer in pain.

    That is the best way to look at it, IMO.  That's what got me through my Dad's passing last year.

    Six years is a long time to have to suffer and fight for your life.  

    May your memories also bring you some comfort in your time of loss.

    My condolences, Donald, (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by caseyOR on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 01:17:58 PM EST
    on your loss. It is so hard to lose someone we care about. I am glad for you that the two of your were able to work through whatever pain and anger the end of your marriage caused and to become friends after all.

    Hello Jeralyn, (none / 0) (#3)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 06:51:59 PM EST
    I hope you enjoy your night out.  I interrupted my work day with a visit to the vet after my dog-walker called me with a minor emergency.   Both dogs are now sleeping, and I have a nice buzz going on (scotch!).

    Regarding the victimization of individuals, well, that is perspective, isn't it?  Is John Edwards a victim?  Cameron Douglas?  That is answered by perspectve.  Much to your point, I believe.  Ah, crazy liberals.

    Speedy recovery for your pup(s)! (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by nycstray on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:02:15 PM EST
    Nuttin' like a vet emergency, no matter how "minor". Sounds like it happened before they shut down for the day though. I've worked very hard to explain to my pets that vets are best visited during regular hours, lol!~

    LOL! (none / 0) (#7)
    by ChiTownDenny on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:09:14 PM EST
    Yup!  Timing of the minor injury was well within vet's hours.  I have a mini-dachshund with drugs in him and a bandage wrapped around one paw and the other doxie that has decided that the house is mellow so time to sleep, too.  Good times.  Go back tomorrow to remove the bandage.  My babies!

    Seems odd (none / 0) (#27)
    by cal1942 on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 08:05:20 AM EST
    Don't you have access to at least one 24 hour veterinary emergency hospital?

    Yes, but they cost an arm n' paw (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by nycstray on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 01:18:33 PM EST
    and they want your first born :) Also, I LOVE my vet and they know my pets. They're within walking distance so I don't have to truck my pets across Brooklyn or into Manhattan. Kind of a pain with a 50lb dog :)

    Understandable (none / 0) (#34)
    by cal1942 on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:30:22 PM EST
    I often take living in a medium sized community for granted.

    Of course wherever you live they all cost an arm and a paw.


    Nice night here too. Finally cooled off (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 06:52:03 PM EST
    a bit.  Off to watch Padres honor Rickey Henderson and beat the Mets.  Oh, and then "Friarworks."

    Go Rickey!! n/t (none / 0) (#13)
    by oldpro on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 08:16:43 PM EST
    When the A's retired #24 last Saturday ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by cymro on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 02:28:04 AM EST
    ... it was a memorable and moving event. Being in that sellout crowd (and chanting "Run, Rickey, Run!") reminded me of the way he took over games when he was playing. He has given us so many great memories ...

    I was watching history being (none / 0) (#23)
    by oldpro on Sat Aug 08, 2009 at 05:27:07 AM EST
    made and memories booked by two of the Mariners last night...Ichiro and Griffey...7-6 win in the 11th.  Great game.

    Rickey told us Padres fans he (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Sun Aug 09, 2009 at 01:43:29 AM EST
    loves us best.  But I didn't really believe him!

    Florida's Sen. Martinez steps down (none / 0) (#11)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 07:34:22 PM EST

    Republican Sen. Mel Martinez's decision Friday to step down 16 months early gave Gov. Charlie Crist the perfect gift: his pick of who should watch over the office while Crist tries to win it for himself.

    Crist responded carefully, immediately passing on the opportunity to install himself as the incumbent leading up to the GOP primary. He is likely to pick a placeholder Republican who will not run against him, meaning Martinez's resignation will have no immediate effect on the balance of power in the Senate, where Democrats control the 60 seats needed to overcome Republican filibusters.

    Martinez, 62, had already announced he wouldn't seek re-election, but his early departure immediately sharpened the focus on a race that the GOP can ill afford to lose next fall.

    The only Hispanic Republican in the Senate, Martinez said he was making good on a promise to voters that he wouldn't simply keep the seat warm. "There's no impending reason, it's just my desire to move on," he said.

    One wonders why he (none / 0) (#16)
    by eric on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 09:47:12 PM EST
    is resigning.  Trying to draw Crist into a trap?  Trying to give someone else a leg-up?  It is strange.

    Because it looked ... (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 10:23:54 PM EST
    like so much fun when Palin did it?



    Well (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 11:48:45 PM EST
    is Obama's (not really Obama's though, it's the senate mishmash) going to go down to defeat? Apparently there aren't the votes so the turkey seems to have been pushed off 'til November which seems to me to pretty much be saying that the whole thing is dead. You can laugh all you want at the tea baggers but apparently they are having enough of an effect to get the legislation put off.

    That should (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 11:49:15 PM EST
    be Obama's healthcare going down to defeat.