There are three kinds of Richard Cohen columns: the merely stupid, the boring and stupid, and the bizarre and stupid. This week, whoah, it's the third kind. Wow.
You see, Richard just can't get Elizabeth Edwards out of his head. She's everywhere! And it makes him feel icky! And he can't escape:
I don't want Elizabeth Edwards in my life. Yet I cannot avoid her. She shadows me. Her cherubic visage is on every passing television screen. I have been spending time of late in hospitals visiting a loved one. Elizabeth Edwards is on in every room I pass. She's on in the waiting area, in the reception area -- for all I know, she is on in the operating room.
Goodness! Pretty soon she'll be showing up on his coins, his driver's license, etc., just like in Philip K. Dick's Ubik! This situation is obviously sending him into one of those psychotic episodes where he stands in front of the mirror and yells at himself:
What effect will it have on me? [...] Wait! Can I pass judgment on her? She's got cancer, for crying out loud. Her husband cheated on her while he was running for president. Just once, he told her. A one-night stand, he told her. When her cancer was in remission, he told her. Does that make it okay? Does it make it less bad? Does it make it any of my business?
Oh dear. Why must Elizabeth Edwards torment him so? More importantly, is there an insidery, personal anecdote Cohen can add to this? Of course there is. There must be:
I know John and Elizabeth Edwards -- not well, just a bit. I've been to their house -- the old house, the one in Washington. I had breakfast with them. I found her smart, likable. I never knew what to make of him. A three-dollar bill, I always suspected. She drove me to where I could get a cab. We talked. What about? Can't remember. Now this. What to think?
Are you imagining Richard sitting in the passenger seat, sweat pouring down his forehead as he shifts uncomfortably, crossing and uncrossing his legs, wondering if he should make a move on Elizabeth? Like he did, successfully, with Peter Jenning's wife that one time? Yeah, me too. Ew.
Luckily, he then splashes a cold bucket of Octomom on that little fantasy. No, really.
WTF? This is Cohen attempting to be funny, or satirical, or something. For the first time, I'm actually worried about him.
But this, too, shall pass.