Monday, December 17, 2007

Edwards Gets Endorsements

Newsweek: Cover Story

I'm still bitter about 2004. Bitter that John Kerry who spent a year proclaiming that he would make sure that every vote counted, turned tail and let the Republicans steal Ohio. He had millions in the bank and didn't stay and fight, just meekly accepted the rigged result. And I guess I blame Edwards for that some, too. He was on the ticket and he let us down too. I have more sympathy for John E. Just as that decision was being made, his wife Elizabeth was being diagnosed with breast cancer. He had other things on his plate. But I'm also bitter about the way Edwards laid down in his 2004 debate with Darth Cheney. He was just too nice.

And while he was in the Senate he voted for the Bush's bullshit war. (Was I the only American in 2002 standing at the kitchen sink at night yelling at the radio, THERE ARE NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION! THEY'RE LYING TO YOU! I don't think so.) Obama, on the other hand, while he wasn't in the Senate, gave a speech before the war calling it 'a dumb war'. Perfect. So, in sum, that's why I have been swayed from Edwards to Obama.

Obama has disappointed me recently. All this equivocation, talking about compromising with Republicans, attacking Paul Krugman, and adopting right wing talking points about Social Security. Right now based on rhetoric alone I should be voting for John Edwards. I completely agree with his take on corporate power. We need a president who realizes that he will have to FIGHT the Republicans and the media for every inch of ground as we take our country back from the Bush brink of disaster. You can't compromise when your opponent is using scorched earth tactics. You must fight just as hard as your opponent, and fight every battle.

I'm still in the Obama camp. I think his message of hope and change is powerful enough to win no matter what mud the Rethugs throw at him before November. (And I must admit my northern prejudice, I hate John Edwards's southern accent. It sounds dumb to my eastern ear.) I don't think my vote here in Massachusetts will matter. I think we'll have a nominee long before the Massachusetts primary on Super Tuesday, February 5th, 2008.

John Edwards picked up some important endorsements today. The first is outright: the Iowa first lady, Mari Culver, has endorsed him.

The second endorsement is implied. Paul Krugman eviscerates Obama and praises Edwards in his column today.

Over the last few days Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have been conducting a long-range argument over health care that gets right to this issue. And I have to say that Mr. Obama comes off looking, well, naïve.


[I]t’s actually Mr. Obama who’s being unrealistic here, believing that the insurance and drug industries — which are, in large part, the cause of our health care problems — will be willing to play a constructive role in health reform. The fact is that there’s no way to reduce the gross wastefulness of our health system without also reducing the profits of the industries that generate the waste.

As a result, drug and insurance companies — backed by the conservative movement as a whole — will be implacably opposed to any significant reforms. And what would Mr. Obama do then? “I’ll get on television and say Harry and Louise are lying,” he says. I’m sure the lobbyists are terrified.

As health care goes, so goes the rest of the progressive agenda. Anyone who thinks that the next president can achieve real change without bitter confrontation is living in a fantasy world.

Which brings me to a big worry about Mr. Obama: in an important sense, he has in effect become the anti-change candidate.

If I really had to vote on January 3rd in Iowa or on January 8th in New Hampshire, I'd have a hard time making up my mind. Edwards. Obama. Edwards. Obama. After reading Krugman, I lean Edwards.

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