Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank you, John Edwards

No, not thanks for dropping out. Edwards' dropping out of the race today seems sad but not bad. As he said, he was "stepping aside" to "to let history blaze its path." And in doing so, he called himself, if not a liberal, then at least "a proud progressive."

Now, the Democratic Party will make history with either Clinton or Obama, not another white guy, no matter how well meaning. "A man of the people" rarely wins.

And so as the dueling Clinton/Obama show leaves Edwards in its dust ups, let's keep in mind what John Edwards has doggedly stood for in this campaign:

*** Edwards has called for (and pledged to) the withdrawal of ALL combat troops from Iraq by January 2010. Clear enough? That's as close as any candidate has come to saying "get out now". (Clinton and Obama have been vague, at best, leaving the door open to extended stays.)

*** Edwards supports truly universal health care for all Americans, no matter what, with an honorable plan not dependent on employment or insurance but on citizenship. (The other candidates have not committed to ANY universal health care plan.)

*** Edwards is for the outlawing of PACs and, in many roles, lobbyists in Washington; he would decisively put the covert interests of corporations in check. (This sort of stance is true populism and brave indeed. Whether they take PAC money or not, neither Clinton nor Obama have focused on the corruption of government which corporate influence causes; they have been much more reluctant to alienate their power base. Edwards took more risks, which clearly hurt his fundraising.)

*** Last summer, Edwards offered the most sure-set agenda for curtailing and perhaps even controlling global warming and other pervasive, truly global problems. Edwards has gone on record against licensing ANY new coal and nuclear power plants. When it comes to the environment, Edwards has been the closest thing this election has seen to Gore.)

*** A relentless focus on poverty and our nation's neglect of the poor. (By comparison, Clinton and Obama move in elite and lofty circles and don't even symbolically get their jeans on and their hands dirty. Edwards, like Jimmy Carter before him, has more than once helped to build houses with Habitat for Humanity. Indeed, Edwards has in many ways been the Carter of this campaign, not the most judicious power player but the earnest and passionate "man of the people.")

And so, thank you John Edwards. Now you have the chance to prove your quest is not about lawsuit slickness or name-brand ego but about serving the people. Perhaps the next administration will offer you that chance.


At 2/06/2008 8:10 PM, Anonymous michaelmoore said...

Hi, my name is Michael Moore, and I virtually endorsed John Edwards on "Larry King" tonight. I said he most closely represents what I want to see in the Democratic platform. And if not Edwards, then Obama, since he didn't go along with the war.


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