John Edwards Takes a Few Swings

From John Edwards' speech today in New Hampshire:

The choice for our party could not be more clear. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats, just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of the other.

The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer
influence policy in the House or the Senate.

Hmm, where have I heard that before? On Lexis, I found Robert Dole remark's in Fresno, CA, from October 26 1996, when he was running for Vice President:

America is not for sale. Right there. America is not for sale. And the White House is not for sale. And the Lincoln bedroom is not for sale.

...Wake up, America.

Taylor Marsh, also quoting Dole, responds:

.... the Clinton money quote Edwards used today ... is straight out of the right-wing playbook. There are plenty of ways to come at Clinton on the issues, especially Iraq. But if this is the Edwards re-launch, I hope it makes a turn into better territory. Because between Obama's "Bush-Cheney lite" and Edwards talking about "The Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent," I've got to say that these guys sound positively desperate.

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    Playing Populist? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by tnthorpe on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:38:50 PM EST
    In defense of Edwards, he's trying to establish a populist tone for his campaign. What I find interesting is that both left and right go for that rhetorical ground, which suggests to me that left and right aren't really the operative political categories people think them to be. The relevant distinction would be between authoritarian--frankly proto-fascist-- policies and populist--progressive-- positions. Problem is we have way too many authoritarian Dems, bluedogs I think they call themselves, and far too few truly populist Republicans. For me, the question is how real is Edwards's populism and isn't it interesting that the authoritarian spin machine has attacked him relentlessly on this very point? Is he the real new New Deal and is this what the Rovians fear? On this last point see
    the LA Times

    FYI: the L.A. Times link requires registration. (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:41:58 PM EST
    Except... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by HeadScratcher on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:48:48 PM EST
    He's right on this issue. Lobbyists are pushing their interests through both political parties at the expense of the 'people'. Case in point: Biden's bankruptcy bill protects the corporations located in his state to the detriment of the 'people'. President Clinton was a master at this as well - which is why Edwards is making this point.

    Hillary is blaming the current mortgage mess on the mortgage brokers in the market while ignoring the role Wall Street firms played in it. After all, mortgage brokers couldn't push a product unless Wall Street offered it. But Hillary is protecting the Wall Streeters (Rubin, anyone) at the expense of the 'people'.

    What next? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Dulcinea on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:20:25 PM EST
    Methinks the Democratic presidential wannabes will roll out ad nauseum all the Republics' anti-Clinton talking points.  Let them.  It says more about them than about the Clintons.

    ummmmmmmmmm.................... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:03:17 PM EST
    no. and neither would anyone who read the entire comment.

    So, do you think Ms. Obama was aiming at Hillary Clinton?

    unless ms. obama isn't as smart as everyone gives her credit for. she was quite clearly taking aim at the republicans in both the white house and congress, if she was aiming at anyone.

    semidi, sen. clinton can't possibly be a republican, masquerading as a democrat, she hasn't been outed as a closet queen, reformed alcoholic/drug abuser, or been married multiple times. ok, there is that small matter of the 1,000's she murdered in arkansas, but hey, everyone needs a hobby!

    oh, she also has the occasional original thought, not allowed as a republican.

    I (none / 0) (#21)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:41:20 PM EST
    would love to hear an original thought from Mrs. BIll Clinton.

    Pffft, how about woman president for starters (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 08:56:49 AM EST
    What a doltish comment!

    Talk about doltist (none / 0) (#42)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 10:26:30 AM EST
    comments.  I don't care if Mrs. Bill Clinton is the first unicorn president, I would still love to hear an original thought from her.  Or does she get a pass because she is a prospective president who is female?  

    If the shoe fits, where it. (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by cmpnwtr on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:38:38 PM EST
    Fact is, influence peddling is not a Dem or Repug corruption, it's an American corruption. And it needs to end. The most recent rental of the Lincoln Bedroom has come from W and gang so let's not take this personally.

    Who was (none / 0) (#20)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:40:20 PM EST
    it?  The world wants to know.

    Missing the big picture entirely (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Aaron on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 06:17:12 PM EST
    No wonder the Democrats are beginning the personal attacks, whenever they bring up any of the topics which they should be discussing, everyone jumps all over them, and lets them know in no uncertain terms that if they go on discussing these subjects like the military dictator that we are supporting in Pakistan, nuclear weapons, or Cuba, the major media providers, along with many of the folks on this blog, start telling them that they should shut up and stay away from those subjects.  We don't dare debate the vital questions of the day, because it might expose a weakness and send a message of disunity.

    So let's turn the Democratic Party into the Republican Party, where everyone works together for common goal whether they like it or not, and the people of the United States are left without any genuine representation whatsoever in their own government.  Let's ignore the fact that Musharraf is a Saddam Hussein in waiting, a man who has done everything in his power to suppress the political opposition, and has also allowed Al Qaeda a safe haven within his country's borders, while the Bush administration all but gives them a free pass, because Musharraf supposedly stands against Islamic fundamentalism.  We played this game in Iran, then Iraq and we continue to play it in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and look what it's getting us, the exact opposite of what we had hoped.  Islamic fundamentalism is growing and taking root all around the world, to stand in opposition to US and Western manipulation of Middle Eastern countries.  

    The people of the Middle East are being forced to make a choice, support a sectarian government which suppresses political dissent, or embrace a form of government that is founded on Islamic unity, where civil rights and freedoms are limited, but at least the people have a genuine say in their government.  If I were them, I know the choice that I would make, I would embrace a government where my voice is at least heard, even if I don't have the right to speak freely, because in that kind of government I have at least the chance at reform.  In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt etc. this is the choice that are being forced to make.  And each day more and more of them are deciding that Islamic rule is far more preferable than the rule of puppet dictators supported by the West.  The people of Iraq are making this choice as well, and I'd say it's pretty obvious that they're not going to allow a government created by the Bush administration to stand for much longer.

    Few if any in the Democratic camp want to talk about these things, CNN is content to play the fear card every day highlighting the dangers of religious fundamentalism with Christiane Amanpour's series where everyone agrees that religious fundamentalism is on the rise all around the world, including here in the United States, yet she fails to take the next logical step and honestly addressed the question of why this is a global movement.  Nor does this continuing and growing dilemma seem to be a popular subject of discussion among the so-called progressive blogs or net root organizations.  Ignoring it or using it as propaganda is a tragic mistake, one we seem content to continue making.

    So what the Democratic candidates are left with is the same old politics as usual, personal attacks, fear mongering, and going along to get along for the sake of party unity.  Markos over at the daily Kos is already working on how the Democrats can make gains in the 2010 elections.  He seems painfully unaware that placing all the power in the hands of the Democratic Party is not necessarily going to make things significantly better for the American people or our nation and the world stage, and considering the changes in 2006, and the approval rating of Congress, it surely hasn't up to this point.  I think perhaps Markos has been so taken with his success, that he may have lost sight of who and what he's been fighting for, assuming his primary concern is with the well-being of the American people and not the Democratic Party.  I must admit, I've always seen a lack of understanding in him when it comes to the larger picture.

    We better wake up folks, because one day we're going to look around this earth and our friends are going to be gone, and were going to be sitting in our little country wondering what happened to that great nation we once were.

    CNN, the new entertainment/propaganda network (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Aaron on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 07:43:15 PM EST
    CNN's pushing of the Edwards comments in reference to Clinton is yet another example of their complicity in the effort to distract us all from those issues which are of vital import to the American people.

    CNN in many ways has devolved into the kinder gentler version of Fox news which provides a wealth of distraction and entertainment disguised as news, citing ratings in defense of their format changes.  Today they've got Soledad O'Brien of their "Special Investigations Unit" doing a vitally important exposé of Princess Diana, Growing up Diana, a dead person who has absolutely no impact on anything in America or anywhere else in the world, nor did she ever have any genuine political impact on anything of importance in her lifetime.  Soledad is interviewing reporters from The Sun to get her story.  This is the third half hour long Diana report I've seen on CNN in the last month.

    Apparently CNN is playing up to those American sensibilities which idealize all things imperial, they obviously realized that most Americans, disgusted with the drudgery of an endless string of menial dead-end jobs, secretly longed to have a life where they are catered to by an army of in slave peasantry, and CNN is just giving us what we want to see.

    Who came up with this idea of democracy anyway, it obviously doesn't work, let's just give ourselves over to what we all really want, to rule, be adored and admired, and have absolute control over everything and everyone.  Now that's something worthy of aspiring to, and putting our energies into achieving.

    Somehow (none / 0) (#31)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 09:14:34 PM EST
    the people of the Soviet Union survived decades of a state-controlled propagandizing press and learned how to read between the lines, parse out the truth, and pass it along to others who wanted to know. Writers and movie makers became adept at speaking the truth in ways that got around the censors and spoke directly to the people. Obviously we're not quite at that grim state yet, especially as long as we have access to international sharing of information and views on the internet, but it's something worth remembering when it's all getting you down.  

    Personally, I think the news media isn't where the understanding will come from that's needed to open eyes. I think it's in cultural things, in stories, in movies like Children of Men, or Babel, or Syriana, versus the proto-fascist promotions of programs like 24 or Cops. Right now the GOP and their spinmeisters are the better storytellers. They've even seduced the opposition into believing their tale of how things are. The artists and storytellers who still hold a liberal vision of human equality and progress in their hearts and can figure out how to route around the corporate message control are going to be the ones - if any - who rescue America and her ideals.


    Accusations of plagiarism really hurt Doris (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:01:18 PM EST
    Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, and Wallace Stegner.  What will the effect be on Edwards' campaign.  

    these guys sound desperate (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:12:09 PM EST
    because they are political lightweights.

    edwards: nice guy, good personal injury attorney, pulled himself up by his bootstraps kind of guy. little or no real experience, prior to becoming kerry's running mate.

    obama: nice guy, clearly intelligent, articulate, empathetic. also pulled himself up kind of guy. also, little to no real experience.

    if i'm getting a quadruple by-pass (which i've had), i want the guy who's successfully done a lot of them, not the guy who's doing his first one or two. he can assist.

    what you're starting to see is what there is, not much. to mangle gertrude stein: "there's no there, there."

    how much should "experience" matter? (none / 0) (#22)
    by lawstudent on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:49:35 PM EST
    just watched a re-run of last night's daily show--obama was the guest.  john stewart asked him about the criticism of his inexperience, and i thought he had a great response.  

    obama questioned the notion of experience as an asset entirely.  rumsfeld and cheney are both extremely experienced washington politicians, but they have both made horrible decisions; ones that i'd like to think would not be made by someone of their experience.

    i realize that this doesn't justify electing a non-experienced candidate, but it certainly questions how much stock you want to put in a candidate's experience.  and obviously, it's a well-crafted response to an easily anticipated question, so take it with a grain of salt; but it does make good sense.


    a pat answer, that doesn't address (none / 0) (#33)
    by cpinva on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 12:19:16 AM EST
    the actual question: how much should the lack of proven, competence experience matter?

    myself, i think quite a bit, when you consider that the person sitting in the oval office holds the keys that can potentially destroy the world. but then, i'm funny that way.

    true enough, rumsfeld and cheney are both extremely experienced washington hands, poorly so. they made horrific decisions the first time around, and it's clear they failed to learn from them. they just came back and made additional poor decisions, albeit more experienced ones.

    being a more experienced incompetent doesn't make you better.

    i believe mr. obama will ultimately be a viable presidential candidate, in 8 years. he's got all the tools, he just needs to show he knows how to use them.


    I question Hillary's conviction and her compassion (none / 0) (#38)
    by Aaron on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 05:11:53 PM EST
    Yeah let's wait till Obama is completely jaded and co-opted by a political system which is specifically designed to strip the humanity from politicians once they get to Washington.  Bill Clinton was a slick Southern politician who made some questionable choices as governor of Arkansas long before he became president, and in the White House he pursued the conservative fiscal agenda with a vengeance, and sat by and did nothing while a million people died in Rwanda.  

    I wonder what Hillary said to Bill when he asked her for advice on the genocide which was occurring while they were in power, did she tell him to just let it go, because Bill didn't have the political capital at that point to support a military intervention in Africa.  Did she try to ease his conscience and tell him he was doing all he could do.  If so, then I'm not surprised that Bill sought solace and compassion in the arms of another woman. In this world, a woman needs her compassion, just as she needs solid convictions, and I question Hillary on both of these points.


    Nonsequitur supremo: (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 05:17:00 PM EST
    If so, then I'm not surprised that Bill sought solace and compassion in the arms of another woman. In this world, a woman needs her compassion, just as she needs solid convictions, and I question Hillary on both of these points.

    :-) Just a Little Hardball (none / 0) (#40)
    by Aaron on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 05:51:09 PM EST
    When it comes to politics, I'm John Belushi as Captain Wild Then Bill Kelso flying his P-40 Tomahawk in 1941.

    "This is war!"


    Sounds like you thought Bill needed his (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 06:11:41 PM EST
    compassion, not Hillary.

    What Was He Thinking? (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:18:54 PM EST
    Even if he has a short memory, doesn't someone on his staff have a computer with internet access who vets his prepared speech?

    Elizabeth will explain all very soon. (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:24:46 PM EST
    Can't Wait (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:25:22 PM EST
    You guys are ornery (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:00:53 PM EST
    I really love his haircut, alot you boogers.

    Oh, that explains it. I don't (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:04:08 PM EST
    hear Edwards talking about getting out of Iraq ASAP, or maybe that's because the evil MSM is failing to report this particular aspect of his campaign. I bet you cotton to his Southern accent too.

    What Accent? (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:13:32 PM EST
    hahaha (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:49:08 PM EST

    Go John go! (none / 0) (#7)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 03:40:11 PM EST
    This really helps Obama more than anyone.

    You could answer this with "links" (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 06:53:37 PM EST
    if you like. What are the principal reasons you support Edwards?

    Hypersensitive much, Clinton fans? (none / 0) (#14)
    by semidi on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:39:57 PM EST
    My first thought at hearing the line about the Lincoln bedroom was BUSH hypocritically renting it out (see http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0310-04.htm).  I never perceived this as an attack on HRC at all.

    Frankly, I'm a little disgusted at all the Hillary supporters out there. Are those folks so desperate to have a Democrat in the White House that they don't care if that person is ACTUALLY a Republican in Democrat's clothing?

    So, do you think Ms. Obama was (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:43:39 PM EST
    aiming at Hillary Clinton?

    clearly, (none / 0) (#17)
    by Deconstructionist on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 04:52:14 PM EST
    since he says the choice for  "our party" he is talking about other Democrats. If you missed that, the part about "corporate Democrats" should heve helped too. He doesn't specifically mention Hillary It would seem to take extreme obtuseness not to infer the primary other Democrat to whom he alluded is Clinton,  although Obama would also be vulnerable on that score.

      It would also seem extremely difficult to describe his comments  as anything other than extremely valid. If anyone truly expects people who spend 99% of their energy begging for handouts from the wealthy and powerful to govern without being heavily influenced by that money, then she is just setting herself up for extreme disapointment.


    I have to ask you this... (none / 0) (#44)
    by weltec2 on Fri Aug 29, 2008 at 06:12:26 AM EST
    What is your native language? Don't tell me it's English, alright? ...because it is not. I don't really care. I don't really mind. I just can't figure out what your objective is. And your linguistic difficulties... make me wonder.

    He's the only candidate to take on Big Coal (none / 0) (#23)
    by KD on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 05:52:02 PM EST
    Tomorrow the Bush administration will announce new rules that let coal companies amputate Appalachian mountains even faster. Today a coal company is deciding whether to leave its workers for dead inside a mountain that shouldn't have been mined the way it was.

    John Edwards is the only candidate to take on Big Coal. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both support the "coal liquefication" scam that will create bigger environmental messes.

    Go to West Virginia and see what mountaintop removal does to the land! If Clinton and Obama are really liberals, why didn't they come out against the coal companies?

    Obama won't come out against coal (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Maryb2004 on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 06:43:55 PM EST
    He won't anger his Illinois constituents.  They want to re-open the Southern Illinois coal mines to improve their economy.

    No sane candidate ever comes out (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 09:02:26 AM EST
    AGAINST coal, it is America's only plentiful fuel resource without applied science and coal mines all across the United States provide many families with what is a living and often middle class wage.

    good point, (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Deconstructionist on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 10:06:04 AM EST
     but there is a huge difference between coming out against "coal" and having the courage to take a stand against the practices of the "coal industry." Realistically, utilization of coal will be a big part of our forseeable future. That doesn't mean that the labor, regulatory,  environmental and really social and cultural abuses that the industry is permitted should not be curtailed. Yeah, it will make energy more expensive -- but that just means we will be pricing it to reflect its real present and future costs.



    Absolutely agree (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 11:31:06 AM EST
    Edwards voted to relax restrictions on mountaintop (none / 0) (#25)
    by Geekesque on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 06:10:23 PM EST
    removal while in the Senate.

    I know, I know, what Edwards did in office doesn't count . . .


    You're right! (none / 0) (#37)
    by KD on Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 02:38:58 PM EST
    You're right! I checked his voting record, and he did vote to relax mountaintop removal restrictions in 1999. I didn't realize that, because he's the only candidate who even mentions coal in his speeches, and I know Clinton and Obama support bogus "clean coal."

    I submitted a question about his vote to his website, and I'll see if his campaign has an answer.


    Of course Dole ran for VP in 1976, not 1996 ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by chemoelectric on Thu Aug 23, 2007 at 11:53:29 PM EST
    ... but then it took several seconds of intense effort to remember who it was that did run for VP in 1996, and it was Jack Kemp.

    I had almost forgotten about that guy. At least he was an NFL quarterback who didn't torture dogs.