Edwards Rising

October 31st, 2007at 09:29pm Posted by Eli

Okay, so I’m still not sold on Edwards as a campaigner, and I was disappointed with the way he let Amanda Marcotte and Shakes twist in the wind when the right wing flying monkeys began their sorties, but it does look like he “gets” it. In 2004, it was his “Two Americas” narrative about the cruel economic inequalities in this country, and this year he put his finger solidly on the root cause:

[T]he truth is the system in Washington is corrupt. It is rigged by the powerful special interests to benefit they very few at the expense of the many. And as a result, the American people have lost faith in our broken system in Washington, and believe it no longer works for ordinary Americans. They’re right.

As I look across the political landscape of both parties today — what I see are politicians too afraid to tell the truth — good people caught in a bad system that overwhelms their good intentions and requires them to chase millions of dollars in campaign contributions in order to perpetuate their careers and continue their climb to higher office.

(…)

I saw the chase for campaign money at any cost by the frontrunner in this race — and I did not join it — because the cost to our nation and our children is not worth the hollow victory of any candidate. Being called president while powerful interests really run things is not the same as being free to lead this nation as president of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people….

(…)

And what has happened to the American “can do” spirit? I will tell you what has happened: all of this is the result of the bitter poisoned fruit of corruption and the bankruptcy of our political leadership.

It is not an accident that the government of the United States cannot function on behalf of its people, because it is no longer our people’s government — and we the people know it.

This corruption did not begin yesterday — and it did not even begin with George Bush — it has been building for decades — until it now threatens literally the life of our democracy.

While the American people personally rose to the occasion with an enormous outpouring of support and donations to both the victims of Katrina and 9/11 — we all saw our government’s neglect. And we saw greed and incompetence at work. Out of more than 700 contracts valued at $500,000 or greater, at least half were given without full competition or, according to news sources, with vague or open ended terms, and many of these contracts went to companies with deep political connections such as a subsidiary of Haliburton, Bechtel Corp., and AshBritt Inc.

(…)

The long slow slide of our democracy into the corporate abyss continues unabated regardless of party, regardless of the best interests of America.

We have a duty — a duty to end this.

I believe you cannot be for change and take money from the lobbyists who prevent change. You cannot take on the entrenched interests in Washington if you choose to defend the broken system. It will not work.

It is extremely important to get this idea into the mainstream. The fact is that our political system is rigged so that ordinary citizens have as little influence as possible. It’s not the gays or the immigrants or the abortions that are dragging the country down, it’s a political system where the money that delivers votes is more important than the voters who cast them.

Apparently Edwards acquitted himself well in the debate yesterday, so hopefully that will give him a little extra oxygen to get his message out. If he can strengthen his antiwar position to full withdrawal, and highlight Hillary’s hedging on withdrawal and awful Kyl-Lieberman vote, he can pick up the progressives who are deserting Obama, and maybe peel off some of Hillary’s support as well.

I still like Dodd, who looks like more of a leader and a warrior to me, but his position on driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants is disappointing. Not sure if this vaults Edwards over him in my estimation yet, but the gap is definitely narrowing.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Edwards,Elections,Politics


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