Friday, July 28, 2006

JOHN EDWARDS AND DUE DILIGENCE-- A QUALITY PRESIDENTS NEED TO TAKE SERIOUSLY

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You may have gotten the same mass e-mail from John Edwards yesterday that I did. It came from his One America PAC. I met John early in the last presidential cycle and I thought he would make a really good candidate and an even better president. He seemed more real to me than most politicians and his concern with working people seemed sincere and struck a chord. A few weeks later I met Howard Dean and... well, that was that-- until, ironically, the California primary (from which Dean had already withdrawn). I voted for Edwards. I also see him as one of the better candidates proffering themselves so far for 2008. He's no Russ Feingold and I think Al Gore would have a better shot at winning, but after those two... Edwards has more appeal for me than the rest of the pack so far.

In case you didn't get his e-mail, let me quote from it before I launch into a tirade about why I called him on the phone just now.

The tide is turning in Democrats' favor. We have a strong chance of winning back the House in the 2006 elections. I've been working hard, traveling the country, and have already raised more than $6.65 million for Democrats. I've attended fundraisers for strong congressional candidates in more than a dozen states this election cycle and I'm committed to helping as many candidates as possible before November. Now, I'm looking to the One America online community to tell me which competitive races should be my primary focus.

Today, I'm launching One America Votes. This fall, I will headline fundraisers for two Democrats running for the House who have been selected by our online community. You-- the voters-- can choose candidates in any of the districts targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC has targeted critical races where extra help can make a real difference in November. We need to hear from you by Friday, August 4th.

Cast Your Vote Now.

If we want to build One America, we need to change our country's leadership. George Bush and the Republicans have done everything in their power to increase the gap between rich and poor. It's time to replace them with Democrats who will build One America-- One America that is committed to ending poverty, lifting more families into the middle class, and giving everyone who works hard something to show for it.

I am committed to helping as many House candidates as possible before November and am looking for your input as to which races should be my primary focus. Please take a moment to vote and choose two candidates who will work hard to build One America that works for everyone. The deadline for voting is August 4th.

If we want to build One America, we need to change our country's leadership. George Bush and the Republicans have done everything in their power to increase the gap between rich and poor. It's time to replace them with Democrats who will build One America - One America that is committed to ending poverty, lifting more families into the middle class, and giving everyone who works hard something to show for it.

I am committed to helping as many House candidates as possible before November and am looking for your input as to which races should be my primary focus. Please take a moment to vote and choose two candidates who will work hard to build One America that works for everyone. The deadline for voting is August 4th.

I'm interested in getting feedback from your family and friends as well. Please forward this message and ask them to participate in One America Votes with you.

Thanks for taking a moment to help. Your input is important to me.


If you click the link above you'll get to John's list. I don't want to condemn the list because there are absolutely some excellent progressive candidates on it and some really decent moderate Democrats on it as well. The BLUE AMERICA Act Blue Page shares several candidates with John's list: Bruce Braley, Mike Arcuri, Joe Sestak, Lois Murphy, and Patrick Murphy, and several others are likely to be endorsed here at Down With Tyranny (after due diligence): Patty Wetterling, Linda Stender, Zack Space, Chris Carney, Phil Kellam, Peter Welch, Kristen Gillibrand, probably the 3 Connecticut Democratic candidates, Joe Courtney, Dianne Farrell and Chris Murphy.

So why did I rush to the phone and call John and then e-mail him to boot? Do I expect him to endorse the exact same candidates as DWT does? Of course not. I do expect something else from him though: due diligence. If he wants to endorse every unpopular right-of-center Democratic incumbent who can't dig up any financial support among his or her local constituents because of a reactionary, pro-Big Business voting record, that's his prerogative.

But I resent that John Edwards would expect us to take him as a serious contender for president when he swallows, hook, line and sinker, Rahm Emanuel's vicious little game-plan to elect an anti-grassroots, pro-Corporate, Democratic caucus. Among the endangered incumbents on John's list are the ones who always vote to support Bush's Iraqi occupation, as well as the ones who vote the corporate line when it comes to abolishing the estate tax, passing the disastrous bankruptcy bill or so-called "free trade" legislation that has devasted American working families, and virtually all the other legislation that has come up that separates Democrats who actually do what Edwards claims he wants them to do from Democrats who can be counted on by Bush and his rubber stamp congressional leaders to provide them with a winning margin where even moderate Republicans can't go along with their hideous agenda. Jim Marshall and John Barrow are probably the best we can expect in their Georgia districts but their voting records don't respresent the ideals Edwards is professing. Nor do the voting records of Melissa Bean, Dennis Moore, Stephanie Herseth, Leonard Boswell, Charlie Melancon, John Spratt, Chet Edwards or Jim Matheson. Julia Carson (D-IN) does represent exactly what Edwards says he wants-- and she's an endangered incumbent just like the DCCC corporate shills Edwards has put on his list. Emanuel didn't include Congresswoman Carson and Edwards did not do his due diligence before sucking down Emanuel's whole list. And it gets worse.

In Nevada's 3rd CD and Arizona's 8th CD there are hotly contested primary races and Edwards, very appropriately, lists "Democratic Nominee" in each district. That's the way it should be done. However, in Florida's 13th CD, where corporate whores Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer are desperate to get their Republican somewhat-converted Democrat Christine Jennings into office so she can serve the anti-consumer/anti-worker Big Money corporate agenda they serve into office, Edwards has allowed the wool to be pulled over his eyes. Let me explain.

Democrats in the 13th have met Republican banker Christine Jennings before-- and rejected her, choosing instead lifelong progressive Democrat Jan Schneider. Now Jan is poised to take this open seat but she's too independent and too grassroots-oriented for Boss Rahm. He wants his puppet. So he tells Democrats like Edwards that there is no primary and gets them to endorse Jennings. This happened with John Kerry a few months ago and it's happened with others who listen to a lying sack like Emanuel instead of doing their own due diligence. (And speaking of due diligence, raise your hand if you think John Edwards would have included Jerry McNerney on his list if he was doing this on this own instead of acting as Emanuel's boy.)

Are Democrats going to be better than Republicans when they take over the House in November? Despite some of them, I sincerely think so. Remember, even the absolute worst Democratic member of the Senate (Ben Nelson of Nebraska) and of the worst member of the House (Gene Taylor of Mississippi) are better than the best and most "moderate" Republicans! Although money-grubbing careerists and coprorate whores led by Emanuel and Hoyer are going to be constantly pushing Democrats to be just a slightly different version of the congress offered by their role model, Tom DeLay, the vision of the Democratic Party as a protector of society's neediest is still alive. That's why it is so crucial to elect people like Jan Schneider and not hacks like Christine Jennings and that is why it is so important to hold people like Al Wynn and Joe Lieberman accountable for their records when we get a chance. And that is why it is so important for our progressive leaders like John Kerry and Barbara Boxer and John Edwards to pull their heads out of their asses and understand what real people are going through under Bush and the corporate rubber stamp congress and help us get rid of that regime, not for partisan reasons but for patriotic reasons. Forget Emanuel; he's a hack with pretensions to be the Democratic Tom DeLay. We all need to think for ourselves.

Oh, I left a message with Edwards' assistant yesterday saying that our community had raised nearly $140,000 for Democratic congressional candidates and that I want to talk with him about how we can work together. I'll let you know if he calls back.

6 Comments:

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous teach said...

I have always liked John Edwards. Keep us posted on this.

 
At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you Howie for sticking to your guns and not blindly endorsing the bad apples in order to have a chance of getting the good progressive candidates elected. We need to keep our integrity on this and I hope Mr. Edwards will take the same stance also. Otherwise it's just same old, same old and we go nowhere new.
John

 
At 6:38 PM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

I'll vote for those who do not proclaim religion to be their guiding light.
We're in for a long hurtful ride where religion and the corportate control of government, will do us much harm. The corporation is controlling the message and the religious zealots are in control of the corporation. Uuggghhh!
We need some leaders who understand that religion and the corporation are
natural enemies of unity.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger keninny said...

I will also be very curious to see what kind of response you get from J.E. Maybe this will be an education for him! Maybe he's just naive enough to assume that people are what they claim to be--and that Boss Rahm is really Rahm the Freedom Fighter.

Once the case is made to him, though, he really has to let us know where he stands. (Same deal with Boxer and Kerry.) If he's already content to leave this dirty work of trench warfare to dirty workers like Boss Rahm and Sidekick Steny, well, maybe that tells us something important about how he would approach the considerably larger responsibilities of the presidency.

K

 
At 3:06 AM, Blogger 300 Spartans Gym said...

I had the same reaction to the list. In Colorado, Edwards gave us just one candidate to choose from - a relatively conservative Dem who is already way ahead in the polls. Very frustrating.

 
At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Büyü Yapmak said...

Good for you Howie for sticking to your guns and not blindly endorsing the bad apples in order to have a chance of getting the good progressive candidates elected. We need to keep our integrity on this and I hope Mr. Edwards will take the same stance also. Otherwise it's just same old, same old and we go nowhere new.

 

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