Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Edwards Brings Progress to Progressives?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:45 AM
Original message
Edwards Brings Progress to Progressives?
By David Swanson

jsamuel at MyDD has posted a blog promoting John Edwards and disparaging Dennis Kucinich or at least me. He opens with a bunch of polls and an argument that Edwards is gaining progressives' backing:

"Is it because he is the most crazy liberal of all the candidates? Of course not. It is because progressives believe that he is the most capable candidate to be successful in implementing their ideals."

In fact, Edwards has taken many honestly progressive positions, as well as many deeply troubling right-wing ones. There are progressives backing him. But in many cases their thinking, and the line from jsamuel above, strike me as worrisome. The idea that a progressive should not want to support anyone who's too progressive, that in fact such a person can be considered "crazy" seems to betray not just calculated strategic compromise but a compromised confidence in your own identity.

Of course, strategic calculation is a big part of it. Edwards is white, male, southern, religious, tall, handsome, extremely wealthy, and well-organized. But here's where that calculation seems to me to fall apart: Edwards gave a speech the day he voted to authorize Bush to invade Iraq. Any Republican running against Edwards need only put bits of that speech on TV again and again to trounce him in the election. Edwards also refuses to oppose the possibility of launching an aggressive nuclear attack on Iran. You may find that perfectly acceptable, but think about this: if Bush and Cheney attack Iran, will Edwards applaud with at least one hand? And what will that do to him as a candidate? At some point will you wish you'd backed an actual progressive instead, even out of the sheer goal of winning regardless of what it is you're winning?

jsamuel goes on to object to two articles I wrote about Edwards' health plan and his financial investments. Edwards is to be applauded for all his work with ACORN and with labor unions, but you will not find ACORN or a labor union investing in Wal-Mart. If Edwards' investing in a fund that looks like a who's who of corporate crooks, loan sharks, union busters, environmental destroyers, and monopolists doesn't bother you, then it doesn't bother you. It bothers me.

And, yes, Edwards' money supports, among other things, some of the most deadly health insurance companies around. If you consider that an unavoidable cost of being disgustingly wealthy, and therefore excusable, that's your business I suppose.

But Edwards' health plan is all of our business, and it is seriously flawed. jsamuel objects to my assertion that Edwards' tax credits would go to private insurance companies. But it is clear that they would. Edwards is not going to give people money just so that they can give it back to the government for their health coverage. Edwards' plan would involve more people receiving government health coverage. It would also force people to buy health coverage from either the government or a private company. And there are private companies poised for that business. I quoted the Nation before:

"Humana has become a national brand poised to sell policies in the non-Medicare market, where people will increasingly be forced to buy their own health coverage, especially if an 'individual mandate' becomes a solution for the country's healthcare woes."

Supporters of Edwards' plan blame Kucinich's single-payer plan for not offering people the "choice" of private health insurance. At the same time, they claim that Edwards' plan will become a single-payer plan if Americans choose government coverage.

That sort of scheme is certainly a step in the right direction, but it is a very small step, because it keeps in existence some of the most powerful corporations in the country whose agenda will be to avoid ending up at single-payer. Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies will dump their money into campaign bribes and advertising. The corporate money piling up in Edwards' campaign "contribution" collection does not come without some purpose.

And as long as for-profit businesses are handling part of our health coverage they will be fighting to handle more of it, and working to cut costs by delivering less of it and by raising prices. The devil is in the details, and the details will be in the hands of the insurance companies for year after frustrating year until we find the will to take our country back and create a single-payer system by using something more democratic than a "market," namely a government.

That proposal is not "crazy liberal" unless a majority of the country in various polls is crazy and most wealthy countries in the world are crazy. Edwards thinks Congress won't pass a single-payer system. I think Congress won't pass a system likely to evolve quickly into a single-payer system. That, I think, is a far more complicated and difficult proposal, far easier to bungle up.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Edwards is taking a realistic position....
I notice you really have some problems with him. The same thing happened in the other primary, only Edwards got DK's delegates then.

Some of your posts against Dean were quite painful then, and the ones about Edwards are starting to be that way.

Both men have a characteristic of being realistic in what can be achieved. Some are not realistic.

We have so many battles ahead of us. I target a think tank, but I try not to target individual candidates. I like some better than others, but I don't especially dislike any of them. I think the Clintons could have had more influence in perhaps stopping the war, and I say so.

So I don't think in my worst posts I have taken on one or the other, just a group.

The DK media crusade against Dean in 03, 04 was pretty bad. I hate to see it get that way against Edwards. You have an influential position at PDA and you get a lot of attention to your posts.

I was not going to mention it, but it appears to be a pattern. Many of us who survived here in 04 know there's a backstory to the Iowa stuff about Dean amd DK that does not need to be relived. It involves several here.

It does not need to be that way this time.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Dean
has of course earned a lot more criticism in the past couple of years. His behavior is painful, so I guess talking about it would be.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
15. You are on the board of PDA, working with Cindy Sheehan last I heard?
A lot of people have very much respect for the changes Dean is trying, at least trying, to make in the party.

I don't see how you are helping your cause at all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Why didn't you take this up at MyDD or DailyKos ?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/15/144331/856

jsamuels is a DUer, why did you bring your fight here?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. why a fight?
why does it have to be a fight?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. It's not a fight. That is exactly what I want to avoid between Kucinich and Edwards supporters.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 10:43 AM by jsamuel
In my opinion, Kucinich and Edwards are the two most progressive candidates in this race. I don't want to see us eating our own.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. I wonder why David didn't approach your diaries
on Kos or MyDD....and brought his "debate" over here?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Did you respond to jsamuels diary on MyDD or Kos?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. Post isn't realistic
The poster has criticized Edwards again and again (and also Mrs. Clinton somewhat) over things that aren't realistic.

A few things here from reading the 2Q report filed by the Kucinich campaign:

One: Dennis received money from someone who works at Wachovia Securities. Wachovia is a bank that has been fret with problems, albeit it just bought AG Edwards.

Two: Poster received nearly $2000 in disbursements from the Kucinich campaign in May.

Third: Many disbursements were not detailed, they were paid through PayPal. That is not exactly full disclosure either.

It's time Swanson got off his idealistic high horse and looked at the realities of his candidate's campaign, then quit making false accusations against Edwards.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
20. What specific criticizms do you think are unrealistic?
Does Dennis receiving money from someone who works at Wachovia compare to Edwards working for, personally investing in, and receiving donations from Fortress?

What do you find unrealistic about his proposed single payer healthcare plan?

I don't really care that David worked for Kucinich, or the fact that he was paid disbursements. I'd like a discussion about the issues he's raised.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Who "worked/works" for Kucinich is very significant...
and how they are using this forum is very significant in the overall scheme of things.

I think David should continue to do this. It is vindicating many of us who had spoken out before.

But who works for campaigns does really truly matter when they use/used a forum as just a supporter.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Cameron27 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. You may have a point, although I don't know what
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 12:29 PM by seasonedblue
you mean by this vindicating anything. However, David has established his relationship with Kucinich so I know that there may be a certain bias involved, and I take that into account. I just don't see why the issues he's raised can't be discussed.

edited to say that if he's advocating for Cindy against the Democrats, I'll speak out against that, but obviously in this case Dennis is a Democrat.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. This article explains a little...but only a little.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 05:17 PM by madfloridian
I am not about to put my head on the chopping block to explain more. It is an attempt to point out a pattern without putting myself in jeopardy.

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/tapped_archive?month...

There is more and others were involved in Iowa. But in the end Dean lost, Kerry lost, and our country has lost its heart and soul.

But some people still hate other Democrats with a passion, and it needs to stop.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pioneer111 Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. The major premise in Swanson's post is disingenuous
"The idea that a progressive should not want to support anyone who's too progressive, that in fact such a person can be considered "crazy" seems to betray not just calculated strategic compromise but a compromised confidence in your own identity."

jsamuel at no point suggests that someone would be crazy to support a progressive candidate nor that anyone should consider a candidate who is progressive to be crazy. In fact it is just the opposite. His post suggests that a progressive candidate is not crazy. What he is saying is that Edwards' approach is much more likely to have success than Kucinich's approach. That is true as evidenced by the polls.

I have loved having Kucinich on the campaign trail putting forth progressive ideas. I admire Kucinich for persistence. Unfortunately his communication and people skills are not very good as evidenced by the financial support he does not get and declining support among progressives. His antics at times are embarrassing and an impediment to having some progressive ideas considered by mainstream Democrats. Swanson's attack on Edwards will NOT increase support for Kucinich. It will further marginalize Kucinich.

Kucinich will never be the party nominee. He does have the chance of being influential in the administration of a progressive president. I would like to see that. I believe that Edwards is the best candidate for progressives in decades. To see Kucinich and his supporters malign Edwards and misrepresent what Edwards' supporters like jsamuel are saying is sad and counterproductive in having a progressive agenda become a reality in the whitehouse.

Some people will always go with the most idealistic proposals. They are important part of the process. They should continue to to be a loud voice in having their ideas considered. But they should recognize that those who are moving in their direction or implementing parts of their proposals are their allies not enemies to attack. Progressives lose in this kind of argument.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. you don't move
people to good positions by sitting back and wishing
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pioneer111 Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I agree with that
I also don't think you move people to good positions by misrepresenting what they say or by maligning them.

Edwards is the most viable progressive candidate that the Democrats have had in a long time. His plans allow for movement towards the ideal. Kucinich is the voice of idealized goals. I feel he is an important voice. I wish he was a more credible presenter of these ideals. His communications skills and possibly yours as well, need improvement. That criticism does not in any way diminish my belief in his genuine desire to have the best ideas become reality.

If you want to advance Kucinich as a candidate, I can applaud. If you believe that the way to do it is to tear down Edwards, you will damage the progressive movement and the possibility for real change.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
penguin7 Donating Member (962 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #4
16. Kucinich support is not declining
Please get your facts straight.

I am a Kucinich supporter with no ties to the campaign except I made a small contribution.

I have also made several posts attacking Edwards. My main beef with Edwards is that he is getting strong support from trial lawyers. The trial lawyers give big time to the democratic party, and they are not giving and not getting. The legal system is corrupt, and any lobbying group that is giving big time is further corrupting the system.

I know that is not a popular view on DU, but the American people for the most part do not like lawyers very much.

I am also bothered by his vote on the patriot act, the bankruptcy bill and the Iraq war. I find his latest "explanation" that he meant splitting up the candidates into smaller groups disgusting. I am morally certain he meant paring down the group of candidates participating. Before this I really did not believe a word that he had to say anyway though. I just think he is oily.

I have tried to make posts calculated to help Kucinich. I hope my visceral dislike of Edwards has not hurt that cause.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. So you don't want trial lawyers?
Well, you are in good company. The GOP is trying to put them out of business.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
pioneer111 Donating Member (113 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 05:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. I have always liked Kucinich
I am not liking some of his supporters. Your approach to debate is not convincing on Kucinich's behalf. However you are entitled to your opinion. I just find that your opinion of Edwards seems to be based on stereotypes and not on reality and facts. Many trial lawyers have made things safer, such as those who went after tobacco companies and drain cover manufacturers(Edwards). Dismissing them in such a flippant fashion is to reveal your lack of knowledge and understanding.

The polls indicate that Kucinich's support is declining although it will go up and down. His support is not expanding either. He certainly is not getting much funding. And being a champion of Fox does not endear him to many progressives.

I think many criticisms of Kucinich are based on stereotypes so I find it ironic when his supporters do that in greater measure. I also am a realist. Kucinich will not be the nominee for the Democratic party. Edwards has policies and ideas that are closer to progressive views than the other candidates. I would like to see Kucinich's ideas be better received in the Whitehouse. I don't think Clinton or Obama will be likely to do that. I think Edwards would listen. However if Kucinich and his supporters, in order to get attention, trash Edwards it seems like a counter productive move and a foolish one.

I suggest you may want to re-examine your visceral dislike for Edwards with a more rational look at his policies and see where there is some common ground with Kucinich.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JANdad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
5. I really want to thank you David
After reading a couple of your posts I became inspired, I started doing some digging and found out some interseting details about your boss:

1. After being elected mayor of Cleveland, he had the audacity to fire his Police Chief, live on television. Wow...talk about your people and leardership skills.

2. I do not remmber the year (late to mid eighties and if important I will provide the link) that Dennis filed a federal return with earings of $38.00 (yep thirty eight dollars)...wow...talk about fiscal responsibility.

3. While wandering around L.A. after losing his Mayoral re-election, he bummed off of Shirley McClain?

4. Has switched parties twice and in one of those instances, pulled a Joe Lieberman and switched after he lost the primary to run as an independant...talk about your "lack of integrity"

To me, your boss is nothing more than an opportunistic, my way or the highway sort of guy. I am sure that having conversations with him while discussing his "metaphysical and soul-energy" ramblings may be fun, but I want someone who can bring realism and the ability to compromise the the table to help the greater good.

And yea...I'm and Edwards guy...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
davidswanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. you're welcome
i'm not working for dennis right now

nor do i think he's flawless

he does have an unusual degree of integrity, which to some people involves even more than partisan loyalty
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JANdad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. So then your OK with
What Lierberman did...after all...whats good for the goose...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mrspeeker Donating Member (671 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
18. Is that the best you can do?
Because if I wanted to trash edwards...I could write a fucking book, although it wouldn't be as long as say a Cheney did everything wrong book...It would be about 500 pages longer than the Kucinich did stuff wrong book.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JANdad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Do you really need to
resort to the foul language? I have been very respectful to this point and I would expect the same from you!

But since you jumped in here...care to comment on DK twice switching parties?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Aug 23rd 2014, 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC