By Manila Ryce
The Largest Minority
Friday, January 25th, 2008
It’s always confused me how people can get behind Edwards as the alternative to Obama and Hillary when it’s quite obvious the guy’s no liberal. Edwards only received a 60% rating by the ACLU, he’s adamantly against marriage equality, he voted for the Patriot Act, supported the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and voted for the war in Iraq. Then he used these same initiatives that he supported as reason to criticize Ashcroft and Bush. Even if we are to now believe that he does mean what he says about civil liberties and poverty, I’d still have to agree with Nader’s assessment of John Edwards as a “sniveling coward” for his inability to actually take a stand at the critical moment.
All that people seem to talk about is how John Edwards is saying the right things. Yeah, but is he doing the right things? Has he ever? No. Edwards’ supporters are no more interested in the issues than Clinton or Obama supporters. It’s so appealing to think that he’s the most progressive candidate than it is to understand that he’s damn near identical to the other two. Perhaps if he didn’t look so much like Kennedy, people would be a bit more critical of his hollow marketing. I do agree with his campaign rhetoric that there are “two Americas”, but it does seem as if there are also two Edwards’ to inhabit both.
In an interview with the Huffington Post on Thursday, Feingold restated his hesitance to endorse either Sen. Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Both, he said, would make great presidents. The same praise was not, however, heaped upon Feingold’s former Senate colleague Edwards, whose political sincerity the Wisconsin Democrat questioned.
“I don’t understand how somebody could vote, five or six critical votes, one way in the Senate and then make your campaign the opposite positions,” Feingold said, expanding on comments he made a week ago to the Appleton (Wisconsin) Post-Crescent. “That doesn’t give me confidence that if the person became president that they would continue the kind of policies that they are using in the Democratic primary. I’m more likely to believe what they did in the Senate.”
Asked to explain what precisely he found problematic, Feingold offered that Edwards had “taken in” voters by switching positions on several key issues.
“You have to consider what the audience is, and obviously these are very popular positions to take when you are in a primary where you are trying to get the progressive vote. But wait a minute — there were opportunities to vote against the bankruptcy bill, there was an opportunity to vote against the China [trade] deal. Those are the moments where you sort of find out where somebody is. So I think, people are being taken in a little bit that now he is taking these positions.”
The Edwards campaign did not return a request for comment.
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