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View Diary: John Edwards, Trial Lawyers, and McDonald's Coffee (223 comments)

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  •  A serious issue (none)
    One thing that the right can hit the Democrats with successfully (from a campaign/soundbite standpoint) is the charge that Demos believe in a Naderite nanny-state where there is no concept of personal responsibility or accountability.  Bringing up the McDonalds case again at this point can only feed into this attack.  

    There are also a lot of people out there who _have_ read unbiased accounts of the case and _still_ think McDonalds was not at fault, and dismissing them with contempt is probably not helpful either.


    •  You're Kind of Missing the Point (4.00)
      This is a defensive argument.  The Repubs have already been trying to hang Edwards with the ambulance-chaser tag, and they're not going to stop, not even after Kerry and Edwards take office.

      As far as "dismissing them with contempt," that's a peculiar reading of the post.  Dismissing with contempt doesn't go with educating people about the facts of a case they've only heard in bowlderized and bastardized form from the John Sotesels and Rush Limbaughs of the world.  

      Finally, you're really missing the point about responsibility.  There is a deep and potent vein of belief in the American public that individuals aren't the only agents that should exercise responsibility, bureaucracies and businesses should exercise responsibility as well.  

      •  Yes! (4.00)
        The Democratic theme should be "shared responsibility." Democrats think that people should be held accountable for their actions. They also think that corporations should be held accountable for their actions. When something bad happens, we should look at who it is more reasonable to expect to change their behavior so that the harm does not happen again (or happen as often, or be as damaging). Sometimes it is the person who is at fault, sometimes the corporation, and sometimes both share responsibility.

        That is sound-bite ready and feels like common sense to me (but the kind of common sense that needs to be articulated before people realize they agree with it).

        Don't understand NY politics? Try The Nor'Easter

        by jd in nyc on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 04:41:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This argument is pointless (4.00)
        The people that buy this simply hate Democrats.  Since trial lawyers support Democrats...

        This is a non-issue.  I've worked dozens of campaigns where the GOP has tried to use this issue and it moves no one but their base.  Let them spend this money because it has no effect.

        Let me give you an example.  The GOP in Texas has waged this fight for nearly 20 years.  Some will say it helped get them the Supreme Court and other elected offices, but polls and focus groups have shown that values, soft on crime and taxes have been the messages that work.  Tort issues never come up in what voters care about.  For instance, the Attorney General in Texas is a completely civil office, yet both parties only talk about cracking down on crime and going after predators -- something they have no power to do.

        The best example I can give is that the Texas GOP spend millions and millions and millions of dollars working to pass their tort refrom ballot initiative last year.  The trials spent no money on tv and just did mailers.  Despite the gigantic effort, they won 51.13 to 48.86.  This was in an odd-year September ballot election, the kind Democrats skip and the GOP never miss.

        That number is about 5 points off the GOP base vote down here.

        The only way this issue matters is in campaign funding.  Tort "reform" groups simply pour money into campaigns.  The issue itself doesn't drive any voters but the money sure helps their candidates campain on other issues.

        Democrats need to bascially stop bending over backards out of fear on this issue.  It moves no voters against us at all.

        The United States of America: Walk the Talk

        by Velvet Revolution on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 04:59:36 PM PDT

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    •  A proper "nanny state" (4.00)
      would have spanked McDonalds hard and fast the FIRST time somebody got 3rd degrees burns, not the 701st. Trial lawyers are the alternative to armies of bureaucrats/inspectors.
    •  Republicans protect corporations (4.00)
      Why should this be seen as a good thing?  

      I'm all for personal responsibility but what about corporate resonsibility?  Until corporations shape up I'll never roll over to the Republicans ridiculous calls for "personal responsibility".  By personal responsibility they mean shut up and shell out for corporate America.  Ugh.

    •  I'm not into corporate nannies. (4.00)
      ... they can and do pay for their own:   defense.

      It's a cartoon world run by people scarcely able to parse a grocery list. It's a pity...

      by Marisacat on Sun Aug 01, 2004 at 03:50:04 PM PDT

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