As you know, I don't like John Edwards. See, I have a bless/curse of a photographic memory. I remember John Edwards, from when he entered the national stage taking the deposition in the Lewinsky fiasco during the Clinton Administration, to his cheerleading for the war in 2002. I also remember his platforms from 2004, which is why I am shocked he has reinvented himself once again.
But when he decided he wanted to be a populist this election cycle, I took that shit personally. The Farmer's Alliance started in Lampasas, Texas in 1876, which later evolved in the Populist Party. So yeah, you could say I have little emotional attachment to the name. That is why I refuse to allow this pretender advance towards the throne.
Nothing sums up better some of the issues I have with John Edwards, than this interview on Meet the Press. When called to the mat for his constant reinventions as a candidate, he stands by his record, even though that does not reflect his rhetoric today. I have no idea why anyone would believe a word he says after this:
"You voted for the No Child Left Behind Act, back when you were in the Senate, now you call that a mistake. You voted for Free Trade with China, back when you were in the Senate, now you say you wouldn't do that. You vote for storing nuclear waste in Yucca in Nevada, now you say are against that. Of course Nevada caucuses are going to be early this time. In the Senate, you voted for Bankruptcy Reform. Now you say that is a mistake, you realize it hurts poor people. That's a lot mistakes on big issues for a single term in the Senate, how do you explain it?"
John Edwards: Well let me say first of all, what I would do as President of the United States and the positions I have taken on all the issues, including the ones you just spoke about, are my belief about what needs to be done and was the right thing to do.
From that same interview, here is what John Edwards said about his war vote:
Speaking of war, since he views it as a political calculation, this becomes critical:
Ah, back when being a hawkish Democrat looked like the path to the White House. And my, how he has triangulated since then. But I remember back when he said this in front of a room full of Democrats:
He gets booed. He gets booed because he was wrong. Worse yet, we have now found out that this whole speech was a political calculation. He sure thought waving the pom-poms was going put him over the top that year. Nice to know that our soldiers were just props to him back then.
Here he is on 02/15/02 helping spread the 9/11+Iraq meme.
And since he was on the Intelligence Committee, his co-sponsorship of the war becomes even more damning.
What was going on in those Intelligence Meetings?
Let's ask a Democrat:
So both John Edwards and Hillary Clinton knew.
John Edwards knew, and yet still still co-sponsored the war.
So either Edwards or Durbin is lying, because on MSNBC "Buchanan & Press", on January 7, 2003, John Edwards said this:
Seeing day after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons. He cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons.
Here he is supporting pre-emptive war without UN sanction:
Edwards declared in an op-ed column in the Washington Post on November 13, 2005:
"The argument for going to war with Iraq was based on intelligence that we now know was inaccurate. The information the American people were hearing from the president -- and that I was being given by our intelligence community -- wasn't the whole story. Had I known this at the time, I never would have voted for this war."
Ah history, funny things happen, especially just a week later when former Senator Bob Graham, the Chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, in the same newspaper on November 20, 2005:
"There were troubling aspects to this 90-page document. While slanted toward the conclusion that Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction stored or produced at 550 sites, it contained vigorous dissents on key parts of the information, especially by the departments of State and Energy. Particular skepticism was raised about aluminum tubes that were offered as evidence Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program. As to Hussein's will to use whatever weapons he might have, the estimate indicated he would not do so unless he was first attacked."
"Under questioning, Tenet added that the information in the NIE had not been independently verified by an operative responsible to the United States. In fact, no such person was inside Iraq. Most of the alleged intelligence came from Iraqi exiles or third countries, all of which had an interest in the United States' removing Hussein, by force if necessary."
"The American people needed to know these reservations, and I requested that an unclassified, public version of the NIE be prepared. On Oct. 4, Tenet presented a 25-page document titled 'Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs.' It represented an unqualified case that Hussein possessed them, avoided a discussion of whether he had the will to use them and omitted the dissenting opinions contained in the classified version. Its conclusions, such as "If Baghdad acquired sufficient weapons-grade fissile material from abroad, it could make a nuclear weapon within a year," underscored the White House's claim that exactly such material was being provided from Africa to Iraq."
"From my advantaged position, I had earlier concluded that a war with Iraq would be a distraction from the successful and expeditious completion of our aims in Afghanistan. Now I had come to question whether the White House was telling the truth -- or even had an interest in knowing the truth."
"On Oct. 11, I voted no on the resolution to give the president authority to go to war against Iraq. I was able to apply caveat emptor. Most of my colleagues could not."
So, for John Edwards to be telling the truth, Durbin and Graham have to be liars. And the declassified NIE must also be forgery.
Why does everything John Edwards say not match his record?
He is now for the poor, yet he voted for Bankruptcy Reform.
He is now pro-environment, yet he voted for Yucca Mountain.
He is now pro-civil liberties, yet he voted for the Patriot Act.
He is now pro-union, even though he voted for Free Trade with China. He was also for giving Bush fast-track trade ability until an amendment about UNITE was taken out, the then only union backing him.
He was against off-shore bank accounts in his vice-president debate with Dick Cheney, but then worked for a corporation that used them.
He says he regrets the war vote, yet there is solid evidence of his cheerleading leading into the war.
He says he wishes he had had correct intelligence, yet other members of the same committee said it was right there in front of him.
So if you want a candidate who lies, and whose rhetoric is ever evolving and does not reflect his record, then vote John Edwards.