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I am an Edwards supporter these days.  I've read and studied the positions of each of the candidates.  My support for Edwards is firm, so all readers need to know this upfront.

I like to think that, passion for my candidate aside, and I can get heated,  I'm capable of having some objectivity.  For instance, last night, when Senator Clinton hit Senator Edwards on the fact that he didn't support Gephardt's Health Care plan in 2004, a little alarm bell went off in my head.  I want to read what this particular bill is about and see why Senator Edwards voted "no", as he didn't get a chance to respond to Senator Clinton's charge.  I agreed with Clinton when she said Obama's plan wasn't truly Universal.  She made a strong point.

More after the fold

That said, I do like Edwards's Health Care Plan.  I don't like that Senator Clinton sat on her hands, mute for eight months, and couldn't share her point of view on this issue.  When she finally unveiled her take on it,  her plan was stunningly similar to John Edwards's.  She has been fortunate that he hasn't brought this up in the debates (though surely she's been looking for him to do so.)

I don't like her vote on Kyl-Lieberman, her delay of a couple of weeks in explaining her vote, and her subsequent explanation.   I don't respect the level of comfort she exhibits with lobbyists and  I find it ridiculous to believe, as she claimed at the YearlyKos Convention, that lobbyists hold no sway over her.

I have respect for much of her voting record.  I don't care for the fact, however. that while she's in a leadership position, she isn't the most forthcoming about her positions.  I respect John Edwards's willingness to lay himself on the line, hard and fast, with great detail in his policies.  And it's this election cycle I'm closely examining.

We live in times where so many distinctions are becoming increasingly clear.  It's easier now, more than ever, to make them.  And yes, we are in a class war whether one wants to acknowledge the truth in this or not.

John Edwards understands this. He knows we've lost our voice as a people.  And this is at the heart of what I'm about to write.  

We've been subjected to nearly eight years of the most repressive, vile government we've ever seen.  The fear in this country was palpable and we're just starting to recover from  it.  We've been spied upon by our own government, told we were "unpatriotic' if we disagreed with this President's policies.  Watched the likes of Sean Hannity and his brothers call decent citizens "Nazis", "traitors", "smear merchants" for trying to speak the truth.

We've allowed a President not only unprecedented power, but a forum where he is rarely, if ever, allowed a real question...unscripted, or truly questioning.  His events carefully choreographed, everything managed.  If you disagreed with him, say, as Joe Wilson did, your life was subjected to threats and ruination.

Don't you dare question the President has been the order of the day.  You are an enemy, if  you do.

I feel as if I'm seeing a rerun.

The "debate" last night repelled me.  You know what I'm about to say.

Let me start from something I read many months ago.  I watched, carefully, the fundraising efforts of Senator Obama and Senator Clinton.  I saw long-time Clinton supporters in Hollywood, defect to Obama's camp.  I read that the Clinton campaign made it clear on no uncertain terms that these donations would be "remembered when she's elected".

I thought of George Bush.  I thought, if true, this seemed impossibly vindictive.

I remember the man in Iowa, asking Senator Clinton about her vote on Kyl-Lieberman.  She immediately accused him of being a 'plant' from another campaign.  This man had the courage to stand up to her assault and forced her to back off a bit.

I didn't understand why she jumped to such a conclusion.  I didn't understand why she felt she was being attacked.

I couldn't understand why, her feelings aside, she wouldn't simply answer the question.  

After all we've been through the past number of years, it was unfathomable to me that she would show this man such disrespect.

I watched Senator Clinton one Sunday morning in September, do every single morning news show.  I watched her give non-responsive answers to questions.  I watched her filibuster the clock with them, seemingly preventing the questioners from asking more questions.

I've watched GWB do the same for eight years now.  I feel unsettled in my gut.  I expect so much more from an intelligent, tough woman.  I expect more from our democratic candidates.

It was more than George Bush ever gave, but it wasn't enough.  

Then her debate performance two weeks ago.  I hated Tim Russert's questions...more insulting to me, though was his UFO question to Congressman Kucinich.

But what I hated more was the omnipresent sense I was getting that Hillary seemed to feel put upon when expected to give a direct answer.

I hated that she characterized the whole event as a "pile-on".  Then the coming days of spin and saying she was being "attacked". Then the "plant' stories.

It was a bad two weeks.  I thought she would have learned.

The debate last night disgusted me.  The first few questions upfront designed to start a battle...malicious, personal.  CNN wanted to hold viewer attention and the network delivered low blows.

Senator Clinton was once described to me by a supporter as a 'street brawler who could fight dirty".  His supposition was that we needed someone like that to fight the Republicans.  Maybe.  But I believe we can fight tough without resorting to shutting down real debate.

Senator Clinton has the right to spell out differences between herself and other candidates.  Just as John Edwards has the right to tell Amerca that Senator Clinton has a different philosphy from his own....that she takes lobbyist money. And to do so without being "booed".

And Senator Clinton should stop changing the definition of "mudslinging".  If she feels that it is "mudslinging" for someone to point out her close relationships with Washington Lobbyists, then surely she doesn't have a very high opinion of her conduct.

I watched her employ the tactic of slinging mud by using the very term.  "Mudslinging" is like "Swiftboating" to me.  Or it's a term which should be reserved for assaults on one's personal life, or the personal lives of said candidate's family members.

It should never be applied when telling the truth about a position that affects each and every one of us.  And the truth should never be called a "Republican talking point".

Time and again I watch Senator Clinton respond in a fearful repressive manner.  And I've watched this happen with our present government too many times.  It has made me angry, frustrated, and ready to fight. I don't want to fight any potential democratic nominee

I walked into my morning coffee shop and met several new people.  Everyone was talking about the debate and a certain theme kept coming up.  "Mudslinging" and "booing".  I want you to know that I live in Santa Monica, Ca.  A very liberal town.  And let me tell you, people were angry at Hillary for going down that path.

You see where I'm headed.  If she elicits this kind of reaction from people who are inclined to support which ever Democrat gets the nomination...what kind of reaction is the rest of the nation going to have?

I'm asking Hillary to try, try, try to understand why she personalizes facts and finds treachery whenever a legitimate point is made.  To try to look at the suffering we've all endured for the past number of years at the hands of a paranoid administration.

I'm telling Senator Clinton that a continuation of this kind of behavior will frustrate those of us who may feel compelled to vote for her should she be the nominee. I don't want a Republican, but  I don't want to go to the polling booth feeling that I'm voting for someone who will try to quelch dissent.  Who will take dissent personally.

Last night, a person on this site named, "Christin" wrote the following:

what tonight was, For us anyway... (42+ / 0-)
Was the night we (my S.O. and I) finally made up our minds.
We're going to work out butts off for any candidate but Hillary Clinton.
Up until two months ago, I wasn't a "fan", but I liked her .
She still wasn't my first choice, or second, but I liked her.
I'm at the point now, where the more of I see of her, the more I hear her, the more I'm turned off.
And not slightly.

I don't like her pettiness.
It reminds me of Bush.
I don't like the smirks on her face.
It reminds me of Bush.
I don't like her positions
They remind me of kindler gentler Bush.
I don't like how defensive she gets.
It reminds me of Bush.
I can't stand how petulant she gets.
It reminds me of Bush.
I don't like her views on the war, Iran, her Kyle Lieberman vote...and that bullshit about how we can't tax the rich.
What the eff? That doesn't remind me of Bush.
It is Bush.
I don't like her using that damn gender bullshit.
i don't like her claiming that women fall at her feet  in awe,
Because she's a woman,

I just dislike her now.
An awful lot,
But what really repulses me, more and more .
Is the behavior of her supporters.
On here, and in the audience.
Her "number one fans' (and that's what they are to me) on Daily Kos are some of the most insulting people on this board.
Calling Edwards supporters names, calling Obama supporters names..getting prickly and defensive when questioned on Hillary's views or beliefs.
Prickly on a good day. Many days they're just damn rude to other Democrats or Progressives or Kossaks.
I'm all for going after the candidate, but not her supporters, or anyone's supporters.
But I've had it.
Tonight, with that bullshit booing non stop?
Of course it was HER supporters doing it.
Those were not independents.
Those were her people.
And ONLY the other candidates got booed.
Not her,.
Because we have respect for them.

This was by far the worst debate I have ever watched.
The crowd was out of control, the constant cheering and booing was distracting,  cruel, rude, and ugly.
I hated this format.
CNN should be ashamed.

I'm done with her tonight,
And I'm really this close to being done with her blind, partisan, nasty supporters, and I am NOT putting up with it anymore.
That, plus they freak me out the way they talk about her like she's David Koresh or something and they're about to follow her to god knows where.
It's just creepy.

I logged onto Edwards site. And sent him money.
I logged onto Obama's site. And sent him money.
I'm that appalled.

For the first time in my life, the first time ever, and this goes against eveything I hold dear in my heart and believe in with all my soul...
I don't see how I can vote for her ever.
Anytime someone said that I was like ARE YOU INSANE?????
She's better than any republican.
That is getting harder to believe by the day for me,

Maybe many of us are still emotional after this last debate.  Maybe it will pass.  But I don't think so.  I feel that Christin understood something in her gut that she found hard to live with.  I'm listening hard to her words.

And if she, a supportive democrat feels this way, how are we going to win the next election?

I'm putting Senator Clinton on notice.   Do not even attempt to quelch dissent.  Do not try to paint anyone who has a difference with you as an "attacker".

When you have a legitimate difference on your positions and record with another candidate, I listen.  When you call someone a "mudslinger" for pointing out their differences with you, you elicit anger.

Don't make me feel I'm enabling you in this behavior should I have to vote for you.  You answer to all of us.

And yes, Senator Clinton, there IS a class war.  You need to remember this.

Originally posted to emmabrody on Fri Nov 16, 2007 at 02:35 PM PST.

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