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 Well - no way around it now - Obama is attacking me and all those like me and I am not happy.  It is true that I am an Edwards fan, and make no apologies for it.  But the notion that I or any other Democratic attorney would dare establish a snobbish hierarchy of what type of law is most meritorious is absurd.  Yet, there it is Obama - in that awful kind of repellant condescion that smacks of the privileged is now attacking Edwards for being a trial lawyer -

   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Besides the fact that I am personally insulted - no big thing in the grans scheme of things - the new line of celebrity sneering at us common folk betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what is going on today in America.  Join me, below the fold, if the subject has any interest.

 About 60 years ago - maybe a little more a major American industry - tobacco - discovered that the product it was selling was deadly - not metaphorically, not hypothetically, but medically proven to be deadly.  They had a choice - they could divulge the information, inform the consumer and let the chips fall - or they could commit fraud that was cancerous - hideously, painfully, nastily horribly cancerous.  They chose the latter.

 When "trial lawyers" began to seek remedies for those injured as a result of this fraud - Big Tobacco began a massive, multi-million dollar campaign to create a tort "crisis" and smear plaintiff's lawyers - heretofore a hardy band that made their living representing the little guy - as rich, greedy, evil, "trial lawyers."

 No study exists that indicates that verdicts or lawyers compensation or trials raise prices or insurance rates or any of the things that this agit-prop portrays.  Yet this campaign was so successful that today the heirs to such figures as Madison, Lincoln and Darrow are dismissed by a candidate for the Democratic party under the label of trial lawyers.

 Soon - big insider corps got all a twitter - why look at how we can do that - we can institute a new economic model - some called it Reagonomics - but most of us know it as what it is - the Negligence economy.  Now, as we see mines collapse, toys poison, bridges fall and the financial industry implode - we can see the one unifying thread is that those who cherish incompetence, negligence and sloth as virtues have been rewarded because the attack on the funadamental American principle of checks and balances has been so successful.

So now - your job is imperiled, your health hanging on the decision of an unaccountable bureaucrat and the traditions of America trashed - and who joins in this melee - a candidate for the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination.

Somewhere - long ago - across the fields of Illinois a tall gaunt trial lawyer honed his skills and in the judgment of many historians helped save the Union.  Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party.

Originally posted to Boxer7 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:38 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Obama said he took a lower-paying job. (21+ / 0-)

    As opposed to higher-paying work as a trial lawyer, nothing more.  Your extrapolation and characterization of "ripping" and "attacking" is pure synthesis.

    •  It's one happens (7+ / 0-)

      when one blogger's hyperbole gets piled on top of another blogger's hyperbole et infinitum.

    •  The journalist characterizes it as such (10+ / 0-)

       but the thing that gets me is that Obama portrays trial lawyers not as agents for social reform.  I think civil rights lawyers do great things - it is clear that Obama thinks what I do is not important.  

       Well - for those who like exploding cars and thalidomide babies - I say vote Obama.

      •  Ding! Ding! another nominee for Unhinged Post (12+ / 0-)

        du Jour:

        "Well - for those who like exploding cars and thalidomide babies - I say vote Obama"

        keep 'em coming, loony birds! ;)

      •  WTF? (6+ / 0-)

        Edwards says Obama's too nice to be the nominee.  Obama responded to that foolishness by pointing out that he has taken the road less traveled in his successful efforts to help make this country better.

        Well - for those who like exploding cars and thalidomide babies - I say vote Obama.

        Clinton thanks you for your efforts.

      •  Where did you get that? (6+ / 0-)

        Here's the section of comment from your link:

        During a Des Moines speech Sunday night to a heated crowd of 1,500 supporters, Obama vigorously rebutted statements made earlier in the day by Edwards that Obama was "too nice" to be an effective President. "I have to say, I've been doing this my whole life," Obama said, referring to his long record of personal political activism. "When you talk about change, you might just want to try the guy who's actually done it before," Obama said, implying that Edwards is a Johnny-come-lately to the arena of social reform.

        Obama said that as a young man he was offered many lucrative choices but turned them down in favor of low-paid work as a community organizer and as a civil rights lawyer, a theme he has sounded repeatedly on the stump over the past weeks. For the first time, and in a direct shot at Edwards, Obama said one of the big bucks options he turned down was to work as a "trial lawyer."

        The writer makes the suggestion with the line "implying that Edwards is a Johnny-come-lately to the arena of social reform," but that is not an Obama quote. It is the writer's interpretation.

        •  You have a different interpretation? n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Tell me how you spend your time and how you spend your money -- I'll tell you what your values are.

          by oldpro on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:28:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What about this? (10+ / 0-)

          From the Washpo:

          "Let me put it this way," he said. "If John wants to make the comparison between the work I did as a community organizer -- or as a civil rights attorney or as a state senator taking on special interests -- to him working as a trial lawyer making millions of dollars, I'm happy to have that discussion.

          "

          He's clearly criticizing personal injury work--which is only one of the 38 rightwing frames that he happily employs. Of course, it jibes with Obama's support for rightwing class action reform. Does he not realize the critical political role that trial lawyers play?

          •  Bah. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ivorybill, Albatross, pamelabrown

            Yeah. Obama is stupid and he uses right wing frames.

            You're spitting blood, Dave.

            •  not so much right wing... (0+ / 0-)

              but IIRC "trial lawyers" have been tip of the tongue phrases from the GOP for quite a while now.

              That and "frivolous lawsuits" and "tort reform."

              Undecided Democratic Voter...okay?

              by kredwyn on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:11:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Trial lawyers? (0+ / 0-)

                I find comments on lawyers of all sorts to be much more broad-based than limited to "right wing frames."

                Did Obama use "frivolous lawsuits?" Or is that simply part of making a false case?

                •  trial lawyers (0+ / 0-)

                  Bush v. Trial Lawyers:

                  With so many trial lawyers helping the interests of the wealthy and powerful, why is it true (as today's New York Times reminds us) that "within conservative circles and inside the White House, the term 'trial lawyer' is an epithet"?

                  John Edwards, Esq.:

                  In fact, that's already begun. "America won't elect John Edwards president for the same reason we've never elected a used car salesman president," declares GOP pollster Frank Luntz. "America hates trial lawyers."

                  Conference Mocks Trial Lawyers:

                  He chuckled and nodded as panelists at the two-day conference aired their contempt for trial lawyers.

                  ``What you have today is business on one side, and you've got the trial lawyers on the other side. . . . You've got deep pockets colliding with shallow principles,'' Robert Nardelli, the chief executive at Home Depot, said to laughter from the audience and the president.

                  If you'll note...I never said, nor implied, that Obama used "frivolous lawsuit."

                  Undecided Democratic Voter...okay?

                  by kredwyn on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:23:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  How many refernces to "trial lawyers" (0+ / 0-)

                    ... will one find with a Google search of the term?

                    Want to cherrypick quotes? Work your way through hundreds of pages of returns on the term.

                    •  Want me to copy whole articles? (0+ / 0-)

                      Jesus, Bob...

                      Look...what I said was that there is already a general dislike for lawyers (see Shakespeare). But really...if you go over the news for the past couple elections you'll see that lawyers shifted into 'trial lawyers' as a "thing" that appeared in a lot of GOP discourse. I suspect that some of that was coming from Frank Luntz. And some of it was aimed right at Edwards.

                      I don't know as the Obama camp woke up and said "Hey let's borrow this GOP trope against Edwards."

                      But it's a "push button" phrase that works to illicit some sort of image in the audience.

                      There are how many days to the primary? This is kitchen sink time...everything comes out.

                      And swipes are made...

                      Undecided Democratic Voter...okay?

                      by kredwyn on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:52:50 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  And, no, you never said or implied... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... you simply included it in your post in attempt to prop up your argument.

                    •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

                      I included them because they were part of the phrase sets I was looking at with regards to a rhetorical analysis research project I was working on when Bob Erlich was out there ranting about how necessary "tort reform" was when it came to stamping out "frivolous lawsuits."

                      And I use the key word search because it's helpful when you have to count how many times a word or phrase is used. Check out how many times Zarqawi appears in Powell's speech.

                      Undecided Democratic Voter...okay?

                      by kredwyn on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:57:32 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  Let me go out on a limb (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pamelabrown

            Trial advocacy and medical malpractice have their place.  

            In my hierarchy of attorneys, those who pick public service deserve the highest credit.  I know many attorneys - really good attorneys - who have worked hard for years for very little money advancing the public interest.  I personally think medical malpractice attorneys serve a purpose, but it's not the same thing.  Maybe that's a right wing frame, but it's a frame that sticks with many on the left, center and right.  

            I'd like to know more about Edwards' pro bono history.  Personally, I think Obama has a point.  

            In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

            by ivorybill on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:01:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nice selective quote... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Albatross

            Why didn't you include the preceding one?

            Obama suggested Edwards had reconstituted himself since his last campaign. "John wasn't this raging populist four years ago when he ran" for the previous Democratic nomination, he said. "He certainly wasn't when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He was in the U.S. Senate for six years, and as far as I can tell wasn't taking on the lobbyists and special interests. It's a matter of, do you walk the walk that you talk?"

            Edwards has questioned Obama being too nice to enact change. Obama is questioning Edwards commitment to his current populist platform based on his past behavior and his choice to pursue a law practice that both promotes social justice and can produce tremendous personal wealth.

            I think this is a valid discussion.

          •  Wasn't there also a flack about Obama's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            planetclaire4

            RW - social security reform?  Didn't he also use the bullshit line that it was going bankrupt?

            Winny about 527's when two top campaign advisers came from 527's.  HAs his own 527 - hope floats or something as stupid?

            Again - Project much.  This crap will lose him vote in other dem races - when those statements can be highlighted on a national level.

            "America Rising" - John Edwards we are with you.

            by totallynext on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 01:18:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Please follow this link - it is new Obama meme (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          planetclaire4
          •  I hope you'll be okay. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Albatross, pamelabrown

            Obama is the devil. He uses rightwing talking points. He is stupid.

            Whatever.

            Change your underwear.

            •  I call it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              planetclaire4

              The Obama Desperation Mode kicking in, and frankly, I thought Obama wouldn't stoop that low.  It's unbecoming.

              "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

              by Terre on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:48:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Heh. (6+ / 0-)

                God, I love this.

                "Stoop so low."

                Here's a lawyer joke for your amusement:

                "How can I ever thank you?" gushed a woman to Clarence Darrow, after he had solved her legal troubles.

                "My dear woman," Darrow replied, "ever since the Phoenicians invented money there has been only one answer to that question."

              •  There is nothing 'low' in pointing out (4+ / 0-)

                that he chose public service careers that were not lucrative in preference to other better paying private career paths.

                He should talk about his community organizer, civil right attorney (in addition to many good things he got done in the IL senate and some key things he got done on ethics reform in US senate) as often as possible.

                Global Warming and Climate Science: Self-learning tools.

                by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:59:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, here is the readable version of the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Albatross

                  second paragraph above :)

                  He should talk about his careers as a community organizer and as a civil right attorney as often as possible, in addition to mentioning the many good things he got done in the IL senate and some key things he got done on ethics reform etc in the US senate.

                  Global Warming and Climate Science: Self-learning tools.

                  by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:05:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It is low (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  planetclaire4

                  when you compare one branch of law, both working for the less fortunate, as "better" than another.

                  Is Obama saying that it's better to earn less money than more?  Is that claim supposed to make him a better president?  I'm not discounting Obama's service to the underpriviledged, but I don't think it's fair to discount Edwards service either by comparing it to the different roads taken as an attorney.

                  Obama makes it sound like trial attorneys aren't on the side of the little guy.  And what about Edwards working on projects for the poor?  You think that those don't count?

                  "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

                  by Terre on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:30:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  some jobs are closer to public service (0+ / 0-)

                    than others even though all jobs are valuable if done ethically and conscientiously.

                    "And what about Edwards working on projects for the poor?"

                    When and if he makes full financial disclosure of his non-profits, we'll see.

                    Edwards Defends Poverty Center's Efforts

                       By MARTIN GRIFFITH
                       The Associated Press
                       Sunday, June 24, 2007; 1:52 AM

                       RENO, Nev. -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said his nonprofit anti-poverty center's activities have been "completely legal" and he does not plan to go beyond the legal requirements to disclose its donors.

                    Global Warming and Climate Science: Self-learning tools.

                    by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:58:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why should he have to disclose (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      planetclaire4

                      his donors, especially for anti-poverty activities?

                      How could a donor be "bad or suspicious" when contributing to something like this? Maybe the donors don't want the public to know who they are.  I've heard of donors not wanting to toot their own horn.  Haven't you?

                      Maybe I'm being naive, but what might we find?

                      Gosh - sorry for loading this reply with so many questions.  LOL

                      "I believe in the promise of America." ~ John Edwards '08

                      by Terre on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 01:06:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  What is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          planetclaire4

          concerning to me is Obama's dismissive tone towards somebody from the working class trying to move up the social ladder through hard work perseverance and giving back to the community.  Seems to me Obama doesn't like working class people trying to get out of wage labor/poverty through public colleges.  No matter what kind of activism he has under his belt he came from relative affluence being a global citizen who was educated in private schools and he could "turn down" high paying jobs because he could afford too both financially and due to the outstanding connections he had through Harvard.  Was Edwards supposed to do the same so his parents could work in the mills till they were 65 and then live off of social security for a couple of years?  Give me a break this is a losing strategy for Obama.

          I take political action every day. I teach.

          by jbfunk on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:51:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sone of a mill worker. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NeuvoLiberal, pamelabrown

            I know that story. I like Edwards. I have no favorite candidate. But I do find it humorous that rabid Edwards supporters are concerned that Obama is using a "losing strategy."

            Shouldn't you be cheering him on, then?

            Obama was poor growing up, too. That's why he became a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago.

            •  He wasn't (0+ / 0-)

              poor.  Obama didn't grow up in a small mill town in Carolina.  You completely disregarded my characterization of how he grew up.  At least make a critique of what I said as opposed to simply referring to me as a "rabid" supporter of Edwards  I am not concerned Obama is using a losing strategy.  I think its just a sign that he's panicking about his chances in Iowa.  People go negative when they start to lose and it looks especially bad when it's a candidate that tried to run a "positive" campaign.  Obama sounds weak in making this attack.

              I take political action every day. I teach.

              by jbfunk on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:06:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What came first, the chicken or the egg? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Albatross

                Edwards is telling Iowa audiences that Obama isn't "tough enough" to stand up to Republicans and lobbyists.

                Obama responds by talking about the choices he made after law school which were different than the choices Edwards made.

                And now it's a competition to see who was "more poor" growing up?

                This is hilarious.

                And I think, yes, you would qualify as "rabid" based on this exchange.

                •  You're (0+ / 0-)

                  refer to me as rabid, but you still do not discuss my actual comments I made.  You then change the subject to make a different argument and imply that I am making that argument.  Who is acting rabid?

                  I take political action every day. I teach.

                  by jbfunk on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:49:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  he had more $$ than Edwards -- where's this (0+ / 0-)

              Obama was poor stuff coming from? he went to a privileged private school in Hawaii, e.g., -- I looked it up awhile ago -- tuition is $14,000 a year today, and then on to Harvard?

              seems Obama was upper middle class to me!

      •  What? Obama WAS a civil rights lawyer. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, nisleib, Albatross

        Obama was a civil rights lawyer

        The firm of Miner Barnhill & Galland, many of whose members have Harvard and Yale law degrees, has a reputation that fits nicely into the resume of a future presidential candidate.

        "It's a real do-good firm," says Fay Clayton, lead counsel for the National Organization for Women in a landmark lawsuit aimed at stopping abortion clinic violence. "Barack and that firm were a perfect fit. He wasn't going to make as much money there as he would at a LaSalle Street firm or in New York, but money was never Barack's first priority anyway."

        If you don't know the distinction between civil rights law and personal injury law is, and the vast compensation differences between representatives of each field of law, then I question how you possibly passed the Bar Exam.

        Could you let us know what your specialization is, and (if you are willing) with what firm you work?

        'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

        by Maxwell on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:26:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The classic high-paying atty is corp, not trial. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbfunk, phoenixdreamz, RedJet

      He picked trial attorney rather than corporate attorney because he wanted to cast doubt on Edwards's stump speech that he went into trial lawyering to help people, rather than to make money.

      You have to have your eyes closed not to pick that up.

    •  Please follow these links - new anti - TL meme (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      planetclaire4

       is becoming consistent from Obama

       http://www.democraticunderground.com...

      •  How is it a meme? It's the exact same line. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Albatross

        The exact same line the Huffington Post wrote its blog post about, and the same one you wrote yours about.

        Hell, I'll excerpt the post from your link:

        "In one of his standard riffs, Obama asserts that his career choices -- community organizer, civil rights lawyer, elected official -- underscores his commitment to public service and to bringing about political and social change. He always mentions the lucrative job offers he turned down, but today he added a new line.

        "That's why I didn't become a trial lawyer..."

        It's ironic that the first post in the very thread you link to asks: "So this is an attack?"

        Not everyone's buying the spin. Why? Because there's merit to Obama's point: He chose less money to work in civil rights law and community organizing rather than take more money to become a trial attorney.

        The fact that so-called progressives are trying to spin his decade of public service in civil rights practice as a "hatred" of civil rights law, as you did above, makes me question their own commitment to progressive ideals.

        Like this:

        Obama was part of a team of attorneys who represented the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois in 1995 for failing to implement a federal law designed to make it easier for the poor and others to register as voters.

        A federal court ordered the state to implement the law.

        Obama also wrote a major portion of an appeals brief on behalf of a whistleblower who exposed waste and corruption in a research project involving Cook County Hospital and the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research and alleged that she was fired in retaliation.

        The case was settled out of court. The county agreed to pay the federal government $5 million, part of which went to the whistleblower, Dr. Janet Chandler. Hektoen agreed to pay $500,000 to the government plus $170,000 to Chandler for wrongful termination.

        And Obama was part of a team of lawyers representing black voters and aldermen that forced Chicago to redraw ward boundaries that the City Council drew up after the 1990 census. They said the boundaries were discriminatory.

        After an appeals court ruled the map violated the federal Voting Rights Act, attorneys for both sides drew up a new set of ward boundaries.

        Public records at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission -- which handles ethical questions concerning the state's lawyers -- indicate there were no complaints against attorney Obama.

        Obama's legal work fell off sharply in 1997 after his election to the Illinois Senate.

        "On his second day down in Springfield he called me and said, 'Don't pay me -- this is a full-time job,'" Miner recalls.

        Trying to twist a progressive record like this around for a short game of political football is cynical in the extreme.

        Say things positive things about your own candidate. Stop trying to tear down other progressive candidates with deceptive spin.

        'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

        by Maxwell on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:00:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I lauded and do laud his legal work (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          planetclaire4

           I think you missed my point.  I am not denigrating his work - I think lawyers - of many different specialties do great things - civil rights lawyers definitely - nothing I said can be twisted to do anything but laud them.

           But - Obama has a new meme - it is the Tobacco Co. meme - "trial lawyers are nasty - I don't like that meme - that is my point.

          •  You're creating the meme more than he is. (0+ / 0-)

            All of these interpolations about tobacco companies and whatnot are your own, not Obama's.

            Obama is making a valid point: He made a clear financial sacrifice when he chose the branch of law he did, while Edwards choice of law came with lucrative payoff.

            Edwards took a third of every payout:

            In the decade that followed, Mr. Edwards filed at least 20 similar lawsuits against doctors and hospitals in deliveries gone wrong, winning verdicts and settlements of more than $60 million, typically keeping about a third. As a politician he has spoken of these lawsuits with pride.

            And not all of the changes the court decisions yielded were uniformly positive, while Edwards impeded some legislation that would be beneficial to potential clients:

            Indeed, there is a growing medical debate over whether the changes have done more harm than good. Studies have found that the electronic fetal monitors now widely used during delivery often incorrectly signal distress, prompting many needless Caesarean deliveries, which carry the risks of major surgery.

            The rise in such deliveries, to about 26 percent today from 6 percent in 1970, has failed to decrease the rate of cerebral palsy, scientists say. Studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins.

            An examination of Mr. Edwards's legal career also opens a window onto the world of personal injury litigation. In building his career, Mr. Edwards underbid other lawyers to win promising clients, sifted through several dozen expert witnesses to find one who would attest to his claims, and opposed state legislation that would have helped all families with brain-damaged children and not just those few who win big malpractice awards.

            These are substantive, issue-based criticisms. Eye-opening criticisms that all of us should take very seriously. It's not a cheap shot to question the efficacy of law and business best practices being crafted from exceptional personal injury tort cases. Or to question the extreme sums trial attorneys see as a result.

            Your diary takes the low road and opts for the cheap shot, however.

            And it's hard to take you at your word, frankly, Boxer7, when you post absurdly over-the-top rhetoric like:

            Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party.

            That's not a comment that a poster who wants to be taken seriously over the log haul in this community would make. It's precisely the sort of comment that will be taken and put into a parody diary once primary season is over...a diary illustrating the most absurd things said by posters here in primary season.  And it will be a recommended diary, I guarantee it (I saw several of them here after the 2004 primaries).

            Why set yourself up for ridicule? If you stick to substantive, issue-based endorsements of your own candidate, and critique other candidates on policies and the issues, you'll find you earn wider respect among all of us here.

            'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

            by Maxwell on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:44:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Just happened to mention it eh? (0+ / 0-)

      Nothing more just a little conversastion to pass the morning over eggs and bacon.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 05:38:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd but (7+ / 0-)

    I don't agree with

    Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party.

    I think Obama is realizing that he cannot finish behind both JRE and HRC. So he's trying to slow Edwards momentum. Poorly, but trying.

    •  Agreed... (13+ / 0-)

      this is a poor attempt by Obama to slow the Edwards momentum.

      Attacking...

      1. Unions
      1. Trial lawyers

      One wonders which key Dem constituency will be next.

      Bad advice. Bad strategy. More misteps. And, as he's learning, candidates in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

      Not good when we're days before the caucus.

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:48:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well - maybe hyperbole - but what is a fundamenta (9+ / 0-)

       principle of the Democratic Party if not standing up for the little guy?

       What am I missing?  Do we not understand that this whole "lucrative trial lawyer" thing is classic Republicanism?   I guess I just don't get it.

      •  This is the key question of our time (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jxg, Boxer7

        "what is a fundamental principle of the Democratic Party if not standing up for the little guy?"

        Too many Dems seem to answer it with: "Identity Politics"

        The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

        by dabize on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:01:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought it was the 'common good', no? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jxg, Albatross, pamelabrown

          one plaintiff at a time can eventually lead to such legislation benefitting the most people possible, but it can also be a barrier to it -- as when corporations offer, and trial lawyers accept 'private settlements' and 'confidentiality agreements', and there's no paper trail/public records -- this shit can go on for years, while more people (errr, 'little guys') are exposed to risk unnecessarily.

          •  If the trial lawyers aren't there (0+ / 0-)

            then who is?

            Your criticism is a valid one - but it should be directed at flaws in our adversarial legal system.

            Just because some trial lawyers are scumbags who abuse the system, should we use "trial lawyer" as an epithet?

            I know that some of my fellow scientists have common human failings that distort their thinking and interfere with scientific progress -  does that mean that people should use "scientist" as a pejorative in the context of making the world better through understanding it better?

            The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

            by dabize on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:22:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, in Boxer's unhinged example of (0+ / 0-)

              thalidomide babies, the FDA was -- it was one of their finest hours; when it comes to product liablity? consumer protection agencies at the state levels, state legislatures, etc., or federal, if need be --- there are simply more effective ways of protecting the highest percentage of people possible.

              and I don't think they're abusing a system they designed! a lot of cynicism toward plaintiffs' attys is warranted, imo.

              •  Makes my point (0+ / 0-)

                 We did not have consumer agencies - until trial lawyers brought to light the abuses.  

                 This stuff makes me crazy - this is classic Republicanism - let me screw you unmolested propaganda.  Now we have Obama joining in.  I don't get it.

                •  You know that the vast majority of (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Albatross, pamelabrown

                  cases get settled, rather than litigated, and that's just the way trial lawyers and corps/insurance cos. prefer it -- it's a conspiracy of silence, protection, and self-interest.

                  Remember the Goodyear exploding tires horror? how many confidential agreements did the laywers sign off w/Goodyear? and how many more people died as a result in the intervening years? plenty of such examples.

                  Trial lawyers have their role, but I'm not gonna deify them! for pete's sakes.

                  •  not asking for deification - just not condescensi (0+ / 0-)

                    condescion and assumption of superiority and denigration of what we do.  

                     It is my understanding that the exploding tire cases settled after the information became public - I did not do any of that work - but know some folks who did.  My understanding - and I stand ready to learn - is that as a general rule - more  corporate abuses and wrongs are uncovered because of trial lawyers than if such a profession did not exist - do you have empirical data?

                    •  Oy! more data than you claiming Obama is (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Albatross

                      splitting the party! let it go ....

                      •  I think that the issue (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        PhillyGal

                        re: trial lawyers (and I'll tack in lobbyists and special interest groups for good measure) is not that they exist. The problem arises when they go to extremes and engage in excessive (and sometimes greedy) activities.

                        We need these groups to speak up when it comes to helping move the country forward a la water contamination and medical malpractice and OSHA laws. They are the people who put the mine owner's feet to the fire with a threat of lawsuit if the mine safety is not maintained. They are the people who go door to door to talk with representatives and senators about the fact that precautions need to be taken in order to save the Chesapeake.

                        The excesses are the things we notice. But what we don't notice is the stuff that we have going on right now due to the fact that some trial lawyer...some lobbyist...some special interest group got heard and legislation (Family Medical Leave Act, OSHA, the original FISA, and so on) was passed.

                        Undecided Democratic Voter...okay?

                        by kredwyn on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:41:34 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for highlighting (4+ / 0-)

        that point. Boxer.  I picked up the tone in that comment too.  It is condescending and intended to diminish Edwards.  Frankly I think Obama's legal career is fine but not particularly outstanding.  It served the purpose of getting into politics.

        It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

        by pioneer111 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:09:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like what you've said (6+ / 0-)

    because it makes sense about the "trail Lawyer" slur which has never made sense to me.  Atticus Finch and all that - I mean Nancy Drews dad was a trail lawyer.
    I didn't reccomend because I think you were a little too harsh with Obama - right but harsh

    bush/clinton/clinton/bush/bush let's turn the record over

    by SMucci on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:45:35 AM PST

  •  What a BOMBSHELL (8+ / 0-)

    Obama said that as a young man he was offered many lucrative choices but turned them down in favor of low-paid work as a community organizer and as a civil rights lawyer, a theme he has sounded repeatedly on the stump over the past weeks. For the first time, and in a direct shot at Edwards, Obama said one of the big bucks options he turned down was to work as a "trial lawyer."

    Look at all those direct quotes.

    •  Sheesh (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, Albatross, Nulwee, pamelabrown

      Is this what they mean by making a mountain out of a moehill?

    •  Truth is Obama would be a lousy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdgarcia, phoenixdreamz, RedJet

      trial lawyer.  He takes forever to make a point.  He was well suited to the paper work that he did for a law firm.  I am still not clear that he ever led on any civil rights cases.  He seems to really exaggerate the importance of things that he did and sneers at the real success of Edwards helping people.

      It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

      by pioneer111 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:59:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Follow the links - it is his new meme (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.democraticunderground.com...

       I can't tell if I am being excoriated for defending trial lawyers - or for saying Obama is attacking us.  Seems like Obama ought make up his mind - which is it?  Are we low crawling forms of lawyers - not quite fit to carry the briefcase of Mr. Obama?  or am I misquoting - along, apparently with Marc Cooper and the WaPo and.....

      •  I'm curious (0+ / 0-)

        "Trial lawyer" is a broad term that covers both plaintiff and defense attorneys. And yet its the only term you use.

        The lawyers who represent the "little guy" are plaintiffs attorneys--like JRE. Do you think the public should be as appreciative and supportive of defense attorneys, whose clients are generally large corporations and their insurers?

  •  ? (6+ / 0-)

    From your link:  Obama said one of the big bucks options he turned down was to work as a "trial lawyer." And that's it as far as I can tell.

    And to you, this equates to "Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party"?

    I say you are reaching.

    •  well, with only a few days left (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nisleib, Albatross

      they've gotta try something.

      It all makes sense after the shrooms and the purple haze!

      by soros on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:07:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, his comment was ridiculous. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phoenixdreamz

        "Trial lawyer" is not the apex of success coming out of law school (unless it's a huge established firm like Milberg Weiss [RIP] or something).  

        His comment reminded me of nothing so much as the Simpsons when Bart finds out that Skinner makes 20k/yr and thinks he's a millionaire.  Sorry for the Simpsons reference, but Obama's comment was just that goofy.

  •  Congrats! you won the Unhinged Post du Jour (5+ / 0-)

    award, though I'll admit it's still early! ;)

    err, for this:

    "Somewhere - long ago - across the fields of Illinois a tall gaunt trial lawyer honed his skills and in the judgment of many historians helped save the Union.  Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party."

    Oy!!!!

  •  If this isn't the biggest bullshit ever... (7+ / 0-)

    Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party.

    I don't know what is...

    "Change We Can Believe In" Obama '08

    by bigpappa10834 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:50:03 AM PST

  •  How did he insult you? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soros, nisleib, Albatross, pamelabrown

    He said he's the change candidate, illustrated not merely by his words, but his choices and clear successes at implementing change.  One of those choices was rejecting a lucrative job offer in favor of low-paying community activism.

    He didn't insult anyone, he merely spoke the truth.

    BTW, the article states that Obama was responding to an Edwards quip that Obama is "too nice" to be President.  Can I expect a diary from you about Edwards' insult of nice people?

    And the hit diaries keep coming...

  •  I mean, if he wanted to rip plaintiffs' lawyers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, soros, nisleib, Albatross
  •  Edwards makes trial lawyers wear the Used Car (0+ / 0-)

    salesman label as badge of honor.

  •  total baloney (6+ / 0-)

    I think I'm objective here, I support Hillary and I therefore obviously I don't support either Obama or Edwards for the nomination.

    The quote from Obama is not in any way a "rip" of trial lawyers.  At best, it is just a little bit of a dig of Edwards.  Take a chill pill.

    The temperature at Dailykos is way up high, and it's all between the Edwards and Obama folks, who are too busy ripping each other to say anything bad about Hillary.  

    I am enjoying this greatly!

    Voting rights are our most important rights because all the other ones depend on them

    by markusd on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 10:57:33 AM PST

  •  Obama is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, nisleib, pamelabrown

    the object of most ''hit'' diaries of late. Why dont the edwards and HRC supporters do positive diaries and leave the smearing to the GOP?

    If you like your candidate, then just say why..demonizing the other opponents just hurts your candidates image.

    •  Why don't the Obama supporters (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, emsprater, mdgarcia, Newzie

      do positive diaries instead of "hit diaries"?  Or was aaraujo's diary a positive diary?  

      And did you make the same comment there?

      It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

      by pioneer111 on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:03:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama fans and supporters (0+ / 0-)

      have overwhelmingly been the author of the HIT diaries on this site.  Consistently and with a herd mentality they would trash Hillary and then ZAP all the Obama fans were called to push the rec button and voila: Hillary is evil, Hillary is Satan, Hillary is racist, Hillary will destroy America on the rec list.

      Then it was Edwards turn.  Not as much but still quite a few hit pieces.

      But when Hillary and Edwards supporters do the same thing, there is whining.  Tiresome really...

  •  That boat left a long time ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, planetclaire4

    But the notion that I or any other Democratic attorney would dare establish a snobbish hierarchy of what type of law is most meritorious is absurd.

    I could fill an entire server with the comments of "Democratic attorneys" and others arguing that, for example, Edwards-style plaintiff advocates or environmental/consumer attorneys are morally superior to corporate defenders.

    Come the general election, I'll probably forgive you for having been an ass this year.

    by cardinal on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:02:51 AM PST

    •  I'm sorry - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linnen, planetclaire4

       as long as people actually practice law - I don't think there is any attitude of condescion -

       The revolving door lobbyists - who just use connections - that seems a different matter.  

       Finally - it is buying into a Republicanism meme that is particularly disturbing.

  •  A serious response isn't necessarily deserved, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, soros, Albatross, pamelabrown

    but here it is.

    Huffington Post

    July 19, 2007

    The American Association for Justice, the largest advocacy group for plaintiff's lawyers, sponsored a Presidential Candidates' Forum at their Summer Convention at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Illinois. I was there. The invited guests were served a mixed green and bean salad, along with a big side of red meat from the five candidates who spoke: Bill Richardson, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton.

    Barack Obama: Obama gave the longest opening speech, and won a lot of support from AAJ members for coming out firmly against caps on damages in claims involving victims of medical negligence. "Caps won't lower insurance costs or protect patients." He gave a great speech about his vision of hope, but wasn't otherwise too wonkish when it came to policy. He left everyone very impressed, and certainly cemented his status as a frontrunner.

    •  so - what happened? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdgarcia, pioneer111

       weren't those the very types of lawyers which he now derides?

      •  Yay! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhillyGal, Albatross, pamelabrown

        I nominate this diary as today's Obama Two Minute Hate.  I apologize for any substantive comment which I've made in this diary.

        Champagne Punch

        1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice
        1 cup superfine sugar
        1/2 cup orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
        1/2 cup Triple Sec
        1/2 cup cognac
        1/2 cup fresh orange juice
        2 bottles chilled dry Champagne or sparkling wine
        Orange or lemon slices
        Fresh strawberries, optional

        Combine the lemon juice, sugar, orange liqueur, Triple Sec, cognac, and orange juice in a non-reactive bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the Champagne and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

        Pour into a decorative bowl or pitcher. Garnish with orange or lemon slices and fresh strawberries, if desired. Serve in Champagne flutes, wine glasses, or punch cups.

        •  GN1927 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927, Albatross

          I am so going to steal that recipe.  Champaigne punch for all:  I'll quadruple the recipe;  at leat we'll have a reason to be silly.

          •  LOL, enjoy! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Albatross, pamelabrown

            I got it from foodnetwork.  It's an Emeril recipe.  I have to say that the best drink recipe I've tried is this homemade whiskey sour I poached from a Martha Stewart show.  Rather than sour mix, she used fresh lemons, simple syrup and fresh orange juice.  I can't remember whether she added vanilla or it was my own addition.  But it's been a hit every time I've made it, even with people who don't normally like fruity/sweet cocktails.

      •  What happened? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, Albatross, pamelabrown

        Obama said "trial lawyer" on the stump and you got defensive.

        Look, he wasn't disparaging the profession.  He was making the point that he exited law school with hundreds of job offers and chose a lower paying position where he could be a community orgainizer and activist.

        If Edwards says that he chose to go to college instead of working in a textile mill, does that disparage mill workers?  Hardly.

  •  Hyperbole is allive and well.....n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, Albatross

    "Party like a rock star, hammer like a porn star, rake like an all-star!"

    by crazymoloch on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:35:03 AM PST

  •  Yeah, well, get over it (5+ / 0-)

    I'm in mortgage banking.  Mortgage bankers have done a lot of good, and put an awful lot of people in homes who wouldn't otherwise been able to afford them.  But we are having our turn in the barrel and many of us are justly despised, and Edwards is villifying us in every single stump speech.  It hasn't dissuaded me in the least from supporting Edwards.

    "Resist all the urges that make you wanna go out and kill."

    by The Termite on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:37:24 AM PST

  •  Hysterical much? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albatross

    Today a tall gaunt insider from Illinois seeks to divide and destroy the Democratic Party.

    If you are passionate about your guy, write a positive diary.

    We have great Democratic candidates--there is no shortage of positive things to say about any of them.

    Stuff like this is ignorant and dishonest.

    You're not lost until you stop and ask for directions....

    by Azdak on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 11:53:11 AM PST

    •  Why is standing up for the little guy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      planetclaire4

       so bothersome to Obama? - it is a simple question - not sure why no one will answer.

      •  WTF are you taking about?? (0+ / 0-)

        He spent years as a community organizer, fighting for workers who lost their jobs when the steel mills closed and taking on civil rights and voting rights cases. How in God's name is that not "standing up for the little guy"?

        The only reason why no one is "answering the question" is because it is so obvious to anyone who has spent more than 5 min learning about Obama that it doesn't need answering.

        Like I said before, if you prefer Edwards "attacking" style, then vote for him, and write about that. Edwards is a quality guy and a quality candidate.

        But don't just lie about someone else because you have nothing to say about your own guy.

        You're not lost until you stop and ask for directions....

        by Azdak on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 08:42:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  John Edwards hilariously said (0+ / 0-)

    that he will stand up to the "mega millions of the Obama and Clinton camps.'  

    Don't you think that is slime politics by Edwards.  Trying to lump Obama with small donations and not lobbyist or 527 help with Clinton.

    Meanwhile Edwards is worth 55 million dollars, get's $450 dollar haircuts and build obscenely huge mansions for his wife.  

    Seems to me someone is a phony.  Good luck having any success against the republicans if Edwards wins.  Some Dems are so angry that they are not thinking straight.

  •  This diary is retarded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927

    As has already been said, taking a job as a civil rights lawyer rather than a job as a trial lawyer is, believe it or not, different from blowing up babies in cars, poisoning them with thalidomide, or even "ripping" trial lawyers. Would you argue that Obama is also "ripping" large corporate law firms who handle securities transactions because he didn't take a job with them either?

  •  thanks Boxer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newzie, planetclaire4, priceman

    I've heard Thom Hartmann rave about the service of Lincoln, the Trail Lawyer, both on the air, and in his book Unequal Protection.

    Without Trail Lawyers, the Middle Class would already be gone.

    Trail Lawyers keep Big Business honest, to the extent possible, according to the law.

    Thank you

    "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" -- Thomas Paine

    by jamess on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:30:27 PM PST

  •  That bastard!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Newzie

    From the article:

    Edwards has made millions as a trial lawyer and boasts of how he has used that position to take on bog corporations.

    Who will save us from those evil swamp-manufacturing corporations, if not JE?!

    IMPEACH Dick Cheney. "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

    by chumley on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:55:55 PM PST

  •  Thank you, Boxer7! (0+ / 0-)

    As you probably know, this is a favorite subject of mine, and key to why I don't support Barack Obama.

    People criticizing your diary sound awful familiar.

    Business leaders and advocates of tort reform say they are disappointed with Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's selection of Sen. John Edwards, a wealthy former trial lawyer, as his vice presidential running mate.

    Ohio's Republican House Speaker Larry Householder has publicly slammed trial lawyers as "millionaire jackpot-justice jackals" in campaign letters and bashed the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers for its opposition to tort reform

    And you are right on, historically, about big tobacco, and Phillip Morris etc.

    Very informative diary, chronicling desperate attempts by Obama to spout insurance company propaganda and RW talking points to sway people out of supporting their seventh amendment rights to have a jury decide how much compensation you should get. It's rooted in the Constitution.

    Obama has no intention, really, of fighting corporate power and it's not surprising that he would attack JRE for having a strong record of fighting corporate power, because fighting corporate power is the only way we are going to get UHC, end the war in Iraq, especially war profiteering, and restore our rights.

    We need a fighter who fight corporations, not the seventh amendment.

    Great diary.

    John Edwards is the most electable candidate. It's official.

    by priceman on Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 08:57:06 PM PST

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