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Across wwwLand and out in the other world, many people said goodbye to John Edwards Wednesday. Some had a tear in their eye. Some had glee in their hearts. Judging by most of what I saw and read, it must have been about the best press John has received since he started his campaign.

His two rivals were gracious in their farewells. Some people who had done their very best to ignore him while he was actually in the campaign said how important his message had been now that he is no longer a candidate. No surprise. As the advocacy-journalist I.F. Stone once said: "Funerals are times for pious lying." And that was how everybody – including many of Edwards’s supporters – seemed to view the candidate’s announcement, as an obituary, not merely the end of a campaign but the death knell to all the issues he spoke so eloquently and passionately about.

That’s not, I think, how John Edwards saw his speech, as a funeral oration, a-goodbye-so-long-nice-knowing-you-thanks-for-your-efforts-we- fought-the-good-fight-but-now-it’s-somebody-else’s-job kind of speech. Maybe it’s just the superannuated dirty f’n hippie in me, but what he said sounded more like a call to action.

Do not turn away from these great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what's possible, because it's time for all of us, all of us together, to make the two Americas one.

That doesn’t sound like what John was saying meant merely to get behind whichever candidate ultimately wins the Democratic nomination, although he obviously meant that too. And he’s right. Anybody who really truly believes that President John McCain would be better than President Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama can ignore that part of John’s advice and stay at home or vote for a third-party candidate come November 4. You would think that we’d had enough of this sow-the-wind, reap-the-whirlwind behavior at the ballot box, but there’ll always be some people who just don’t get it.

However, what John said Wednesday wasn’t all or even mostly about Democratic politics. It wasn’t about "people-powered politics" as a slogan, but rather the reality. And people-powered politics – long before the phrase was invented – has always been about a broad-based people’s movement outside of electoral politics. Students for a Democratic Society, in its sane, early days, had a good name for it: "participatory democracy." But I’m not just talkin’ ’bout my generation.

The Abolitionists, the feminists and suffragists, the trade union organizers, the Grangers, the Jim Crow foes, the environment champions, the opponents of unjustified wars, the fighters for gay rights, the human rights advocates – every reform movement – began and continued its struggle outside party politics. Only after years, often decades, did the fruit of those struggles become confirmed by legislation passed by elected officials. Struggles into which people gave up their money, their energy and time, their liberty and, sometimes, their lives before politicians did more than give lip service to the causes they espoused. Without the movements, reforms never would find a place on the national agenda; without sympathetic politicians, they would never be implemented. It’s a difficult, but essential pairing.

For political activists, for Popular Front Democrats like me and thousands of others, it’s always a frustrating, sometimes infuriating interplay. In this era when the traditional media – the Foxagandists and their imitators, as well as the less obvious conduits for lies and BS – seem intent on making electoral politics as close to a version of American Idol cum Survivor as possible, the frustration and fury is enhanced because we know what they do to messages like those of a Dennis Kucinich or a John Edwards. Marginalize them if they aren’t already marginalized. Twist, distort, ridicule, if need be. But the most powerful tool in their kit is: Ignore. That, indeed, is exactly what is done to the message of reformers themselves.

John Edwards is a politician, the leader of an election campaign that went sadly went awry, not the leader of a reform movement. But he is the welcome ally of all us rabble in the struggle against the two Americas, against the greedheads and those who claim to despise the idea of class warfare but practice it – from the top-down – every day. The alliance did not end Wednesday, as John proved by returning to the place where he started his campaign, New Orleans.

The city has a special meaning for him, as it should for every progressive. Because it is the starkest symbol and most terrible reality of the two Americas in 2008. A place that was half-demolished because of incompetence and arrogance, and that goes unrestored – physically, socially, economically – because of neglect and malice. John said Wednesday:

This journey of ours began right here in New Orleans. It was a December morning in the Lower Ninth Ward when people went to work, not just me, but lots of others went to work with shovels and hammers to help restore a house that had been destroyed by the storm.

We joined together in a city that had been abandoned by our government and had been forgotten, but not by us. We knew that they still mourned the dead, that they were still stunned by the destruction, and that they wondered when all those cement steps in all those vacant lots would once again lead to a door, to a home, and to a dream.

We came here to the Lower Ninth Ward to rebuild. And we're going to rebuild today and work today, and we will continue to come back. We will never forget the heartache and we'll always be here to bring them hope, so that someday, one day, the trumpets will sound in Musicians' Village, where we are today, play loud across Lake Ponchartrain, so that working people can come marching in and those steps once again can lead to a family living out the dream in America.

Some people may think his call to rebuild – in the most literal way – was sappy, a political stunt. It was anything but. By a long shot, New Orleans is not all our government has abandoned, of course. Maliciously, intentionally abandoned. Evidence of it abounds everywhere. The economic stimulus plan passed by the House of Representatives is replete with it.

Whoever walks up to the podium on January 20, 2009, takes the oath of office and speaks for the first time as President to the nation, ought to take the words in John’s third paragraph excerpted above and repeat them, and tell us s/he has taken them to heart and that the first 100 days of the new administration will include not just a promise but a plan to do exactly what John said, rebuild New Orleans. Far more than that must be done to deal with the two Americas. But such a pledge would offer proof that those who today said John Edwards’s message matters aren’t just saying so for effect, but truly believe it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 10:48 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Edwards set the tone. It needs to be continued. (38+ / 0-)

    Edwards said all the right things. His words were music to Progressive's ears. I only hope the party can adopt many of the things he's been pushing for. The nation and the world would be better for it.

    •  JRE also said he's talked with the 2 candidates.. (13+ / 0-)

      and they have given him their commitment to fight on for the things he's so passionate about. He waved his hand almost as though he has it in writing from them.  He very well may have their signatures; if so, that's superb.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:09:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (5+ / 0-)

        And as a Hillary supporter I can tell you that Clinton's book "It Takes A Village" demonstrates her commitment to the same things John has been talking about in 'two-Americas.'  If she is the president, poor people...women and children especially, who make up the largest segment of the poor and perhaps of the homeless as well...the neglected and abandoned in our country will have her attention as they have over the years.

        I like your sig line a lot...says it all...and few have demonstrated in their public and private lives more empathy for others than Hillary Clinton.  I think that partly comes from growing up in working-class and middle-class families as Hillary, Bill and John did.  They were not privileged, pampered youngsters and they remember where they came from.  It shows in all their politics...their chosen work and their daily lives as well.

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

        by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:14:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I dunno (12+ / 0-)

          about the "middle class" upbringing these days, however.  From what I have observed, there is a great deal of "entitlement" that comes from a "middle class" background these days.  

          A lot of the troubles we are experiencing in our culture/society these days, can be traced back to some basic aspects of the "middle class lifestyle", and the norms that go along with that.  If anyone's here to read this I'm going to get skewered for it, but the more I ponder how much is screwed up these days, the more I come back to this neighborhood of thinking.  

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:24:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  After 1 AM but (10+ / 0-)

            I'm still here!  One of the few sane places on DK these days...

            I agree...middle-class now is privileged beyond their knowing and their kids are shopper/entitlement freaks in a way I do not recognize.  Kids with credit cards and cell phones??

            I'm now officially an old fogy.

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

            by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:08:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  On the one hand, I vote for old fogey. (3+ / 0-)

              On the other hand, "some" kids are pretty fortunate.  On the other hand (I could have more than three), poor kids without privilege have many more behavioral problems than kids with.  Besides, this isn't about kids; it is about parents having the money to indulge (or not) AND meet their retirement, college, and death and dying obligations.  This is NOT a third world country.  WE have had a substantial middle class, which made this country special.  I will not be made to feel guilty about my good fortune.  

              Edwards/Dodd 08, the real unity ticket.

              by dkmich on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:11:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i'm not talking just about the kids (10+ / 0-)

                but about the whole of what is sometimes called "middle class morality".  It is also important to remember that many of those parents who had the money to meet their retirement college and death and dying obligations did so because of specific public programs which helped to create pockets of middle class "good fortune" while leaving others out, programs like the GI bill and SSI.  So you shouldn't feel "guilty" for your "good fortune" you should she as as a product of a public good, and appreciate it.  And rather than feel "guilty" about good fortune, I'd welcome a "middle-class morality" that didn't forget just what the roots of middle-class prosperity and affluence were, and one that didn't have a far-too narrow normalizing and judgemental tinge to it.  

                Contemporary middle-class America isn't overly willing to put themselves to very many tests, nor do they appear to be overly willing to push themselves to question the outcomes of said more-often-than-not unthinking prosperity and affluence.  Again, its not a question of feeling "guilty" about "good fortune" but about developing a healthy dose of critical reflection about it and what it brings both positive and negative.  

                Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:22:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem with your argument is that these (9+ / 0-)

                  "entitlements" are now based on the false foundation of debt.  Not just the tchotchkes and trinkets that kids are buying, but also substantive things that are necessary for a good life such as an education.  But there is a sea change taking place in America right now.  People are just now starting to realize how they have been sold a bill of goods.

                  Debt is not prosperity.  And yet this is what "the American Dream" is being based on.  Look at how the Federal Reserves actions this last week have been geared toward encouraging to borrow.  The problem is that the American consumer is so tapped out now that they cannot afford to borrow at any rate, even zero.

                  This is part of that "Two Americas" that Edwards was/is trying to bring attention to.  One that owns the capital and another that owes to the capital-owning class.  The problem with the Federal Reserves actions are that it only benefits those that own the capital, because they can afford to borrow at below the cost of money.

                  Sigh.  Maybe I need to write a diary about this.

                  •  actually (7+ / 0-)

                    my use of "entitlement" is playing on the dual sense of the term, colloquial and the technical political economic one.   That the so-called prosperity of today is fallacious, is something I understand fully, but don't believe it undermines (or even impacts) my argument at all, which is about a longer term set of blindspots that middle class America seems to have had and continues to have about its origins.  

                    the fact that people are only now starting to realize that they have been sold a bill of goods, is part of what I mean by the "lack of critical reflection" that is part of middle class morality.  

                    Another problem is that we have an economy that doesn't "do" anything, or much.  But that's another problem altogether.  

                    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                    by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 03:45:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I could not help but follow (6+ / 0-)

                      the end of this fascinating conversation. I would only add that even when our prosperity was not technically based on debt, we were still borrowing against a finite set of natural resources instead of wisely shepherding those resources for future generations. In the final analysis, most of the world's resources will have been wasted either on senseless wars or as consumerist grease for the gears of the profit machine.

                      The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. -FZ

                      by lightfoot on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06:09:41 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  IMO, it is not the kids. It is the need to have (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                oldpro, buckhorn okie, zett

                some attention.  Our older son is an "old soul" with a high tolerance for discomfort.  When he is working on something (his hobby is rebuilding classic....ahem old....cars), he is able to tune out everything else in the world.  Our D-i-L has a mission of forcing him to be more involved in the care of our two young grandchildren.  So, when one of the little ones needs something, DiL says, "C, she needs her diaper changed.  Please come do it right now."  He says, "Okay, in a minute."  The little one cries.  

                This scenario happens in a dozen different ways every day.  Consequently, no one pays real attention to the babies.  When the little ones are with me, they are perfect in every way.  When they are with their mom and dad, there are endless temper tantrums about practically everything.  I love all four of them but it is really easy to see the anger of the parents played out in the tantrums of the children.  I am hoping our "grown-up" kids will grow up soon.  In the end, I know the babies will be splendid adults because they are splendid children when they are not in the tug of war of their parents.

                The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

                by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:44:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  spoiled-brat society - (9+ / 0-)

              I'm NOT an old fogey and what I see around me disturbs me no end ... "kids" who are remain "kidlike" well into adulthood, many growing up without even the modicum of manners ...

              Just y'day I was paying for some fruit at the grocer's, and a woman in her mid-20s pushed herself in front of me and dumped her bag on the counter, pushing me slightly, all the while talking loudly on her cell. I wasn't even done paying. I looked at her and couldn't think of what to say. She said "I'm JUST putting my stuff down!!" and I said "Well, I'm STANDING here!"  Even the woman waiting with my coins in hand waiting to give them to me was looking at this person in amazement.

              This kind of me-and-nobody-else stuff happens on a daily basis, pretty much several times a day, and I'm no shrinking violet.

              It's unbelievable to me how little concern in even the smallest things some of our "young" people feel entitled NOT to have - it's really all about THEM.

              I won't say "pardon my rant" b/c I see this all the time, and No, it wasn't always like this. I WAS raised to be considerate of other people, and junk like this tells me that somebody's been spoiling their babies, bigtime.

              Thank you, John and Elizabeth, for your compassion, strength, and moral integrity. Be well - we continue the fight, together.

              by Blue Waters Run Deep on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:50:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  A rec for your sig line! (3+ / 0-)

                I am about to join the red hat purple coat (or vice-versa?) society, and procure a cane; with which to "accidentally" whack really rude people. Not very productive, but satisfying; now that JRE is out of the race, I have a little money to spend.

                Almost ready to think we as a nation deserve exactly what we got and will get, since so many of us choose whatever looks easy and cheap, or offers glib useless answers.

                Sorry, I'm really depressed about this.

                I will go into debt to support a candidate whose campaign gives out compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of buttons.

                by grayday101 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:46:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I must live in a good place because that sort (4+ / 0-)

                of situation has been so very rare in my 67 years that I can probably recall the two or three times it has happened to me.  I am sorry that you had rudeness inserted into your day.  I hope you can forgive that thoughtless young person.

                The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

                by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:50:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  macmcd (3+ / 0-)

                  WE don't see much of it here , either - an hour's drive from the nearest city. Manners and thoughtfulness exhibited by the residents , storekeepers , librarians , etc. in the small town 4 miles away are beyond reproach. However - - in that hellhole from which we escaped , the typical behavior of anyone you might meet on any given day is disgusting. Whether one skin color or another , one age or another , one who is rich or one who is poor - expect that person to establish themselves as an asshole early in your contact.Almost everywhere else we have been in this country , behavior is better. It is like an upwelling of Hades ; a town in a Stephen King novel. Other than that city and its suburbs I have likewise only experienced ugliness a handful of times in my life.

              •  Wow. Does this ever resonate with me. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zett, Blue Waters Run Deep

                Manners or the lack of them.

                At age 71, I go into "Mom mode" when rudeness hits my radarscreen...in line at Safeway or online at DK or anywhere else.  Can't help myself...I decided long ago not to put up with it when it's over the line and involves me...and sometimes even when it doesn't involve me directly but I see it happening to someone else.  

                It's risky, but I speak up in my 'very authoritative Mom voice!' and say right out loud, "Did you mean to say 'Excuse me?"  And I probably would have picked up her stuff and moved it behind me and said something direct like "Your place is in line right behind me, young lady."  At 71 you can get away with more of that...if she responded in rebellion, I'd calmly say something like "Nice manners."

                On the other hand...whenever some younger person (even in their 50s!) opens a door for me or makes a nice gesture I always reinforce it by saying "What nice manners you have...your mom would be so proud of you!"  The response is unbelievable...and heartening.  People are so needy these days for attention and approval.

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

                by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:04:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wow - your comments are truly wise! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  oldpro

                  I didn't mean to emote (but, then again, maybe I did!), but this seems to happen on a more frequent basis, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day, in various forms of rudeness and lack of the most basic civility.

                  I recall once actively counting how many disrespectful or grumpy people "acted out" in one day, and it was five incidents, of varying degrees of rudeness (!).

                  Your ways of dealing with this are very good - I think that people have some sort of instinctual reaction to the "mom" tone, and many times WILL respond in a positive way.

                  And your positive reinforcement of something GOOD is an extra-smart way of "training" someone, and rewarding them for great behavior.

                  I do agree that people are extremely needy these days - I often think it's a lack of community and/or neighborhood, and the fragmentation and alientation of our society today ... the older folks who lived in communitites that bolstered each other up don't seem to be seeking such an amount of attention...

                  Thank you so much for your thoughts, oldpro!
                  (And I don't think you're "old" at all!)  :)

                  Thank you, John and Elizabeth, for your compassion, strength, and moral integrity. Be well - we continue the fight, together.

                  by Blue Waters Run Deep on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 08:47:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thank you, Blue, for the kind (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Blue Waters Run Deep

                    and thoughtful response.  Just as I finished typing a looooong response, my computer crashed and I lost it all.  Probably just as well!  Perhaps I'll fill you in on some of my other techniques another time.

                    And yes...I'm old numerically...71 1/2...at least when I was young, that was old!  Maybe 70 is the new 50 after all but my knees don't think so.

                    Cheers...thanks for the dialogue.

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

                    by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 11:20:45 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  hey anytime, oldpro - (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      oldpro

                      If 70 is the new 50, then I'm 34!  :)

                      Feel free to stop by anytime ...

                      BTW - I'm a member of a really cool Dem club here in NYC, that seems mostly made up of "oldpros" - folks over 70. I love the group. Great people!

                      Thank you, John and Elizabeth, for your compassion, strength, and moral integrity. Be well - we continue the fight, together.

                      by Blue Waters Run Deep on Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:08:47 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  You were lucky...and they were lucky... (6+ / 0-)

          I think that partly comes from growing up in working-class and middle-class families

          because thanks to the last few years of GOP misgovernment there are many fewer families who have the privalege of a middle class background. Another four years and the middle class will be an historical footnote.

          it tastes like burning...

          by eastvan on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:58:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I grew up working class (5+ / 0-)

            so the middle class has always been some kind of a "sidenote" to my life, not historic maybe, more like my entertainment that I grew up watching.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:04:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ditto...we went from poor to (7+ / 0-)

              working class.  I don't have the income and never did for a middle-class lifestyle but now in retirement, a widow with few needs and a home I own and can afford...it feels like middle class!

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

              by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:10:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I will never own a home (4+ / 0-)

                again.  did once, briefly, when I had a partner and we both happened to be employed at the same time and both had just lost parents/grandparents who had left us a small inheritance that, when combined, equalled a down payment.  But single motherhood, 5 years of unemployment and chronic, severe mental illness has removed any possibility of life outside a homeless shelter, once I reach senior citizenship, if I reach it.

                Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:18:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Holy moley... (6+ / 0-)

                  that is a grim prospect and a heavy burden.

                  You seem to be doing well on the communication level, kiddo...thoughtful and sensible...no?  Health OK for now?

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

                  by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:24:41 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  not so grim any more (8+ / 0-)

                    I've come to see it as inevitable.  That's much easier on the psyche.  it does cut down on the anxiety, if you know what is coming.  The most important thing is covered: my son is taken care of and won't be homeless, regardless of what happens to me.  

                    When bad things happen, its harder to be afraid of bad things, I find.  I suppose that's a corollary to that "character-building" stuff my mother used to tell us all about when we were kids. ;)  

                    thanks for your nice words.

                    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                    by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:36:13 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My gawd...you ARE sensible... (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      buckhorn okie, roseeriter, macmcd, eastvan

                      and oh so right about this...

                      it does cut down on the anxiety, if you know what is coming.  

                       In 1982 when my very dear husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer, we knew it was probably a death sentence.  Alarms went off all over the place for quite a long time ... then, acceptance and dealing with it...living with it...for six long years, many of which were pretty good most of the time.  Hard to lose him after 29+ years, tho and really hard on the only son.

                      Hang in there...you have friends in the world and we are trying to make it better for everyone, friend and foe alike.  Next year should be better...if we get thru this one with our wits about us.  I sometimes wonder, tho...

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

                      by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:45:25 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Not so much sensible (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        buckhorn okie

                        I think, as heavily medicated, perhaps.  ;)

                        I do have faith that things will get better for everyone, but not without a great deal of pain for a great many people, I fear.  That's where the attention of the future needs to be paid, it seems to me.  

                        I have less hope that much will come for me, individually, however.  Even before all the "economic troubles", I was one of those who just didn't "fit" in this world, and no amount of progresive "change" will alter that, I'm pretty sure.  Sometimes I think I might have been better off in the 17th century, as somebody's chattel.  But that's only on really, really bad days.  

                        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                        by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:05:50 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Medicated. Me too. (0+ / 0-)

                          So I fell asleep about 2...just before you responded and before I had a chance to say this:  I'm always interested in your comments and diaries and you have much to contribute.  

                          You 'fit' in this world just fine!  As for

                          I do have faith that things will get better for everyone, but not without a great deal of pain for a great many people, I fear.  That's where the attention of the future needs to be paid, it seems to me

                          I am not a believer person and have no faith in anything.  At the moment, watching this nomination process, I am horrified at the venom released by the latent racism and sexism, revealing how very far we still have to go as a society and as individuals...and frightened by how easily people's thought processes are corrupted by their passions for a candidate.  It's disturbing...what 'good Germans' so many of our fellow citizens would have been.

                          So...how am I doin' at cheering you up?!?  Sheesh...I'm starting off the day a little down in the mouth...more coffee!  Later...hang in there, girl.

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

                          by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 10:20:52 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  gg? Something a good friend showed me (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          eastvan

                          years ago which is so wise and has helped me on so many occasions when I've been consumed with dread and pessimism:

                          Write down a list of 5 things that can happen.

                          #1 is the very worst imaginable...usually easy to do :)

                          The next 3 in line have to be better than the previous one.

                          #5 is the very best imaginable.

                          OK?  Well, #1 and #5 never happen.  Outcomes will fall somewhere in the middle, and are never as devastating as the initial incapacitating horrid anticipation.

                          Sound corny & gimmicky?  Maybe, but it's saved my sanity a squillion times.

                          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

                          by 417els on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:56:00 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

              •  We are in exactly the same place except that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                buckhorn okie, eastvan

                my retired husband has started working again in the career that he loves and that was destroyed by the Reagan Administration many years ago.  Now that we are not desperate for the money to raise our children, he can flourish in his maturity.

                The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

                by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:55:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Debt. Devt. Debt. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckhorn okie, roseeriter, macmcd, vets74

            And no end in sight.

            I'm counting on Hillary and a Dem congress to pull us out of it economically and internationally.  They did it in the 90s and they can damn well do it again.  If not...no one can.

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

            by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:13:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Really, no one can. (0+ / 0-)

              This is a massive burden.

              No q

              Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Imus, and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

              by vets74 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 03:17:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I know. (0+ / 0-)

                But so long as I have breath and mobility, I'm going to help give them a chance to try.

                The only other option is surrender and that is so alien to my Irish roots and my lifelong activism that it's impossible to consider.

                What does this mean?  

                No q

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

                by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 10:40:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  They weren't "lucky" (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldpro, buckhorn okie, VA Gal, eastvan, 417els

            they had parents and grandparents wise enough to recognize the New Deal and the Welfare State for what it was: a system designed to help create a large and more or less thriving middle class, so people supported it electorally.  

            That "historical footnote" wasn't an accident of history but a product of specific policies and collective decision making.  Luck had nothing to do with it.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:27:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quite right..... FDR's Hundred Days not (5+ / 0-)

              only saved the nation from an impending spiral of crisis---few realize now the very real danger facing American society in those dark days-- the Governor of Pennsylvania arrived at the inauguration with 14 cents in his pocket--he couldn't get more from the bank because of the emergency of the 'Bank Holidays'. There was very real fear that it was all going to fall apart. And it very nearly did. But FDR prevented that. In spite of vested interests that fought him every inch of the way. That, combined with the GI Bill a few years later was, I believe, the foundation of the middle class. And, in spite of the best efforts of some (Romney et al?)to tear the superstructure down, the foundation is there--to rebuild upon.

               Oh, and a gilas girl--smile. There really are people who do care!

              it tastes like burning...

              by eastvan on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:43:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Bingo. 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 Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 11:22:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  How about "Hillary, Bill, John, and Barack"? (0+ / 0-)

          Or are you going to let your "support" for Hillary become hyper-partisanship that blinds you to reality and to JRE's message?

          •  No. (0+ / 0-)

            I am not blind to John's message at all...it is why I have spent my life trying to change my world, nationally and locally.  

            The 'reality' is that John's message (which is and always has been the basic message of the Democratic Party) has not resonated with much of the public.  In a list of issues in every polling of Americans for the past $!#%@& number of years, poverty doesn't even make the top ten!  Jesus.  That is why  'two Americas' didn't propel him to the front of the pack...not last time...not this time.  Perhaps the coming economic crisis will change that but not in time for his candidacy.  Timing is everything...

            I am not, and haven't been since the 60s, a 'hyper-partisan' for any candidate.  Most older and active Democrats learned the price of 'my way or the highway/my candidate or you can all go to Hell' in '68 and '72.  There are no shortcuts to progress and reality dictates that we deal with what we've got.  Period.  So...

            Now we have Obama and Hillary.  You may not accept my reality but here it is:  the reason I did not include Barack in "Hillary, Bill and John" is that they did not have privileged upbringings while he did.  Factually, that seems undeniable, just on its face, after reading their autobiographies and what has been written about their young lives by others.

            John, Hillary and Bill have a great deal more in common with one another (and with me) than they  have with Obama.  They all draw their political strength (votes) from the underprivileged, underserved and undereducated while all indications are that Barack draws his from more affluent and better educated people.  Why is that?

            Simple.  Barack's supporters can afford to take a chance on vague notions like 'hope' and 'bringing us all together' while Edwards' and Hillary's supporters have too much to lose to vote for dreams...appealing as they are.  Poor people are reality oriented every day of their lives.  They want results...not speeches with idealistic and escapist themes.  They got those results from Bill Clinton in the 90s.  Perfect?  No.  Progress?  Yes.

            And that is why I support Hillary and not Obama.

            There's more...but I  am off to Habitat in a few minutes so adios...for now..thanks for the dialogue.

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

            by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 11:50:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You have a funny notion of "privileged" (0+ / 0-)

              if you think Obama had a "privileged upbringing".

              They all draw their political strength (votes) from the underprivileged, underserved and undereducated while all indications are that Barack draws his from more affluent and better educated people.  Why is that?

              Man, this is one of the worst cases of selection bias I have ever seen. I feel dirty even having quoted it.

              Barack's supporters can afford to take a chance on vague notions like 'hope' and 'bringing us all together'

              There's no excuse for being pig ignorant of Obama's specific policy positions and his legislative and political history.

              They want results...not speeches with idealistic and escapist themes.

              What a lovely false dichotomy. Obama has produced both results and speeches, as has Clinton.

              Really, such patent intellectual dishonesty creeps me out.

        •  I agree with you absolutely about Hillary. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpro

          I have no doubt where her heart and interests lie.  I think Hillary learned from her efforts to bring about health care reform that one cannot wave a magic wand to bring change to an entrenched system but it is instead like moving a huge ship.  I am so thankful for John Edwards' voice in this campaign because it is a strong message that the time has come for things to change in this country. I think a large majority of our citizens feel the rhythm and beat of the music for change but it has taken John Edwards' clear voice to put the words to that music so that we can move in our new direction in unison.  I believe that Hillary is the right General to lead the fight because she has shown that she is able to stand up to the battle that we know the right-wing interests are going to wage.

          The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

          by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:30:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  His statement was aimed directly at those who (4+ / 0-)

        have foolishly pledged not to vote for one or the other of Dem nominees if they become the candidate.

        •  It's going to take everyone to bring about change (0+ / 0-)

          John Edwards will be there, mark my words.  This isn't a crowning of Miss America where all the contenders and those around them fall away never to be seen again.

          I believe, JRE would be VERY disappointed to know that a single one of his supporters intends to go off and eat worms while refusing to vote for whoever the nominee will be.

          "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

          by 417els on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:18:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  He contributed a lot (2+ / 0-)

      I was for Edwards first (I found stronger positive reasons to switch midsummer) because of his ideas, what he brought to the debate, the focus on poverty and the injustice of it.  I took it as being reflective of where he comes from and not forgetting that, ever.  And not forgetting New Orleans.  

      I had some real fights back last fall when the campaign got rough between him and Hillary but it's water under the bridge at this point.

      And Elizabeth is the best.  :)

      Competent leadership, for a change! | Hillary '08

      by daria g on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:35:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Edwards started a dialogue.....amplified it and (5+ / 0-)

      stayed on message. Now it is up to others to ensure it is heard. And followed up on.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:54:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  yes, yes and yes (16+ / 0-)

    Without the movements, reforms never would find a place on the national agenda; without sympathetic politicians, they would never be implemented. It’s a difficult, but essential pairing.

    •  And that simple truth is (5+ / 0-)

      what Hillary was talking about re the civil rights bill of '65.  Without MLK and the civil rights movement, the legislation would never have happened. Without JFK and LBJ, reforms would not have happened to implement progress in the movement.

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

      by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:18:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so much JFK (6+ / 0-)

        as the one thing that probably got it all through was LBJ's Senate "experience".  

        But of course, the Civil Rights Movement is a classic example of how movements have to work on all fronts, including not just activism and legislation, but also the courts. Without the NAACP legal defense fund, Thurgood Marshall and Co., Browne v. Board of Education, Civil Rights is toast, too.

        The Constitution recognizes multiple branches of government, acknowledging that governing takes place through varying functions, not simply the Executive, similarly, politics takes place on multiple levels, not just through an electoral function.  

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:29:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree! n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          heartofblue, macmcd

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

          by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:14:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  yes, and the personalities and tactics (0+ / 0-)

          that are best differ among the different arenas. LBJ was a hell of a DC power broker---also a son of a bitch if ever there was one---but I can't imagine him as a successful activist leader in the mold of MLK. And the tactics that MLK used so successfully to organize so many people would not have gotten him very far in LBJs world of senatorial arm-wrestling.

  •  Rebuild New Orleans, end torture, prosecute (16+ / 0-)

    war profiteering, restore political neutrality to the DOJ (to the degree possible), work toward universal healthcare . . . I'm hopeful but not at all convinced those still in the running are as passionate about those issues.

    "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

    by rrheard on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 10:54:03 PM PST

  •  I'm Personally Hoping (43+ / 0-)

    that Edwards can become to the anti-poverty movement what Gore is to the environmental movement. It may be that like Gore Edwards can find more freedom outside the White House to do the urgent, important work that needs to be done. Of course I'd rather he be President, (or VP or AG even) but I'm sure he'll keep up this work of speaking for the poor and disenfranchised. The most important lesson we can all learn from his campaign is that there is NO DOUBT that the powerful, moneyed, multi-national business interests have a death grip on our democracy. That has GOT TO CHANGE!

    When good people of conscience give up the fight for justice, all is lost. Therefore you must not give up. www.politicalartwork.blogspot.com

    by EmilyD on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 10:54:15 PM PST

  •  god, i hope he's not going anywhere! (20+ / 0-)

    he's too valuable in bringing progressive/populist issues to the forefront.  i believe he has a real contribution to make to this country, whether as AG, or heading up NO rebuilding, or something that i'm not even smart enough to think of.  

    wish he wasn't out of the race, but i'm hopeful for what he can continue to offer.

  •  Keep the pressure on the candidates. (14+ / 0-)

    Restore liberty, restore our constitution, do not give up!

    Today, 1/31/08, 3941 Americans, and untold Iraqis are dead, tens of thousands more maimed. Bush lied and the troops are dying.

    by boilerman10 on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 10:58:13 PM PST

    •  Many more, Americans and Iraqis, are walking (5+ / 0-)

      dead for the rest of their lives.  Physically, mentally and emotionally destroyed.

      Only a part of BushCo immoral destruction and ruination can be measured by numbers in the morgue books.

      "Evil is a lack of empathy, a total incapacity to feel with their fellow man." - Capt. Gilbert,Psychiatrist, at the end of Nuremberg trials.

      by 417els on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:19:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, well - he gave up. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andy86

      I'm pretty sick of America and Americans.   In 04 and now in 08, they can't get a clue.  If the media ignores a candidate, maybe that means they are the ones to choose.  Lemmings..  Now that the media has ignored Edwards into oblivion, they will slay the Clintons. With the help of Obama supporters, they will put the smell of blood all over the place.   After the Clintons, Obama will be served up on a platter to Saint McCain.  People so get the government they deserve.

      Edwards/Dodd 08, the real unity ticket.

      by dkmich on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:24:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When did the Clintons suddenly become angels (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andy86

        and protectors of the poor?  What did they do for the poor when they had 8 years in the White House?
        I know they did a lot for corporations, media giants, oil consolidations and "free" trade.  They also did a lot for their bank account, especially when Bill got paid back for all his favors by giving million dollar speeches.  I'm sorry, but I think the Clintons let us down bigtime.  They tried to get as far from FDR as they possibly could, especially when they and their friend Joe Lieberman pushed the DLC and moved the Democratic Party as far to the right as they could.  The Clintons cultivate blocks of voters who they can organize and count on for money.  That's why they started giving government money to the faithbased community.  The poor aren't included because they're not organized, don't have money, and many of them don't even vote.  I saw this firsthand many years ago, and it's still going on.  

        •  Clearly, you were not old enough to know what (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe m, VA Gal

          was going on in the 1990s.  I was there and my family financial situation had been destroyed by Reagonomics.  Bill Clinton's tax changes made a huge difference in this family's situation that had gone from making $70 thousand one year to $16 thousand a year for the next five years.  Of course, when my husband was not able to find any work other than mowing lawns and we gave up the deed to our home in lieu of foreclosure, we were charged income tax on the little retirement that we had that we lived on during that time.  We had an IRS debt of $9 thousand when Clinton came in to office and it was changed so that the next year we owed nothing.  Fixing the tax system so that the rich began paying taxes and those of us who had been ruined could get back even was a gift to the poor that I will never forget.  I think it is interesting that people who were adults during the Clinton Administration support Hillary while those who are too young to recall support Obama.  They just don't know how bad things were.  Once again, I recommend Kevin Phillips' book, "The Politics of Rich and Poor."  It describes what happened to my family perfectly.

          The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

          by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06:46:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I am no fan of the Clintons or Obama. (0+ / 0-)

          I am just telling you that if I had a tin foil hat, I would tell you that the media took out Edwards, then take out Clinton, and then go for Obama.  The candidate the media (tweety and russert) will back is St. John.

          Edwards/Dodd 08, the real unity ticket.

          by dkmich on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:52:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm an Obama supporter and I never helped (0+ / 0-)

        the media destroy anyone.  If you want to find friends of the media, they're all in the Clinton camp.  Bill Clinton gave away the digital spectrum for free, and they will be forever grateful.  Maybe some of the commentators and working hands in the media aren't especially fond of the the Clintons, but the big boys are.  One of Hillary's friends and protectors is the head of NBC.  I'm sure he makes phone calls when necessary to reign in any over zealous reporters.  Count up the minutes of coverage that each candidate gets.  Who gets the most?  They've been selling Hillary as the inevitable winner since day one.  

      •  I think the Clintons have learned how to (0+ / 0-)

        handle the battle.  I have been impressed with how strong Hillary has been with all of the nonsense that has been talked up by the msm and the nervious Obama supporters.  IMHO, Hillary has handled it extremely professionally.  She is tough when she needs to be and is also able to reach out to Obama when she needs to.  I guess the thing about smart people is that they learn quickly and well.

        The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

        by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06:38:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for saying so eloquently (18+ / 0-)

    what I have been thinking.  

    Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat Wednesday evenings 8 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 10:58:19 PM PST

  •  Yes! (16+ / 0-)

    The way New Orleans has been treated is a huge national disgrace.  Nothing would restore my faith in our government more than seeing a new administration step in and do the right thing.  Day One -- start rebuilding New Orleans!

  •  As an Obama supporter I was disgusted by the MSM (20+ / 0-)

    cutting John Edwards out of their news coverage. They want to make up our minds for us. The MSM also sucked up to up Duhbya in 2000.

    •  they also screwed kucinich the same way - (9+ / 0-)

      but they did so - so wholly, that most people didn't know enough to give a shit.

      the idea that edwards was an outside-the-party movement generator is also revisionist.  actually, could not successfully compete against the electricity generated by a black man with promise and the establishment machine - sadly, for him, he was squeezed out of the mix.  i believe - this just wasn't his time.

      Clinton Campaign Slogan: *"It Just Gets Lamer by the Day."*

      by jj24 on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:06:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I gave a shit (4+ / 0-)

        Of course COM is not the only place that has been less than kind to Kuchinich. I don't always agree with Dennis but it really makes me unhappy that he doesn't get more credit for his position on issues like health care , accountability, or any other number of issues. I definitely think he rates better than Ugh(even if he isn't fundraiser extraordinaire).

      •  Conservatives (0+ / 0-)

        Don't answer another conservative with "ugh."

        Unless he's Larry Craig.

      •  I agree that for whatever reason (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        macmcd

        John Edwards couldn't compete "against the electricity" for media attention but I want to draw your attention to a misstatement re the "establishment machine" reference to Hillary Clinton...

        Hillary is not the establishment candidate any more than John Edwards or Jimmy Carter were.  None of them have ever been accepted by the Washington establishment...they are small town hicks from the sticks...all despised by the Washington elite and the MSM.

        The establishment candidate in this race, the media darling, is Barak Obama...drafted by the anti-Clinton faction to run against Hillary...until he gets the nomination, when the media will turn against him and trash him as they do all Democrats.

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

        by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:40:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that's crazy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          trinite

          what planet are you ON, that you think the entire democratic party is off the establishment grid, and that there is no establishment within the party?

          misstatement?  sorry, i'm not willing to leave reality in order to revise my statement that HRC is the establishment machine candidate.  

          flush the shit, man.

          Clinton Campaign Slogan: *"It Just Gets Lamer by the Day."*

          by jj24 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:49:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Never mind. Waste of time...n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            macmcd

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

            by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:16:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hmmm. Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry are (0+ / 0-)

            Washington establishment.  

            The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

            by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 07:04:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no shit kerry's establishment dem - and (0+ / 0-)

              for that matter, so is ted kennedy - but not the same establishment.

              do you even know what the Democratic Leadership Council is - where your "blue dog" democrats come from - where lieberman, and clinton are from?

              teddy kennedy is the part of the democratic party that needs to stay - and the DLC wing of the democratic party needs to go.  that's the duality of the democratic party establishment - and NEITHER side is on the fringe in the least.

              what silly views one gets from just a few short years of republican control.

              Clinton Campaign Slogan: *"It Just Gets Lamer by the Day."*

              by jj24 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 08:34:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  A Clinton hyper-partisan speaks. n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  Maybe the Clintons are seen as hicks, but (0+ / 0-)

          they conveniently allow themselves to be used because they get a lot in return.  Bill Clinton gets his rewards in dollars.  It's a working relationship in which Bill hopes the old money will accept him.  He's wrong on that one.  One of Bill Clintons most important contributions to the Democratic Party was to put aside its concentration on the poor and move attention to suburbia.  It's part of the DLC doctrine.

        •  You are exactly correct. I am astonished every (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpro, Abra Crabcakeya

          time I hear someone say that either Hillary or Bill are part of the Washington establishment.  I think that is just a way to try to turn those who do not know better against them.  It doesn't work with those of us who were adults back then but it seems to touch something in the young who are so enthralled with Obama.  

          The other thing I find interesting is the idea that the Clintons are somehow tarnished and disgraced.  I have said many times that if anybody spent $60 million in public money investigating every aspect of a couple's personal and public lives, they would have found way more than lying about private behavior.  If Starr could have uncovered a single instance of illegal or even unseemly financial behaviors or connections, Star would never have settled for using sexual indesgressions as a way to drive him from office.  I have no idea if Obama could withstand that same sort of examination of his and his wife's personal and public life but I do know that they have not been tested.  OTOH, I also know they will be if he is the nominee because the Republicans will try to destroy any Democrat.  Does anybody recall what they did to Kerry?  At least, I am certain that Hillary can withstand it because she already has.  IMO, the situation in our country is too dire right now to risk the unknown.  I support Hillary because I know her and I have seen the example of Bill's Administration that, while not perfect, was a major step in the right direction.  That is the direction that I want our country to move in again.

          The soul is not the ego in drag. Ken Wilber

          by macmcd on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 07:02:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the clinton DLC machine is just a small bunch of (0+ / 0-)

            pie-eyed grass-roots activists trying to scrounge up enough money for a starbucks run.

            give me a fucking break.  the DLC is CRIPPLING our party through their uninspired mismanagement (i.e., clinton's run), through coercing the democratic party to move rightward in policy, and supporting global hegemony.  because they have the money, they think they own the party - and it pisses them off NO END when the people actually speak.  

            look no further than that travesty called the connecticut senate race of 2006, when lieberman DID NOT HONOR the primary results, and went "I" - that's how much he cares about the will of "the people."

            clinton's candidacy is the same willful disregard for her party or for the nation.  despite the long list of negatives, and the long list of unacceptable decisions, here she is, being forced down our throats.

            i think the HRC camp spews this shit in the hopes that someone not knowledgeable will believe you.  but you're lying, and it's damaging.  sad, though, for you, that you have to make these false fronts in order to attract.  it must be tiring, and at the end of the day, personally compromising.

            Clinton Campaign Slogan: *"It Just Gets Lamer by the Day."*

            by jj24 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 08:45:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  We are in synch. Well said. n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            macmcd

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

            by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:10:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  disgusted by the MSM (0+ / 0-)

      and the blogoshphere . . . This is the most coverage ever on this site of John Edwards.  Once he declared he wasn't going to be taking big money.  Kos castigated him and wrote him off. Talk about double standard. Some of the discussion and critique of the performance of corporate media might as instructively be aimed right here.

  •  Good diary (11+ / 0-)

    It's going to take some time, but I heard the message an I agree with it. No one has done more for NO than John Edwards in this campaign, and the fact that he risked his campaign to bring these issues to the forefront, when the COM already shunned his candidacy, speaks volumes.

    You are right, in history; real change usually has come from the bottom up. Not that we don't need fighters to stand up and push for legislation, but the movement and the environment around the movement set the terms on any real progressive platform.

    That really will signify a sign that I could trust the nominee assuming they are elected. If they keep the pledge to rebuild New Orleans, but not only that, to prosecute the private contractors who are benefiting from the detriment of New Orleans citizens.

    Yes, we will truly believe it.

    I appreciate the diary. There have been a couple of front page diaries that have pissed me off today, but this one did not.

    I will fight forever onward, for I am a fighting Edwards Democrat!

    by priceman on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:01:33 PM PST

    •  Hi Price! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roseeriter, macmcd, priceman

      I agree with you.

      See my posts above to see what I think about all this.

      Later...

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

      by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:43:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, oldpro (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oldpro, hester, dkmich

        I don't think you can compare Hillary to John Edwards there, but Barack Obama is certainly not any better of a choice than Hillary. I don't know who I would pick, still, but I know a lot of people have leaned away from Obama as second choice after the Reagan comment, and we "get it" but it was an awkward comment that did not make any substantial point that any "change" Democrat would want to make. Reagan Democrats were Dixiecrats and we do not want to appeal to them, like Truman didn't want to appeal to them since back in the day when they started leaving the Democratic party to join the states rights Republican party after John F. Kennedy was elected. I also really hate it that Barack Obama has talked about "junk lawsuits" in the past and directly supported tort reform.

        I don't know; I'm really not excited about anyone else. John Edwards was the only candidate with serious well thought out proposals and a realistic way of getting there. But in a Democratic Primary where two celebrity candidates stole the spotlight of the COM which still apparently gets through to the voters, it's an unfair advantage.

        I have to admit, I do get along better with Hillary's supporters and I like her proposals better, because she copied the best. I can';t pick her though, because she is a member of the DLC still and she has the most money from defense contractors and energy companies. That bothers me, the same way the Pharmaceutical money bothers me. I think they are going to want something back, but Barack Obama is not right next to her there. And the more I look at him and the "free market" rhetoric in his health care plan, the more I think he could probably be even worse, because he has lobbyists working for him, too.

        I guess I would have to pick her, but I don't want to think about that right now, because I can't deal with it. I'll pull the Democratic lever in the GE, but I'm going to write John's name on the Texas ballot.

        It was nice talking to you, though. It's just a sad day. I sent you an email the other day with "thank you" in the subject.

        I will fight forever onward, for I am a fighting Edwards Democrat!

        by priceman on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:06:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll look for the email!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester, priceman

          My computer has crashed a few times (???) but my kid is coming over this Saturday so I'll get some expert attention.  Your email may be in my very active spambox...which I haven't attended to for days.

          I hear you...we'll talk.  Yes, today is sad for the Edwards family and friends and perhaps more so for all those who invested so much in his candidacy.  It will be alright...I hope...

          Later...!

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

          by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:21:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  PM, I'm doing the same in CT, JRE is my guy. eom (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          priceman
  •  I have to wonder (5+ / 0-)

    if Edwards won't have second thoughts about suspending his campaign if the Bill Clinton NYT story should prove to have legs.

    Just because I spend time in "Blogostan" doesn't mean that I gave up my citizenship in the real world.

    by Sagebrush Bob on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:02:45 PM PST

  •  I look forward to my guy and Hillary tonight... (9+ / 0-)

    (Thursday) doing their best Edwards impression in the hope of getting his endorsement.  

    I obviously think one candidate embodies his spirit more than another, but that means little unless Edwards decides to profess his agreement with me.

    JRE is a true class act.  His presence will be missed, but his message will not be forgotten.  It is why I am a Democrat.

  •  I have a better idea at the podium... (3+ / 0-)

    The candidate should choose Edwards as their VP. Then, whoever walks up to the podium on January 20, 2009, takes the oath of office and speaks for the first time as President to the nation to tell us that they are resigning, and that Edwards will be the next president.  

  •  May I say (13+ / 0-)

    that this is the front page piece I have long wanted to read at dKos?

    I congratulate you.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:05:24 PM PST

  •  You know, MB, maybe a few hundred of us Kossacks (12+ / 0-)

    watched his farewell speech, or even a few thousand, but whatever that number was, 10 times that many will read your FP post and realized what he meant to the country in the way he campaigned, debated, and led.  Excellent writing, though you're already justly famous for that.

    My fondest hope is he'll be our next AG, not the VP.  Or just a force for what the party SHOULD be about for the next few decades.

    Conservatism is a function of age - Rousseau
    I've been 19 longer'n you've been alive - me

    by watercarrier4diogenes on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:05:25 PM PST

  •  Whiletraditional media tried to ignore him... (6+ / 0-)

    ...John's impact on the race was huge, from universal health care to "the status quo lost, and change won."

  •  As my mama used to say... (11+ / 0-)

    It wasn't meant to be. If slaying poverty really is his passion, and I don't doubt it, being President probably would  have slowed him down. I hope he finds the place where he can be most effective (or it finds him) and then he can have a Gore year or 2 of big awards. There are greater callings than the oval office.

  •  the hardest part of both (10+ / 0-)

    John Edwards' and Meteor Blades' challenges, however, may be the challenge to ourselves: to realign our thinking away from the electoral politics focus that our media, our culture, our own organizing efforts here direct us toward.  

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:09:00 PM PST

  •  This is a stirring and beautiful post (8+ / 0-)

    Even by Meteor Blades' standard.  And that's saying something.

    And the anchorperson on TV goes... "La de da de da de-dadedade-da"

    by Malacandra on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:09:14 PM PST

  •  Sigh (8+ / 0-)

    People powered campaign? What is this thing and how can I become a part of it? Would that his Health care policy, his environmental policy, his education policy, his economic policy or any of the other number of his policies that he wanted have gotten him half as much time on the front page of a people powered site as his decision to accept public financing and to end his campaign. The sad thing is that if Obama were that people powered I have to wonder why he hasn't addressed his health care criticisms(John actually did create an enforcement mechanism because he thought Obama's criticism was valid)? and Hillary, well let's not even pretend she's people powered.

    I teeter between anger and acceptance. This diary got me thinking in three years I'm going to be handing the same ol' screwed up health care system to my son and I'm back to anger again.

      •  I feel kind of bad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemocracyLover in NYC, dkmich

        MB is just posting his feelings and I feel pretty confident in saying that he isn't responsible for the content and tone of the front page. My ire should be directed at the person responsible for content and tone. Today he posted otters. I happen to like otters. I couldn't yell at him(not for otters anyway). Darn,Darn and darn. So help me God if he eulogizes though he's getting both barrels.

        MB if it makes you feel any better I was kinda mean to Hunter too and I love Hunter. Your diary was nice. I'm just in a very, very, very very, bad mood. Have I mentioned very(and there is no blasted cheesecake in my house to indulge my sorrows in)?

    •  Yup. The choice we now face is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cwaltz

      Clinton (D-DLC), Obama (D-Kumbaya) or McCain (R-National Socialist).

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
      John F. Kennedy

      "The road to gas chambers starts when good people find excuses to justify torture and murder. Feinstein and Schumer are enablers."- Larry Johnson -8.25, -6.21

      by Jacques on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:07:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well strike the R National Sellout er I mean (0+ / 0-)

        Socialist for me. It's going to be Kumbaya or the  Democratic version of what we have. It will likely depend on which day you catch me as to which philosophy I go with. May the Lord have mercy on our souls.

      •  McCain a National Socialist? (0+ / 0-)

        Does that mean McCain thinks the rest of us should pay the bills while the elite rake in the profits?  Does that mean no help for the poor, just for the rich?

        McCain kept bringing up Reagan last night. The media are bringing up Reagan Democrats.  They need them to win.  

  •  Beautifully done (7+ / 0-)

    You're going to make me cry.  I have all the same hopes and dreams mentioned here.  That John Edwards will not disappear from public service, and that he continues to inspire us to keep fighting for those causes he championed.  And if he's offered a spot on the ticket or even as AG that all of America will get to know the John Edwards we do.  The great man that he is.

    We have to finish the job in New Orleans - no more excuses.

  •  i have known "meteor blades" for 37 years. (23+ / 0-)

    ... and i am right now visiting his house typing on his wife's computer, so I am not exactly unbiased. (if he knew I was doing this, he'd turn off the power) i am always amazed at his eloquence and his ability to zero in on the place where emotion and politics intersect without the slightest sense of sentimentality or naivety.

  •  I hope the Dems get their act together... (7+ / 0-)

    The tenor of the primaries is scaring the crap out of me. I see so much vitriol on both sides of the fence (the Hillary/Obama fence - mainly from the supporters, I'm afraid) and hope that it dies down and we can unite once a candidate is chosen. Are we capable of it? I don't feel so confident anymore. I fear egos and totally irrational thinking are running amok and the media is just fanning the flames. I hope, like John says, we can keep our eyes on the big picture. This is about so much more than electing a president. We need a Democrat in office - period. If a Republican wins because Democrats can't get their act together and choose not to not support their party - well then we get what we deserve.

    •  that vitriol is magnified 1000X here at Kos (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a gilas girl, oldpro, Abra Crabcakeya

      compared to the outside (real) world. [I hope, I hope!!] But I share your concern as well. we need all our activists signed on for the big fight, united under one banner come end of primaries/national convention.

      Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU and Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org Your voice is needed!

      by tnichlsn on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:33:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also worry (0+ / 0-)

      that we are losing sight of the fact we are all of us Democrats who only want the best for our country. Though I'm an Edwards supporter I never saw reason to demonize Senator Clinton or Obama. I may not care for some of their votes or policies but they are both good people who would be a positive force for progressive change. Believing that one or the other would do less for change is fine, it's why I supported John Edwards. But for some simply positively advocating for their candidate isn't enough, and it's disheartening to read.

  •  Populists have a hard time in a... (14+ / 0-)

    ... corporate-dominated culture, but I still wonder what would have happened had EVERY major union enthusiastically backed the one candidate who was really voicing their concerns.

    I think labor needs to get over its internal power wrangling and do a better job uniting behind political forces who can do them some good.

    •  you know (12+ / 0-)

      this is one of those things we need to agitate for/about:

      Populists have a hard time in a... ... corporate-dominated culture

      one of the things that blogs, in particular can do, is make space in that corporate-dominated culture.  I know that "netroots nation" is primarily about fundraising, with telephoning action coming in a distant second, but the real work that has yet to be really begun is scraping out some space for populism in a corporate-dominated culture.  

      as for the labor union question, I'm not an expert (there are several here who post regularly, and prominantly) but I can't help but think that the "backing a winner" mentality takes over far too often.  I don't know how to intervene in that, except to point out that endorsements during primaries should be about more than just being on the winning team at the end, they need to be thought of as "having a voice in setting the platform/agenda" as well.  Naive, I realize, but there are times when naivite can open up pathways that were blocked off long ago.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:29:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  scraping out space (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        philgoblue, Abra Crabcakeya

        I know that "netroots nation" is primarily about fundraising, with telephoning action coming in a distant second, but the real work that has yet to be really begun is scraping out some space for populism in a corporate-dominated culture.  

        I wrote a long post at the bottom of this thread that says it a lot less concisely, but I think some of the sadness we felt yesterday was that I think we saw potential with Edwards to not have to "scrape out some space". Edwards seemed to be doing some advance guard work of elbowing out some room for those voices to be heard.

        I wish we of the netroots had multitasked a bit more over the last couple of years. We could have focused on dems being elected andset the infrastructure for more action and dialogue. That's warp and weft. Doing that in advance of bringing in the class of new electeds would have been good.

        Now we need to play it where it lies.

        You are right we still need to do that work

        "Get informed, and let it change you."--wonderingmind42's chemistry professor

        by DemocracyLover in NYC on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:29:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of labor, (0+ / 0-)

      Why aren't the national unions doing more to bring attention and action to New Orleans?  "That's not our mission" thinking is a big part of Labor's problem IMWO.

      •  Labor and New Orleans? Try Michigan. (0+ / 0-)

        Labor and Michigan have been going through a lot more hell than NOLA for a lot longer with absolutely no help, no acknowledgement, and no subsidy.  The running joke is that we all need to get on the roof with signs saying "help".  Or, maybe we could have cows poop on spinach in Midland so the state could get a few billion to help replace all the tax revenues unemployed people don't pay.  

        Edwards/Dodd 08, the real unity ticket.

        by dkmich on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:36:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And New Orleans needs the help so much (n/t) (6+ / 0-)

    Pro-Choice and Proud of It!

    by powwow500 on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:16:06 PM PST

  •  Well said, MB. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, pepper mint, CanyonWren

    Edwards was my second choice primarily because I have been infatuated with the freshness and optimism embodied by Obama.  But Edwards' message was probably the closer to my heart.  We cannot make the progress we want to make so long as greed is rewarded and the common good ignored.

    This message must not be allowed to fade out.  It must continue to echo in the other candidates' speeches and moreso in their actions.  While he was in the race Edwards was the focus of populism; without him there, that focus must shift, that burden must be carried by other shoulders.  While he was in the race, we who supported Obama or Clinton could accept any failure of these candidates to address those issues because Edwards was always there to address them, and that will no longer be the case.

    It is now incumbent on us, who support Obama or Clinton, to monitor our candidates and demand that they carry forth Edwards' message, that they prove to us voters that their every action will be guided by, and only by, the common good.  And it is incumbent upon Edwards supporters not to abandon this race, but to work hard to ensure that his message not only survives but prevails.

    It is the folly of youth to think they can change the world; it is the folly of old age not to try. -- Winston Churchill

    by penguins4peace on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:17:19 PM PST

  •  EDWARDS' NEW JOB (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpro, Rex Manning, not a cent

    Head of The Department of Health and Human Services.  He'd be outstanding.

    •  Absolutely right. (0+ / 0-)

      I suggested the same thing upthread.  If he has administrative skills, that's the spot for his passion and energy.  I have no doubt that Hillary would appoint him to such a post.

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

      by oldpro on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:00:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eloquent and spot on as usual (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, pepper mint

    and your diary is, too 8}

    Edwards' analogy of New Orleans/Democratic party both at the beginning of his campaign and at the end was so fitting. What a classy dude. I think he'll have a permanent place at the progressive roundtable and podium from now on.

  •  It's not about the party (5+ / 0-)

    As much as I support the Democratic party, the party is really a means to an end...and that end is a better U.S. of A. The party is nothing more than a collection of individuals who are committed to improving the country in which we live and believe.

    While I'm an Obama supporter, we all owe the Edwards family a big "thank you" for their continued efforts to make this a better country!

  •  Taking the Message into Action (9+ / 0-)

    The Edwards campaign suggests that there is a strong core of the Democratic Party centered on the right values--support for the honest working people in America, for doing the right thing in the world and for taking care of those most in need at home.

    But the system as it's currently configured doesn't support turning that into ruling power. The result is always going to be someone a little deficient in the White House. That person will be a creature of the corporate media.

    The question for us is how to take the momentum built by Howard Dean, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and others and to turn that momentum into concrete action at the national level. The DFA organization, I think, is a start. I would encourage those who have participated in the Edwards campaign (and others) to investigate the DFA (if they aren't already familiar) and talk with others so that out of this can come a strong, grassroots organization to embody the progressive point of view.

    With this organization we can force the next President, whoever that is, to do much of what John Edwards stood for. I would encourage him to look at combining forces with the DFA and any other grassroots organization that has a progressive outlook.

    A solid organizational structure that is not centered around a single issue would be the best way to put some liberal muscle behind our political cause. The old structures around environment, labor, civil rights, and so on are not broad enough to do the work. And while blogs like this one are critical to organizing and getting out the message, they cannot wield the clubs necessary to bash politicians into line.

    Likewise, we need to be constantly looking for challengers who are running against seated Democrats in Congress in the primaries. This is our club to move these people in the right direction. The primary season is on us. We should not lose the opportunity to vote against any person in Congress, regardless of party, who has not voted consistently to end the war, has not voted consistently to support our constitutional rights, has not been open in their support of impeachment of the P and the VP.

    We need to take this loss--which is what it is to lose John Edwards as a viable candidate--and turn it into action.

  •   Al Gore transformed himself after the stolen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, valadon, pepper mint

    election in a amazingly important and it is my hope the John can do the same. Many people have mentioned John as Atty. Gen., but I don't have a good enough sense of him to make that choice. The next AG will hopefully be someone seriously interested in justice. Meaning he will be more than willing to go after Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, et al.

    I do believe John will land on his feet and bring something very important to the world in one way or another. His withdrawing leaves me having to back Obama, something I have yet been able to get excited about.

    What I do believe is that Obama does not have that banality of evil that that Digby spoke about.

    "Democracy Is The Best Revenge" Benazir Bhutto

    by SmileySam on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:21:28 PM PST

    •  no, not evil (0+ / 0-)

      Something about Obama makes me think that while Obama would not intentionally hurt people that he is very pragmatic and that he would be willing to barter more than I'd like to see bartered away. I think that the sitting GOP (who have absolutely noi intent on doing anything other than for the corporate donors that paid for their seats)will do the same thing to him that they've done to his position on Iraq(we're still waiting on 16 GOP folks to defect long after magic September).

      Hillary is cunning(and dealt with the GOP pretty routinely) but she ain't people powered and electing her isn't going to shift the balance back either(Its gone way to far in corporate interests favor).

  •  Thank you Sen. and Mrs. Edwards (4+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry I didn't get the opportunity to vote for you. And I would have donated and worked my ass off for you in the general election. I chose to stay out of the primary fights here while quietly hoping your message would gain resonance with the nation eventually. I hope whomever our candidate is come november will have the insight to ask you to be our Attorney General, because the nation dearly needs a person of honor and virtue to bring us back to a nation of laws and an administration that respects those laws. Thank you again for your hard work...

    Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU and Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org Your voice is needed!

    by tnichlsn on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:23:27 PM PST

  •  Edwards always seemed a little... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    roseeriter

    too car salesman for me. Plus I never quite got over his debate performance with Darth Vader, where he pulled out the gay daughter ploy at the wrong time. I grew warmer to him as the campaign dragged on but more in the "rooting for the underdog" sense and less because he distinguished himself from the other candidates. His focus on the poor and middle class, while certainly important and mostly shared by the remaining Dems, grew a little tiresome and boring. He's talented, but I think he has reached his political peak, unless someone nominates him to AG. He should start a foundation or work in the non-profit sector, putting his considerable money where his prolific mouth is.
    If anyone likes good songwriting, with reference to New Orleans, check out the song "Molasses":
    http://www.myspace.com/...

    •  I always thought so too (0+ / 0-)

      If he were elected, I would hope he would be able to act on what he campaigned on.  Compare to, say, Al Gore, whom I have a lot more faith in regarding his commitment to progressive ideals.

      (Which isn't, necessarily, a slam on Edwards --- IMHO, none of the candidates compares.  I'm still a little mad at Al for not running, when his country needs him.)

      I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

      by RogueJim on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:34:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your man Al (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, roseeriter, cjallen

        Was nowhere near the progressive in 2000, as he seems today.

        Just sayin

        •  Or in 1988. But he's ... (12+ / 0-)

          ...moved, and he should get credit for it.

          "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:44:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)

            That is one reason I have so much faith in Edwards. I think life changes people and he has said that the atmosphere in D.C. is not conducive to freedom of ideas. I think both of them once out of that cesspool found that freedom.

            Thanks again MB

          •  that movement is important (3+ / 0-)

            I was no fan of Gore in 2000, because the Gore of 88 was still very present.  But people do learn (at least smart people) and people do change positions (not everything is flip flopping or pandering).  

            And i can't help but think that Gore is smarter than everyone who keeps bitching that he should run, in that he has realized there are places outside of the WH where he can actually be the change.  

            We've got far too much of a "great man theory of history/politics" approach for our own good, it seems to me.  that strikes me as the first step toward "people-powered" politics.  after all, there's something kind of crazily ironic of looking for a "charasmatic leader" for our "people-powered movement".  it is an easy trap to fall into, but we got to fight it, imho.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:00:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've thought about that (0+ / 0-)

              You hear that a lot --- that "there are places outside of the WH where he can actually be the change" (or something similar).

              That's true, of course.  I guess, I don't feel that right now, though, is such a time.  If the presidency were in the hands of someone I trusted (which excludes everyone running, to me) and the country/world seemed to be improving, then I'd agree, Al can go do whatever he wants.  However, we're not there, not by a long shot.  There's a lot to feel uneasy about, and a Hillary/Obama presidency won't make me feel much better (though certainly better than a McCain/Romney presidency).  It's not that I think he'd be a good president; it's that I think he'd be a good president for right now.

              I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

              by RogueJim on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:35:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But Presidencies (5+ / 0-)

                don't bring the kind of change that Gore really wants to be, it seems to me.  There is much change that POTUS can bring, but it really isn't at the same level, and its never going to be without compromise, if not totatally blocked, depending upon how much of a scorched earth policy the GOP and their organized pit bulls are aiming for.

                I think that is what Gore may have realized after 2000 and the levels to which the GOP machine was willing to go.  A realization that even if he had won, the real ability to put change into action was more limited than it appeared.

                Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:41:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

                  you might be right.

                  You're not doing much to make me feel better.  :)

                  I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

                  by RogueJim on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:48:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  On the contrary (4+ / 0-)

                    I find it much more encouraging to realize that the kind of change that's needed isn't reliant upon the most top-down of top-down hierarchies: POTUS.

                    I mean, if some guy who tried twice for POTUS finally realized he can do as much, if not more someplace else, then we are heading in the right direction.  what is "people-power" if we are all sitting around investing our hopes of "people-power" in the guy at the top?  That's where the real hope has to lie, don't you see?  Not in "getting the right person at the top" but in all of us coming to the same conclusion that Gore did: "well, if I can't do it from the WH, I'll find some place else to work on it".  We've got to start seeing it in those terms or else we are all doomed.  

                    Not that electing Dems and more progressive Dems into all the positions of power isn't also important, but we shouldn't be putting all of our progressive hopes in that rather narrow change basket.  

                    See, I'm trying to make you feel better.  (And I think this is the point to MB's diary, too, though I'd never presume to speak for him).  

                     

                    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                    by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:58:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I feel better now, thanks (2+ / 0-)

                      thanks also to MB and thanks to Walter Shapiro, too, who wrote in Salon.com:

                      John Edwards exits with honor

                      It is difficult in politics, as in life, to watch a dream die. John and Elizabeth Edwards have banked the last six years and maybe longer on seeing him in the White House. But there is also honor in having run a high-minded race for president on long-neglected Democratic issues, even if you fail. By that standard, Edwards is a success story even as he leaves the political stage to Clinton and Obama.

                      This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

                      by Agathena on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:20:47 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  I get that (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DemocracyLover in NYC

                      I do.  But the people who acknowledge the good Gore can do (and is doing) from outside the political box aren't the ones I'm worried about.

                      The transition to a people-powered society is an important one, and Gore is certainly a shining example of what an ordinary (well, kind of) person can do.  But  that transition to "ask what you can do for your country" is slow, and during that transition, the POTUS is important.  I think Obama or Edwards could really help it along (though I'm not totally convinced on either), and I think Romney could minimize it. (Hillary and McCain, I'm not sure about.)  Actually, I'll grant that to Edwards supporters: purely based on rhetoric, I think Edwards is more a champion of this sort of movement than Obama.

                      Putting all that aside, there are more practical concerns too --- it's just one night owl's opinion, but I think Gore would be more likely to win against McCain/Romney, were he the Democratic nominee.  I'm glad he's found a niche outside traditional politics, but that would be a steep price to pay if the Rs win the white house while he's swapping out light bulbs.    (I don't mean that to be as harsh as it sounds.)  If that were true --- and there are no guarantees that is is, of course --- and, say, we're welcoming in President Romney next year, the potential damage Romney could do to the environment through gutting the EPA could dwarf Gore's current efforts.

                      I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

                      by RogueJim on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:35:13 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  All meaningful change is slow (2+ / 0-)

                        I never said POTUS wasn't important, either.  But POTUS isn't really concentrated on change, once POTUS is in power you know.  Looking around at movements isn't something that's on a POTUS agenda.  And for all the talk about "change" that's always part of a POTUS campaign, the main "change" that POTUS brings is the changing of the guard in the Administration.  In this particular election that is vital, the most important change of all.  Let me repeat that: the most important change we can have at the moment is to clean out the oligarchic, cabalistic, authoritarian, anti-democratic leaders who are peopling the Executive Branch.  That's really the only "change" I expect from any Democratic POTUS, and given how entrenched those elite interests of the Bush/Cheney years are, it is a major job.  I don't need anyone "ending partisanship" in politics, if he/she can get rid of the PNACers, the no-bid contractors, the torturers, the " bath-tub government drowners", the "who needs a Constitution when you have signing statements-ers", and the "I don't believe in science therefore it can't be true-ers".  If the next POTUS manages to do that, that's real change.  

                        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                        by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:56:15 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  True enough (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Timbuk3, LaEscapee

          I wouldn't have posted this comment 8 years ago, either.

          But what he's done since impresses me more than the actions of our current candidates over the same time frame.

          I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

          by RogueJim on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:16:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Gore has grown and gotten better with time. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett

        His father was very liberal, and Gore put him down for that.  He's changed for the better.  Some of this is happening with Edwards too.  He's come a long way since 2004 and I hope we see him again.  I hope a miracle saves his wonderful wife, Elizabeth.

      •  Oh wow.. you two are soooooo deep. (0+ / 0-)

        Ya'll sound like you have to be entertained.  Just like the f'n media, everything has to be exciting.  Let the whole country go to shit, but censor those boring-ass politicians.

    •  Too bad his concern for people bored you (8+ / 0-)

      What kind of world do you live in? You're tired of hearing of the disenfranchised world of the poor? That statement says more about its author than it does about Edwards.

      As to this:

      He should start a foundation or work in the non-profit sector, putting his considerable money where his prolific mouth is.

      Speaking of mouths, you've put your ample foot in it. Edwards opened a non-profit poverty center a few years back.

    •  gay daughter ploy? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      philgoblue, Mlle Orignalmale, cjallen

      I think that 'ploy' was quite sincere on his part but turned into a 'ploy' by that conniving spawn of the Vaders...

      Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU and Amnesty International http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org Your voice is needed!

      by tnichlsn on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:12:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BWasikIUgrad

      Unbelievable how perceptions shape belief. I find Hillary, Obama and even Gore forced and even pedantic in comparison to John Edwards. I KNOW car salesmen, and there is nothing about John Edwards which strikes me as that.

      As to your concern that his emphasis on low and middle income people, you should read Paul Fussell's "Class in America." Or "The Boy's Crusade." In some authors you discover the kind of truth telling that John Edwards typifies, even if the truth hurts. Talking about class in America hurts, because we so much do NOT want to believe it is real. It is real. We need to talk about it. Not to talk about it is the best evidence of our collective mental illness. I confront it every day, every hour as a public school teacher, and for our kids, it is the ONLY real thing in their lives, the conflict of class, money and inherited privelege. You can quote me on that.  

      And secondly, unless you have about 10 million bucks in a Swiss account, 10% of which is gold, quite soon you will understand why John Edwards tried to get us to care about the poor and middle class, because that is where we all will be, IF we get lucky. We are about to hit the economic wall, and if you work for a living, God help you, and keep your eye John Edwards. He will be regarded as a prophet in the wilderness, and your perceptions will change.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:18:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderfully eloquent diary, MB (4+ / 0-)

    so happy you wrote it.  (Not at all eloquent tonight myself, but wanted you to know my thanks.  And the I.F. Stone quote--perfect.)

    Please, God, don't let the Democratic party make me vote for some pinhead who believes in the GWOT.

    by planetclaire4 on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:29:27 PM PST

  •  Endorsement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trinite

    I don't think I would have voted for him (again), but it's too bad he dropped out --- I was hoping he would have made it to the convention.

    I don't know if Obama-lama is anything more than all hat, no cattle (the only good thing to come out of the GWB presidency is that colorful phrase), but surely he's going to be more of an advocate for the trodden on than Hillary.  I'd be disappointed if he throws his endorsement behind her for a better post.

    I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

    by RogueJim on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 11:30:14 PM PST

  •  Thanks you DFH (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blue Waters Run Deep, ZhenRen

    Nicely done. Shameful the respect he seems to get once they made sure he was gone. Hell he is even driving the issues on the right in this cycle.

    The sun will come up and the work will be there it is up to us to continue. The others don't just get my vote, they have to earn it.

  •  I think (2+ / 0-)
    Edwards has done something about the anti-poverty, his book "Ending Poverty in America" just tells it:
    http://dealstudio.com/...
  •  He had my vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl, judybrennan

    I was afraid this moment was coming for a while now.  The more I witnessed Edwards ignored by the media from the beginning, shoving Hillary and Obama at us at the expense of some other fine candidates including my main pick, Edwards.  I was hoping the primaries would reveal Edwards support.  I thought he would stay in till at least Tuesday, but alas that was not to be.  
        I had always thought an Edwards/Obama ticket would be a sure fire winner.  Now my hopes are on a Obama/Edwards ticket.
    And yes, I now support Obama, his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention won me over back then.
    All the Democratic candidates have been great in my opinion, it's nice that we've had this special group.  I think we stand at the doorstep of major progressive change, America's ready. I drew a cartoon about progressive change for America, here's the link to it;
    http://www.whatnowtoons.com/...

  •  Closure as a non-Cliche (4+ / 0-)

    Wow, that was an amazing piece, Meteor Blades, and a very insightful encapsulation of the times.  You have a great talent!

    Tonight I watched the end of "Sicko".  I went to the movie theater to see it with my family but a burning, acrid smoke began filtering through the ceiling so we had to leave.  Long story short (Ratatouille), I finally got to see how they live in France, how their government cares about their people.  This is a moral issue, and we fail and suck at it!

    John channels the inimitable Michael Moore in his own way on the banks of the Mississippi, but his demeanor is also very serious, more serious than Michaels':  I have seen a few great men in these trying times of many, many nasty men.  Albert Gore, Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, Cindy Sheehan, Kurt Vonnegut; I could go on and on.

    But I would have to say that Michael Moore and John Edwards are the shining beacons of hope tonight.  May Barack Obama shine and reflect the light from great men like these, and become great himself!  I mean that in the best possible way.

    Oh, and may every single insurance company in America get their Bastille Day.  It's a long time coming.  My impression of France - as portrayed by Michael - is one of control of the government, one of cooperation with the government.  Such is the flower that grows in the red wine!  Perhaps this time it can just be ink.  A bloodless coup.  I yearn for my symbolic victory!

    But, really, MB, great writing.  Thanks.  I feel - dare I say it! - closure...

  •  Thank you, MB, for an eloquent and uplifting post (3+ / 0-)

    I supported Edwards and I recognized the call in his speech to continue the fight. Right now, though, I don't have much of a fighting feeling in me. But I'm sure many of us who are so disappointed right now will ultimately come back to make sure that (no matter which of the other two we ultimately support), Clinton and Obama make good on their pledges to Edwards. We need to hold their feet to the fire...

    Edwards spoke for us, but now we're going to have to speak (loudly) for one another...

    Again, thank you, MB. You said what I needed to hear.

    •  Hi Wordie (0+ / 0-)

      Saw your posts in last nights EENR. Sorry about all the media I know it is hard for you to get in once it starts.

      You OK?

      •  Thanks, LaEscapee (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaEscapee
        It's kind of you to ask. I was doing pretty good most of yesterday - although there were tears welling up during the speech. I had a lot to do during the day - but when I got home last night, it suddenly hit me. :(

        I'm still depressed this morning, but right now just hoping that we'll hear an echo of John's voice in the debates tonight. I've decided to wait to hear what they say before I commit to another candidate, although I'm leaning strongly. It just won't be the same without John participating though...

        My deepest hope is that Edwards' supporters will follow John's call to remain involved - we now must  become our own voice in the campaign - but most of us probably need some time to process such a sudden and disappointing change.

        How are you doing, LaEscapee?

        •  I'm fine (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wordie

          Sort of, what a long strange trip it's been. Always a dangerous thing when you invest so much into something to have it dashed.

          I haven't decided either, I don't vote until the 9th so I'll see where things stand after the 5th. I probably will vote for John anyway, he has pretty good support down here, and since he just suspended his campaign can still claim his delegates. I have enough confidence in him to do the right thing with them.

          Thanks for the response and you're right the fight goes on, we owe the voiceless that much. I fully intend to hold the other candidates and their supporters accountable for the promises they afforded John.

          Did you know that there will be a weekly EENR4Progress ( I think that is it) on sundays, I hope if you get the chance you can come hang out. You may have to make it early, you know how we get with the media.

          You take care, bless you and thanks for everything ou have done.

          •  Thanks once again, LaEscapee (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LaEscapee
            I'm glad to hear you're OK, although saddened as all of us are. But you're the one who really should be thanked for all your contributions to the JRE effort. I am embarrassed to admit I was a latecomer, but once I had decided, I really threw myself into it, so am feeling the letdown keenly too.

            I'm in a somewhat different position than you are; the decision where I live will be made on Febrary 9th, as in your state, but for various reasons I need to decide by tomorrow, as I'm voting absentee. I'm leaning strongly toward Obama, but reserving judgement until this evening's debate. I doubt it will change my leaning - I do think Clinton does represent the status quo, and her foreign policy positions worry me - but want to make sure I'm making the right choice - given my emotional state right now, the longer I wait the better.

            I want the progressive voice of Edwards to continue to be an important element in this campaign, and those EENRs have been such a big part of that so far. Thanks so much for letting me know that the EENRs will continue - I'm so very happy about that!

  •  The Czar of New Orleans (3+ / 0-)

    AG, VP...SCOTUS
    ...that;s just Washington stuff...and he doesn't want to be a lawyer anymore...
    ...he wants to get stuff done.

    I think where JRE would shine is in a role that he has talked about creating - - A Czar for rebuilding New Orleans. He is a person of action and caring. It is a very specific way to attack poverty and contribute to rebuilding America.

    I can see him there, sleeve rolled up and driving the whole project, cutting through the BS.

    Edwards - because he was the right guy. Hillary - because she knows how to win.

    by demwords on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:05:44 AM PST

  •  Popular Front --Splitters!! (0+ / 0-)

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    Seriously, wonderful essay.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:06:47 AM PST

  •  well written, Meteor Blades! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willyr

    John Edwards is a politician, the leader of an election campaign that went sadly went awry, not the leader of a reform movement. But he is the welcome ally of all us rabble in the struggle against the two Americas, against the greedheads and those who claim to despise the idea of class warfare but practice it – from the top-down – every day.

    this was especially good, this excerpt.

    witness the GOPRANOS.. rethugs: "If they fuck with me or Shaha, I have enough on them to fuck them too." -Paul Wolfowitz, quoted by the UK's Guardian

    by change the Be on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:17:02 AM PST

  •  I heard him say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    willyr, trinite

    a 'suspension' of my campaign or that he was 'suspending' his campaign. He sure didn't say he was gonna disappear at all.

  •  Thanks, MB, this is one of your best (3+ / 0-)

    Somehow I feel more hopeful after reading this. We cannot be silent while our party continues to ignore the most needy members of our society. Any chance we could organize something called, "Adults for a Democratic Society"? :)

    Earlier I was thinking that part of the reason John's message may not have caught on is that many Americans are still clueless about the dire condition of our economy. Although they don't realize it yet, THEY are the poor John Edwards was talking about. As prices soar and jobs disappear, Bush's incompetence will turn all but the richest Americans into "the poor." There's no end in sight to the crisis this country is in.

    And I thought about how Senator Kennedy, with all his wealth, has been an advocate for working Americans throughout his career, yet the media doesn't accuse HIM of hypocrisy because he lives well. Yet the same media subjected John Edwards to ridicule for his wealth. Go figure.

    Well, MB, I think I'll sleep better tonight after reading your diary. As always, thank you for your wise words.

    The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century

    by Ekaterin on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:39:16 AM PST

    •  Indeed (5+ / 0-)

      It is "one of the best".  It is a real craft to be able to offer reasoned hope.  

      I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the reasons the Edwards' message did not "catch on" is because the story of the black man vs. the woman was a catchier media narrative. It is, in fact, the story that is emerging from his exit, which suggests to me that it is the trigger they are all itching to pull for the rest of the primary.    

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:48:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i agree... a particularly bad year (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ekaterin, Blue Waters Run Deep

        to be a southern white man in a presidential election.

        i've got a vision... a world free of george w bush. yes!

        by titotitotito on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:53:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He HAD to win Iowa (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          philgoblue

          according to Walter Shapiro (Salon.com)

          If there is a verdict on the Edwards campaign, it is that the candidate and his advisors played a weak hand well. Short of money and with no natural fundraising base other than trial lawyers, Edwards knew from the beginning that he had to win Iowa, a state where he had finished a surprisingly close second to John Kerry in the 2004 caucuses. Only victory would have given Edwards the press coverage and the TV time that he craved to compete with Clinton and Obama.

          There has to be more to the story. Gulliani was a third front runner and he was not shut out from press coverage.

          This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

          by Agathena on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:08:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  after DHinMI's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena

            front page post yesterday about the money troubles of McCain's campaign; I'm wondering how much of the financial question came into play in making this decision.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 03:33:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I think the 2006 election (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stumptown Dave

      showed John had the right message.  I think it came down to the media and the hyper-funding of the rivals.  That, and John just couldn't break through identity-politics.  

      Oh, and not MB, but some other big names in the blogosphere were, like some of the unions, were scared to take a high risk, high reward strategy.

      But, I'm inspired, and I'm starting a new regional blog that's going to play a role in building a progressive-populist Democratic Party in West Michigan that wins elections.

      I think it'll be http://www.westmichiganrising.com

  •  I'm not going anywhere yet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stumptown Dave, cjallen

    Oregon votes by mail between May 6 - 20 and if Clinton and/or Obama don't show me something really different between now and then, well, I'll be darkening the oval next to the name John R. Edwards.

  •  excellent diary (0+ / 0-)

    you said it all MB.

    i've got a vision... a world free of george w bush. yes!

    by titotitotito on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 12:49:57 AM PST

  •  Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind... (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody who really truly believes that President John McCain would be better than President Hillary Clinton or President Barack Obama can ignore that part of John’s advice and stay at home or vote for a third-party candidate come November 4. You would think that we’d had enough of this sow-the-wind, reap-the-whirlwind behavior at the ballot box, but there’ll always be some people who just don’t get it.

    I really resent this attitude from the DailyKos crowd.  We are at a point where independents are strongly leaning toward Democratic ideals and statements like this imply that the judgment of people outside the party is somehow inferior because we find a particular candidate distasteful.

    This "If you don't agree with us, STFU & GTFO" attitude has got to stop [insert favorite variation of "you elitist prick" here].

    •  Sorry, but anybody who thinks ... (7+ / 0-)

      ...a President McCain would be better than a President Clinton or President Obama has lousy judgment, in my elitist prick opinion, and independents leaning toward Democratic ideals aren't likely to support him unless they have no clue about where he stands.

      However, my comment was directed toward those progressives who think staying at home or voting for a third party has no bad effects even though we've just lived through seven years of the dreadful consequences of such behavior. Staying at home or voting third party ELECTS Bushes and McCains. This isn't to say that the ideals/platform planks supported by all third parties are bad - I am partial to many of those of the Greens, for instance. But third parties are more movement than parties, and when it comes to electoral politics at the national level, only two parties matter.

      And, by the way, expressing my opinion does not equate with STFU.

      "Just remember, boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win." - Special Agent Fox Mulder

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 01:13:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have thought I wouldn't vote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blue Waters Run Deep

        but then when you see the republicans still saying the same old things, I know we have to vote Democrat to break this idiotic cycle that we are in.

        Our media is in control of the election. JRE didn't stand a chance after they blasted him for an expensive hair cut and expensive house.  They insinuated you can't be rich and be for the poor.

        It is ok with the media that Romney has more money than all candidates combined.  He has spent 44 million of his own money on his race.

        I hope that Romney beats McCain. It would be ironic to see Reaganite McCain beat out by the republican creation, the multimillion dollar money machine politician.  

  •  About funerals (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Trippi said that John Edwards changed the conversation of the race, and while I'm an Obama man through and through, I would say that he did effectively change the tenor of this race.  For Meteor Blades to say that either camps statement was crocodile tears, in a sense, is patently false.  Both camps have to appreciate John Edwards effect on the race.  While I think that Obama was the more evocative candidate in challenging the real status quo, and championing issues he believed in (how did Edwards go from a DLC, Southern Moderate to a Progressive, liberal as hell Democrat in 2 years,) I do recognize that Edwards had a huge effect on this race.

    -Chuddery

    •  Maybe the better question (3+ / 0-)

      would be, "How did someone born poor, grow up and become rich, but didn't forget his people, the poor?"

      People grow, they change. I have. I am evolving as a person. No one is the same person in every area as time goes by.  

      A Democrat doesn't see things in black and white. As you learn more, then you sometimes change your mind and attitude.

      To always stay the same is a sign of ignorance.

      At the time Edwards was in the house, he was caught off guard by the pressure of many in the media who were beating war drums and stirring the people to want war.  

      It would have been the height of stupidity for him to try to do a lot his first year there. Then he was running for vice president. The DLC nabs every new person, they can. The smart ones don't stay with the DLC.

  •  Whoever you are, thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stumptown Dave, relentless

    I have enjoyed throughout the campaign your insightful reasons for supporting Edwards.  I would add that I cannot recall a single instance in the past where I have felt so positive about helping someone who lost.  While there were times that I would like for him to have said things differently (less son of a mill worker and less personal injury lawyer references), what he stood for never wavered. More than any other, he gave his all to arrest the morphing of the Party into Republican lite.

    My introduction to Edwards over four years ago made an impression that continues.  It was at the home of a wealthy family filled with other wealthy people.  Edwards comments were simple:  you all are very fortunate to live in this country for what it has done for you.  There are too many others in this country who have been forgotten. In the past many years, the burden of paying for government has been lifted from your shoulders and placed on theirs.  It is not right.  Help me win and I will make you pay more to make their lives better so that everyone can have the same opportunity we in this room have.

    He was right then.  He was right yesterday.  

    •  still don't get why anyone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemocracyLover in NYC

      wouldn't feel so "positive about helping someone who lost"...

      why would helping someone who's program you supported feel negative, even if said person lost?  

      I can see feeling sorry that said person lost, especially if you helped him/her, but still don't get this stigma that seems to come from "supporting someone who lost"?  

      A little too much ESPN in the mix, I suspect.  (But even in the sportsworld, I never feel bad for supporting my team, even when they lose).

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:43:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is because losing means that (0+ / 0-)

        the programs you supported might not be advanced. In the past I have supported Democratic candidates who not only lost, but lost their way while losing.  At least John never wavered from what I regard as the most important messages in decades and, in the process, moved the other candidates closer to that position.

  •  I diaried a requiem here, and I stand by it. (0+ / 0-)

    But, I will admit that it is a reflection more of my feelings than a statement of what happened to Edwards, his campaign and the disgusting coverage (or lack thereof) provided by the MSM.

    I am saddened by his withdrawal. He would have been a fine candidate and president, with little of the lightning rod characteristics that Hillary is guaranteed to generate. He also would be be subject to closet racism, starting with Bill Clinton's thoroughly discredited campaign tactic, to former members of the KKK who would as soon load up shotguns as to see a black man run for president.

    On top of that, both his background, training, education, and desires wold have suited him well.

    OK, was my requiem inappropriate? I do not know. All I know is that I feel better for having written it.

    In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

    by agnostic on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 02:15:53 AM PST

  •  Edwards was great, now for Obamarama... (0+ / 0-)

    I celebrated John Edwards decision by donating $25 to Obamarama. Hill is for the elderly and uninformed. Can't wait for the new world!

  •  Blades, you are the best... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stumptown Dave

    Rock on John! The struggle continues!

  •  not all of it is pious lying (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic

    I voted for Edwards in 2004 and while I supported Obama this cycle, I would have preferred a candidate that hybridized the two from the beginning. I believe Obama will carry Edwards fight going forward, and if he does, I think it will make him an even better candidate.

  •  It Is Goodbye (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abra Crabcakeya

    Sad but all too true.

    What you see is what you get, but what you don't see is what ends up getting you.

    by Existentialist on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 03:32:01 AM PST

  •  That Edwards bowed out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Existentialist

    made me sad, even though he wasn't my first choice in the nominee race, because he has brought incredibly important and valid issues to the table.  

    Yet I wasn't thinking of it as a funeral for him or his ideas or his passions.  It strikes me that he might have a chance now to do as Al Gore did - leave the world of electoral politics behind, and by so doing, find new ways to forward the cause of economic justice.

  •  America needs more than a president (0+ / 0-)

    What America really needs is a Barack Obama who thinks like Noam Chomsky.

    But that just ain't gonna happen, so we'll have to settle for what we can get.

    But then, as Edwards said, we need to keep pushing whoever we elect in the right direction. Politicians react to pressure, we know that from the phone-in campaigns organized right here at DKos.

    Let us remove those that draw their truths from smoking mushroom clouds.

    by jimbo92107 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 03:51:29 AM PST

    •  yikes. Noam is brilliant, but (0+ / 0-)

      his theories on artificial computer communications set back the industry for a decade, as they tried to reconcile his approaches with the reality of the situation.

      Once they cleared out his theories, movement has gone much faster. Of course, processing speed has made a huge diff, too.

      Noam himself admitted that when he makes a mistake, it can be a whopper.

      In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

      by agnostic on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:00:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Come on, you know what I mean (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moira977

        Your average politician smiles and says "That's very nice," when he talks to a computer technician or a scientist.

        Can't we get somebody EDUCATED for a change?

        Let us remove those that draw their truths from smoking mushroom clouds.

        by jimbo92107 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:33:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't mind someone educated at all, (0+ / 0-)

          so long as they don't have concrete ideas they refuse to reconsider. The last 7 yrs of that behavior shows how dangerous it can be. Education is a tool. Intelligence is a gift. Combining the two is wonderful, unless one's own brilliance blinds one to his/her defects and mistakes. There is the case of being too educated, you know. We see it all the time. Experts are so tied to their profession, that new ideas are simply unacceptable. For example, the physicks experts at the turn of LAST century, before the true impact of special and general relativity knocked them for a relative loop.  

          In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

          by agnostic on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:49:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Saunders: Going to "suck my thumb with my gun" (0+ / 0-)

    From the Washington Post:

    Beginning Tuesday night and continuing yesterday morning, Edwards made phone calls to people who needed to know of his decision before he announced it. He reached Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, a senior strategist and the campaign's national rural liaison, in a hotel room in Atlanta. Saunders was preparing for Super Tuesday. The news turned him melancholy.

    "I'm a Scots-Irish hillbilly. I operate on passion rather than intelligence," he said. Saunders spoke by phone yesterday evening while traveling the highways headed home to Virginia. "I'm going to get home and get under my bed and get in a fetal position and suck my thumb with my gun, and then get back out there."

    Oy...

  •  May I nominate you (2+ / 0-)

    for my Karita Hummer's Silver pen Award for my blogspot site called: www.passionateprogressivepatriot.blogspot.com

    And, thank you, John Edwards is the genuine article.
    Karita Hummer

  •  no time for funerals (4+ / 0-)

    While I agree, MB, that JRE's not going anywhere and we'll all want to carry on the good fight, I think we do feel the loss on certain levels.

    For one, here was a politician, notthe leader of a movement as you say, who seemed to be in tune with the people-powered idea, who was interested in empowering from within, not merely without, and who had plans that showed he fully intended to continue the dialogue once in office. Here was a partner to the dance you describe, the one that so often has to take place "outside the party". Here was a chance to link up and change the dialogue powerfully, perhaps for good.

    The lure of the internet age from a political perspective has been, for many of us, the potential to turn the old assumptions about how reform must work inside out and find a way to hook up with the elected class and move them directly. Yes we can change the makeup of the electeds, but with the right visionary leader, we can also create a true vascular system carrying messages between the people and the politicals. Participatory democracy indeed, amplified by the means technology now offers us to get positions represented within the bubble. Edwards offered a chance to weave ourselves into the mix, to be truly partnered.

    In Edwards we found an amplifier for our voices and a receptor to our ideas. Even more, we found someone who listens and wants to represent those without even the means that we have to be heard here in our privileged internet aerie. We found someone willing to listen and to change as a result. We found someone to dance with.

    Without the bully pulpit of the campaign and (we hoped) the white house, without the exposure during debates, without the direct influence and watchful eye over our remaining candidates, without the prospect of moving the platform our way at the convention, without the opportunity to spread JRE's (and our) message virally each and every day--- because, even without the MSM, John was reaching people and we were there to witness and to tell the story--- this path will be that much harder. If the MSM chose to ignore John during the campaign(and his message broke through in spite of this) imagine how easy it will be to forget and ignore him now. I wish this weren't so, but we know our trusty media too well to imagine otherwise.

    Yes we will have to fall back on the old, outsider, methods. And that , my friend, is a real loss.

    Do not turn away from these great struggles before us. Do not give up on the causes that we have fought for. Do not walk away from what's possible, because it's time for all of us, all of us together, to make the two Americas one.

    I know soon I will be able to hear those words as they were intended, to listen to the clarion call, to take up the cause once more. But yesterday the loss of our partner in the dance left me feeling how hard it was to "not turn away from what's possible," without my partner. I know he isn't really walking away, but how will I find him in the dance?

    "Get informed, and let it change you."--wonderingmind42's chemistry professor

    by DemocracyLover in NYC on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:19:56 AM PST

    •  Exactly true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moira977, DemocracyLover in NYC

      The loss is horrible, though I know we will find John Edwards and he will find us.

      But it still hurts a whole lot, and I am still in shock.

      Karita Hummer

    •  thank you! Edwards was a mainstream candidate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DemocracyLover in NYC

      with mainstream credentials and mainstream accomplishments, who had listened to everyday Americans as he traveled around outside of D.C., and then rejected his comfortable business as usual position -- exactly what our outsider movement needs to move our change from the outside to the center of American politics. A big opportunity lost for a site that spent years legitimizing the notion of "a fighting Dem" while arguing for pragmatism, too -- only to see the notion melt away into today's "the problem is partisanship" muddle.

      Those eulogizing Edwards today would've done better to take on the task of defending him against charges of hypocrisy and actually reporting his positions yesterday, IMO. I am truly sorry that, outside of the much-denigrated "candidate diaries," so little beyond-mainstream reporting or analysis (let alone defending) of the Edwards campaign and platform was done here at dKos.

      One concrete example? Edwards gave a great speech a few months ago repudiating Bush's preventive war policy, saying that it belongs on "the trashheap of history," outlining how Cheney and Wolfowitz used 9/11 as an excuse to rush to invade Iraq, and saying that as President he would only use military force as a last resort. This speech is way, way beyond anything Obama or Cinton has said, and the analysis and language is astonishing in the context of the sort of "gotta go along to get along so we don't get called weak on national security" Democratic Congressmember spinelessness that we've seen for years, and that miles of dKos "column inches"  have decried. I'd be willing to bet most Kossacks -- including front page writers -- don't even know that speech ever happened, and that is a damned shame.

  •  Thanks, MB (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemocracyLover in NYC

    That was about the most cogent, honest, and accurate description of John and his campaign that I have ever read, and it goes to the heart of why I support him.
    I'll vote for the party nominee.  I'm rather unimpressed with both of the remaining candidates, leaving aside the history-making nature of their candidacies.  Only one guy consistently spoke to my concerns, and spoke about what we could do about them.  That, of course, is why he was ignored.

    I don't know if John will be offered a position in the new administration, and I'm not sure he should accept one, but God willing, we haven't seen the last of John Edwards.

  •  After-suspension conference call w/JRE (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemocracyLover in NYC, armadill

    Someone posted this link to DU in Devil's Tower's post last night. I don't recall their username or I'd credit them.

    One of the key points he stated was that it wasn't about money, it was about wanting to unite the party in the face of what he viewed as a certainty that McCain would be the opponent. By making it a two-person race BEFORE "Tsunami Tuesday" it seems more likely a clear front-runner will emerge, thus stopping the intra-party warfare.

    He still pushed the two celebrity candidates for concessions, getting them to promise they'd talk about his issues at the convention.

    Watch to see if their rhetoric changes, because he also urged supporters to "Take a breather and don't make any support decision yet" and "there is no chance" he will endorse either one before Tuesday.

    I, for one, plan on voting for him on Feb 5, anyway. Let the Clinton and Obama supporters sort out who I will be voting for in November to prevent the loss of ANOTHER seat on the SCOTUS to the GOP.

    "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

    by Timbuk3 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:36:06 AM PST

    •  this is the hardest for me to buy/accept (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moira977

      I must say.  I don't think the party "needs" uniting; firstly its not that divided or divisive and secondly, have three strong candidates was better for the party, imho.

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:00:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It could be that it's hard for you to buy (0+ / 0-)

        That doesn't make it untrue.

        I have my own opinion of Clinton and Obama supporters, about which I won't go into detail here other than to say I think they're "firmly entrenched".

        Those of us who don't support one or the other at quite the level their most loyal supporters do are going to see who is chosen, hopefully on Tuesday. Most of us will vote for them in November, for various reasons. My reason, which of course I believe is the most important reason (just like everyone else) is to prevent another GOP appointment to the SCOTUS. It will never be because I believe in the other two candidates at the level that some folks do.

        It's all very logical, from my POV. Of course, I'm already aware, after months of candidate diaries, that some folks don't think I'm entitled to my own POV.

        Many of us won't be bullied into supporting someone else's candidate. The rest need to pick one, soon, or there's going to be a lot of ammunition for the RW smear machine to use this summer.

        "Doing My Part to Piss Off the Religious Right" - A sign held by a 10-year old boy on 9-24-05

        by Timbuk3 on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 05:09:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i just mean (0+ / 0-)

          the "urgency" to "unite the party" is a bit premature.  that's the part I don't buy.  Personally I don't accept that this is particularly divisive.  But then, I don't have a candidate.  Luckily, the partisans on dKos are not the entire country.  So using dkos primary wars diaries as an indicator of anything other than what they are at the moment, isn't a particularly good predictor, to my mind.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 03:52:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  it wasn't money (0+ / 0-)

      JRE could have self-financed for a month or so without a problem (I think, not sure of the incracies of campaign finance law)

  •  The press (0+ / 0-)

    The press came up with two imaginary candidates - let them come up with the imaginary voters to match

  •  Namaste, JRE & Elizabeth (0+ / 0-)

    Peace.  

    Photobucket

    I know I'll be seeing them around the block.  

  •  John will be back. No doubt about it n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, trinite

    Obama / Edwards '08 REAL Change From The Status Quo

    by DFutureIsNow on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 04:58:52 AM PST

  •  Big Media again reduced us to least worst choice (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MissyH, Abra Crabcakeya

    In the past 7 years, Big Media in large part has denied us the benefit of two of our very best in politics: Al Gore and John Edwards. And who knows how many others haven’t even tried because of Big Media and the way they treat democrats...Russ Feingold comes to mind.

    There is NOTHING more important to reclamation of the US for the people, for humanity than breaking up Big Media.

    The dialog MUST change.
    .

    •  Juan Williams this morning on NPR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      armadill

      ... repeated the stuff about hair, house, and hedge fund. I wrote to NPR to point out that that kind of coverage is exactly what keeps the voiceless from having a voice.

      Even NPR. Thank goodness for dkos.

  •  Thank You, Meteor Blades (0+ / 0-)

    for easing my saddness a little bit.

    I, for one, will not "turn away", but it's still very dishearting to suddenly lose the one candidate who stood for your ideals.

    I fear that Obama and Clinton will not really follow through on their promise to make ending poverty a centerpiece of their campaigns.  They will have to earn my trust like John did before I can jump on either's wagon. Only time will tell if that happens.

    I hope that many Edwards supporters will still vote for him on Super Tuesday.  I believe that will send a strong message to Barack and Hillary that we intend to see that they will not turn away.

    I pledged to vote for John in Ohio on Mar. 4th, and I will keep that pledge.  I urge others pledged to John in Ohio to do the same.

    P.S. - thanks for working in the reference to SDS.

  •  Thanks MB (0+ / 0-)

    I really needed to read something uplifting about John Edwards.  He brought so much to the table with his populist message.  I still think I'll vote for him next Tuesday here in NJ, because I still can't decide b/w Clinton and Obama.  John Edwards was the real progressive in this race.

    Forza John Edwards!

    by EGuest on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06:17:30 AM PST

  •  Beautiful (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks MB.  What a well written diary.  I, like a lot of other JRE supporters, had a very long day yesterday.  Your words are going to help me lift my head high and keep working to put a democrat in the WH next January.  

    P.S.  I want to write like you when I grow up.  

    "Politics isn't about big money or power games; it's about the improvement of people's lives" - Paul Wellstone

    by bnldem on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 06:40:52 AM PST

  •  "Suspending" my campaign (0+ / 0-)

    I watched Edwards on tv as he gave his speech and I was struck that he used the word "suspending" rather than "ending" or "withdrawing."

    Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but Edwards is a lawyer and lawyers choose their words very, very carefully.

    I wonder just what he meant?

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 07:26:15 AM PST

  •  Dear John Edwards.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf

    Thank you so much for bringing my biggest issue to the political table this year....POVERTY.  Broward County Florida is full of the wondering homeless people you talk about, and since we have more expressway exits than covered bridges down here, a lot of them gather there.  It was at one of these exits yesterday when I handed one of them a dollar bill or two....I told her;..."This is from John Edwards who is thinking of you today and everyday."

  •  I am proud to have been an Edwards supporter all (0+ / 0-)

    the way. Frustrated too.
    Edwards is finally getting coverage - becuase he's dropping out! Would have been nice if he got it from the start.
    I heard yesterday that one reason Edwards gave in was because he was having so much trouble getting his message out. When he came in second in Iowa, they still ignored him. When he won the debate in Nevada, they still ignored him. It's kind of hard to run when the media is so fixated one just two people that the rest of the voices are ignored - even when they do well.
    Another thing that pissed me off yesterday was Dan Payne on NPR wondering what white guys were going to do now. WTF? White guys now didn't have a candidate in the race? Fuck you, Dan. Women and blacks have never had a candidate in the history of elections, and yet we were expected to vote for an endless list of white guys. It's not the race and gender, it's the message.
    And, frankly, if you can't get behind Obama or Clinton then you just aren't a Democrat. We're supposed to be the adult party - we're supposed to be over that crap.

    "The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off!" - Gloria Steinem

    by MA Liberal on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 07:35:39 AM PST

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FoundingFatherDAR

    thank you for reminding us - again - that it is the power of people and movements - not political parties - that create lasting change

    I truly hope that John & Elizabeth Edwards continue to foment this movement

  •  I'm kinda freakin' out here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    relentless, armadill, adrianrf

    What I am seeing here disturbs me.  I'm seeing about three kinds of dems here. I am progressive and feel that it is more honest and logical.  But also there are conservative dems who do not seem to understand how damaging and ruinous corporate power over our Dems can/will/already did, can be.  We have some on this site that just seem to vote sex or race instead of who the best candidate.  It seems that the media absolutely controls our issues.  I see a fractured party. I'm sorry to sound so negative, but it is breaking my heart that we as a people are not marching in the damn streets every day- just can't get it together.  I hope that very soon these people in the 20-40 year old range will take over DC.  Am I crazy? How crazy?

    •  You know and that knowing is worse than crazy (0+ / 0-)

      It can drive you mad, when you can see so clearly how the media manipulates so many.  When you see someone that can change the world, be tossed aside for so many mind boggling reasons.

      It is called heightened awareness.

      It wouldn't surprise me if Bush was re elected. Before this is over we may all be catonic.

  •  Thank You John (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FoundingFatherDAR

    John Edwards was my candidate.  What he spoke about resonated with me.  I'm very sorry to see him drop out of the race.  In other years, I think he may have been the nominee, but up against two historic $100 million dollar candidates, his message seemed to fall by the wayside.  Hopefully he will re-emerge in political life  sometime soon.

  •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

    Whoever walks up to the podium on January 20, 2009, takes the oath of office and speaks for the first time as President to the nation, ought to take the words in John’s third paragraph excerpted above and repeat them, and tell us s/he has taken them to heart and that the first 100 days of the new administration will include not just a promise but a plan to do exactly what John said, rebuild New Orleans. Far more that that must be done to deal with the two Americas. But such a pledge would offer proof that those who today said John Edwards’s message matters aren’t just saying so for effect, but truly believe it.

     As an aside, I'm still curious as to the specific reasons why Edwards chose to drop out as of yesterday, so close to super Tues.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Jan 31, 2008 at 10:18:14 AM PST

  •  STILL GOING TO VOTE FOR JOHN (0+ / 0-)

    No touch screen machine is going to steal my vote

  •  YOU HAVE MY VOTE,JOHN (0+ / 0-)

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