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Edwards: The champion of the US progressive left?

This particular story caught my eye in the newspaper today about John Edwards, the vice-presidential candidate in 2004 who is again running to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for president in the Nov 2008 elections. In this story, he is portrayed by Stuart Rothenburg, a US political analyst, as being the candidate for the “working class” and the “left” – as if that is supposed to be a negative, and that his positions will risk “ripping the nation apart “even further apart than Bush has torn it.”

And what exactly are some of the positions Edwards has been advocating that has at least this one political pundit warning of further ruptures and attempting him to paint him with descriptions that he at least feels are negative? Let’s look at the article:

He tells this crowd, as he has others across all 99 Iowa counties, that 47 million Americans lack health care because big health-care corporations want to protect profits, that there has been no serious effort to defeat global warming in America because big oil won’t let it happen and that trade deals such as NAFTA are allowed to cost Americans’ jobs because corporations need to guard their profits. “The richest are getting richer,” he says. “The biggest corporations are making record profits, and at what cost? “The middle class. Low-income families. The promise of America for your children and your grandchildren. “If we trade a crowd of corporate Republicans for a crowd of corporate Democrats, nothing will change.”

So, he wants to get universal health-care, he wants to fight global warming, and he believes NAFTA is a flawed trade deal. How that turns him into a raving lefty should indicate to people how much the US political pundits and media types yearn for a return to bi-partisanship, whatever that’s supposed to mean. This is just one example of it, but there are many more one can find.

Regardless, if one were to look at the current crop of presidential candidates in the Democratic Party, and ones that have a realistic shot at winning, Edwards may be the US progressives best hope – notwithstanding Senator Chris Dodd’s attempts to block retroactive immunity for telecom companies who broke the law on behalf of Bush eavesdropping on people, and the support that got him in the US progressive blogosphere.


4 comments to Edwards: The champion of the US progressive left?

  • I like Edwards, a Liberal Democrat, if not for president, then vice- President.
     I agree with Mushroom on an  open nomination for Mr. Orchard. Something needs to be to Dion about this one.

  • mushroom

    Edwards talk a good game, but does he walk the walk?  I question that.

    His rhetoric is populist and attracts the lumberjacket wearing crew.  Makes union members happy.

    He is not Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel, who are much more progressive.

    His policy for universal health care is not the socialized medicine of Canada (he wants mandatory private health insurance coverage contributions), he says good things on the environment, but it is his policy on NAFTA that draws the most crowds.  More David Orchard, then Gerard Kennedy in my books.
    BTW, this gets me to call for an open nomination process for David Orchard in Desnethe-Churchill River.  We certainly need him for Liberal Party renewal.

  • Whooee! US Dems may suddenly realize just how old-school the bulk of voters are. Merkans are not ready for a woman or a black man as president. Some are. Not enough to elect one and that’s all that matters. Image counts for more than ideology in the TV dreamland of Merkan politics. Edwards is a good-looking, happy-faced, white man. His policies may be "far left" in the eyes of some Merkans but I’m bettin’ he could win on the basis of what he ain’t rather than what he is. He ain’t black. He ain’t a woman. He ain’t George Bush.

    GAB’s right about the Merkan economy. It’ll be their biggest issue. If they can manage to connect the dots between $500,000,000,000 wasted in EyeRack with the economic troubles, they might make some sensible decisions. It’s costing them about $100,000 to kill one insurgent. The war has cost them over a million for every one of the 300,000,000 citizens. How can they ever recoup that? They’ve bankrupted their treasury and mortgaged the futures of their great-grandchildren.

    Even when they’ve had financial wiggle room, they’ve achieved little. We’re umbilically attached to the Merkan economy so we’re in fer some hard times, too.


  • It’s a toss up, socially Edwards is about the best you can do with the Dems but I have a serious feeling nothing short of Ron Paul’s slash and burn fiscal policies will allow the U.S. to remain solvent.
    Health care, global warming and a rewrite/scraping of Nafta are all issues that strike a cord for me but I don’t honestly think the U.S. has a hope in hell of staying out of a long term recession/depression which will leave them little finacial wiggle room to acheive anything. 

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