Where Were You, John Sweeney, When John Edwards Needed Your Endorsement?
Today I was surfing the net and found this article at HuffPo written on behalf of John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO. The article is entitled, "Winning the Edwards Vote". Here are a few key paragraphs:
John Edwards' exit from the presidential race puts his supporters up for grabs. Both Senators Clinton and Obama want those votes. Here's how to win them.
The central plank of the Edwards' campaign was restoring a prosperous and secure middle class, which requires ending wage stagnation and having wages again grow with productivity. This must be the central economic policy goal of any candidate wanting the Edwards vote.
John Edwards' campaign recognized the imminent challenge of recession and advocated fiscal stimulus. Both the Obama and Clinton campaigns have done likewise. However, it is not enough to just change the economic policy dial settings. The Edwards campaign also spoke to the need to change the long-term direction of the economy by restoring full employment, leveling the playing field between workers and corporations, and fixing unfair competition unleashed by globalization. That's the message that will win the Edwards vote.
The analysis is correct, but here's the problem. The AFL-CIO wouldn't endorse Edwards during the campaign. Neither did the Teamsters or Change to Win. They all knew that Edwards was the union man and was the only one who had a plan for the working man, but they let him twist in the wind.
I thank the Carpenters Union, SEIU's in Massachusetts, Iowa, the Midwest, and California, and Postal Workers in Iowa who were more than proud to back the union candidate. A special thank you to the Steelworkers and some transport folks too who went to Iowa on their vacations and knocked on doors in the different states to help GOTV for John Edwards.
John Sweeney, you can go back now to the corner and sit it out. I'm strong for unions, but really, this is disengenuous to give this advice to the two remaining candidates when you didn't even help John Edwards with an endorsement.
I discovered today that Redjet has another logo up on Cafepress. I think that speaks for me. I will vote and help Progressive candidates or ones that I think will serve my interest in justice. I got interested in the Democratic Party because of John's vision for making government more effective and to work best for all of us. The Democratic Party doesn't seem to share that view, and I think he was asked to step aside. Of course, JRE knew he couldn't win either.
So while I will side with the Democrats most of the time, I'm not opposed to voting Green Party either, as I did in the governor's election in 2006.
As JRE said many times, I love the Democratic Party, but I love my country more. And that sums it up for me: I love my country more than I do any political party.
"I am a Patriot"
Sung by the Burns Sisters, written by Steven Van Zant. Footage from Camp Casey near Crawford, TX.
My fellow blogger Iddybud penned a post entitled "Angels among us" about a baby that was thrown out of train and survived.
In the midst of the tornado rubble that inspectors were going through in Tennessee yesterday, they found an eleven month old baby. At first, they thought it was a doll, then they did the following:
So when two rescuers came upon a baby, they thought he was a doll.
Then he moved.
"We grabbed hold of his neck (to take a pulse) and he took a breath of air and started crying," said David Harmon, a firefighter from a nearby county who was combing the field for tornado victims.
His momma, only 24 years old died in the same field where he was found, a few hundred yards away. No telling what she did to protect her child but couldn't save herself.
Maybe there were angels for Kyson.
Kyson is pictured with his grandma, Kay Stowell. No doubt there is joy and sorrow in the Stowell household for the days to come. But amazing strength that he made it. I bet Iddybud and Elizabeth Edwards would love to hold that child and give their empathy and comfort to that family, but there were so many who lost their families and friends that night.
My condolences to all of the families who lost loved ones in those terrible storms on Tuesday night. But in the Elizabeth Edwards tradition, I say Kerri Stowell's name so that her child will remember his lost momma's name too.
Update: Kyson got his angels, with these beautiful voices:
There is a new site on my blogroll: Edwardians Meeting Place. It's just now getting organized, so don't expect anything fancy in terms of diaries or a lot of news at this juncture. The Edwards Wing of the Democratic Party members are getting acquainted. Come on by and register, and join the conversation. It's like going to a living room or a kitchen at someone's place.
According to the News-Observer, State Dem Party chairman Jerry Meek did not list John Edwards as a presidential candidate. I don't know how accurate the quote is, but this is what Rob Christensen reported:
"Meek said he based his decision on the law, which says the ballot should include "all candidates whose candidacy is generally advocated and recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in North Carolina."
So Edwards, who has been on many local stations, and only suspended his campaign, is being kicked off the ballot?
Does anyone believe that essentially Mike Gravel is generally advocated and recognized throughout the news media or in NC more than John Edwards? Meh.
I don't live in North Carolina, but to me, this smells of petty politics.
Seems to me Tarheel Dems, and yes, I'm talking not only to the regulars on this blog, but also to Larry Kissell, Rep. Brad Miller, Rep. Heath Schuler, Rep. Mel Watts, and new candidates such as Harry Taylor need to urge Chairman Meek to put Edwards back on the ballot. Tarheels deserve the opportunity to vote for its native son.
Meeks' contact info:
Jerry Meek Chair 919-821-2777 Ext. 106 email: email@example.com
A friend directed me to this weekly award from BuzzFlash:
Edwards deserves this week's BuzzFlash Wings of Justice Award, as the reader who nominated him declared, "For his daring race for the Democratic Presidential Primary 2008 riding on the themes of justice, integrity, a government of, for, and by the people, not the corporations, and for highlighting poverty in America and doing something about it, leading by example."
It was fitting of his campaign that Edwards began and ended his race for the White House in New Orleans, a city and people largely abandoned by the federal government.
This morning I woke up about 5:30 and read the paper. I discovered the precinct polls would be open at 6:00. Wearing a turtle neck, a pair of navy blue paints, and my poverty band that is identical to the one I gave JRE in June 2006 (and he wore for weeks), I cast my ballot at approximately 6:10. I voted for John Edwards and all of his delegates.
As the man handed me a "I voted" sticker, I took the time to write on it, "for JRE".
There were mainly Repugs who voted in my precinct. With the weather being mild, I think there will be a good turnout.
I went home, retrieved my yard sign, and took it back to the polling place and stuck it prominently where everyone could see it. I figured, what the hell, it would be better served there. The polling place is on one of the major thoroughfares in town, so everyone can see it.
I was surprised there were no Obama or Hillary signs. The other sign was for Ron Paul.
Despite many on the Daily Kos and actually one person on Taylor Marsh's site who tried to persuade me that my vote would be wasted and to vote for either Hillary or Obama, I do not believe it was. I voted for the voiceless. I voted a person who cared the most about the 46 million who do not have health care. I voted for the person who wanted to end poverty for the 37 million who may have gone to bed hungry along with their children, or the 200,00 veterans who were homeless.
I voted for a man who stood for principles. I voted for a man who had the decency to suspend his campaign and let all of us make our own decisions. And I voted for the most progressive ideas.
I voted proudly --albeit bittersweet--for John Edwards.
Update: links about similar thoughts by JRE supporters who are voting for him today or in upcoming primaries:
Gelbin has penned an excellent diary at the Daily Kos, using the theme of Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi, as to why s/he still intends to vote for John Edwards in the primary. The analysis is excellent, and supports why I intend to vote for JRE tomorrow. I have obtained permission to reprint its entirety here.
Sounds like s/he is a lot like many of us: a John Edwards Democrat.
------------------ Hello again,
Many of you have been asking me what my plans were now that John Edwards has "suspended" his bid for the presidency. Lucky for you all, I have been pretty busy over the last few days and so you didn't get a rash answer filled with tearful expletives. However, I am sure that this still won't be a straight answer...Once again, this is in the vein of a true diary, somewhat stream of consciousness, but thought out over the last few days.
The cliff notes: Edwards was right, and still is right. My second and third choices are a distant second and I don't feel worthy of a vote in either of their favor. So I am going to vote my conscience, and oppose the media and money domination of politics. I will vote for John Edwards. My analysis follows...
For those wondering how I got there, I tried to distill my thoughts below. There is a lot more that could be said about each of the candidates and more support for each of my thoughts, but I tried to provide only the necessary support for where I ended up.
My Initial Thoughts...
Well, lucky for me I was literally knee-deep in swamp muck when John took the mic in New Orleans to announce that his campaign was suspended and so I did not hear the initial coverage. But my first thought was, "wow, John is getting more media coverage on the day that he quit his campaign than in the 10 months that he campaigned." That thought quickly became a reality. Perhaps this is a slight exaggeration, but certainly only slight. The fact is that the media has avoided covering John, or perhaps, assuming there is no conspiracy, has simply irresponsibly chosen to selectively cover the other two candidates. I have had friends that literally did not realize John was still running up until the day he quit. However, I have no doubt that by now they know that he has dropped out.
In the ensuing coverage, there were a few more things that I found very revealing. First, in covering John's departure, many in the media, including NPR, initiated discussion of the Democratic race by stating, "now that it is down to a two person race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton..." Wait, what? The media has been saying it was down to a two person race between these two since the Iowa caucuses. How disingenuous is that? Now they are right, it is a two person race. But geez, at least recognize that in part it is a two person race because in fact, you willed it to be so and were covering it as such for the last month!
In addition, I found some of the coverage of the recent debate to be pretty hilarious. I heard a review of the debate on NPR and the commenter was discussing the celebrity audience that was in the studio for the debate but went on to say, "but the two biggest celebrities were up on stage..." Ok. John did not get much media attention and the attention that he did get was full of statements like, "John Edwards, who likes to refer to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as 'celebrity candidates'...." Funny. It was basically an insult to John, something like a Badge of the Incessant Whiner, when it was John that was answering questions in the press as to why he was not doing as well as he had hoped. But now, by gosh, it is the same press that finally can admit the two people it has been choosing to cover all along, two celebrity candidates. Woo hoo. It is finally not offensive or irresponsible to talk about their celebrity status because it is not going to offend the white male in the room who happens to have a fraction of the money.
We Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot
Not sure how many know the song, but it has been in my head recently and therefore I feel it must have some relevance. In any case, I feel that as a nation, we missed a huge opportunity to bring about some radical change in our government and truly restore a sense of decency, responsibility, and virtue by giving a voice back to the American people. We are at a historic moment, perhaps an all-time low in our nation's history where people are so unhappy with our current government that we are open to new ideas and serious change. I think that in all but a very modest sense, we passed up that opportunity by failing to see what John had to offer and failing to insist that the press give him the coverage that we deserved.
Though my emails, discussions, and the videos I have tried to show how remarkable a candidate John actually is. John gave at least one more distinction to add to the list when he gave his final speech from New Orleans on Wednesday, he stopped his campaign bus under a bridge to talk to the number of homeless people there aching for their voices to be heard. As my friend said in the car when we heard this, "what presidential candidate does that?" Answer: none that are left. And on that note, after he gave his speech, he went to work on a Habitat for Humanity house. Leading by example...something truly fresh in politics.
John was not just an idealistic populist, he was also the leading Democratic candidate on the issues. He was the first to detail a universal healthcare plan (later copied by Hillary), the first to take on global warming with specific plans and policies, and took the most aggressive stance on getting our troops home from Iraq. Don't take my word for it though, Paul Krugman had a great column in Friday's New York Times looking at John's impact on the Democratic race. http://www.nytimes.com/... We Eat our Own
I am not surprised that Hillary and Barack did not make efforts to show us what a great candidate John was. And I am not surprised that the Republicans or the corporate media did little to show us John's potential. But what does upset me is that the progressive and people's movement failed to point out the significant opportunity that John presented and, in doing so, failed itself and the American people. This includes progressive politicians (and ex politicians), including Al Gore, labor groups, religious leaders, and environmental groups. In fact, with few exceptions, most of these people and organizations stood silent as we watched the somewhat inevitable decline of the Edwards' campaign due to scant media coverage and self-fulfilling predictions leading to a feedback loop of dwindling support.
To illustrate, I offer two examples from contrasting corners of the progressive movement. The first, and perhaps the most frustrating, is Jim Wallis, evangelical minister and author of God's Politics and several other books on the christian social movement. Jim's frequent theme is that our politicians, despite invoking religion when it was politically suited, have done little to actually address the moral issues of our time, most importantly the problem of poverty. Along these lines, Jim sent out an email to his sojo.net mailing list just last week chiding the Democratic candidates for not discussing the important issue of poverty, ending the war in Iraq, healthcare, and global warming. He could not have intentionally picked issues more closely tied with the core of the Edwards campaign. Not only was his statement completely false, but in my view it smacks of that commandment we were given not to bear false witness against our neighbor. The fallacy of his statement is clear even if you pay just a few minutes to what John has been saying. While it may be true that if John was not included in the dialogue the two front-runners, content to throw jabs at each other for various political and character flaws, John was there to draw the discussion back to the issues. More often than not John brought the audience back to poverty, healthcare, the working poor, or global warming. What makes this so infuriating is that Jim has to be aware of the fallacy of his statement as he is extremely politically engaged and leaves me wondering whether he either was playing for another favorite or simply wants to sell more books (that point out that politicians don't do what he is saying they don't do, that John actually was doing).
The second example comes more from the mainstream "left," that is, moveon.org. Moveon had taken continuing polls and regularly showed that Edwards had the majority of support with moveon's members. However, like a good coward, moveon failed to take any position on John's candidacy until the day after John dropped out. Now that it was down to the two "change" candidates (gender change and race change), moveon initiated its final poll to determine who to throw their weight behind. How convenient.
Now, perhaps I am being far too cynical about moveon's motives, but the primary criticism that I have for moveon is not that they did not endorse the Edwards campaign, especially since moveon did have many members backing both Obama and Clinton. My criticism is that moveon failed by not taking on the mainstream media for their inadequate coverage of John's campaign and never raising their voice about the failure of our democratic system when the outcome of an election is so directly tied to big money. Where was their progressive voice for the last few months?
In contrast, there was one voice that did break the silence about John's campaign, and that was Ralph Nader. Once again, Ralph Nader spoke up for an American populace that is too busy watching reality TV to engage in the reality of the upcoming election.
Considering the Options
It appears that perhaps at least a slight majority of Edwards' supporters will be supporting Obama through the remaining primary season. This is perhaps expected as John and Barack were somewhat aligned early based on a platform of change in contrast to Hillary's long career in and around politics that more easily dubs her the status quo. For me, however, there are several reasons why I can't just simply move on to this convenient second choice. First of all, I have developed a fairly strong distrust of Obama. I see him as a personally ambitious politician that has cut the corners of truth if not directly lied to the voting public. He has downplayed his ties with the Chicago slum lord as well as lobbyists in both the state and federal governments. He called on John and Hillary to end their support from 527 groups (like swift boat, moveon, etc) in Iowa only to benefit from their unlimited money later in the primaries. http://www.nytimes.com/... The smug hypocrisy sickens me in a way that goes beyond typical politician pandering.
Then there is the question of issues. Obama launched his campaign with little or no direction on the issues. It seems that his plan from the start was to capitalize on his BArock star status to create a campaign of quantity but little quality. Yes, he inspires people to be involved with the idea of the "new American majority" whatever that is. But at this historic point in our political history, is "bipartisanship" what we really need? Isn't it bipartisanship that got us into Iraq? Rather than returning like the battered spouse to the painful bedroom, why aren't Democrats using the failures of the current administration to illustrate the reality that the Republican party simply does not represent the majority of Americans? Whether it is standing stubbornly committed to a war based on lies and misinformation or preserving Exxon Mobil's record profits while the majority of Americans suffer due to the high price of gas and heating oil, the Republican values simply are not shared by most Americans. With a Republican party so completely out of touch, the Democrats should not be talking about compromise but should be charting the new course, dictating that the government be responsive to the people. Instead, the language of the Obama Democrats sounds like we should be begging for mercy in hopes that they let us in on their game.
(More about the Obama's New American Majority: Obama has been campaigning on the claim that Hillary's voters will vote for him but that his voters will not vote for her. Does not compute. Or wait, I see. More scary stuff from Barack. What he seems to be saying is that he can inspire people to come out and vote for him, but not for anyone else. Huh. So for Barack, the election is not about the Democratic party, which I agree for the most part, but he is also saying that it is not even about the issues. It is not even about ending the Iraq war. It is not about making access to healthcare for all Americans a priority. Clearly issues that are a priority for Hillary and not for John McCain (or Mitt Robtney or....). It is becoming more and more clear, these are the politics of an overly self ambitious guy where the election is much more about HIM than it is about the party, the issues, or even the American people. Certainly there is far less difference between Hillary and Obama than McCain and Obama. But Barack does not seem to care. His statements make it clear that he is not attempting to pull people in to the Democratic party, or even to the important issues of this election season where the Democrats have the strongest and most popular positions, he just wants to pull them in to him and his celebrity. Self serving. Immature. Even divisive, perhaps? (what happened to unity, Mr. O.?) At the very least, simply unable to see the great opportunity that the Democrats have in this election and to capitalize on it. I have to say, this idea of the New American Majority is starting to really sicken me, as is the idea of an Obama in the white house.)
Then there are the negatives on substance. I still have not been able to determine how either Obama or Clinton can be both against Yucca Mountain yet be in favor of permitting and building new nuclear plants. But so it goes, Obama continues to support new nuclear plants as an environmental solution (as does Clinton). This is not only an ineffective solution to global warming, but is also terrible environmental and public health policy. Edwards was clear when he took his position against nuclear power. The same can be said for so-called clean coal. First, there is no such thing as "clean" coal. Remember, both coal and nuclear power require mining, not only energy intensive operations, but also ones that leave behind a path of environmental devastation. The error of Obama's support for clean coal, which was no doubt driven by the fact that the first coal plant with CO2 sequestering was to be built in his home state, has been made unquestionably clear in the last few days when the Department of Energy publicly changed its support for the idea based on increasing costs and unrealistic projections. Despite heavy subsidies from the government, this technology is simply not cost effective or realistic. Obama's positions on both coal and nuclear power seem to be directly driven by political donations and support rather than environmental or energy policy. There is also the weakness of Obama's healthcare plan, one that does not cover everyone and one that, according to Krugman, is not likely to happen at all. http://www.nytimes.com/... Krugman gives the upper hand to Clinton's plan, which if we remember was nearly a carbon copy of Edwards' plan announced before Hillary's. And then, of course, there is the Rezco dealing, which cannot be adequately addressed here, but the Chicago Tribune has done extensive reporting on all of which indicates that this was not simply a case where five hours of work were done for this client...
Hilary suffers from many of the same criticisms, some to a much greater degree. She leads the candidates, for both Democrats and Republicans, for money taken from the Washington inside, lobbyists, and PACs. Then there is the issue of Bill's shady fundraising and what "return" donors to his foundation will be looking for with a Clinton presidency. http://www.nytimes.com/... On the issues, perhaps the most frightening aspects of Hilary's recent political career is her stubborn refusal to acknowledge that her support for the Iraq war authority was a mistake. This combined with her recent vote to recognize the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist group," which sounds eerily familiar to the rhetoric that led up to the invasion of Iraq, make many, including myself, fear that Hillary lacks appropriate restraint when beating the war drum. Interestingly, in confirming Hillary's vote on the Iranian Guard issue, I noticed that again Obama was simply not there to vote on this resolution. Providing yet another act of political cowardice on the part of the leader of the New American Majority. At least Hillary had the guts to pull the lever, right or wrong. Overall however, there are simply way too many things that scare me about HIllary, the PACs, the lobbyists (who she boldly stated "represent the American people" - how counterfactual can you get), the defense contractor fundraising parties, the war drum that she is too wiling to bang for my personal comfort, in addition to the personal distaste for a 2 family dynasty in American politics and the divisive nature that Hillary brings as a political candidate in the general election.
A Crazy Idea, Why not Vote Republican?
I am amazed that I will even write a paragraph about this idea, but from what I have heard, I needed to look at this briefly before deciding what I would do. Looking at McCain, sure he does say one or two things that make you like the guy. I mean, he did call pharmaceutical companies "evil" and has no hesitation, unlike the majority of his Republican compatriots, calling waterboarding torture. Those two things, and his campaign finance reform may make your finger hover over his name on the touch screen for just a second. I urge you not to give in to that mirage of level-headedness. A "moderate" Republican is still a Republican. That means, in general, they will still come down on the side of big business, they will still come down against the environment, they will still come down against civil liberties, and the list goes on. Beyond the person in office, the party in control will give power to political appointees at agencies like the FDA and EPA and they will also have the opportunity to appoint federal judges, including potentially new judges on the Supreme Court. Voting for a Republican, even a McCain, is not a sound option. And let's not forget that John McCain expects us to be in Iraq for the next century!
And Romney, well, given that he is little more than a corporation wrapped in white skin, I don't feel a need to address him.
I don't trust Obama. Hillary sat on the board of Walmart, the retail definition of "the man," and remained silent during the board's discussion of its anti-union efforts. http://www.dailykos.com/... Both of them have taken way too much money from the washington inside for me to be comfortable that they will execute US policy objectively. Both of them ran campaigns with little substance whatsoever, injecting it as needed to fend off John Edwards' and the much too forgiving press. Where Hillary scares me because of her deep ties to entrenched Washington special interests, Obama scares me with his lack of substance, his anesthetic rhetoric, his ability to lie and to mislead, and his tendency to color his presentation to the audience of the day. I still don' t know who Barack "Change & Hope" Obama is (and that superbowl commercial did less to inform than to reinforce) and I still don't know who has bought and paid for Hillary Clinton.
That gets me to where I am now. I refuse to waste my vote on a candidate that had to be shamed into taking positions on the issues or proposing policy, even on the most fundamental issues facing the nation today, healthcare and global warming among others. I refuse to let the media dictate who will be our next President. I refuse to let special interest money and money from America's most wealthy dictate who will be our next president when poverty and the working poor continue to struggle. I refuse to let celebrity dominate our discussion instead of issues. I want my vote to be against all of these things.
So, I am voting for Edwards. He is the only candidate I am comfortable voting for, and a vote for Edwards also is against all of those things that I oppose. John Edwards has not withdrawn from the Democratic primary, but merely suspended his campaign. So for now, he should be keeping his delegates and our voices still should be heard. In fact, the Edwards' campaign had at one point asked that John be removed from some state's (I forget which) ballot, but since asked to have it reinstated. In the early throes of the Democratic primary, John Edwards emerged as the prophet Jeremiah, bringing the important message and issues to the forefront. I can't give anyone else the credit that he and his campaign, and only he and his campaign, deserve. Anything else would be throwing my vote away.
I would urge you all to consider doing the same - vote your conscience. If not Edwards, consider voting for some other third party candidate. Maybe one day mainstream politics will grow to reflect real people and real issues. For now, all we can do is vote.
Well said, Gelbin. I think there is going to be a lot of voters' remorse.
Here's the song, as sung by Joni Mitchell. I think the song was written by Bob Dylan.
For those who prefer the Counting Crows version, which is pretty good too, here's their version.
The EENR News suspended on January 30th, but there is a reconstituted version up that will be airing at the Daily Kos on Sunday Nights. It's similar to what I will be doing here, except longer and for events that happen during the week.
The star in my view is Tom Petty, whose band is playing most of my favorite tunes. He played "American Girl", "Free Falling", "Stand my Ground", and now "Running Down a Dream", albeit all are a bit rushed. Hell of a show.
My brother who is in the audience must be loving this.
I got teary-eyed during "Stand my Ground". I could only think of JRE. I hope JRE's enjoying his time with his family and friends.
Be looking for the Edwards Evening News for Progress tonight at the Daily Kos. I'll update this thread when it goes up.
Meantime, what did you think of the half-time show?
UPDATE: NE still only ahead by a field goal. Game still close, but the NYG are very hungry for another win.
But then there is my momma. I talked to her today and she said since Edwards was no longer campaigning and not likely to be viable or win, she is switching her vote to Hillary Clinton. She remarked that as she is going to be 77 in a couple of weeks, this may be the only time she gets to vote for a viable woman candidate. But she admits she doesn't trust Obama because he doesn't have enough experience and believes it's more about being a celebrity than being a good Democrat.
I have spoken with several Edwards supporters via e-mail, and only a couple of them have moved towards Obama. Two of them did vote for Clinton. The rest are considering either staying put until their primary (and voting for Edwards as I intend to do) or leaning towards Clinton because they are getting concerned that Obama will push further to the right. They also think the media is making too much of Obama's rhetoric.
I never thought of Clinton becoming an Anti-Barack candidate, but I think it's looking that way.
As for me, I don't have a dog or cat in the hunt after Feb 5th.
UPDATE: As I surmised would happen, Bill Richardson endorsed Clinton this afternoon.
UPDATE 2: Turns out what I read was premature on Bill R's part. There is not an endorsement, according to the Politico.
I haven't quite put my finger on what Skippy or others are pushing when it comes to blogroll amnesty, but I guess it is giving shout outs to others that we don't notice very often, or at least that is the approach Taylor Marsh has taken. Skippy is one of them. One other post today is by Tom Rinaldo, a former blogger for Wes Clark. Tom and I used to spar over at the DU, but once it became clear that Clark wasn't running again, we began to read each other's stuff more often. We met at Yearly Kos, and it was very nice to meet him. Candidly, his appearance took me by surprise, as he looks as though he never left Haight-Ashbury from 1967; I expected him to look more like a military person. That taught me a very important lesson about stereotyping.
Along that same line, I wanted to thank Taylor Marsh and her readers for not trying to change my mind in switching candidates, but to participate in the conversation as I choose. That shows class.
Over at the Daily Kos and MyDD, it has gotten to be pathetic. The Obama supporters in particular are demanding that Edwards endorse someone, and some in both camps, but mainly Obama's, have ridiculed and tried to intimidate Edwards supporters by saying their vote for him in upcoming primaries is waste of time. I find it ironic considering how many complaints there were about candidate support diaries, especially about Edwards, and now, no one is complaining about the remaining candidates, most especially Obama.
Our democracy belongs to us, it does not belong to the media nor to the Internet, albeit I trust the Internet more because folks like Taylor, Chris Bowers (Open Left), and yes, even a little blogger like me are driving the conversation. My blog has been shown on TV and because of my blog, I was asked to participate on the BBC Radio' World Have Your Say.
I've noticed that all of the remaining candidates have not endorsed anyone, although my guess is that Bill Clinton will be seeking Bill Richardson's this afternoon while they are watching the Super Bowl. I prefer none of them do. Clinton and Obama will have to earn our votes, albeit, I'm not likely to vote for either one. But I know Edwards supporters who will look at both candidates more closely at the convention.
Thanks again, Taylor, for the shoutout you gave to my blog this week. And to other bloggers, I ask that you give me and my fellow supporters time to heal before asking for our votes. Only the candidates can convince them. I drew my line in the sand a long time ago.