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Thursday, July 19, 2007

A progressive bites on the haircut scam

On the Tapped blog, Mark Schmitt goes through an excruciating examination whether John Edwards really, really, really believes in fighting poverty, or is just using it cynically as a political device. WHY CAN'T JOHN EDWARDS CONVINCE ME HE CARES ABOUT POVERTY?

. . . . it's also a problem that John Edwards just doesn't seem able, at least to me, to talk about poverty in a way that convinces me that he has done more than choose to talk about it because he wants to seem like the kind of person who would choose to talk about it.

This kind of intense probing into the mind of any candidate who has consistently stated a strong position is really un-useful, and potentially damaging in the long run. It is also carrying water for the GOP. The Republicans do that to Democratic candidates through trivia that the major media have been dutifully channeling to the public. It brings the focus onto the candidate as a person, while diminishing the importance of the governing philosophy, policies and people he or she will bring to a new administration – always a Republican shell game to hide their basically unpopular real agenda. Edwards has given not the slightest reason to doubt that he will continue to be a forceful advocate of greater economic equality and the elimination of poverty. So what gives here? Oh, yes, it’s the haircut and the square footage of his house. In other words, I ask in my extreme ignorance of history and current affairs, how can a wealthy man really be an advocate for the poor? Why it’s downright hypocritical. There’s no authenticity there, indeed, no “there” there. He’s a phoneeeey – just like Gore, like Kerry (and like Hillary and, next, like Obama). Bingo! It sneaks its way even into the progressive minds. High fives are flying again at GOP oppo research.


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