Light Weight Edwards Attempts To Play the Jury

If John Edwards really had ideas he believed in, he would respond to his opponents by presenting arguments why his plans are better. However, being a lightweight who I doubt even understands all the policy papers he has had staffers write, he choses instead to attempt to play the jury. Rather than defending his own ideas, Edwards is whining to the media and the voters that Hillary Clinton and now Barack Obama have stolen his ideas.

Edwards might just as well complain that Obama stole the English language from him as he was using it first (having been born earlier). There is nothing in either Edwards health care plan or his position on nuclear disarmament which others have not also spoken about. This is true about virtually every position in every race. All the candidates have consulted with experts in the fields and all the candidates look back at ideas proposed by others to synthesize their own platforms.

Edwards made statements about a variety of topics in this election cycle only because he started campaigning earlier. As I noted earlier, Obama’s statements on nuclear disarmament are similar to the views of Ronald Reagan. While I doubt that Ronald Reagan took any ideas from John Edwards, I wouldn’t put it past Edwards to claim this if he thought he could get away with it.

There are similarities between the views of all the Democratic candidates on health care, but Obama takes a significantly different approach than Edwards. In 2003 John Kerry rejected mandates understanding how this goes against the grain of most American voters. Kerry still could not fight criticism that his primarily voluntary plan represented a “government take over of health care.” This year only Obama realizes that the goal is to offer means to assist those who are unable to get affordable coverage and has not fallen for the phony goal promoted by Edwards that only universal care is worthy of consideration. Any plan which includes mandates begins with two strikes against it, and Edwards got his third strike in calling for making preventative care mandatory.

This is a country where there is considerable protest over simply being required to wear a helmet on a motorcycle. Democrats became a minority party largely because of failing to understand that most Americans may require certain government assistance but generally desire as little interference from government in their lives as possible. Democrats retook control of Congress largely because the Republicans have been taken over by social conservatives who became even more intrusive in the lives of Americans than the Democrats. If the Democrats see this as a mandate for any big government idea they come up with they will find themselves in the minority for another generation at least.

Hearing Edwards making statements about making preventative care mandatory demonstrated why he will never be able to sell his plan to American voters and raised questions as to his understanding of health care. This only reinforced doubts about Edwards as someone who made healthcare a cornerstone of his campaign but didn’t know that Cuba has a government run health care system, especially as he asked this just a few days after recommending that people watch Sicko. The more Edwards attempts to talk policy, as opposed to these desperate attacks on his opponents, the more he reinforces the view of Bob Shrum that Edwards is “a Clinton who hadn’t read the books.”

Edwards can attempt to spin his conversion on Iraq but no amount of razzle dazzle from him will convince the jury that he wasn’t guilty of gross misjudgment in his support for the war, as well as the Patriot Act. A primary concern in choosing among the candidates in foreign policy is whether they have the judgment to determine whether it is necessary to go to war. This is a decision which can only be made correctly prior to the war and second guessing years later does not excuse the initial mistakes of either John Edwards or Hillary Clinton.

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