Usually when politicians make a mistake they will have the sense to either drop the point (or sometimes try to rewrite history such as Bill Clinton on Iraq). One exception is John Edwards, who shows once again why Bob Shrum called him a “lightweight” and “a Clinton who hadn’t read the books” and why a National Journal survey ranked him as the most overrated Democratic candidate.
Edwards’ anti-Democratic threats against Congress should they fail to pass his flawed health care plan have been the subject of criticism both for being unrealistic as first proposed and for being far too similar to the Republican efforts to concentrate excessive power in the Executive Branch. When Edwards first brought up his threats the idea was generally laughed at but didn’t get very much attention. After raising this threat again in an ad in mid November, Edwards received wide spread criticism. Edwards has apparently learned nothing about how democratic nations work since his days of working on the Patriot Act.
Any sensible politician would realize it was time to drop the idea, but Edwards has decided to continue to play the authoritarian populist despite a steady drop in support which some, such as David Yepsen, see as a possible collapse. John Edwards repeated his threat in an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio.
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said it’s “absolute nonsense” to suggest he’s grandstanding with his vow to take government health coverage away from Congress if it fails to adopt a plan that insures all Americans.
“It is nonsense, absolute nonsense. We are going to have to have someone who goes in and shakes things up,” Edwards said Monday during “The Exchange with Laura Knoy” on New Hampshire Public Radio.
Critics of the former North Carolina senator point out it would take a change in federal law, not an executive order, to remove health care from Congress, which has the same plan as all federal government employees.
Edwards is currently tied with Bill Richardson for third place in New Hampshire, a state with libertarian leanings where his populist message is not as welcome as in Iowa.