Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Edwards' Challenge

What Democrats have become good at in the past six years is aiding and abeting Bush. One would have thought that the past election and the next one would cause the party’s leadership to rethink their position. It has become increasingly clear however that they are incapable of anything but cosmetic changes. By all accounts, if the leadership gets its way, the Democrats will soon cave in to Bush on war funding. As is their wont, the Democrats – enough of them anyway -- will oppose the war by funding it, and support the troops by putting them in harm’s way.

Fortunately, with a primary election ahead of them, the candidates for President have to bow to popular pressure more than Nancy Pelosi does. [See “Good News/Bad News” – May 16]. Now is the time to keep them on course. John Edwards has issued a call for Democrats to defeat any war-funding bill that doesn’t include timelines for withdrawal, forcing Bush either to accept a pale approximation of a principled position or else to give up on the murder and mayhem right now. In a better world, Democratic candidates would be pushing for immediate withdrawal unequivocally. But in the actual world of abject and servile Congressional and Senatorial Democrats, Edwards’ position is about all one can hope for from a “top tier” candidate. [See “Bravo for Edwards (Sort of) – May 3.] At this point, anything more timid or equivocal crosses the line – from lesser evilism back to the outright collaborationism of the pre-2006, Clintonized Democratic Party. Now is the time to make this as clear as can be to each and every candidate, and to every legislator with ears to hear. Either they rise to Edwards’ challenge or they are utterly unworthy of support.

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