An Open letter to (former) Senator John Edwards:
Dear Senator Edwards: We applaud your career as a lawyer, and your winning the North Carolina senate race in 1998. However, we suspect that you and your staff were "taken under the wing" by the staff of the Senior Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms, just as incoming freshman Senator Barak Obama was once 'taken under the wing' of Senator Joe Lieberman, who may have started his political career as a social liberal or progressive, but now votes reliably with Republican conservatives on all issues regarding big business (and the Bush-Cheney administration's war in Iraq).
That (being taken 'under the wing' by Senator Helm's staff) is the only explanation we can come up with to understand how such an articulate, passionate, and informed a leader as yourself was so entirely muted during your term as senator -and the fact is, you would not have won reelection in North Carolina for senate even if you had run. North Carolina had suffered a "triple-whammy" of economic woes since you became senator - they lost their textile & furniture industries at the same time that the Bush administration budget slashings were tearing down social welfare and job training programs - and you were nowhere to be found in speaking out for those affected by the JOB OUTSOURCING and budget slashings.
At least in 2004 you did not repeat Joe Lieberman's 2000 travesty, running for both Vice President AND senate races! I've always thought that Al Gore failed miserably in his selection of Mr. Lieberman to be his running mate - Not only was Lieberman so lacking in faith in the Gore-Lieberman campaign that he refused to drop his senate race, but the CLUELESS Al Gore REFUSED to DEMAND that he withdraw from the VP nomination. (Or, more to the point, Gore should have demanded the Lieberman drop his senate race BEFORE accepting the VP nomination.)
Which brings us to the present. I was heartened to see you on national news coverage last night (Lou Dobbs?) insisting that Democrats should in no way back down from the president's Iraq spending bill VETO. You took an issue that the president is trying to use as his strength - the veto - and trying to make it look like HE is the one OBSTRUCTING PROGRESS.
Which is exactly how it should be. We hope you will continue to push and shove and portray the Bush-Cheney White House in an honest light - that their oversight of the Iraq war and US economy is corruption bordering on CRIMINAL:
#1. Selecting Mike "Heckuva job, Brownie!" Brown to head FEMA - with ZERO disaster experience or management qualifications!)
#2. That not only did the Bush-Cheney administration DO NOTHING to prevent HALLIBURTON from looting stockholders and investors with their fraudulent accounting and "turn debt into assetts" subsidiary schemes, but the Bush-Cheney administration ACTIVELY ENCOURAGED Enron's EXTORTION of California rate-payers, by using coordinated power-plant shutdowns and other tactics to make electricity rates skyrocket.
#3. That Vice President Cheney CONTINUES TO BENEFIT FROM HIS HALLIBURTON STOCK-OPTIONS, which ratchet up in price with every billion dollars of NO BID, NO OVERSIGHT CONTRACTS that the Vice President and his administration ship to Halliburton in Iraq and in post-Katrina Louisiana and Mississippi.
#3. That the Bush-Cheney administration practically wallows in their ability to COUNT VOTES, with NO RECOUNT, AUDIT, or VERIFICATION mechanism - the Republicans gleefully ignorning President Reagan's dictim, "Trust - but VERIFY."
#4. And, in coordination with their ability to make massive amounts of Democratic votes DISAPPEAR into the electronic ether, the Republicans have sought to USE THE US JUSTICE DEPARTMENT - the law-enforcement arm of the entire US government - to INTIMIDATE and DISENFRANCHISE LEGAL VOTERS.
The above four items is only a partial list of Bush-Cheney-Republican CRIMINALITY - we haven't even included the federal felony CONVICTIONS of Abramoff, Cunningham, Libby, Ney and others in our list! - which means that Democrats are NOT DEFENDING THEIR VOTERS AND CONSTITUENTS from a rogue, criminal administration.
A few weeks ago, there was a tempest-in-a-teapot that KATIE COURIC had been "overly tough" on you and your wife regarding your wife's medical condition. This is just to say, Senator Edwards, that American voters DO NOT WANT a candidate who looks like they need help in - an interview with Katie Couric!
You need to ditch the "Conventional Wisdom" and go with the convictions of your upbringing and life. GO ON THE OFFENSE! Turn Katie Couric's aggressive questions into opportunities! "Katie, not everyone in America has excellent health-care coverage THAT YOU or I have. We are running this campaign to FIGHT for the right for all Americans who need it to get the same excellent care as Elizabeth is getting."
Senator Edwards, Americans are TIRED of having their jobs OUTSOURCED, having their pensions GUTTED, having their votes STOLEN, having their treasury LOOTED, having their media CONTROLLED by big-business and big-religion. We are looking for a leader who DOES NOT TAKE ORDERS, or badgering, from the Katie Courics and David Broders and George Wills and Rupert Murdochs of America. THEY all have their million-dollar penthouses and pension portfolios.
We Americans are looking for a leader who can FIGHT BACK against the conventional wisdom, someone who can take their asinine TALKING POINTS and skillfully, articulately, and forcefully TURN THEM BACK against "the establishment", against the media mavens who yucked it up at when President Bush did his comedy sketch of looking under the White House desk for weapons of mass destruction. (The video was shown, to hoots and laughter, at the White House correspondents dinner, the assembled media-press thinking it hilarious that a WAR had been started for reasons that had little to do with reality.)
Senator Edwards, RONALD REAGAN was the model for a politician being forceful and commanding in person, without being brutal or gruff. (Not counting his economic policies, which were brutal.)
We implore you to master the art of turning INANE media questions back on the questioner - tell the multi-millionaire media anchor that NOT ALL AMERICANS HAVE THE LUXURY OF GOOD HEALTH CARE, and that you are FIGHTING the Conventional Wisdom, because it is time that ordinary Americans have a voice in government, and not be drowned out my millionaire pundits and billionaire media owners.