Edwards Evening News: Saving Democracy Edition

Is it just me, or does John Edwards sometimes remind anyone else of your typical superhero?  You know, fighting for the little guy, saving democracy, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?  Well, OK, maybe not that last one, but the man is inspiring.

Today, John gave a speech in New Hampshire that was all about saving democracy.  After years of having politicians tell us that the best we can expect is incremental change within our broken system, it is quite astounding to hear someone actually tell the truth about what is wrong with our system, and propose major reforms to fix it. To me, having the courage to confront our big problems and offer real solutions makes John a real hero, despite the conspicuous lack of spandex in his wardrobe.

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Mario Cuomo, former New York Governor, Blogs on the Challenges Facing Our Next President

Everyone remembers former Governor of New York Mario Cuomo's famed speech at the 1984 Democratic Convention. Even me (and I was 5).  In it he said:  "President Reagan told us from the very beginning that he believed in a kind of social Darwinism. Survival of the fittest. `Government can't do everything,' we were told, so it should settle for taking care of the strong and hope that economic ambition and charity will do the rest. Make the rich richer, and what falls from the table will be enough for the middle class and those who are trying desperately to work their way into the middle class." The speech could have just as easily been delivered in 2007 as 1984. So as the country plunges into another Presidential election cycle, Governor Cuomo, a practitioner and one of the left's most eloquent voices, once again asks to candidates to step back and examine their governing philosophy and the challenges the country faces, arguing that pat answers and rhetoric are insufficient to address them.

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Coonsey's View

Don't forget to go visit Coonsey's View Blog/Forum.  It's new and needs to be read and commented on.

Check it out: Http:/www.freewebs.com/coonsey

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The Best Government Money Can Buy 2

    In the last article, I wrote that I had 3 opening proposals to wrest our government away from the corporations and the special interest groups that now dictate our political policies and direct our national debate. Like the tick or the octopus with its sticky tentacles, loosening the hold of corporations and special interest money will be difficult and will require the efforts of all of us. These guys rely on the apathy of the masses to continue their hijacking of our government and elected officials. Here are my proposals and I welcome comments and other suggestions on the part of fellow concerned citizens.

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Hillary Clinton On The Need For A Return To Competent Government

I had the opportunity to see a forum Hillary Clinton held at Viacom hq in New York on Monday.

Clinton's appearance began with a variation on her stump speech, spelling out her agenda, everything from fighting global warming to ending the war in Iraq. As she spoke, it became clear that her remarks were more than merely a list of unrelated agenda items, but rather she was subtly advancing a cohesive narrative for her campaign, one that capitalizes both on what the country desperately needs now and what her unique experience represents, a message of both moving forward and looking back; as Bob Schrum put it on Meet The Press on Sunday:

[The Clintons] tried this week to redefine change as nostalgia...They understand that she is the establishment candidate in a change election.

As I wrote last  week, Clinton's high "strong leader" numbers appear tied directly to the idea that she has already presided over a successful presidency and after hearing Clinton speak, I can see that the way she is framing that experience is in terms of returning to a time when government worked, or as she put it:

to once again be an effective functioning government not only here at home but around the world.

To make her case, Clinton repeatedly made subtle allusions to her own experience, dog whistle code, of course, for the "Clinton years":

- I have a clear idea of how difficult this job is and post Bush and Cheney it will be even harder.

- Whether it be fighting global warming, global terrorism, or bird flu - we need to create alliances, treaties, what used to work post-cold war has to be able to work in this new century.

In addition, she made repeated references to the role of government and the importance that it function properly, code, it seems to me for the very thing that has been lacking in the Bush administration: competence:

- We have to repair the way government functions

- We can't afford a non-functioning government

It's an effective strategy and I think touches on a theme that all Democratic candidates should be running on.

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