John Edwards

Why is Newt Gingrich allowed to be all over my teevee and yet John Edwards is radioactive?  Morally, what is the difference between the two men?  They both cheated on sick wives.

Why is John Kennedy considered one of the greatest presidents of all time, yet John Edwards is radioactive?  JFK screwed around with more women than Edwards could ever dream of, yet no one has any problem whatsoever with this.

Bill Clinton is a hero in the Democratic Party, and is treated like royalty, and yet John Edwards is radioactive.  Why?  When it came to adultery, the Big Dog was in a league of his own.

How is John Edwards any worse than Rudy Giuliani, Eliot Spitzer, David Vitter, or any of the countless other politicians who have cheated on their wives--and were allowed to continue their careers?

To be clear, I was never an Edwards supporter.  I never voted for him or donated money to him.  I just think that the way he is treated relative to other cheating politicians is a little unfair.    

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Kudos to the Grand Old Party

I'm certainly no fan of the GOP, but I just wanted to congratulate Michael Steele as the first African-American head of the Republican National Committee.  

Say what you will about the true motivations of Republicans by making Steele their most prominent spokesperson, but this is a real step forward for this country: The leaders of both major parties are African-American men.

For this day--and probably only this day--I think the Republican Party deserves some respect.  

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The Scorpion and The Frog

As the Senate Democrats gleefully rejoice over sticking it to the base that helped put them into office and gave them the majority they now enjoy, they might be wise to keep in mind the fable of The Scorpion and The Frog:

The Scorpion and the Frog

One day, a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.

The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn't see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.

Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.

"Hellooo Mr. Frog!" called the scorpion across the water, "Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?"

"Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!"

Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. "What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!"

"This is true," agreed the scorpion, "But then I wouldn't be able to get to the other side of the river!"

"Alright do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?" said the frog.

"Ahh...," crooned the scorpion, "Because you see, once you've taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!"

So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog's back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog's soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.

Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"You fool!" croaked the frog, "Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?"

The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog's back.

"I could not help myself. It is my nature."

Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river.

Every time Joe Lieberman undercuts the Democratic agenda--especially in the realm of foreign policy--the senators who voted for Lieberman can at least take heart that they got to make "The Left" look foolish today.

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Time to Go, Joe!

I just wanted to make a couple of points regarding the Joe Lieberman situation:

1. As I noted in a previous Joe Lieberman thread, I really really really don't like the idea of the Democratic caucus voting anonymously on Lieberman's fate.  I want them to do it in the light of day and I want every damn vote to be recorded.  I want to know which spineless weasels voted for Lieberman to keep his chairmanship and which ones had the courage to stand up and do the right thing.

2. Something everyone seems to be forgetting: If John McCain had won the presidency I guaran-damn-tee you Joe Lieberman would have bolted the Senate, and his beloved Democratic caucus, to become McCain's Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State or whatever.  It was absolutely going to happen.  And when he did that, the Republican governor of Connecticut would have appointed a Republican senator to fill his slot.  So why exactly should the Senate Democrats be courteous and kind to Lieberman when he would have happily screwed them over on his way out the door had McCain won?  

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Dueling New Republics

Over at the New Republic blog titled "The Stump" Noam Scheiber says that now is a good time for Obama to start aggressively challenging McCain's honor by drawing attention to the dishonest and incredibly negative turn his campaign has taken in the past few weeks:

Sticking with the rope-a-dope theme, I'd say early next week is the perfect time for an Obama ad accusing McCain of sacrificing his honor to win the White House.

Okay, sounds good.  But then over at "The Plank" fellow TNR writer Jason Zengerle says that this could be a mistake because Obama will look like he's complaining--or something:

It also makes you wonder whether, however many years from now, Obama people will celebrate their ad (finally) responding to McCain's low-road attacks as a smart counterpoint; or whether they'll regret it as an instance where (to borrow a phrase) they stopped talking about their reform agenda and started talking about process, what McCain was saying about them.

Honestly, I have read so much contradictory advice this campaign season from so many liberal pundits, I began wondering: Do conservative pundits engage in this much hand-wringing and armchair-quarterbacking, or is this just a liberal phenomenon?  How many times have you read a sentence that begins with, "Obama needs to...." in the past month?

Personally, I'm getting sick of it.  I think we should all declare a moratorium on unsolicited campaign advice.  Who's with me?

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Who Would be Obama's Palin?

I've been thinking about this ever since Friday, when McCain announced his VP pick: Who do you believe would have been the equivalent of Gov. Sarah Palin in the Democratic Party?  

In other words, who could Obama have chosen for VP that would have fired up the liberal base like crazy with extreme left-wing views, but would also scare the hell out of moderates, centrists, and independents once their positions were widely known?  [And pump up conservative Republicans as well?]

Dennis Kucinich?  Mike Gravel?  I'd like to open this up to the MyDD community.  Any suggestions?  

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When that text message says "Joe Biden"

How will you react?

Will it mean that Obama feels he doesn't have enough national security credibility and therefore needs to bring in a foreign policy "expert" to fill in those gaps in his resume?

Will Joe Biden be making all of the difficult foreign policy decisions in Obama's White House--a la Dick Cheney?

How does Joe Biden, who has worked in DC longer than any human alive, represent "change"?  Does Joe Biden's vote for the Iraq War muddle Obama's "judgment over experience" argument?  Is it important to be "right on day one"?

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Some Evidence Clark Might be the VP?

General Wesley Clark had a very curious response recently when asked by Alan Colmes on his radio show about possibly becoming Barack Obama's VP.  Here's my rough transcript:

Colmes: You know there's a lot of people who would like to see Barack Obama choose you as his running-mate.  Any chance of that happening?

Clark: You know I just I don't have a thing to say about it honestly.

Colmes: Ha ha.  Have you been vetted?

Clark: I just...I have no idea.  I have no knowledge of any of it.

Colmes: Really?  It would be a pretty good job right?

Clark: Well, I think it would be wonderful to be vice-president of the United States in principle.

Then Clark quickly changes the subject to the Georgia-Russia situation.  Does this mean anything?  I have no idea whatsoever.  It's interesting though, and I thought I would throw it out there.  I mean, Clark could have easily swatted down this VP speculation but he didn't.  Combine this with the Wednesday night theme of the Democratic Convention (honoring veterans, securing America, etc.) and there could be a discernible pattern here.


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VP Advice for Obama

I was reading a VP discussion over at Ezra Klein's American Prospect blog and a commenter named "Mike B"made a very astute point about the prospect of choosing Sen. Evan Bayh as veep:

I think the veep choice is going to be a signal for how Obama feels about his own chances. If it's Bayh--the safest, blandest, least interesting choice possible, and someone who isn't a natural fit with his message or style--he's terrified that the race doesn't favor him. It's the kind of dumb decision made out of fear instead of rationality, and it's at the root of the problems that have been screwing up our party for decades.

I think this is exactly right.  To be sure, as the pundits and political junkies discuss Barack Obama's VP options, I just wanted to offer some (unsolicited) advice to the junior senator from Illinois: Trust your instincts.

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