Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Life After Edwards

Like a lot of us out in the far left wing of the Democratic Party (and like a lot of white males, I'm told), I backed John Edwards. Now that he's out of the race, I have to do some fast thinking between now and Super-duper Tuesday, when it's my turn to vote in a primary.

As you may have gathered, I'm not a big fan of the Clintons -- although I have higher hopes for Hillary than I ever did for Bill. Hillary, I believe, could be quite good at moving legislation through Congress, and I rather like her wonkishness. I've always distrusted charisma, and in my recollection, JFK didn't accomplish much of anything in his 1000 days. It was Lyndon Johnson, the consummate politician, who really moved forward the cause of social justice.

I'm impressed by Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama. Ted Kennedy has been on what I think of as the right side of the vast majority of issues over the years, but I honestly can't say I know just why Kennedy endorsed Obama. Did one or both of the Clintons do something that left Ted pissed off? Could it be that Teddy sees himself exercising more influence in an Obama Administration than he ever could in a Clinton Administration? Or does he genuinely think that Obama would be a better candidate, or a better president? I don't know.

Something that would move me towards one candidate or the other would be a commitment to filibuster the so-called "Protect America" act, the Bush/Cheney assault on the Constitution that would legalize warrantless wiretapping and give retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that cooperated in previous illegal wiretaps. So far, neither Hillary nor Barack has done so -- and agreeing to the fifteen-day extension of the law proposed by the House will not give me any satisfaction. I want to know what each of them means to do before February 5.

No comments: