Sunday, January 27, 2008

Look! A Real, Live Democrat!


Am I missing something here? What the hell is wrong with the Democrats? For the first time since George McGovern thirty-six years ago, we have a Democratic candidate for the presidency who actually sounds like a Democrat. There's nothing vague about John Edwards' message - you know where he stands on every issue of any importance to average Americans. Unlike Barack Obama, whose heart is in the right place but who talks in poetic generalities, and Hillary Clinton - who is heartless - John Edwards has a definite, tangible vision of the new direction he wants to take America. Why isn't he catching on? Why are the American people so easily led - like sheep - by the corporate media? What in tarnations is goin' on here???

One could only be deeply moved by Senator Obama's primary victory in South Carolina last night. And Caroline Kennedy's endorsement in this morning's New York Times really hit home. In an opinion piece titled, "A President Like My Father", she wrote:

"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president - not just for me but for a new generation of Americans."

If Obama is the eventual nominee, I'll be happy and proud to have him as the Democratic standard bearer. It's foreseeable that someone like him would even be able to bring the likes of me back into the fold (I left the Dems ten years ago). But with all due respect to Ms. Kennedy, it seems to me that John Edwards could be just as inspiring to that same new generation of Americans. As I've stated on this site before, John Edwards, Like Franklin Roosevelt three quarters of a century ago, knows that corporate America is the enemy of the people; Barack Obama just doesn't seem to understand this. His insistence that he will allow the huge drug and insurance companies a seat at the table when trying to hammer out a solution to this nation's health care mess is dangerously naive. Maybe he is trying not to appear too bold. Maybe he really does understand the serious crisis this country is facing with respect to the hammerlock that the plutocracy has held on the American economy for the past twenty-seven years. One could only hope so. That he is an intelligent man is undeniable. But my problem with Obama's message is that it's too vague. John Edwards, on the other hand, is offering us a concrete new deal. I agree with Caroline Kennedy: Barack Obama is an inspiration. But so is John Edwards.
And let us not forget that the odds of history are on the side of John Edwards! This might seem to some like a trivial point but sitting senators and congressmen tend not to be elected to the presidency. The reason for this is the fact that Americans prefer Governors. The latter are known for their administrative ability - as opposed to the former who are merely legislators. The last sitting senator to be elected was John F. Kennedy in 1960. The last sitting congressmen to be elected was James A. Garfield in 1880. The fact that both of them were assassinated is a mere coincidence, I assure you. But the truth remains that when a party nominates a active legislator, they're taking a huge statistical gamble. History proves as much.
Whether the eventual nominee is Obama or Edwards, one has every reason to believe that either one of them will be the next president of the United States. Not since 1932 have the Democrats had a better shot at reclaiming the White House. But it should not be forgotten that they also have a positive genius for screwing up a good thing. Last year, I ended a piece on The Rant this way:

"Hey Democrats! You want to know another reason why I left your party almost ten years ago? You people are just dumb enough to give the nomination to Hillary Clinton! Prove me wrong, Dems! Please prove me wrong!"

Aye, there's the rub!

The Clintons are the reason I am no longer a Democrat. I don't want to go back there and neither should you.

This can not be emphasized enough: If Hillary Clinton is handed the nomination at next summer's convention, it is a certainty that the Republicans will retain control the executive branch of our hideously broken government until at least 2012. That is a chance that we can't afford to take. It is a sure bet that a Republican president will pardon George W. Bush and that he will be able to escape the punishment that is due him for the crimes he committed against the people of the United States in general, and the men, women and little children of Iraq in particular. Justice demands that he be sent to federal prison for the rest of his life. That will never happen if Hillary Clinton in nominated. The time has come to face some unpleasant facts: She can't win the general election. Let's be honest here, folks: everyone is sick of the Clintons! It seems more-than-likely that the next Republican nominee will be John McCain. Do you seriously believe that middle America will choose the Queen of the focus groups over the one-time inmate of the Hanoi Hilton?? As Frank Rich said in his column today:

"Billary can't even run against the vast right-wing conspiracy if Mr. McCain is the opponent. Rush Limbaugh and Tom DeLay hate Mr. McCain as much as they hate the Clintons. And they hate him for the same reasons Mr. McCain wins over independents and occasional Democrats: his sporadic (and often mild) departure from conservative orthodoxy...."

The only way a Hillary Clinton candidacy will motivate the Democratic party's base will be by inspiring a third-party uprising. If Al Gore had only remained true to that party's core philosophy, Ralph Nader would not have run in 2000. The choice between Hillary Clinton and any Republican is, in reality, no choice at all. And let's not forget this: Do you really think that it's a wise idea to hand the presidency over to a group of people who have emulated the campaign tactics of Karl Rove? Their methods used in smearing Senator Obama during the South Carolina primary are the most despicable used by any Democrat in at least a half a century. They should just go away - far, far away. If Hillary Clinton is chosen as the nominee this summer, for the first time since I became eligible to vote thirty years ago, I'm not even going to bother. What's the use?

"So first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is - fear itself: nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

March 4, 2008 will mark the seventy-fifth anniversary of the inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The rules and regulations that his administration set into place that saved capitalism from its own excesses worked beautifully for a half a century. Then in 1981, with the dawning of the Reagan Revolution, the New Deal came under assault. Twenty-seven years later, as in 1933, the American economy finds itself on life support. John Edwards is the only candidate who understands that the New Deal desperately needs to be resuscitated. His time has come.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

The Best of Times:
America In The Clinton Years
by Haynes Johnson


At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11:59 AM, Blogger Tabitha said...

Right on the money, Tom! Let's speak the truth here. The #1 Achilles' heel of the Repugs is short-term profit at all cost, but the equivalent for the Dems is diversity at all cost. This is what the right-wing voters keep voting against, and this is why the Dems keep losing. Diversity is like profit and greed: you can die from too much of anything, no matter how positive a lesser dose of the same thing may be.

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, the American public vote for a pretty face and someone saying 'yes we can' rather than for someone who actually does something.
I wouldn't pay attention to these early primaries. They all have flaws. Watch the big states.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Acme Data said...

Tom -

Nice rant! I'm still a Democrat, but I'm not sure what that means any more. I'm probably better calling myself a Green Progressive.

Any way, I saw your comments on AlterNet today about marijuana. Simply amazing that some people claim that we're the land of the free ...

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Myra said...

Hi Tom, Your question: Why isn't he catching on? John is a humbly patient man who doesn't assert himself in a boisterous manner like his cohorts; therefore, most people are not drawn to him - sigh.

At 11:42 PM, Blogger Jan said...

I couldn't agree more. Tom. John Edwards has the right approach to healthcare - revision and extension - but I don't think he or anyone else can pull it off. There's no way any system, not approved by insurance and health industy will pass either or both houses.

The best we can hope for is a step in the direction of a single payer system and then expand it over time.

There's simply too much money involved and too many former members of congress against universal health care.

All it will take is the idiotic cry of "socialized medicine," whatever in hell that might mean, and people will side with the industry.

People fear government involvement, never considering that Medicare/Medicaid have worked effectively despite some tampering to make it look ineffective.

That doesn't mean you don't go for all the marbles. You gotta keep pushing, even when it looks hopeless. The alterntaivre is surrender and I won't give them that.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger Fabianna said...

I don't think that Hillary Clinton will necessarily lose the final election if she is nominated. As has been said before, the Clintons have a very well-oiled campaign machine. They are liable to drum up a "third party uprising", as you mentioned, on their own. If we recall Ross Perot (I always doubted his seriousness in actually wanting to win that election or if it was just a personal ambition of his to "wake up" the people of the U.S.A. to the fact that they have more than two choices in electing a president.) He dropped out of the election when it appeared he might actually win. This is what strengthened the Democratic party that election. Prior to Perot it seemed almost certain that Bush, Sr. would be reelected. Most of the people who were planning to vote for Perot ended up voting for Clinton. Please correct me if I have my facts mixed up, I am working from a very vague memory of the times.

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry to write this Tom, but you are part of the sheep herd so easily led by the corporate media. If you really think that edwards, who is a member of bilderberg, had voted for war against iraq (and now says it was a mistake) is the right candidate, then don't complain about the situation of this country.

At 7:06 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I agree with you. Edwards' support for this war initially was a horrible mistake. But unlike Hillary Clinton, he has acknowledged as much. My perfect choice would have been Kucinich but he is now out of the picture. And as far as my being led astray by the corporate media, don't forget that they are all-but-ignoring Edwards.


Tom Degan

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Carrie said...





At 10:05 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Corley said...

Tom, excellent post. Sadly, however, looks like the points you made are soon to be moot because Sen. Edwards' is dropping out.

Why? Money issues? Party pressures? Is he hoping to tip the scales one way or the other? This race could be very different by the end of today.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Jeesh said...

Dennis K (my first choice) gone.
John E (my second choice) gone.
Hopefully, John E will throw his delegates to Barack O in exchange for the VP. The deal will help carry the southern states.
Billary is the best chance to hand the refugs another term, and Johnny McC has promised "more wars, and more wars".
This could get very "stupid" in a wink and a blink.
Tom, I also read your comments about maryjane over at Alternet. Though I'm not currently a toker, current events inspire me to fire up a huge dooby, (though my "head" is already spinning).
Watch out if the Huckster joins up with Johnny McC.
Dangerous times, daja vu, 1966.

At 6:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't forget that they[MSM] are all-but-ignoring Edwards.
Well, there ya go, Tom. Another one down. This is a real dog eat dog exercise, and they are dropping like flies. No more Rudy, though ;o) ...or as I like to call him: Judy Ruliani.
;o) Lena

At 2:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Tom!

Nice to see a fellow Democrat living up where we used to think that we were the only ones: we used to live in Chester, NY. Now (gotta be our sins) we live in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Says that you were a trucker? You maybe worked for Yellow (Maybrook)??? We did. We lived in what used to be Knollcrest Village, God only knows what it's called now.

Still, I didn't write to chitchat about the old homeplace, (though I couldn't resist!) but to tell you how eerie it felt for me, to read your blog. It mirrors our thinking to a "T" (weirdest of all) cause I KNOW the politics (or, I used to!) of where you live. Solid RED TO THE CORE. Anyway, I/we thought we were the only Dems up there. Good to know that our breed has expanded!

OK. Now, remember how Hillary was laughed at with her remark about a "vast right-wing conspiracy"? So now we know how right she was. But those of us who recalled George the First already knew that the NeoCONS would stop at nothing to take over this country. Problem is, I'm pretty sure that it's already happened, and that the "America" that we will die in, bears more resemblance to Communist Russia than it does to the America that we all were born in.

That saddens me more than there's any words to say. We were so great, and we let ourselves get taken over by a gang of thugs who've dug themselves in, made a foxhole of DC, and in general seem that they're not going anywhere. Me 'n John used to go out at midnight (truck) and listen to Rush and LAUGH! For the longest time we thought he was a friggin' COMEDIAN!!! We never put 2 + 2 together, that all you could listen to after midnight on talk radio was conservatrash--and if you'd have told us back then (1987-97) that we were listening to (and laughing at!) the very garbage that would someday be running this country, we'd have died laughing.

Well, we're sure not laughing now. We've been invaded and probably conquered as well, and it might as well have been done by Communist China (wait a minute, didn't Georgie-Boy sell them all our money?!) with the effect it's had on our country. These pigs went after every facet of our government--our schools, police, everything--and left us with an EPA that protects nothing, and an FDA who's every bit as effective as FEMA was after Katrina. The only working agency is Homeland Security, and it's subsumed every other agency into it EXCEPT the IRS, and the only reason that's still safe is that it's being used against the Middle Class, and as a money pit for these pigs to dip their paws into. It's no accident that only Congress & the Senate get free healthcare while the rest of us rot. They plan to outlive us and they've made a great start of it.

Anyway--this is YOUR rant, not mine, so I'll say goodnight now and wish you all the best. I would like to express confidence that this country can once again rise from the ashes, but after all I've seen, I'll have to see that to believe it. Would go a long way if the corporatocracy would loosen its death grip on our media, but that's as likely to happen asit is for our beloved country to travel back into time when it'd have been the easiest thing for all of us--ALL--to have recognized the abyss that America was standing over, in 2000, and ALL go to the polls and vote Gore in. But we were like children playing, not knowing it was time to come in (to the polls), not knowing the dark was coming. Now IMHO it may well be too late--Obama OR Hillary or (as I thought it'd be) a Hillary/Obama or Obama/Hillary ticket...

The repukes know well how to re-trench, and McCain (with the corporate war machine solidly behind him) vs Hillary, doesn't give me much hope. Edwards might have got us our country back. Edwards, or Kucinich. But they're both gone, and though I like Hillary & Obama, and they're truly good people--they're neither one of them either Edwards OR Kucinich.

See? It's 1:30 AM here in the Lone Star State but I guess (with that last remark) that I'm still dreaming while wide-awake.

So--g'nite, and thanks for being there. Now, I think I can actually sleep...Val Fitzgerald

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Steve said...

Just heard you on c-span via xm radio. Nice blog, very cogent!


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