One reason I like Edwards is that the Beltway press hates him, and tried to take him out first
The courtiers in Versailles on the Potomac have apparently concluded that Hillary is the Democratic candidate most likely to keep their various corrupt enterprises on the government tit, uh most likely to carry their funding forward, uh, the most likely to be Moderate. (Sure, Bernstein has his book, but I'm talking the working press here.) So I guess Hillary's vote in favor of the Iraq Clusterfuck was good for something.
And I'd like to like Obama more than I do, because he seems thoughtful in a way that the others aren't, but to claim to be a movement, you've got to have a movement, and that's not the same thing as having enthusiastic crowds.
And so--leaving aside Gore, who keeps polling at a steady 15% without spending a dime--we come to Edwards. There's a semi-reasonable piece from the very well paid Nags in the Times today, which you could almost read as a make-good, except they've already fucked Edwards over so badly that nothing they do can make it good. And give Nags credit: at least his crushes are heterosexual:
Elizabeth Edwards was holding court in the sweltering basement at the Cedar County Courthouse in Tipton, Iowa....
“How many know how many members of his family went to college before he did?” Mrs. Edwards inquired.
The correct response emerged in the form of murmured guesses from a few members of the audience: None.
Mrs. Edwards nodded approvingly, and went on to question No. 2.
“How many people know what his father did?”
Again, the correct response could be heard from a few people in the audience who recalled the stock line from Mr. Edwards’ 2004 campaign speech: Worked in a mill.
Mrs. Edwards nodded proudly, so she moved in for the final question.
“How many people know the price of his most expensive haircut?”
The room burst out in a roar of laughter. Mr. Edwards grinned, barely if gamely, at the reference at the $400 hair cut that made him the subject of some derision here.
And there you go. When you think about it, Edwards has an amazing biography, and there should be more stories like his today than there are.
But as Elizabeth Edwards jokingly points out, our famously free press did Edwards serious damage with the fucking haircut story (in a classic "let's feminize the Democrats" maneuver). The VRWC managed to introduce Edwards-the-presidential-candidate to the low information voters with that story, and his numbers tanked shortly thereafter.
Edwards has the right enemies. The press, as the Howler was exhaustingly documented, just hated Gore, and the outright lies they made up about him had a great deal to do with making election 2000 close enough for Bush to steal.
And now the press hates Edwards. Why? I'd say because Edwards, through his personal biography and his post-2004 work, is equipped to have a conversation that America needs to have:
The conversation about class.
And the press, partly from self-interest, and partly because it deeply identifies with the powerful people that it teabags, desperately wants to avoid having that conversation. Can't have anything broken in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, can we?
Why is it that real wages have been flat since 1970, and a few billionaires have gotten staggeringly rich? Why is it that risk is constantly being shifted onto the shoulders of those who can least afford it, while the wealthy and the connected pull the ladder up after themselves? When the people who really run this country get a national ID and an all-powerful executive (the Bush legacy), how are they going to use that power? What happens to the culture of the mall and the automobile after peak oil? Is the empire worth keeping, since its really just a big fat subsidy for the rump districts of the Republican Party in the South?
Those are all questions we need to ask and conversations we need to have.
But I certainly can't see Hillary breathing a word about them, which is why the famously free press has made its peace with her.
And Obama may be thoughtful, but he's not giving a lot of detail on what he's thoughtful about; hope is not a strategy.
Edwards is the only one I can see raising his voice here, because as soon as you start talking about class, the rest of the conversation follows, because the class divide is the wound that infects everything else.**
So, we love him for the enemies he has made....
*And you just know, if Edwards got a $12 dollar haircut, they'd (a) call him inauthentic for that, and (b) start writing stories about how his sloppy sartorial behavior was an indicator of deep psychological problems if he ever had a hair out of place. Then they turn around and start fanning themselves over Mitt Romney's hair, fergawdsake! Couldn't we just measure their cocks and then vote on that?
** Policy prescriptions like single payer health care? Shit, that's obvious!