John Edwards, Before & After
January 26, 2008
Charles Krauthammer writes that John Edwards has a serious problem deciding exactly what he’s for and when he’s for it.
As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it “radically overhauled.”
As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it “a good bill … and I am pleased to support it.” He now attacks it.
As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. Need I say? He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.
Breathtaking. People can change their minds about something. But everything? The man served one term in the Senate. He left not a single substantial piece of legislation to his name, only an astonishing string of votes on trade, education, civil liberties, energy, bankruptcy, and, of course, war that now he not only renounces but inveighs against.
This is interesting because I think it points to a greater problem within the modern Democratic party, which has defined itself in terms of the Republican platform. Unable to manufacture economic strategies relevant after the 50s and foreign policies that actually worked, the Democrats shape-shifted continually to keep in step with their new appointment as the party of pure social progressivism. The tally has not been kind though. Since 1980, GOP to Democratic presidential years count 20-8.
And people like John Edwards probably explain why.
Have a happy weekend.