Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

John Edwards: 'Just Say No' to lobbyists!

In a new YouTube video from the Edwards campaign, John Edwards, speaking in New Hampshire, borrows a famous phrase from Nancy Reagan: "Just Say No!" The only drug Edwards is talking about here is the drug that Washington, DC is on -- lobbyist money.

This won't be the first time that I've seen Edwards's rhetoric compared to Reagan's, but there is a major difference. John Edwards is not anti-government; he is anti-bad-government. Edwards is using the Reagan phrase to combat the corruption in Washington, for which the Republican Party has been largely, though not exclusively, responsible.

Will corporate greed be all that we value as we move forward into this global economy, or will we put workers and families first, so that all jobs paid fair wages, every American has health care, and corporate profits work for democracy, not the other way around?

Edwards says there is a clear choice ahead for the Democratic Party.

The choice for our party could not be any clearer. We cannot replace a group of corporate Republicans with a group of corporate Democrats. Just swapping the Washington insiders of one party for the Washington insiders of another is not what we need. The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.

Now, the Clinton campaign has tried to make this all about Clinton, but it's clear that that's not what it's about. The Lincoln bedroom phrase may be recognizable shorthand for undue favors being given to political friends, but Bush has also rented out the Lincoln bedroom. Furthermore, the reference to the House and the Senate shows that this is about corruption throughout the federal government.

Rather than being distracted by accusations that this is an attack on another Democrat, I think we should ask ourselves, what kind of Democratic Party do we want?

Personally, I think lobbyist influence has run rampant in Washington for way too long. I'm with Edwards on this, and I'm glad he's finally speaking out more publicly about other politicians taking the lobbyist money that he has refused for his entire 10 year political career.

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