Tag Archives: john edwards

Obama the Listener?

Courtesy New York Times and OpenLeft

Will Hillary Clinton Listen to Anyone Advising Her to Quit? — New York Magazine
But now two months have passed since Edwards dropped out—tempus fugit!—and still no endorsement. Why? According to a Democratic strategist unaligned with any campaign but with knowledge of the situation gleaned from all three camps, the answer is simple: Obama blew it. Speaking to Edwards on the day he exited the race, Obama came across as glib and aloof. His response to Edwards’s imprecations that he make poverty a central part of his agenda was shallow, perfunctory, pat. Clinton, by contrast, engaged Edwards in a lengthy policy discussion. Her affect was solicitous and respectful. When Clinton met Edwards face-to-face in North Carolina ten days later, her approach continued to impress; she even made headway with Elizabeth. Whereas in his Edwards sit-down, Obama dug himself in deeper, getting into a fight with Elizabeth about health care, insisting that his plan is universal (a position she considers a crock), high-handedly criticizing Clinton’s plan (and by extension Edwards’s) for its insurance mandate.

Now, it’s quite possible that Obama is misleading the greater part of his electoral coalition in his rhetoric on the Iraq War, his rhetoric on free trade, and his lack of movement in the Senate on immigration. It’s also possible that Obama can get better results sitting down with our nation’s enemies than he can chatting with John Edwards.

But given the choice between John McCain, a candidate who elevates the discussion on globalization, and Barack Obama, who’s current campaign plan is warmed over identity politics, I guess I’m not “hoping” for “change.”

Preferences from the top tier

Republican Party
Preferred Winner: Rudy Giuliani. Great things on foreign policy, and his federalist conservatism is a welcome break from Bush’s evangelicalism. Only drawback: uncertainty on judges.
Back-up Winner: Fred Thompson. An unambitious people-person with a conservative orientation, Thompson is the Bush ’00 of ’08. Drawbacks: Vague beliefs, comes across as old.
Please no: Mitt Romney. Mitt agrees with you on the issues. Because he’s supported both sides of all of them.

Democratic Party
Preferred Winner: Hillary Clinton. If she governs like it was Bill’s third term, thins would generally be alright.
Backup Winner: Barack Obama: A post baby-boomer President is attractive as such, as is someone with Barack’s biography.
Please no: John Edwards. Can he possibly be serious about anything he says???

Generic Ballot
Preferred Winner: Republican Party.
At its wingnut extreme, the Republican Party is stupid. The Democratic Party and its extreme, though, is anti-American. I’ll take idiotic over treacherous.

Giuliani Right on Health Care

Sentora, M. (2007). Giuliani seeks to transform U.S. health care coverage. New York Times. August 1, 2007. Available online: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/01/us/politics/01giuliani.html.

Neither his plan nor the article covering it are perfect, but hard not to like this:

Rudolph W. Giuliani on Tuesday called for transforming the way health care coverage is provided in the United States, advocating a voluntary move from the current employer-based system to one that would grant substantial tax benefits to people who buy their own insurance.

..

And to help the poor or others struggling to afford health insurance, Mr. Giuliani said he would support vouchers and tax refunds, but he gave no details about how he would pay for them.

Mr. Giuliani’s vision stands in stark contrast to the plans offered by the leading Democratic candidates. Both Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina have proposed bolstering the employer-based system by requiring corporations to buy insurance for their workers, and raising taxes or rolling back tax cuts to increase subsidies for health care for the poor.

Corporatism, the idea that companies should be simultaneously protected by the government but expected to fund welfare societies for their workers and dependents, is one of those bad ideas that are just hard to killed. From China’s State-Owned Companies to Detroit’s dinosaurs, too many enterprises and too many workers have been dragged down because governments made the stupid prediction that large companies cannot possibly go bankrupt.

There needs to be some form of universal healthcare, and it should be at least funded by the government through the income tax. Calls for “employer-based healthcare,” like from the junior Senator from Illinois and former junior Senator from North Carolina, are steps in the wrong direction.

John Edwards, President for the Last Century

“Restore American Workers’ Right to Organize,” by John Edwards, One America Committee personal email, 19 April 2005.

In a list email (which is not online yet), John Edwards shows he would make a popular President… if this was 1960.

As I have been traveling across the country looking at ways to help families escape poverty and join the middle class, I have seen time and time again that joining a union is one of the best ways to lift people out of poverty. Americans in unions earn 27% more than Americans not in unions.

Today, Congress is introducing bipartisan legislation to restore a worker’s right to organize. The Employee Free Choice Act would make it harder for employers to prevent workers from joining a union.

All too often, America’s workers face harassment and intimidation when they try to join a union. They work hard for our country, but our laws aren’t working for them. This important legislation would change our laws so that workers – not employers – can decide whether to start a union.

Please help America’s workers by contacting your Senators and U.S. Representative and asking them to cosponsor this critical legislation immediately.

This bill would ensure a worker’s right to join a union by requiring employers to recognize a union if a majority of employees have designated the union as their bargaining representative. Also known as “card check,” this system offers a free and fair way for American workers to decide whether to join a union.

And this act strengthens penalties against employers who violate the rights of their workers while they are trying to organize a union and negotiate their first contract.

Americans all across the country want the chance to build a better life for their families. They want a fair wage, good health care coverage and the option of joining a union. It is wrong for employers to interfere with their right to organize.

We need your help to ensure that the rights of America’s workers are protected. By asking your representatives in Congress to support this legislation, you can help build an America that respects the rights of all its citizens.

Even putting aside the bill’s afront to federalism, or its interventionism, it’s still a bad idea.

Unions are legal cooperatives of workers who band together to fight an employer’s market power. Fine. They are part of capitalism. But they shouldn’t be encouraged by an interventionist state. They impeed corporations’ flexibility and efficiency. They hurt America in world competition. They provide very little benefit to non-unionized workers.

A modern left-of-center economic approach should focus on raising all Americans: improved health care, improved education, an improved retirement system. Those are structural fixes which I expect modern Democrats to propose. Not sops to a dead economy and 1950s populism.