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August 06, 2006

Edwards on Middle East in Chat Room

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Sorry for not posting on non-Edwards topics, but I thought this was pretty cool.  On the sidebar of the One America Blog, they have a chat room where John and Elizabeth can occasionally be found chatting.  Recently when John popped in, the folk said that they wanted to hear him talk about his ideas on the Middle East and fixing schools.  The long comment that resulted is below:

John Edwards: i will be glad to tell you what i think about what's happening in israel, lebanon, iran and iraq, and also my ideas about what we should do about public education. briefly for now, it's clear we need an intl security force in southern lebanon and the actions of hezbollah and hamas are aimed at inciting radical islam. iran is clearly behind it since hezbollah is effectively an arm of iran. as to iraq - we need to make clear that we're leaving, and the best way to do that is to actually start leaving. we should withdraw at least 40,000 troops now, and instruct out military leadership to prepare a plan to have combat troops out of Iraq in roughly 12- 18 months. as for the schools, more investment in early childhood, better training for those teaching early childhood, starting early childhood programs earlier, and providing better health and nutrition support for those in the programs. incentive pay for teachers willing to teach in the most difficult shools in the most diffiuclt environments. and of course, smaller shool sizes. these are just a few ideas, and i'd be glad to do a longer policy post later.

It's sort of fun to see a presidential candidate known for his speechmaking powers dash off a quick chat room comment, with all the spelling and capitalization errors that necessarily plague quick chat comments.  Perhaps in an attempt to maintain presidential gravitas, he didn't use any clever smilies or LOLz during the conversation.  Rumors that he went around asking "asl?" and proclaiming himself "teh 1337 haxor" can be disconfirmed from the chat transcript.

August 6, 2006 | Permalink


This does not make me enamored of Edwards. His take on Iran's role, while in keeping with the current conventional wisdom, is both ignorant and absurdly reductionist, and stands as a reminder that the next president needs to be someone who actually really knows what he's doing, especially on foreign policy and national security. I'd been warming up to Edwards slightly, but stuff like this punctures the bubble.

Posted by: Christmas | Aug 6, 2006 6:00:24 PM


Posted by: Dory | Aug 6, 2006 9:44:20 PM

Edwards also said, "These Health Savings Accounts, they're nothing but write-offs for millionaires. We all know that." That is not true. Exactly like an IRA, you don't have to be a millionaire to be eligible to write-off an HSA deposit.

You don't have to be a millionaire to write-off your home mortgage interest either. Of course one is an "above the line deduction" and the other is not.

Remember how Edwards didn't want to quit the last time he lost? America doesn't want a sore loser again.

Who you choose matters. Say NO to trial lawyers.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Aug 7, 2006 6:59:38 AM

Indeed, like Christmas I am a little disappointed in the Hezbollah=Iran comment. But a) I'll be very surprised if I see a single candidate who doesn't blame Iran and Syria, and b) his solution was focused on dealing with the problem at hand, and not a sly move to "if we overthrow Iran and Syria that will totally fix this" which is what is so scary to read actually.

Posted by: Tony v | Aug 7, 2006 9:46:43 AM

Everybody knows Edwards is a trial lawyer. The Association of Trial Lawyers of America voted to change their name to American Association for Justice or AAJ. In addition to changing it's name they tripled its PR staff and hired pollsters and campaign strategists to refurbish its image, says John Merchant from California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse. The Trial Lawyers are a day late and a dollar short. National Polls show lawyers in general - and particularly plaintiffs' lawyers - are held in lower esteem than members of Congress.

Edwards Trial Lawyer problem can't be swept under the rug. So wise up Neil. Even the name, Trial Lawyer, is out.

Edwards did not become a multi-millionaire doing pro bono work. Edwards needs a little less greed. Maybe Edwards could his change his image by doing pro bono work "only" for a few years and then run for President in 2012.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Aug 7, 2006 10:12:31 AM

Neil, I know your rebuttal to Ron G by heart.

But keep in mind, many voters will only hear Ron G and will never hear your rebuttal.

Posted by: Tony v | Aug 7, 2006 10:48:03 AM

That's right Neil. Edwards may get 12 properly chosen people in a trial to believe that dead children are actually talking thru him, like in VooDoo, but not a 21st Century savvy American voter.

Americans know when Doctors pay millions and millions to trial lawyers, everybody's health insurance goes up.

Trial lawyers are not the solution, they're the problem.

Posted by: Ron Greiner | Aug 7, 2006 11:00:07 AM

I am constantly amazed how trial lawyers are demonized. As if they are more evil than a (say) pharmacutical company that dispenses under-effective drugs at an artificially inflated price. Or more dispicable that physicians guilty of malpractice. True, Edwards is a trial lawyer, who got rich from bringing pharmacutical companies and physicians guilty of preying on people to justice.
RG, above, seems to think that hack physicians should be allowed to practice their trade without accountability, that the harm they do should be overlooked, and the wrong they do should have no redress.

Edwards has done his job well, starting out as a Corproate lawyer, and seeing the damage done by corporations changed his practice to defending those harmed by those corporations.

Posted by: Bumpa | Aug 7, 2006 11:12:47 AM

Ron, it's one thing to say "trial lawyers are unpopular" (true) and another to say "they are all evil" (advocating).

Malpractice insurance is responsible for 1-2% of all healthcare costs. States with strict malpractice lawsuit limits have no appreciable difference in the skyrocketting costs of healthcare. The malpractice boogey-man is nothing more than conservatives trying to turn anti-lawyer sentiment into an excuse for inaction on healthcare reform.

Edwards in particular has defended some incredibly sympathetic clients. Republicans will brand him as a trail lawyer, but they will have to rely on large scale ignorance (always a common commodity) for the public to not learn who he defended.

Posted by: Tony v | Aug 7, 2006 11:21:01 AM

but not a 21st Century savvy American voter.


-sorry, had to crack up there. This sort of thing is always even more amusing coming from people who, in another time, would have simply been selling used cars to support their strip-club habits, but are now dressed up as "financial services professionals" with third-rate products. I have my complaints about John Edwards, but his former profession isn't one of them. And HSAs are annoying as hell-- we ditched ours after one year.

Posted by: latts | Aug 7, 2006 11:40:55 AM

I am from Iran,

pulling out troops would be the deadliest thing to do in Iraq now, it takes at least 10 years to start a stable goverment in Iraq and settle things down between different people, iran has a great impact on Iraq and with no american troops anyday a revolution might be starter for another Islamic republic.

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